Hiring a remote candidate is a little different from hiring someone to work in-office or on-premises. Remote workers have certain attributes that make them awesome at working independently and as any recruiter knows, there will be little “tells” hidden and sometimes not so hidden in a remote candidate’s CV.
It’s often soft skills that demonstrate whether a candidate is a good choice for a remote position, especially if they don’t have a lengthy history of remote work. Usually, the duties and skills to perform the actual job are the same as a non-remote equivalent role.
So, what should a recruiter look for in a remote worker’s CV?
Remote workers must want to work. This could be demonstrated by self-discipline and enthusiasm too, but ultimately, a remote worker has to be committed and dedicated to getting their job done. If you can find that perfect level of commitment in a candidate, you can be sure that despite any of the comforts or distractions of working from home, and with the trust of working unsupervised, they will get their job done, and well.
Where commitment is evidence that a candidate set out to achieve something and did, self-discipline could be viewed slightly differently. Self-discipline could be seen as the ability to consistently achieve or to regularly perform an activity, by using willpower to overcome distractions or hurdles.
Enthusiasm and passion
A remote worker doesn’t just need to be committed to their job and be self-disciplined, they need to be self-motivated do their best with little or no supervision. A remote worker doesn’t have a team to bounce ideas off or someone they can look to for words of encouragement. Their willingness to complete their tasks and do so well needs to come mostly from within themselves. This takes the form of enthusiasm and passion for what they do and who they do it for. If a remote worker doesn’t enjoy what they do, they won’t do it well.
Organization and time management
Without supervision, a remote worker needs to supervise themselves by being organized and managing their time effectively. A remote worker’s CV should either visibly demonstrate or infer that the candidate is organized. If a remote worker loses focus or gets behind in their task, the impact for a business may be greater as it might not be noticed immediately.
Attention to detail
Remote workers are usually expected to submit completed work of one kind or another or perform duties that might not be checked by another employee. It’s mistakes in particular that will be costly to employers especially errors that aren’t picked up, perhaps until a customer is impacted.
Perhaps surprisingly, remote workers need to have excellent communication skills. Although they might not need to communicate, or even report in all the time, it is expected that when they do that communication is accurate and concise. A remote worker needs to be able to convey, perhaps even in an email or by telephone, if they are having problems or need a task carried out by a colleague.
Positions of trust
If you can see a remote working candidate has held a position of trust, this illustrates they were relied upon by another business to get their job done, effectively. And, it doesn’t have to be a remote position of trust. A supervisory or management role indicates a candidate had less supervision and was expected to be self-disciplined as well as make sure others performed their roles effectively.
An aptitude for technology
Remote working is growing alongside digital transformation. Technology is empowering remote working; employees can work as seamlessly remotely as they could in the same building with colleagues and on-premise technology. Remote workers need to use, sometimes multiple, communication and collaboration platforms. And, they need to be aware of cybersecurity and cloud technologies when using business systems remotely.
A remote worker’s CV should ideally demonstrate problem-solving skills. When working alone they’ll need to be resourceful when facing a challenge, as they may not be able to contact another employee or a manager immediately for assistance. Equally, a remote worker can’t be on the phone to a head office or senior every five minutes.
Ability to work independently
Many of the above points culminate in an ability to work remotely. But a remote worker is unlikely to be successful if their personality is such that they excel only in a team environment. Look for jobs that show a remote working candidate has worked predominantly alone and enjoyed it.
Remote working experience
Of course, the ideal thing to look for in a CV for a remote candidate is previous remote work experience. With the number of remote working jobs growing daily, the pool of available and experienced remote workers is falling, especially those with plenty of experience. As such, it’s the soft skills and attributes above, and others, either innate or gained during other work experience that will indicate if a candidate has what it takes to be a high-performing remote worker.