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When looking to hire remote workers, a recruiter cannot simply apply the same guiding principles as they would to hiring in-office workers. Granted, the job titles and descriptions may very well be the same in both cases, but there are certain soft skills that remote workers must possess if they are going succeed in their roles.

It is these soft skills that a recruiter must look for when hiring remote workers. To help you in the process of finding and hiring great remote employees, we offer this list of critical skills and traits for which you should screen candidates:

1. Previous Remote Work Experience

Given that the vast majority of the world is connected to the Internet these days, it is easy to assume that anyone with a computer and Internet access can work from home. Unfortunately, this assumption is highly flawed.

It takes a certain kind of special personality to successfully work from home. It takes discipline, excellent organization skills, and dedication to make it work.

The best CEOs in the business only hire remote workers who have extensive remote work histories. See, when people first start working from home, they often feel excited and energized, thanks to the freedom that remote work offers. However, over time, many remote workers find virtual employment more and more difficult. After a year or two, many of these previously excited workers become disenchanted with the whole prospect of working remotely.

That’s why it is important to hire virtual workers who have been at it for a long time. These workers will be particularly aware of the challenges of remote work – and they will be more likely to stay happy in the long run. Remote workers who have been doing it for more than two years tend to be more stable and more successful than remote workers who are just starting out.

2. The Ability to Self-Start

MouseOffice workers have to work because the boss is always around. Remote workers, on the other hand, don’t have as much direct contact with their bosses. In essence, then, they become their own bosses. For this reason, you should aim to hire remote workers who are self-disciplined – people who don’t need the looming threat of management looking over their shoulder in order to get to work.

Great remote employees do not need their hands held. They take initiative and are always eager to tackle tough projects with little prompting.

3. Detail-Oriented Mindsets

Because remote workers are essentially self-governing, they also need to be very detail-oriented. A little mistake can easily turn into a mountain of problems if it is not caught early.

You need to hire remote workers who pay great attention to detail and instructions. These workers need to be able to address every single requested detail in every single job that they handle.

One of the best ways to tell if a remote worker is going to be detail-oriented is to take a look at their application. If an applicant has neatly included all the requested information, then there is a good chance they will pay much attention detail when they start working. Those whose applicants are riddled with mistakes are less likely to have the necessary detail-oriented mindset to be successdful.

4. Enthusiasm

It is easy to tell whether or not an applicant is excited about a certain position or company. If a candidate has gone out of their way to learn more about your company history, your mission statement, and your goals for the future, it’s likely that they are excited about your organization. It shows that they believe in what you are doing and are excited to contribute.

Enthusiastic workers are the kind of people who will always perform at the highest possible level and ensure that everything is running smoothly on their end. This translates to great work, no missed deadlines, and overall company growth and success.

5. Great Communication Skills

Great communication skills come in handy in office settings, but they are even more important for remote workers. In an office, it is easy for employees to just talk each other through any given issue. This is not the case with remote workers. Instead, remote workers will only be able to communicate with you and with their peers through email, chat clients, and phone calls.

LaptopFor this reason, you need remote workers who can easily explain themselves, as well as understand instructions with little effort or need for further clarification.

When recruiter for a remote work position, you can assess a candidate’s communication skills by paying attention to the candidate’s correspondence. From how quickly they respond to emails to how detail-oriented their replies are, every facet of a candidate’s correspondence during the hiring process will give you insight into how well they will communicate once you bring them on board.

Next time you are thinking of hiring remote workers, make sure that you choose individuals who have these particular traits and skills. Although technical and professional qualifications matter a great deal, it is these soft skills and characteristics that your remote team will need to truly succeed.

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