Is there something different you look for when hiring a remote employee versus a local one? If so, what is it and why?

1. Ability to Deliver Results

john-roodYou’re going to have a much harder time tracking time in the office, so you have to get people who understand that their job is to deliver on results, not on time spent in the office. You can suss this out in interviews by probing deeply on times in the past when they have been given a project and executed with limited oversight, overcoming obstacles as they went. – John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation

2. Self-Motivation

diana-goodwinIf someone is going to be working remotely, they need to be self-motivated to ensure that they don’t get distracted and can meet or beat the deadlines set out for them. I’ve made the mistake in the past when hiring remote customers service representatives. It resulted in them trying to take long lunches or other breaks from their job, when we needed them to be available to take calls. I learned my lesson. – Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile

3. Follow Through and Communication

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresMy entire team is remote and it’s important to me that they have clear, quick, and consistent communication, and that they have the follow through to deliver. I have to trust that they’re doing what is asked of them and don’t know that until I see the results. So having people whom you believe you can trust and who have great communication habits and follow through have been foundational. – Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40

4. An Adjustable Time Zone

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresConsider time zone when you are hiring remote employees. Remote employees are often willing to work during “office hours” that aren’t conventional for where they live, but this can still result in conflicts down the line. If you transition to mostly remote employees, make sure that you continue to adjust and balance the hours people are required to be online. – Adam Steele, The Magistrate

5. Motivation and Experience

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresWe have several developers who work from remote location, but we only hire experienced and motivated staff for the job. An experienced and motivated staff already knows what it takes to do the specific task and how to meet the target. They don’t need training or guidance. Inexperienced employees are not good fits for remote positions as they will require a lot of training and education off the bat. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

6. Accountability

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresWorking from home is very different than working in an office, which is why hiring an employee who can be accountable for their actions is important. Look for someone who cares about the end result and does what they say they’re going to do. If an employee is accountable, their duties based on their position will be on the forefront of their mind from the very beginning. – Dave Nevogt,

7. Punctuality

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresA remote hire needs to be extremely punctual with meetings and deadlines because of the stop-and-start nature of virtual work. Lack of timeliness and communication in a remote hire can be frustrating and unproductive because you don’t have guaranteed regular contact. With a local hire, this is something that’s still important, but less so and can be developed over time in person. – Roger Lee, Captain401

8. Ability to Juggle Various Projects at Once

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresAs someone who hires remote workers regularly, I am well aware that a majority of contractors prefer to work on more than one project. It gives them a sense of security that they would otherwise not have. In that regard, when I hire a remote employee, I want to know that regardless of the projects they’re juggling, mine will not be the one neglected. I usually try to establish this by asking. – Cody McLain, SupportNinja

9. Desire to Work From Home

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresWe’ve had some employees who really wanted to work for the company, but were worried about staying focused while working at home. For remote employees, we ask them about their work habits, about their work-life habits, and how they get work done. We invest time getting to know about their personalities and habits to make sure it will be a good fit. – Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

10. Previous Experience as a Remote Employee

10 Qualities to Look for in Remote HiresNot everyone is cut out for being a remote employee. The determining factor of future success is past success. Has this person worked remotely for past employers and done well? Even exceeded expectations? This is important to determine because working remotely comes with a unique set of challenges. – Beth Doane, Main & Rose