Victoria Sambursky

When filling a virtual position, finding the right candidate requires a unique approach for HR professionals.

A potential hire needs specific soft skills and culture fit to work in a remote environment. Want to hire the right candidate for a virtual job? In this article, we list essential tips, strategies, and interview questions you need for hiring top talent.

“Must-Have” Skills

Teams in remote jobs need a specific set of soft skills. When reviewing candidates, if these skills aren’t evident upfront, it’s time to move on to the next resume.

  • Outstanding collaboration skills (especially digital collaboration)
  • Highly self-directed and accountable
  • Motivational skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills

Flexibility With Digital Tools

What’s the comfort level of your candidate with project management programs such as Basecamp, Jira, or Trello? Each company has its own digital platforms and tools for getting remote work done. Look for candidates with the knowledge and flexibility to move between digital platforms, or at least have the capacity to learn.

Video Interview

Virtual jobs require a ton of time using video platforms like Zoom or GoToMeeting. You want to recruit candidates who understand how to professionally navigate this terrain. By holding interviews with these video tools, it will show everything you need to know about the potential hire. According to Harvard Business School, you’ll want to look for qualities such as:

  • Where did they conduct the interview? Was it free of distractions?
  • What did they wear?
  • How did they carry themselves? What was their body language like?
  • Did they have their camera, internet connection, and microphone ready? (This shows they tested the platform before the interview).

Clear Messaging, Clear Communication

Email and instant messaging apps like Slack are essential in virtual work. With this in mind, 73.4% of employers want a candidate with strong written communication skills. Yep, it’s that important.

Depending on the position, candidates should submit a writing sample. For some jobs, it doesn’t have to be a super formal portfolio. The piece just has to show he or she can write clearly on any platform.

Pro tip: Before an interview, ask a virtual candidate a question by text and see how they respond on the spot. Is the response professional or full of spelling errors, slang, and abbreviations? This test can weed out the wrong candidates for the job.

Teamwork Makes the Virtual Dream Work

The remote workplace comes with its own set of values, personalities, and expectations. These qualities make for a dynamic team. But how can you be sure a candidate is a good cultural fit for this environment? Helpful questions to ask during the interview include:

What management style motivates you? If they mesh on the company’s management style, they will be a solid fit for the culture.

What kind of work environment makes you happiest? Candidates who thrive on independence will shine in a remote job.

When working within a team, what role do you play? This question separates natural self-starters from those who need constant hand-holding.

Recruiting great people for a virtual job can be challenging. You need to assess so many aspects of a potential candidate, such as culture fit, specific soft skills, and personality types. Using these tips can help HR managers not only find the right candidate for the job – but the best long-term fit for the company.

Leave a Reply