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2 Key Factors For Hiring a Remote Employee

Managers and entrepreneurs who create their team of people, to build the core of a company, are actually building and/or strengthening the foundations of that company. This is why hiring well is so important.

Business managers must realize they need to hire individuals of varying skills and expertise who also share the dream and ethics of the company. Bad hires are costly to businesses, drain energy, kill productivity, and ultimately drag the company down.

This is not just a feeling we have, either.  CareerBuilder conducted a poll a couple of years ago, where it was found out that 41% of participating companies had experienced a cost of at least $25,000 per single bad hire, while 24% had incurred $50,000 for a single bad hire.

These are estimates of course, but they are still important red flags. And consider also how employee morale can be affected. A bad hire isn’t just a case of a person working badly, it passively worsens the output of everyone that deals with him or her.

No matter how established your organization, bad hires negatively affect it.

Remote employees are no different in this regard. Just as you should expect them to do whatever your local employees can do for you, you also need to respect the fact that they will be a core part of your business, even if they are not in the same physical location.

So when hiring, there are two main things to keep in mind:

Define Your Culture

We at DistantJob keep talking about culture because we really believe it’s one of the most important factors in a company’s success.

Think about it: if you are shopping for a new car, you need to take into consideration the size of your garage. What if you don’t own a house yet, and you go and buy a shiny new Jaguar, just before deciding your dream home is a quaint chalet located up in the mountains? That Jaguar might be a fine car, but it’s not the best fit for those roads.

You want to hire for culture fit. That’s the only way you will be able to hire a person that will excel in your culture and stay for a long time with you.

So first you need  to understand what your existing team culture, existing manager working style, and existing organization culture look like. Think about the following questions:

  • What your company’s vision?
  • What culture dynamic are you seeking for your team?
  • What values do you want your employees to embody?
  • What is the vision for the company’s growth?
  • What kind of people will be able to grow with it?

Wise business founders and entrepreneurs answer these questions with conscious choices; If you don’t have an answer to one or more of those questions, or if you don’t like the answer, you need to take the steps to build that area or change it – otherwise decisions are made by default and become reactive instead of proactive.

Look for Strong Communication (On Both Sides)

Communication has two sides. You want a candidate that has strong communication skills, being interested in informing you of his successes but not shying away from asking for help and disclosing potential roadblocks.

But when hiring, you also need to make sure you are focusing and communicating well what your company culture looks like. By clearly communicating their core values and culture, companies are able to share their visions and dreams to potential candidates.  In this way, you as an owner or manager are able to attract employees whose personal values are in alignment with yours.

Being clear and upfront about your core values will also naturally screen out noncultural fit candidates, who will lose interest in the positions if they do not share the same values as your organization.

It’s also important not to go overboard and think the person needs to match your and the team’s exact preferences and tastes in everything. You’re looking for an employee that will:

  • Be motivated to do their job.
  • Get along with others enough to do it well.

Those are the two key points you need to worry about when thinking of the employee fitting into the company culture. You’re looking for an employee, not an Xbox Live partner for Halo multiplayer matches. When we talk about “culture”, we really mean you should be looking at their work culture and ethic, more so than “do they like to watch the same sports as you” or “like to read a lot.”

As an owner and / or manager, it’s doubly important that you avoid biases during interviews, such as the similar-to-me bias where the interviewer will tend to score a candidate higher if they share the same interests and background.

It is important to train yourself to focus on the interviewee’s compatibility to embrace the core values of the organization, as outlined above, and not your personal values.

Hiring Based on Culture

The research we noted at the start of this article also tells us that 67% of employees were considered bad hires due to lacking the ability to produce quality work, while 60% did not work well with other employees.

We at DistantJob take care of the first part for you: through our candidate screening and headhunting efforts, we make sure the candidates presented to you are of exceptional competency and skill. For the second part – finding a great cultural feel – you need to interview the candidates keeping your core values and culture in mind.

When you make sure that all your hires match that culture, you will find yourself surrounded by motivated people who are able to independently keep their energy up, meaning you can invest a lot more of your time and effort in other areas of your business.
To help you with the first step, we provide an eBook featuring detailed strategies to help you build or reshape your company culture. And in the future, look in this space for some specific tips in how to conduct productive interviews!

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Maria Rainelli

Maria Rainelli

Maria Rainelli is a freelance writer who works with DistantJob to research and synthesise the best remote work related content into practical, accurate and actionable guides and articles on how to improve remote leadership and better manage your teams.