Remote work is an upward trend, as it allows addresses the needs of both the business and the modern worker. Each year, Forbes publishes the list of Top 100 Remote Work Companies – Amazon, Xerox, SAP, Intuit are all on the list, so why then, it is so difficult to land a remote job?
What are the employers looking for when accessing the candidates? What are the skills that may increase the chances of getting a work from home job or a job that will let you work and travel if you are a digital nomad?
Lilia Stoyanov, the CEO of Transformify, a CSR recruitment platform providing remote jobs and secure payment, outlines the following five things that need to be considered for successfully landing a remote job:
Not all jobs can be done remotely, so certain skills and industries, including design, marketing, IT, sales, BPO (business process outsourcing), call centers, etc. are increasing the chances of getting a remote job. In most cases, the businesses are willing to create remote jobs for sales executives, IT specialists, designers, digital marketers, copywriters, etc.
The personality is also important.
As Lorin Thomas-Tavel, CEO of Kaplan Test Prep states in an interview with Fortune, “Those who are the most successful in remote roles are often strong communicators who understand the value of connection and shared ideas to drive innovation and results.”
Quiet types and “lone wolf personalities” are less likely to thrive in a remote environment.
As remote workers are not constantly monitored and often work flexible hours, good organizational skills are essential to ensure high productivity.
Have you proactively asked for guidance and reached out to you manager in the past? Are you able to follow the instructions and deliver on time? For how long have you stayed with your previous employer?
You may be surprised how important your references can be in the recruitment process. They indicate if the candidate is likely to be successful and productive or vice versa. Even though the organizations that have adopted remote work fully or partially have access to a global pool of candidates, the high headcount turnover rate is even less tolerated than by the traditional organizations. Gaining trust, setting all necessary access, addressing the security requirements, etc. is time-consuming and costly and may disrupt the business operations if new hires are introduced ad hoc to address a high headcount turnover rate.
You may think that these skills are not important as you will be working remotely, right?
Well, it is actually the opposite. Remote teams communicate even more, as this is the way for the team to stay connected and coordinated.
Don’t be surprised if during the interview process you are asked to take part in a case scenario.
Transformify CEO Lilia Stoyanov says, “One of my favorite interview techniques is asking the candidate to step in the shoes of someone from our team. What s/he do if there are clear instructions but the current situations requires to deviate from them? Will they reach out to their manager, ask rest of the team using the group chat, or take a decision on their own?”
Note that there is no right or wrong answer. The case scenario is assessing your communication skills, response to stress, personality and decision-making skills of the candidate. Each answer is acceptable if well-justified.
Remote work is all about following strict security standards and learning new technologies quick. Most companies expect candidates to be familiar with the tools and applications used on a daily basis, as this increases the chances of candidate being a good fit.
So, what to do if you are not familiar with the tools and the software solutions and really want the job?
Ask questions about the usage and the added value of the tools and software and compare to the technology solutions you are familiar with. This will increase the level of comfort of the interviewer, as it shows that you have a general understanding and will be quick to learn.
Even better, do your research prior to the interview and watch Youtube tutorials providing high-level information and guidance on the usage of the respective tools.
Having flexible work hours is a great and being able to work from a tropical beach is a sought-after dream for many. Videos of successful digital nomad entrepreneurs who explore the world, work and travel and enjoy life have gone viral in the last couple of years.
And with all of the remote working opportunities out there, the option of working from the beach can be possible – provided you have a high-speed internet connection, company security standards are being adhered to and your response time is just the same as before.
However, it is not just the work and travel model that may result in lower productivity due to the jet lag, distractions of all kinds and potentially having bad internet connectivity. Some people simply lack self-discipline and tend to sleep in till noon, miss conference calls and forget deadlines. As it is a matter of personality and previous experience, the recruiters will be really interested in hearing if you can prioritize your daily tasks, work within deadlines and respond to urgent tasks that are assigned out of the blue.
Landing a remote job is worth the effort and very rewarding if the expectations are in line with the reality. Investing time in mastering new digital skills and improving the communication and time management skills will definitely pay off.
Andrej Sarevski is a freelance copywriter passionate about the latest trends in education and the future of work. Writing on the latest technology and industry trends in the eLearning and HR industries, Andrej Sarevski’s articles have been published by a number of reputable media outlets.