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What Employers are Looking for in Remote Hires

If you’re looking to switch jobs or start a new career, you have plenty of options to choose from. Most employers are in desperate need of good employees and will go to great lengths to hire attractive candidates who want to work for them. 

One of the ways they’re doing this is by offering full-time remote opportunities. But if you want to land one of these attractive positions, you’ll have to prove that you’re a good fit for the role.

The Appeal of Full-Time Remote Work

Remote working used to be reserved for a very select few jobs. The rest of us were on the outside looking in – dreaming of what it would be like to have the opportunity to roll out of bed and work from home without having to throw on a suit and drive to the office. Then the global pandemic came and the majority of businesses made the decision to temporarily switch to virtual work. Even today, when things are basically back to normal, many of these employers are continuing to prioritize remote work.

Remote work is mutually beneficial for employers and employees alike. Here are some of the reasons why employees love it so much:

  • Better work-life balance (easier to schedule your personal life around work)
  • Less stress commuting to work
  • Lower costs (no gas required to drive to work; less eating out; etc.)
  • Location independence (work from anywhere – not just home)
  • Total control over customizing your workspace
  • Improved productivity and performance

Entire white papers and research reports have been written about each of these benefits, but this at least gives you a high-level overview of why it’s so attractive. And if any of these resonate with you, it may be worth proactively seeking out full-time work. 

4 Things Employers are Looking For

Employers won’t hire just anyone for a remote position. They want to know that you’re someone who will thrive in this role (versus a more traditional office-based role). With that being said, here are some of the things they’re looking for:

  • Intrinsic Motivation

Every employer claims they’re looking for “self-starters” when conducting a job search, but this is especially true with remote positions. When working remotely, you don’t always have direct oversight, so an employer wants to know that you have enough intrinsic motivation to be productive and disciplined on your own. 

While evaluating intrinsic motivation can be difficult, you can prove your worth in this area by proving your creativity and showing how you’ve handled past commitments. Don’t be afraid to cast vision and call out your personal goals (as well as your goals for your time working for the company).

  • Good Communication

Any employer or hiring manager is going to pay careful attention to how well you communicate. This includes both verbal communication and written communication. In fact, the latter may even be more important than the former.

According to Recruiters.co, there are four main considerations hiring managers to keep in mind when evaluating a candidate’s written communication:

  • How well do they communicate via email?
  • Do they use clear language when writing emails, or is it difficult to discern the message?
  • Are they quick to respond via email, or does it take several days?
  • Do they use proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure?

If you can check off these four boxes, you’ll pass the test. And if you can support it with some good verbal communication skills (like a strong voice, confidence, and personality), you’ll do well.

  • Technical Skills

You don’t need a background in IT to be a good remote job candidate. However, you do need to possess some basic technical skills. Make it clear that you’re comfortable using video, screen sharing, virtual meetings, project management software, etc. When an employer has confidence in your existing tech skills, it means less stress on their part. They know they don’t have to train you, nor do they need to babysit.

  • Time Management Skills

Time management goes hand in hand with intrinsic motivation. In order to be successful without micromanagement, you need to be good at time management. An employer must trust that you’re going to check off your to-do list without constant reminders or hand-holding.

As you go through the interview process, you can prove your time management skills by clearly explaining your processes and approach to different tasks. You want to prove that you have a system to keep yourself in check without needing any sort of outside push. 

Adding it All Up

Working remotely isn’t perfect. Many people find that they miss socialization and actually get more burned out working from home. Having said that, it’s a desirable option for those who want flexibility. By understanding what employers are looking for in remote candidates, you can put yourself in a better position to be hired by a quality employer. Let this article point you in the right direction.

Khaleel Ahmad

Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.

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