Reduced absenteeism and lateness, increased productivity and autonomy, empowerment of employees… The widespread practice of teleworking in recent months has highlighted its many advantages.
On the other hand, this activity requires a lot of discipline and rigor. When it is practiced in full, it is not suitable for everyone! Here are the right questions to ask your talents to assess whether they can thrive in a position that offers full remote working.
Full remote job : what behavioral skills are essential to its practice?
Not everyone is efficient or fulfilled in telecommuting! Indeed, this seemingly idyllic way of working (who has never dreamed of working from his living room?) is particularly demanding. In order to thrive in full telecommuting, an employee must have certain soft skills that will allow him/her to remain productive and happy despite the distance that separates him/her from his/her teammates.
Here are some behavioral skills that are absolutely essential for any teleworker:
- Team spirit
In order to stay productive and achieve their goals over the course of a week, telecommuting employees need to be autonomous enough to organize their days as they wish and stick to their schedule.
For example, an organized employee will make it a reflex to define his/her to-do list every day, to prioritize these different tasks by himself/herself, to estimate precisely the working time needed for each task…
💡 A successful telework thus requires knowing oneself to pertinently evaluate one’s production capacities and resources, but also one’s weaknesses and the means to overcome them.
How do you assess a candidate’s organizational skills?
For example, ask the candidate to describe his/her routine or workload in his/her previous position.
Ask them to name their favorite task manager (an organized employee usually uses project management tools such as Trello, Notion, Asana, etc.)
Pay special attention to his attitude. Does she arrive late or early? Does she take notes? Are her questions well prepared? The answers to these questions should give you clues about her organizational skills.
Rigor and organization often go hand in hand! Once the work schedule has been defined, the telecommuting employee must in principle do everything possible to ensure that it is carried out properly.
Indeed, to follow his/her schedule to the letter and stay focused despite temptations, a certain sense of self-discipline is often necessary!
💡 Sticking to your schedule and setting fixed working hours are basic telecommuting rules. Without them, it’s impossible to maintain a good work/life balance (since a non-existent work routine leads to endless workdays, a lack of social connection, and can even cause feelings of burnout in the long run!)
How do you evaluate a candidate’s thoroughness?
Some soft skills, such as rigor or self-discipline, are unfortunately difficult to evaluate orally, in a few minutes. Instead, take advantage of the reference checks to ask your interviewer to give you examples of situations in which the candidate has demonstrated a certain rigor. There is nothing better than proof by example.
Another way to measure a candidate’s thoroughness is to see how well they meet deadlines. If your recruitment process includes a test to be taken by the applicant, make a note of the date on which the test is due. Does he/she meet the deadline? Did he/she make sure he/she understood the instructions before beginning the exercise? A professional and diligent attitude demonstrates thoroughness.
By definition, telecommuting means communicating from a distance… But it doesn’t mean communicating less! In fact, the opposite is true: to avoid misunderstandings, resentments or frustrations, it is essential to be more communicative and transparent when telecommuting. A seasoned telecommuter isn’t afraid to share their sticking points, questions and doubts, or to keep their teammates updated on the progress of their current projects!
💡 For a full remote position, a good candidate is not afraid to admit mistakes, or ask for help. Remember that in telecommuting, information sharing must be systematic, since there are no more informal communication spaces, such as the coffee machine or the company canteen.
Questions to ask in an interview to assess a candidate’s honesty:
- “What do you think your former employer would tell me about you?”
- “Tell me about your last failure (or mistake) and how you got back up.”
- “What are the main challenges you would face in practicing full telecommuting?”
- “What appeals to you about a full remote job?”
The collective mindset
For a company, it is quite possible to make remote work rhyme with team cohesion… Provided that you recruit talents with a supportive spirit, who will not hesitate to redouble their efforts to answer their colleagues’ questions, share their best practices and dedicate time for informal exchanges.
Whether it’s face-to-face or telecommuting, a close-knit team makes it a point to help each other out on a daily basis.
How do you assess a candidate’s team spirit?
- Pay particular attention to how candidates relate their various experiences. Do they always speak in the first person or do they include their team? If they never talk about their colleagues or only present their own view, this is not a good sign.
- Ask applicants to tell you about a solution they could implement to solve a communication gap in their team.
- And ask them to tell you about a situation in which teamwork helped achieve a collective goal.
- Ask them to specify the soft skills that made it possible to succeed, and why.
Learning to search for oneself and knowing how to solve complex problems are two skills that companies are particularly looking for in candidates. They are especially critical in the context of widespread telecommuting, where employees can easily find themselves alone with their questions.
When a telecommuter looks up information on his or her own before contacting colleagues, it saves colleagues unnecessary distraction. While, of course, good communication is essential to successful telecommuting, there is a happy medium to be found.
💡 The company must also ensure that it empowers its teleworkers. For example, getting feedback from a supervisor before performing any action can be infinitely more time-consuming and blocking for an employee in a telecommuting context.
Questions to ask in an interview to assess a candidate’s autonomy:
- “What is your ideal supervision/management style?”
- “How do you feel about the Agile method?”
- “You are stuck on an issue and your supervisor is not available. What do you do?”
- Finally, adaptability and stress management are among the last soft skills that are essential to thrive in a full remote job. In concrete terms, this quality comes down to knowing how to adapt to various situations and, more than anything else, to the context and needs of your company.
💡 An employee who knows how to adapt willingly accepts changes and challenges that may be imposed on him/her. He or she is not afraid to step out of their comfort zone.
Questions to ask in an interview to assess a candidate’s adaptability:
- “Name an experience (personal or professional) where you had to adapt (stay abroad, major change in the company…)”
- “What is your relationship to change? Give an example.”
- “What are you looking for in your future job, and what do you dread?”
Full remote job, key skills in brief
Soft skills have never been more essential than in 2021. Certain behavioral skills, such as autonomy, problem-solving ability, or adaptability, have already been valuable to employers for a few years. In the context of full telecommuting, they are indispensable.
For a full remote job, a recruiter must pay particular attention to these famous soft skills. They are the ones that will allow you to avoid possible “casting errors” that are particularly difficult to repair in a remote job.
In order to take care of your recruitments and optimize their efficiency, think about removing administrative and time-consuming tasks from your daily routine! Our recruitment software Jobaffinity simplifies your sourcing and frees you from certain repetitive tasks (such as publishing and distributing advertisements, sorting CVs, etc.). The result? You have more time to spend on interacting with candidates and managing applications!