Remote Readiness: Can your new hires work remotely?

When you start realising the great advantages of recruiting remotely there is a big chance you will have at least one or two remote workers in your team by 2022. If you want these people to be successful, you’ll have to change the way your team communicates, relates to each other and how they collaborate on a daily basis. This means you actually need to prepare your organisation and employees. How can they bridge the gap between office-based habits and remote traits, skills and attitude? Even if the majority of the people still go to the office, remote readiness is key.

Hiring for fully and partially remote positions is in acework’s DNA. If you are still learning what hiring remotely means you could use the following articles to get you up to speed. We have put together a step-by-step Remote hiring guide and these specific tips for recruiters facing the challenges of remote candidate/recruiter interactions. 

Unlike traditional recruitment agencies, acework has always focused on flexible and remote work opportunities. We were founded with one thing in mind, to enable talent and companies in their remote work journey when working from home was still just a whisper. In this journey we identified that there are certain skills, and even more important attitudes, crucial for any distributed team to succeed and grow in the long run. 

Based on this, our talent go through rigorous vetting processes where we check for what we call Remote Readiness. We also select our partner companies and clients based on Remote Readiness. We make sure they embrace remote collaboration and culture, with a remote-first mindset. Only then we connect them with our remote-ready talent.

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

What does Remote Readiness mean and why does it matter to you?

Remote Readiness includes skills, habits, behaviours, attitude and set up (such as technology and environment). To succeed at working remotely people must have specific soft skills such as self-reflection, self-motivation, time management and more. 

After building many distributed teams we have learned that these are all attributes every high-performing worker should bring along or have the potential to acquire. This is independent from whether they work remotely or at the office. These attributes are vetted by our Talent Advisors during our sourcing and interview process to ensure we only match our partners with top remote-ready candidates. 

As we said before, we also check if the company offers the right environment, culture and processes to successfully work with new remote employees. Sustainable remote working needs more than Slack channels, Zoom meetings and sending laptops to employees’ homes. You need a remote-first mindset. For us this means you include remote or partially-remote workers equally in your day-to-day, whether you are a hybrid company or fully remote.

For our recruiting services, we ensure candidates understand how remote work can benefit them as individuals to increase productivity and improve work-life integration but also what implications and responsibilities come with it.

What we check for with acework’s Remote Readiness Assessment:

In order to understand a candidate’s remote work style and past experience, we structured our vetting process to successfully match our talent pool with remote and flexible jobs.

Candidates know they will be assessed right from the start. Every stage of our recruitment process has a reason and a clear goal. For example, we kick off the communication with candidates in written format. Of course we want them on a call, but we also check basic written communication skills (in English, Spanish or German). Later we also assess written communication in-depth in our asynchronous interview. 

Acework’s Remote Readiness Assessment has changed over time. Especially since fully distributed and hybrid set ups are extensively growing, we’ve improved and iterated the entire process. We tailor the changes on the evolution of Online work and also the technology around it. Some of the questions we used to ask at the beginning are not relevant anymore, and others have become more relevant over time. Thereby we make sure we maintain our assessment state of art.

Our internal collaboration page where we work on vetting questions

acework Notion page, all rights reserved 2021

Some of the skills and behaviours we assess during our process are: Conflict management, Growth mindset and entrepreneurship, among others.

Want to assess your employees on their Remote Readiness?

If you are still thinking about what your ultimate work setup will look like, there is one thing you can be certain about: Your people should be ready to collaborate remotely. Regardless of if you define your company setup to be hybrid, office-based or fully remote. We’ve selected a couple of our questions to help you check an individual’s remote readiness. You can dive deeper with our essential remote interview questions here.

Project management & Time management

  • Tell me about a time you were on a tight deadline.
  • What criteria do you use to prioritise your work?
  • Describe a situation that required you to do a number of things at the same time. 

Communication 

  • Give me an example of a time when you felt you miscommunicated to your peers.
  • Can you describe a particularly stressful period in your current role?
  • What would you say is your communication style? (Having guidelines around the preferred communication style has avoided many conflicts!)

Self-motivation & Remote work setup/style

  • How do you stay focused on a deadline when working remotely?
  • How do you overcome a slump in creativity or productivity?
  • What kinds of distractions do you usually have when working from home? 

Self-awareness 

  • What worries you about not being a part of an office community?
  • How do you stay motivated during the day without supervision?
  • How do you troubleshoot problems on your own?

The latter are some of our favourite questions. They let you understand how the person feels and what they would need to be comfortable in the job.

Please note: The above questions do NOT cover remote leadership skills or your team’s remote readiness as a whole. We analyse those with our hybrid or remote team audit. Schedule with us to learn more.

acework schedule call

Take your team’s remote readiness to the next level.

We experienced in our own skin what it means to work in a distributed team. This includes managing asynchronous communications, handling people in different time zones, adapting to different cultures and more. Over the past years we’ve learned many lessons, some the hard way. We tested several set ups, policies/ guidelines and workflows until we found what works for us. Today we share all of this with our partners, and we’ve seen them shine in the right conditions. 

The dream of making companies comfortable with flexible and remote work has become more tangible day by day, and even more after March 2020. If you still think you need to improve your Remote Readiness, we can guide you. Acework supports you to establish a long term remote hiring strategy (check out some ideas for remote assessment) and remote culture, which results in employee engagement and resilience of your distributed team.

Schedule a free strategy session to start building your high performing diverse and distributed team.

If you are a candidate looking for work, don’t forget to visit our job board and save it to your favourites. We regularly post new roles there.

Remote Readiness helps all teams work better

Are you remote ready?

We developed a unique soft skills assessment to vet for remote readiness, and have screened hundreds of candidates based on it. We screen for intrinsic motivation, organisational skills and independence, among others.

Assess your remote readiness with this free, remote-ready checklist, that we created for individuals working or looking to work remotely. The checklist includes essentials such as:

  1. Reliable, high-speed internet connectivity
  2. Appropriate video conferencing hardware
  3. Experience with current productivity tools… and 13 other expert tips to help you assess your remote readiness.