How to Hire Highly Successful Remote Employees

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There’s a war for talent these days, where it’s getting more and more challenging to find great hires located within commuting distance. One thing employers can do to keep themselves competitive and attract great talent is to offer flexibility and expand their hiring pool to include previously untapped global sources. Remote work makes this possible. 

Getting global talent to work for you has never been easier. You have the whole world at your disposal when looking at skills and qualifications. Thanks to co-located offices, you don’t have to shoulder the burden of relocation. Your employees won’t have to make great adjustments, either. Screening, interviewing, and hiring a remote worker can be just as swift and easy as hiring a local candidate.

What is a Successful Remote Worker?

Remote work requires certain qualities to ensure success. These qualities may go beyond technical qualifications. Remote work is a benefit for you and the candidate, but it is also a responsibility. There are qualities you can look out for that may determine a candidate’s success in the remote work setup:

Self-motivated. Remote employees need incredible discipline to be productive. They don’t need managers looking over their shoulder just to do their job. You need someone driven and proactive. Someone who shows initiative. You don’t need to tell them what to do. They actively look for ways to improve their process and help your company.

Decisive and independent. When working on different time zones, decision-makers aren’t always available when an employee is. Your remote worker should be able to swiftly make small but important decisions to ensure that work keeps moving forward. A good remote worker is someone who can work well autonomously.

Communicative. A successful remote worker is excellent at both verbal and written communication. Make sure they can articulate the specifics of their work in a concise and precise manner, too. Part of good communication skill is replying in a timely manner, as is honesty and transparency when sharing project updates and productivity reports.

Collaborative. Freelance experience can indicate remote work success, but not always. John Baldoni from the Harvard Business Review says “the contractor mentality will not do; the big project demands commitment.” This is especially true when hiring remote workers. A collaborative mindset is just as important as independence when it comes to remote work.

Highly organized. A successful remote employee should know how to have an organized process in place. This includes excellent time management. They also need to have the discipline to keep their consistent work routine. They are available when you expect them to be available, and have the ability to multi-task if needed.

The Interview Process

Just as you would subject candidates for in-house roles to numerous involved interviews, you should treat remote hires with equal examination. While there might never be face-to-face interviews, there are numerous alternatives that can give you an accurate impression of your remote employee.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Video interviews. This could be the closest alternative to a face-to-face interview. You can interview them live or have them pre-record answers to questions you send.
  • Text interviews. You may not be able to see non-verbal cues through a text interview over Google Hangouts and other platforms, but you will be able to assess how well the candidate communicates.
  • In-depth forms. Use tools such as Google Forms to create questionnaires that can serve as substitute to initial interviews. You’ll be able to review applications at your leisure and screen them easily without needing time-consuming real-time interviews.

Have them do multiple rounds of interviews, including one with team members they will work with. This is also the time where you can discuss the specifics of how you do remote work, and see whether or not they will fit into the company culture.

Be Upfront about Your Remote Culture

Part of hiring a successful remote employee is making sure they’re a good fit. You can save time during the hiring process when you make sure you only attract the right candidate for the role. You can convey your company’s remote culture through your website. Blog about the way you work. Groove’s Alex Turnbull shares how they make it work, and they’re honest about it, too.

Be transparent about remote work in your company. Don’t just share the positive things. Help future employees manage expectations by sharing the realities of remote work. Explain it on job postings and discuss it extensively during the interview process.

If you have a trial period, provide your potential remote employees with the tools that you use, including access to virtual offices you and your employees use to connect and engage with each other regardless of location.

Wrapping It Up

Don’t rush the hiring process. Before bringing a remote employee on board, you have to be absolutely sure. By knowing what to look for and being upfront about your remote culture, you’ll be able find reliable employees who are not only a good fit, but will likely stick around for the long run.

When it comes to hiring remote employees, visit and help us help you speed up the process. We'll have you interviewing top candidates for your job openings in no time.

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Bolton Remote

Bolton Remote helps businesses grow with dedicated remote teams. To find out more about remote staffing, visit
Bolton Remote
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About Bolton Remote

Bolton Remote helps businesses grow with dedicated remote teams. To find out more about remote staffing, visit