More and more U.S. employers are making the permanent switch to remote employment options for their staff. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, more than one third of Americans were working from home. According to a recent Gallup poll, the majority are still working remotely at least part of the time, and would prefer to do so even after all pandemic-related restrictions are lifted.
But hiring employees for a remote or virtual position is different than hiring someone for an in-office position. Working from home requires a different set of skills and, in some cases, a different personality type. Companies like Dell and American Express have stated that when they are hiring for a remote position, they approach the interview process differently.
Here are five things to look for in a future employee when interviewing for an open remote position:
- Internal motivation and drive. Internal motivation is one of the biggest predictors of success for remote employees. Without the direct external motivation and accountability from superiors, co-workers, and the office environment, remote employees need to be personally passionate about doing quality work and completing it on time.
- Tech savviness. When working remotely, employees need to have a good grasp on the technology needed for video conferencing and completing their work virtually.
- Problem solving skills. Working remotely means there will not always be a supervisor or colleague available to oversee work or answer questions. Remote employees need to be able to creatively solve minor problems and be proactive about reaching out for help with larger problems.
- Self-discipline and boundaries. Without a strict schedule or in-person accountability from supervisors, remote employees need to have a lot of discipline to successfully work from home.
- Partial to alone time. Working from home can get a little lonely at times. Without the office buzz and presence of co-workers, remote employees need to appreciate alone time, or find ways of building a robust social life outside of work.
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