4 key points to remote recruiting

So things have changed around the office for many as of late. Something to the tune of, “When was the last time I saw… wait, now I can’t remember names!” Well don’t be too hard on yourself as the shift to remote work has brought on a variety of challenges that we all must face. None more formidable than that of recruiting.

In this sense, we refer not only to the task itself, but also the considerations that must be taken into account for the company when hiring personnel who will work remotely. So here are four key points to vetting candidates who match well with your company’s values and culture.

Self-starter

A self-starter should be the first thing on every recruiter’s mind. Who doesn’t want a staff stocked full of self-starting individuals who not only are team players, but take the initiative to forge ahead rather than sitting idly on their hands waiting for instruction? This first point’s importance cannot be overstated given the rise of remote work nowadays.

An individual who can stay motivated without a manager micromanaging every moment of their working day is irreplaceable in a remote environment. They must be able to manage their own schedule, be productive, and accomplish their goals. If they don’t know something, they should not hesitate to ask, start any research necessary to complete their task or find useful solutions.

Now any tech vendor with development teams that have a good number of individuals who are real go-getters, stands to greatly benefit. Team members who are self-starters can genuinely drive a team forward in a more organic way than when driven forward by other forces that may generate unwanted negative effects like stress and so on. Cheers for the self-starters!

Punctual in all aspects

Punctuality, you know that thing teachers nagged you about improving during high school when you chose to slow walk to class cause it was cool. I suppose we can all agree it’s one of the tenets of becoming a responsible adult, more so a responsible employee and even more, team member. One must be punctual if there is some reliance as in with any team work.

Development teams require a high level of communication and team work in order to accomplish the team’s targets. Your individual goals are interconnected with other team members and directly affect the team’s overall performance. Therefore it’s key to ensure you recruit someone who exhibits a strong propensity for communicating in a timely fashion, no matter the medium.

The best remote employees are those who understand the value of communication to even go so far as to over-communicate. Knowing how their work intertwines with other team members ensures their own success and the success of team members and the team as a whole.

Commitment

This is a tricky one as you want employees who are free to be themselves so they are comfortable and happy within the company. A happy employee is a productive employee, or so the saying goes. Individuals tend to be more committed to themselves and their own personal goals rather than the company’s. However, often people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and this is simply part of the job hunt.

Therein lies the chance for the recruiter to see what motivates and drives the candidate. This is typically observed during the second interview or screening session when you can have a bit more conversation getting to know these key points about the applicant. Considering for example, “Does this person have any career goals they would like to achieve? Do they desire to be more than just another cog in the machine?”

If the sense you get is yes, then likely this person could be a good fit for your organization. People who are committed to the company’s mission are often more productive and operate at a higher level than a clock puncher may. Your company will grow further when your employees share in the vision and goals, committing themselves to the mission and accomplishing it as a team!

Natural problem solver

Now to wrap things up with our final point to look for when recruiting, a natural problem solver. Generally speaking, there are two types of team members on software development teams. Knowing which the candidate is more likely to be will help you in selecting between someone who sees the big picture and someone who can only focus on what’s in front of them.

An employee who follows instructions well is not a bad thing, but when this is the limit of their ability, you can begin to understand how it will hamper productivity among a plethora of other things. In contrast, an employee who not only understands the instructions given to them, but also grasps the bigger picture can be more productive and drive the project forward without constant babysitting. Look for those candidates that exude a level of self-determination that will benefit your organization, solving problems autonomously and continuing the project’s forward momentum to reach the target completion deadline. 

We all react differently to various work environments. I may do best in a solitary, even remote situation, whereas you may do better in an office situation surrounded by coworkers and supported directly by a supervisor or manager. Many people are drawn to the idea of working remotely to only discover it’s not suitable for them. So it’s imperative to know the type of person you’re potentially going to offer that open position to at your company.

Maria Agustin
Maria Agustin
People Operations
Maria Agustin is the Head of People Operations at Slash. She’s also the Co-founder of Pratisara Bumi Foundation, which runs leadership and entrepreneurship education programs in Indonesia. Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, she’s worked in social innovation, startups and economic empowerment. In 2016, she started managing one of the top coworking spaces in Asia, and that’s when she began to focus on location-independent entrepreneur community building from around the world, the future of work culture, and people. She’s a community leader for one of the world’s well-known venture capitals, Techstars, in Asia Pacific and she has organised Startup Weekend Bali six times; as well, she is a design sprint facilitator at 1000 Startup Digital Indonesia.
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