Which Soft Skills Are Most Important When Hiring Remote Workers?
In today’s job market, hiring has taken a shift from in-office staff towards remote teams. While this benefits employers and employees alike, it makes the hiring process a little more challenging. How can a company be sure that the person they’ve hired remotely is suitable for the job?
In this remote environment, professionals are being evaluated for more than just their education and qualifications but also for their soft skills to ensure they are a good fit for the team.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills relate directly to how you work; they are personal traits and abilities that are not easily measured, like communicating with colleagues, problem-solving, and time management. Therefore, it’s essential to look for soft skills within your candidates – especially for remote work. For example, if they have the required technical skill but struggle with time management or communication, it can make remote collaboration a challenge for the entire team.
Which soft skills are most important for a remote worker? Here are the key skills to look for in a new hire:
The trouble with remote work is the distance between you and the employee, making active communication necessary when working with a remote team. For example, if you have staff working on an important project, you must communicate about progress or obstacles that affect completion. To that end, your team needs to be skilled at verbal and written communication to provide status updates on tasks or describe issues in enough detail to be addressed.
When working from two separate locations, you are more reliant on your employees taking the initiative to reach out and update you than you would be for in-house employees. So, if your staff is not skilled at active communication, they will likely not make a good fit for remote work and leave you wondering about the status of a project.
Adaptability & Problem Solving
When working with remote staff, things will seldom go to plan and instead often go through unforeseen changes that will force you and your team to reevaluate the best course of action. When these unforeseen complications arise, it becomes essential for your remote staff to adapt to the changing conditions. For example, a project takes an unexpected turn that could significantly delay completion if a solution is not found.
When these sudden issues arise, a remote employee needs to develop a solution quickly and effectively. They also need to be able to do so with minimal input and guidance from a superior. Since you will not be able to interact with your employees directly and will only be able to use remote communication, adapting and finding solutions on their own is essential for any remote employee.
When working remotely, time management is one of the most critical soft skills to have. If team members are on their own and cannot manage their time or create a routine, they will fall behind on tasks. Therefore, your remote team must be able to create to-do lists and stick to them without slowing down production or developing burnout. Time management skills can include knowing what to prioritize for the day/week/month, scheduling tasks and breaks, and delegation.
RHM Staffing Solutions Can Help You Find Independent Remote Workers
Remote work requires a greater degree of independent thinking from an employee while also remaining in contact with their direct support. Finding employees with these soft skills can be challenging since it requires an extensive understanding of the type of person they are. Vetting prospective employees for their adaptability or communication skills means having extensive conversations and testing their abilities with skill games during the interview process.
If you are trying to find talented professionals with the soft skills needed to succeed at remote work, RHM Staffing Solutions can help. Our team excels at finding highly-qualified candidates and putting them in roles they are best suited to handle. Contact us today to learn more about how RHM Staffing Solutions can help you find your next remote rockstar.