How do you communicate when your employee isn’t in the office? How should the employee manage his or her time? And how can you screen for a great remote candidate in an interview?
We spoke to a few of the many remote Salesforce workers. The takeaway advice was this: ensure both employee and employer agree on important communication issues at the onset. To help you decide what kind of remote worker you want, we came up with 5 questions to ask. These questions can also help you figure out in an interview if the candidate is the right fit. If you and your candidate have similar answers to these questions, you’ll be well on your way to successfully managing remote Salesforce Administrators at your company.
- Will the remote employee have specific work hours, or is their time flexible? Other than team meetings at set times, the remote workers usually set their own schedules and love it. As long as he accomplished his tasks within the time frame, they’re free to decide when and how long to work.
While a flexible schedule worked in this case, a more structured schedule is a better fit for others. It is definitely worth deciding what a “work day” looks like before hiring.
- Does working remotely mean working anywhere in the world? One remote employee we interviewed worked and lived in Atlanta but his company’s office was in New York City. Not only did he live in a different state, but he also spent about half of the year traveling to other countries. None of this affected his work schedule (except for waking up at 2 am for the occasional team meeting).
You’ll want to consider whether you are OK with your employee being out-of-state or simply out-of-office. Under what circumstances do you need them to come into the office?
- Will the remote employee be 100% remote, or come in to the office occasionally? This is closely related to question two. One interviewee had been to the office once in the year and a half he had worked for the company. From his employer’s perspective, virtual meetings were sufficient for his position and his company’s needs.
Depending on the office culture and position, being more physically present might be an important criteria - even for a remote worker. If this is the case, make sure to discuss how often the remote employee would be expected to be in-house.
- What will communication requirements look like? An agreed upon communication plan is the key to managing a remote worker, but managing communication doesn’t stop there. It is a common and complex topic when interviewing remote employees.
Normal communication issues are amplified in a remote employment situation. Stylistic issues, expectation mismatches, and language barriers are all more frustrating when working remotely. Have a plan for not just frequency, but how to manage these as well.
- How will you manage day-to-day? By default, remote employees are not included in work socialization or collaboration. How will you and your employee try to overcome this? Think: virtual communication tools and other forms of engagement.
It’s also important to consider task-management. Our interviewee used stickies to create to-do lists for himself. Others use collaborative task management sites such as Trello. Do you want to see what your employee is working on, or let your employee manage his or her own tasks? This can help with communication as well as project management.
During the interview process, focus on how the first few months of employment will go. Take a project the employee will be working on and talk through what working on that project will look like so you can get a real sense of whether the candidate’s work and communication style will match your company’s style.
Hiring a remote Administrator can boost productivity and make for a happy employee. It is certainly not a perfect plan for everyone, but for those who enjoy working remotely it can be the best possible situation. As one of our interviewees said, working remotely is “as fantastic as it gets.”
The key is being on the same page as your employee about what the remote role looks like before you hire them.
Want to find your next remote worker? Try ForceOwl.