If you’re able to identify and hire the right remote candidates then your practice will be on the right path to grow and succeed.
Due to the current state of the world, many lawyers who might have once been against or resistant to the idea of remote work have had to adapt and find success in their new home work environment. But it is one thing for you yourself to work from home, it’s a whole other animal when it comes to hiring staff members that plan to work from home full-time as well.
If you’re ready to make the leap and hire a remote employee then your recruiting, hiring, and onboarding probably need to be updated too. As many law firms start to rely on virtual interviewing, attorneys need to think about how they should change their interviewing process and questions to ensure they’re hiring people with the work ethic that will allow them to succeed when working remotely long-term.
The best way to do this is by asking the right questions during the job interview. Follow this article to learn more about what traits lawyers should look for when hiring new remote employees for their practices.
Just like any other job, lawyers will typically look for candidates with the ability to self-motivate, this is especially important for remote positions since they will have little to no direct supervision.
Many employees are now adjusting to managing themselves in today’s remote work setting. Finding the daily drive to continue to produce quality work can be challenging when you consider all the distractions at home. Knowing what tasks to prioritize, keep the quality of work high, and having the ability to complete projects and meet timelines are going to be essential in a successful remote employee.
Lawyers need to develop questions to understand a candidate’s self-management skills and how they will handle the new types of challenges that we are going to face in our new work environments.
Some suggestions include:
- Can you motivate and manage yourself?
- What does your home workspace look like?
- Can you share an example of when you went above and beyond to complete a task?
- How do you stay organized and prioritize your workload to meet deadlines?
In an ideal world, you would want a team member who works great in a team setting but is also comfortable in working on their own as well. In remote settings, the ability to work independently can be a crucial skill considering you’re going to be on your own most days.
When interviewing for remote positions, go beyond asking about preferred working styles. Instead take time to ask about their experiences of working in a more independent situation, how they would handle communication, and other issues.
Here are some examples of these types of questions:
- How would you go about communicating a problem you’re encountering on the job?
- How would you handle a disagreement between you and another employee?
- Tell me about a time you were able to make a decision independently without your supervisor’s approval.
The answers to these questions will give a heads up about who can handle the stresses of remote work and who cannot.
The third tip is to learn about your candidate’s ability to adapt. You need to know if they can continue to produce results consistently while managing their own time and schedules without any hand-holding
This means you need to know if they are committed to working not only from home but in different situations, environments, and hours. Consider asking behavioral questions such as:
- What time zone do you work/live in?
- Are you able to work hours that align with other team members in different time zones?
- How do you balance work and free time at home?
- Do you have suitable wifi and equipment to complete this position’s duties?
If you’re able to identify candidates who can find ways to adapt and shuffle tasks around when needed then you’ll be on the right path.