How to Hire Remote Workers – 10 Essential Steps

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy
A remote worker on the job

Hiring remote workers presents unique challenges and opportunities that differ from traditional in-office hiring.

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A thoughtful approach that takes into consideration the distinct aspects of remote work can lead to successful recruitment and integration of remote talent.

The following guide outlines 10 essential steps to hiring remote workers, focusing on strategies and tools that facilitate the entire process.

1. Define the Role Clearly

Clearly defining the role is the foundation of any successful remote hiring process. This critical step entails not just listing out the responsibilities and expectations but also understanding what can and cannot be accomplished remotely.

Below are the four vital components to focus on:

Identify Responsibilities and Tasks

The first step in defining a role is to outline specific responsibilities and daily tasks that the candidate will undertake. This includes a detailed breakdown of what is expected from the remote worker, making it easier for both the employer and the candidate to understand the role.

An example of a resource that helps in this process is JobHero’s job description samples, where you can find inspiration for various positions.

Determine Required Skills and Qualifications

Matching the role’s responsibilities with the necessary skills and qualifications ensures that you target the right candidates. Whether it’s proficiency in specific software, experience in a particular industry, or soft skills like self-motivation, defining these clearly will help in the screening process.

Understand the Tools and Technologies Needed

Remote work requires various tools and technologies, depending on the role. Understanding what’s needed, whether it’s specialized software, reliable internet connection, or specific hardware, helps set clear expectations with potential candidates.

This clarity ensures that the selected individual will be well-equipped to perform their tasks efficiently.

Create a Comprehensive Job Description

A well-crafted job description that encapsulates the responsibilities, skills, and tools needed is vital in attracting the right candidates. This document should be clear, concise, and aligned with the company’s culture and values.

Including details about the company, benefits, and growth opportunities can further make the position attractive to potential candidates. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides guidance on developing effective job descriptions.

2. Use Specialized Job Boards

Specialized job boards tailored to remote work can play a critical role in finding the right talent. They not only help in reaching professionals specifically looking for remote opportunities but also offer features tailored to the unique needs of remote hiring.

Below are the key components to consider:

Select the Right Platform

Platforms like We Work Remotely and Remote OK are designed for remote job listings, attracting a pool of candidates that are already comfortable with remote work.

Selecting the right platform ensures that your job listing reaches the most relevant audience.

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Create an Engaging Job Post

An engaging job post should highlight the benefits of remote work with your company. It must be concise and include essential details such as job responsibilities, required qualifications, and how to apply.

A well-crafted job post can stand out and attract high-quality candidates.

Utilize Platform Features

Many specialized job boards offer features such as applicant tracking and analytics to help manage the recruitment process. Utilizing these features can streamline the hiring process, helping you keep track of applicants and make data-driven decisions.

Monitor and Respond

Once the job is posted, it’s crucial to monitor applications and respond promptly. Quick responses signal professionalism and can help secure top talent before they explore other opportunities.

Using the tools provided by the job board can facilitate timely communication.

3. Implement a Robust Screening Process

Screening remote candidates requires careful consideration of not just qualifications but also their ability to work remotely. The screening process must evaluate both hard and soft skills that contribute to successful remote work.

Below are the vital aspects to focus on:

Conduct Video Interviews

Video interviews, using tools like HireVue, allow you to assess a candidate’s communication skills, professionalism, and comfort level with technology. These interviews can provide insights into how a candidate may interact in a remote work environment.

Utilize Skills Assessments

Skills assessments can gauge a candidate’s proficiency in specific areas relevant to the job. These assessments can be tailored to test both technical and soft skills such as problem-solving and time management.

Using standardized tests ensures an objective evaluation.

Consider Work Samples or Trials

Requesting work samples or conducting trial tasks provides a practical assessment of a candidate’s abilities. This hands-on approach gives candidates a chance to showcase their skills and gives employers a glimpse of how the candidate approaches work.

Evaluate Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is vital in a remote work setting, as remote workers must align with the company’s values, work ethics, and communication style. Assessing this fit during the screening process helps in building a cohesive remote team that shares common goals and works well together.

4. Test Technical Skills and Equipment

With the reliance on technology in remote work, a thorough assessment of a candidate’s technical skills and equipment is essential. The goal is to ensure that they have the necessary capabilities to work remotely without technical hindrances. Here’s a detailed look into this step:

Evaluate Technical Skills

Depending on the role, specific technical skills may be required. Platforms like Codility offer specialized assessments that can test a candidate’s proficiency in various technical areas, from coding to using specific software.

Assess Equipment and Internet Reliability

Ensuring that the candidate has reliable internet access and appropriate devices is key to preventing future issues. This might include checking their internet speed, computer specifications, and access to necessary software.

Conduct Practical Tests

Practical tests or simulations that mimic real job tasks can provide an accurate picture of a candidate’s technical capabilities. This hands-on approach ensures that the candidate can effectively use the tools required for the role.

Address Technical Support and Training

Discussing what technical support and training are available from the company can help ease potential concerns. Clarifying these aspects ensures that the candidate is comfortable with the technology involved and knows where to turn for assistance.

5. Consider Time Zones and Cultural Differences

Working with remote employees often means navigating different time zones and cultural nuances. Understanding and managing these differences is crucial to smooth collaboration and communication. Here’s how:

Understand Time Zone Differences

Tools like World Time Buddy can help in managing time zone differences. Scheduling meetings and setting deadlines must consider the various time zones involved, ensuring that everyone can participate comfortably.

Appreciate Cultural Differences

Recognizing and respecting different cultural norms and communication styles can foster a more inclusive work environment. This includes understanding holidays, work ethics, and social customs that may affect work interactions.

Develop Clear Communication Guidelines

Setting clear guidelines for communication, including preferred channels, response time expectations, and meeting protocols, can mitigate potential misunderstandings.

These guidelines help in establishing a unified approach to remote collaboration.

6. Emphasize Communication Skills

Communication is the lifeblood of remote work, and assessing a candidate’s ability in this area is paramount. Strong communication skills ensure that information is exchanged effectively, fostering a productive remote working relationship.

Here’s what to focus on:

Assess Communication Through Interviews

Conducting interviews on platforms like Zoom can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s communication style. This includes evaluating their clarity, responsiveness, and ability to convey thoughts virtually.

Evaluate Written Communication

Assessing a candidate’s written communication, including emails or chat responses, ensures that they can articulate thoughts clearly and professionally in written form. This skill is vital as remote work often relies heavily on written communication.

Focus on Collaboration and Teamwork

Strong collaboration and teamwork skills are essential for remote work. Assessing how a candidate communicates within a team setting, their ability to listen, and how they contribute to group discussions can provide insights into their suitability for remote collaboration.

7. Offer a Trial Period

A trial period serves as a valuable opportunity for both the employer and the candidate to evaluate the working relationship. It allows both parties to assess whether the fit is right without making a long-term commitment.

Here’s a closer look at how to approach this:

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Determine the Length and Scope of the Trial

Setting clear expectations for the trial period, including its duration and the tasks involved, is essential. Whether it’s a week-long assessment or a month-long project, clarity ensures that both parties understand what the trial entails.

Use Platforms for Trial Contracts

Platforms like Upwork offer structures to facilitate trial contracts. Utilizing such platforms can help in managing the trial period professionally, including payment arrangements and performance evaluations.

Assess Performance and Fit

The trial period allows for a hands-on assessment of a candidate’s performance and cultural fit. Regular feedback and open communication during this phase provide valuable insights into how well the candidate aligns with the organization’s values and expectations.

Decide on Next Steps

At the end of the trial period, a decision must be made about whether to proceed with a full-time contract. This decision should be based on a thorough evaluation of the candidate’s performance, compatibility with the team, and alignment with the company’s goals.

8. Provide Clear Onboarding Process

Onboarding is a critical phase in integrating a new hire into the team. For remote workers, a clear and comprehensive onboarding process ensures a smooth transition, setting the tone for a successful remote working relationship.

Here’s how to go about it:

Develop a Structured Onboarding Plan

A structured onboarding plan outlines the steps, timelines, and resources needed to integrate a new hire. This plan should cover everything from initial introductions to training on company-specific tools and protocols.

Utilize Remote Onboarding Platforms

Platforms like WorkBright specialize in remote onboarding, automating many of the administrative tasks involved. Such platforms can streamline the process, ensuring that new hires have all the information and tools they need.

Foster Team Integration

Introducing new hires to the team and fostering a sense of belonging is vital for remote workers. Virtual meet-and-greets, mentorship programs, and regular check-ins can help new hires feel connected and part of the team.

Provide Ongoing Support

Onboarding doesn’t end after the first week or even the first month. Ongoing support and regular check-ins ensure that new hires continue to feel supported and engaged, contributing to their long-term success within the organization.

9. Establish Regular Check-Ins

Regular check-ins are crucial in fostering connection and collaboration within remote teams. They allow for continuous communication, updates, feedback, and support. Here’s how to effectively establish regular check-ins:

Schedule Regular Meetings

Consistency in scheduling regular meetings, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, helps keep everyone on the same page. These meetings can be used for project updates, addressing concerns, or simply catching up.

Use Communication Tools

Tools like Slack enable continuous communication, providing a platform where managers and team members can stay in touch. It facilitates both formal and informal interactions, fostering a sense of connection.

Provide Opportunities for One-on-One Check-Ins

Personalized one-on-one check-ins allow for more in-depth conversations and provide an opportunity to address individual concerns. They promote trust and provide space for personal growth and development within the organization.

Encourage Open Communication

Creating a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and ideas is essential for successful remote collaboration. Encouraging open communication ensures that everyone feels heard and valued.

10. Focus on Building a Remote Culture

Building a cohesive and engaging remote culture is vital for ensuring that remote workers feel connected and valued. A strong remote culture promotes unity and collaboration, contributing to overall team success. Here’s how to approach it:

Encourage Virtual Team-Building Activities

Virtual team-building activities foster a sense of camaraderie and connection. Platforms like TeamBonding offer various virtual events and activities designed to bring remote teams together.

Develop Shared Values and Goals

Articulating and emphasizing shared values and goals helps create a unified remote culture. Regularly revisiting these values and celebrating achievements aligned with them reinforces the collective sense of purpose.

Provide Opportunities for Social Interaction

Facilitating casual social interactions, such as virtual coffee breaks or game nights, contributes to building relationships among remote team members. These informal gatherings promote a sense of community and connection.

Recognize and Reward Contributions

Acknowledging and rewarding individual and team contributions reinforces a positive remote culture. Regular recognition, whether through public praise or tangible rewards, fosters motivation and a sense of belonging.


In an increasingly globalized and digitalized work landscape, hiring remote workers is becoming a vital part of many organizations’ talent acquisition strategies.

By following the 10 essential steps outlined above, companies can find, evaluate, and onboard remote workers effectively.

The thoughtful integration of specialized tools, clear communication, and a focus on building a cohesive remote culture lays the groundwork for a thriving remote team.

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