I've often worked from home during my career and over the years I've had friends ask "How do you do it?"  I'll typically explain that there's a job to be done, calls to be made, reports to be written, emails to send and not much time for "taking it easy", even if I am physically sitting at my home. 

The frequent reply has been (at least in the past), "Well, I could never do that. I'd be distracted by other things at home".  Well, my dear friend, you may not be a good candidate for remote working.

These days there may not be much of a choice as to whether or not an employee works from home (WFH).  But as it relates to your company's hiring plans, you can increase the odds of identifying those candidates who are more likely to have great WFH qualities.  Such qualities may not be considerably different from the normal qualities you need from a new hire, but you may need a more condensed version these days.  Here's our list:

  • Written communication skills.  With fewer face-to-face meetings (despite Zoom), our emails and reports will carry our communications. It's important for those items to be well written.
  • Technology skills.  The IT department won't be around the corner, so WFH employees must be able to problem-solve their own issues, no matter if it's a hardware issue (why doesn't this &$%^ webcam work) or a software issue (how do I format the Word doc).
  • Critical thinking skills.  The new hire may be on their own, without the traditional on-boarding process.  Being able to successfully reason through situations, both for internal and external customers, can be a "make or break" ability for them.
  • Conscientiousness.  Going the extra mile to build those relationships within the team can be the difference between hitting or missing the overall goals.  It's a lot easier to build that rapport in person, so you need someone with high conscientious levels to do that remotely.

We offer tests that cover the above topics, such as our Language Skills test (grammar/spelling), Computer skills tests (Office and more), Workplace Reasoning tests and our Success Profile series (Workplace and Professional versions).

Remote testing of the applicants (at their home) is common now.  In years past, all pre-hire test had to be completed in the office, but these days, even pre-WFH, most companies are allowing this (our system emails a web link to the test session).

Thriving in a remote work environment can be tough, but if you look for these qualities in your new hires, then you'll be increasing your probability of success as you add people to your team.

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