Tools & Tips

Skills for Telecommuting Jobs

When considering candidates for remote positions, recruiters should focus on certain skills and attributes that will best align with remote work. These traits include:

Effective communication skills. “The very best remote workers will reach out to co-SHRMworkers and managers regularly to check in, ask questions and collaborate on projects,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of job site FlexJobs, based in Boulder, Colo. “That includes communicating through e-mail, phone, instant messenger, chat boards, web conferencing and many other tools. They’ll also ask lots of questions to make sure they understand the project, and to show that they’re engaged with the team.”

Self-discipline and self-motivation. Remote workers will have to maintain consistent quality output and be able to work independently with minimal interaction. “Just because they work from home doesn’t mean they can fire off dozens of questions to managers every day,” Brown said. “They need to be able to prepare their questions ahead of time for scheduled [virtual] meetings or the relationship will wear thin.”

Comfort with metrics-based evaluations. “I need to know that the person will be OK with their performance being defined by metrics and not relationships,” Brown said. “With an at-home role, you are what your throughput is.”

Ability to engage socially. Brown said that some remote workers fail because they don’t make an effort to know their colleagues socially. “They’ve got to be able to engage in watercooler small talk via IMs or e-mails or another virtual medium. Remote workers need to be made aware of the bureaucratic pitfalls that every organization has, like who to call to resolve certain issues. The ones who aren’t social won’t get that.”


Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Recruiting for Remote Jobs Requires Focus on Specific Traits

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