Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Important Traits Recruiters Should Look for in a Virtual Worker

3 Important Traits Recruiters Should Look for in a Virtual WorkerAs a recruiter, it can be a challenge when screening candidates for a remote position.  You not only need to interview for skill, but you must also interview for certain personality traits that an employee must have in order to be a successful virtual employee. 

 1. Ability to work autonomously

The most important skill that any remote or virtual employee must have is the ability to work autonomously.  Typically, when working in a virtual position, there is no hand-holding or frequent direction.  The virtual employee must be a self-starter who doesn’t wait to be told what to do.

How to screen for this skill?

Ask questions such as what type of management style they prefer and how they have been managed in the past.  Have they worked in a remote position before?  Check references of previous managers and ask how often the employee required direction.

 2. Strong Communication Skills

Most virtual employees will be required to communicate with coworkers over the phone as well as via email.  Since the employee will not be communicating in-person, strong verbal and written communication skills are a must in order to eliminate confusion and misunderstanding.

How to screen for this skill?

Pay attention to the candidate’s communication style over the phone and in email response.  If there is any difficulty understanding or comprehending verbal or written communication, it is probably best not to move forward with the candidate.

 3. Time Management Skills

When working in a virtual role, an employee must have excellent time management skills.  Virtual work schedules can vary from the typical office schedule.  When in an office, it’s very easy to separate work-life from home-life, it is not so easy when working virtually.  It can be simple for a virtual employee to get off task and distracted from work in order to handle some of the everyday things that pop up at home.  Virtual employees need to have the ability to manage their time wisely and stay focused on the task at hand.

How to screen for this skill?

Ask questions surrounding the candidate’s time management skills.  How do they plan their day?  What tools do they use to manage their time?  Also, check the candidate’s prior management references to find out if the candidate stayed on task and completed projects on time.

What are some ways you screen candidates for virtual roles?  Please share your tips in the comments below.

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Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.