The recruiting of employees who also work remotely can be somewhat different than with employees onsite. The goal is the same: to get qualified employees for your team.
I recommend asking the following questions in addition to common questions in an interview to make sure that your future remote worker can deal with the challenges of working in a virtual and distributed team.
1) What is your experience working remotely?
This is important to know. Because employees who work remotely should understand the advantages and disadvantages of remote work. If employees have worked very successfully remotely before and have experience, then you can assume that they know what the challenges are, how to deal with them and how to organize themselves and their work. Employees who have less experience but should work remotely in their job need more support and a different start.
2) What collaboration tools do you know and have you used?
Even if you use different tools in your company than those the new employee knows, the experience in using collaboration tools is very important. New tools can be learned very quickly. However, you should make sure that new remote workers have a good and growth mindset for using the tools properly, for collaborate online, communication and knowledge sharing.
3) What strategies do you have to stay focused and keep deadlines?
With this question you can find out how the new employee deals with tasks and responsibilities. It is important that even with the high flexibility that remote work brings, the tasks are performed reliably and in time.
4) How do you deal with problems that occur suddenly?
Remote workers should be able to solve unexpected situations themselves. This question gives you an idea of whether the person can react in such situations confidently. Remote workers should be able to judge for himself whether he or she can solve the problem alone or only with further help before it becomes a larger and more complex issue for the entire team.
Tips for Onboarding Remote Workers
Arrange regular online meetings
Schedule regular appointments to discuss projects and tasks and to receive and give feedback. These should take place with the new employee in the onboarding phase in addition to regular team meetings.
Face-To Face Kick-off
Whenever possible, all new employees and team members should meet face-to-face at least once. Experience shows that people who have met in person once face-to-face will work better together in the future.
Standardization of trainings
Formalize and standardize trainings that new employees can easily learn for themselves. On the one hand you save money and on the other hand the required training can be made available promptly. For example, you can create a screencast of a tool training, which can be used again and again.
Software and Tools
All required accesses to tools and software should be available from the first day. Unfortunately, many employees are often left alone with tools and it is assumed that they are acquired with learning by doing. Or new employees have to wait for the access to necessary tools and cannot start working – many new employees find this frustrating. Do not only show and explain the features but also explain the purpose of the tools and how their are used in daily teamwork: which tools and features are used for which collaboration scenarios? How exactly do the tools support collaboration, communication and knowledge sharing? How are work results shared within the team? How can one actively participate in communities and discussions? Which rules were agreed in the Team Agreement?
Thanks to technology, it has never been easier to find very good employees worldwide. In the future, we must no longer limit ourselves to local cooperation and collaboration onsite, because this minimizes the selection of potential and good employees that fit in your team. Virtual teams have a clear advantage here. If the challenges of remote work and virtual teams are already considered in the recruiting process, then a good basis for successful virtual collaboration and remote work is created.