Finding the Right People in the Digital Age

Your Guide to Building an Army of Remote Ninjas

Here at Select, we’re proud to have a 100% remote workforce. If you can’t tell by our content, we have a lot of opinions about how immensely beneficial working from home can be. It may sound biased, but there are just so many upsides, including the ability to hire talent from anywhere.

However, despite expanding your talent pool, remote workforces do not solve age-old hiring and management challenges. In fact, some might argue that going remote intensifies them, giving rise to common concerns like: If someone isn’t in close proximity, how can you trust that they’re doing good work? Well, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide you can use to identify and hire the right people for a remote team.

1. Make Your Organization’s Values Known

Last month, our CEO, Jerry Goldman, published an article called “Clarifying the Difference Between Management and Leadership.” One of his points is that leaders are nothing if not consistent. They create the environment that all employees should feel, regardless of whether they work in an office or from home.

The first step to finding the right people is making your organization’s values crystal clear. If you want employees to fulfill your mission, that mission better be omnipresent throughout your organization.

Before you build a remote workforce, start by determining three things:

  • Who you are
  • Why you exist
  • What you’re doing

As a company, you need to decide who you are and push content out into the world (via social and other channels) that promotes it. This way, prospective hires can align their mission with yours or proactively identify when there is misalignment, saving themselves (and you) from a square-peg-round-hole hiring experience.

2. Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill

If step one is taken care of and your company’s values are abundantly clear to your prospects, then you want to find someone who already lives those values. Tools like Myers Briggs and Strengthsfinder are great gauges of whether someone has the inherent traits and attitude to be a good fit for an organization. There’s also a more crude way to gauge attitude: You basically troll them. It may sound invasive, but it will pay off.

People now act like brands—everyone has a platform where they readily share ideas and hold public conversations. We urge you to look into these channels to see if their “brand” matches that of your organization.

Once you find someone who is a good fit, give them a chance and let them hone their skills. At Dutch Brothers Coffee, for instance, they put interviewees behind the cash register to test their ability to interact with customers.

At the end of the day, you can teach a skill—like making coffee—but you can’t teach someone to fully embrace and represent your brand. That’s just something the right person will do.

3. Hire Slow, Fire Fast

Once you’ve clearly established your values and taken a thorough approach to finding someone that fills those values, then it’s time to hire. In this market, it’s imperative to hire slow and fire fast. The last thing you want is someone on your team who doesn’t understand or fails to enact your company’s values.

The hiring process is a lot different than 20 years ago, when someone would put an ad in the paper. Now, hiring the right person is not dependent on timing, where someone lives or anything of that nature. It’s solely dependent on whether that prospect can thrive in the environment leadership has created. This is not an overnight process. Rather, it’s a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality.

However, sometimes you look and look, decide to hire, and that person is still not the right fit. If that’s the case, try not to get discouraged or force an unproductive, unhealthy situation to work. Just have the conversation. Odds are, if this person is truly not the right fit for your organization, they’ll know it, making the “we have to let you go…” conversation much easier for everyone involved.

Above all, going remote requires you to trust your team implicitly. Technology may allow for remote interviewing, hiring, management and support, but technology can’t select the right candidate. That task is for your people.

For more insight into building an army of remote ninjas, check out “Three Keys to an Effective Remote Work Strategy.”