Hiring & Recruiting

How to Hire Remote Workers: A Complete Guide

Back to posts

In a world forever altered by the pandemic, remote work has not only revolutionized the way we approach our professional lives but has also redefined how we hire remote workers. What initially emerged as a necessity due to unforeseen circumstances has gradually evolved into a permanent fixture of the modern workforce. Now, it is clear that the advantages of employing remote staff extend far beyond crisis management: they open doors to a world of untapped talent.

No longer confined by geography, organizations have realized that hiring remote workers presents an opportunity to find the perfect candidate for any role. Companies are no longer limited to choosing from a local pool of talent. With the rise of remote work, the entire globe becomes your talent marketplace.

Remote employees have officially broken free from the confines of office walls: around 30% desire part-time remote work, while an overwhelming two-thirds prefer working fully remotely.

So, the benefits of embracing this shift towards flexible work are twofold: not only do companies get access to a global talent pool, but they also automatically boost overall job satisfaction.

However, hiring remote employees comes with its own set of unique challenges. Traditional hiring methods may not be enough when making decisions about individuals you might rarely or never meet in person.

In this blog post we’ll explore the fine details of remote hiring and guide you through the best practices to attract the right talent, ask the right questions and ensure that your remote hire is content and thriving within your company.

Why Businesses Are Embracing Remote Work

Who is hiring remote workers and what motivates companies to prefer remote employees over in-house workers?

Companies hiring remotely come from a diverse array of sectors, including technology organizations, startups, corporations, e-commerce businesses, content and media companies, healthcare and medicine firms, legal and language service providers, and design and creative agencies. This trend of hiring remotely transcends industry boundaries.

Hiring remote employees isn’t merely a reaction to changing times; there are compelling reasons driving the momentum of this practice:

Expanded talent pool

The global talent market allows companies to tap into a diverse pool of potential candidates regardless of their geographical location.

Inclusive Work Environments

Remote work offers a more inclusive working environment, particularly beneficial to individuals who may not thrive in a traditional office setting. This includes parents, caretakers, people with disabilities, many of whom possess exceptional talent and a strong work ethic. Remote work offers the flexibility to accomodate unique circumstances, whether temporary or permanent.

Employee Satisfaction and Retention

Offering remote work options is now a highly sought-after perk. Flexible working hours and the ability to work from home are now seen as one of the most valuable job benefits, contributing to increased job satisfaction and better employee retention.

Cost Savings

Remote work isn’t just employee-friendly but it’s also a cost saving practice for businesses. According to Yahoo Finance, it can save companies up to $11,000 per employee annually.

So, without any further delay, let’s explore how to hire remote employees effectively.

Evaluating Your Readiness to Hire Remote Staff

Before you go ahead and start looking for that perfect candidate, it’s essential to ensure that your policies, job descriptions and overall business processes are well-prepared:

Remote Work Policies

Well-defined remote work policies are crucial as they set clear expectations for both employees and the organization, while also establishing a framework for assessing performance and productivity.

Job Descriptions

Thoroughly examine your job descriptions and tailor them for remote positions. Compare your own descriptions to those of similar roles at other companies and identify what sets your company apart. Include relevant keywords that job seekers are likely to use in their searches.

Align your Job Descriptions with Policies

Make sure that your job descriptions align with your remote work policies. Clearly outline expected work hours, equipment and technology requirements and productivity expectations. This way, you can be sure that both your company and potential candidates have a shared understanding of the remote role’s responsibilities and expectations.

Technology and Support

Plan out which technology your remote employees will need. Specify the tools and equipment you expect them to provide and detail the technology that your company will cover to support their roles.

Performance evaluation

Establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and a general framework for measuring remote employee performance. It’s helpful to establish regular check-ins before even starting your cooperation, normalizing the practice as a routine thing.

Where Do You Start Looking?

Okay, everything’s in place and we’re ready to find a remote employee. So, where do we begin our search?

Specialized Recruiting Agencies

Partnering with a specialized talent solutions company is where your search can both start and end. Entrusting an agency with identifying top notch job candidates whose skills precisely match your needs and wishes can be the wisest and most time-efficient solution. Their talent pool comprises highly skilled professionals from various specializations.

Past Employees

If there are former employees who left your company on good terms, whether voluntarily or due to layoffs, it might be worthwhile to reach out and inquire about their availability. Good workers are valuable, but good workers who are already familiar with your company’s culture and values are even better. Contrary to common perception, it’s not inappropriate to explore this option, although many see it as taboo.

“Dirty Trick” with Employee Referrals

Ask your current team members for referrals. Yes, it sometimes is as easy as that! Employee endorsements can be a powerful hiring tool, even when you’re looking to hire remote staff. As for the “dirty trick” bit: team members aren’t likely to recommend candidates they don’t trust will perform well, as otherwise, their own reputation might be at stake.

Contact Remote Workers Directly

Many skilled experts maintain their own websites or blogs that showcase their experience and previous projects as a portfolio. If you like what you see, try reaching out through contact forms and explore potential collaborations.

Social Media

Engaging with talent through social media has become increasingly popular. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest offer opportunities to connect with professionals and explore their work history and expertise. However, these individuals are often well-known individuals and that fame can result in premium prices.

Job Boards

Job boards are the go-to resource for remote hiring. There are many popular platforms with more than enough resources for this purpose. However, be prepared for a high volume of applications to sift through, and most may not meet your criteria.

Use a hiring platform

For the most efficient remote hiring process, consider leveraging a professional hiring platform, such as RolesPilot. There are various hiring platforms available, but let’s briefly highlight why you might choose RolesPilot:

RolesPilot connects businesses with proven experts approved by professionals with over a decade of experience in talent acquisition. On this platform, you’ll find transparent expert profiles that enable you to handpick candidates who align perfectly with your needs and project goals.

If preferred, you can leave the entire matching process to RolesPilot, allowing them to act as your HR and recruiting assistant, saving you time and money in building and scaling your team.

RolesPilot is dedicated to simplifying the hiring process, enabling companies to effortlessly assemble a team of experts who can accelerate project kick-offs and handle ongoing projects with the speed, skills, and care that they deserve.

Ideal Skills to Look For in a Remote Worker

When hiring remotely, it’s important to identify individuals with the right skill set and qualities for virtual team collaboration. Independence and the ability to work autonomously without constant supervision are key. Effective communication and collaboration skills are also essential. Candidates should possess clear verbal and written communication skills, along with proficiency in using digital communication tools.

Additional skills particularly valuable for remote workers, compared to in-house employees, include strong time management, self-motivation, being well organized and a willingness to ask for help when needed.

While prior remote work experience can be beneficial, it’s important not to overlook candidates who lack it. They may demonstrate a better fit for remote work than a seasoned work-from-home employee who has not fully grasped what it takes to excel in a remote work environment.

Red Flags

When assessing candidates for remote work, there are several warning signs to watch out for.

Inability to adapt

If a candidate insists on doing things just the way they’re used to and won’t budge a bit - successful collaboration is highly unlikely.

Poor self-discipline

Candidates who consistently miss deadlines without prior communication can be problematic in the long run.

Poor communication skills

If a candidate struggles to convey their thoughts clearly, or worse, becomes frustrated when teammates ask for additional clarification, they may not b e the right choice, whether in-house or remote.

Taking things personally

Candidates who become offended when provided with constructive feedback can hinder progress. It may be challenging to point out mistakes or suggest improvements without encountering pushback from them, leading to frustration and time wasted.

Lack of accountability

Individuals who habitually blame others for their own mistakes display a concerning lack of personal responsibility. When this behavior infiltrates your team, it can cause discord that is best avoided.

While it might be challenging to spot all these red flags before you start working together, you can generally get a sense of a candidate’s suitability and stability during the interview process. So, let’s explore the questions you can ask candidates to make a more informed hiring decision.

Questions to Ask a Candidate

When conducting interviews for remote positions, it’s essential to ask questions that assess not only the candidate’s qualifications but also their suitability for remote work. Here are some key questions to include in your interview process:

1. Have you previously worked remotely, and how did you handle it?

This question helps you understand their familiarity with remote work dynamics and their ability to independently manage tasks.

2. How do you maintain focus when working from home?

Staying focused among potential distractions can be a challenge. This question allows candidates to describe their strategies for maintaining focus, providing insight into their self-motivation.

3. What platforms have you used to collaborate with off-site colleagues?

Familiarity with remote collaboration tools is vital, so knowing the candidate’s proficiency with these tools in advance can be helpful.

4. How do you minimize miscommunication in written messages?

This question can give you insight into their ability to prevent misunderstanding, and their overall patience.

5. Remote work has its perks, but also comes with challenges. What’s the most challenging aspect of remote work for you?

This question lets the candidate know that although this is a job interview, we’re all human and they’re allowed to find remote work challenging. It encourages them to share their greatest challenges and how they overcome them.

6. How do you handle situations where your ideas differ from those of your colleagues?

This question helps you evaluate a candidate’s ability to navigate conflicts and collaborate effectively, even when faced with differing attitudes and opinions.

7. How much guidance do you expect from our side to get started? There are no wrong answers!

It’s good to know a candidate’s preferred level of autonomy right from the start, as it allows you to assess whether it aligns with your company’s needs or requires adjustment to fit within your remote work structure.

After you get answers to these questions you can gain a comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s suitability, and are more likely to identify any potential red flags.

The Challenges of Working Remotely & How to Overcome Them

Remote contracts are in high demand for valid reasons, but remote work does come with a unique set of challenges. Let’s explore the less glamorous aspects of working remotely.

Time Zone Differences

Managing team members across various time zones can be a logistical puzzle. To minimize complications, it helps to plan projects in advance and reduce reliance on email communication. Instead, opt for real-time communication tools like Slack or Skype. Regular team check-ins help ensure everyone stays on track.

Inconsistent Technology

Intermittent tech issues can disrupt productivity, so it’s imperative that everyone in the team has reliable hardware and connectivity. If possible, consider establishing a remote helpdesk for technical support.

Cultural Differences

Working with people from diverse cultures in a remote setting can lead to both amusing and potentially problematic misunderstandings. To prevent the latter, establish clear communication guidelines, whether verbal, through emails or via collaboration tools like Google Docs or Slack.

Security Issues

Safeguarding your organization’s data when working remotely requires extra caution. Using VPNs and adhering to best practices, such as avoiding public Wi-Fi networks and maintaining strong passwords can save you from headaches down the road.

Why Remote Work is the future

The future of work is undergoing a profound transformation, and the overwhelming evidence suggests that remote work is here to stay. Global workforce statistics show a growing embrace of the idea of working from home. Companies are also increasingly recognizing the benefits of remote work, leading to lasting changes in their policies.

The concept of talent without borders, once unimaginable, is now a reality, and this shift is undeniably positive.

There’s a significant move towards evaluating outcomes rather than monitoring hours spent at the office, promoting a healthier approach to assessing employee efficiency.

Remote work offers cost efficiency, as it saves businesses on extra office space, while employees enjoy cost savings and, ideally, improved work-life balance. Fewer people are commuting to work, resulting in a positive impact on the environment, keeping this trend going upwards.

If your business is ready to harness the potential of remote work, you’ll find that with the right support you can have a significantly more efficient and cost-effective experience. Platforms like RolesPilot are designed to streamline the remote hiring process, connecting you with the world’s top talent efficiently and cost-effectively. While you can certainly hire remote workers independently, partnering with professionals in the field can make the process smoother and more successful in less time.


Where can I find remote employees?

You can find remote employees through specialized recruiting agencies, past employees, employee referrals, direct contact, social media, job boards, and hiring platforms like RolesPilot.

How much does a remote employee cost?

The cost of a remote employee can vary significantly depending on their location, experience, and industry. On average, remote employees cost a company less than traditional in-house employees.

Is it cheaper to have remote employees?

Yes, remote work is cost-efficient and can save companies up to $11,000 annually per employee.

Are people happier with remote jobs?

Yes, remote work offers flexibility and is considered a valuable job benefit, contributing to higher job satisfaction and better employee retention.

Share with