A remote IT employee at work

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Compared to hiring in-office IT workers, recruiting and hiring remote IT workers is different. Although the job roles and objectives could be somewhat similar, remote workers will need additional skills to thrive in the workplace. For instance, if you plan to hire a remote IT manager, the professional must be able to support and manage a distributed workforce. Efficient time management is another key ingredient to doing well in a flexible work environment.

As remote work is becoming more common in the IT industry, many companies are embracing it as a way to make their processes flexible and agile while reducing their operational and overhead costs. If you too want to join their league and are eager to know what characteristics you should look for in a remote IT hire, here are the top five to focus upon.

5 Skills to Look for When Hiring Remote IT Workers

1.      IT Skills

It goes without saying that your remote IT hire should have adequate technical skills. Apart from the specific tech skills the role requires, your ideal candidate should also be adept in handling the necessary tools and software for optimal productivity and efficiency. But what does it mean?

Since remote work needs your employees to communicate fast and collaborate in real-time, your prospective IT candidate should be equipped to work with a variety of tools and technologies like the following:

  • Remote project management software and tools like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Monday, and Jira
  • Virtual communication and collaboration tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Loom, Slack, and emails
  • Remote support tools and remote access software like TeamViewer, RemotePC, Amazon WorkSpaces, Zoho Assist, etc.
  • Cloud storage tools like Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Design tools like Canva and Figma
  • Database and spreadsheet like Google Sheets and Airtable
  • Forms and survey like Google Forms and Typeform

2.      Adherence to Data and Information Security Protocols

As a business owner, implementation of strict security and data protection protocols is crucial when hiring remote IT workers. Without such implementation, insecure Wi-Fi connections, increased use of personal gadgets, and unsafe file-sharing activities might put your company’s sensitive data prone to being accessed and used by malicious elements and even make you vulnerable to violation of data protection rules.

Threats and risks like these can expose your company to fines, security breaches, and even reputational damage. This makes it important to have stringent cybersecurity and data safety policies and protocols in place like using secure networks, VPNs, and password protection, before you start hiring remote IT professionals.

3.      Stellar Communication Skills

Whether you are recruiting remote IT experts for managerial posts or the lower rungs, it’s essential that they possess effective communication skills. It will help to hire people who are proactive communicators and can communicate effectively through different platforms. From brainstorming and collaboration to conveying vital project updates and details, solid communication skills (written and oral) are a must-have when working remotely.

It’s also crucial for your remote IT hires to know and use appropriate communication channels for different situations. For example, when discussing something urgent, a message on Microsoft Teams or Slack may be more suitable than an email. Again, to cut through a barrage of written messages that seem to create confusion, a quick voice chat may be ideal.

4.      Excellent Time Management Skills

Efficient IT managers won’t want to sit and micromanage every second of their team’s time. Instead, they would want to play the role of a leader who supports a team of professionals working together to achieve a collective goal. To make this happen, you should hire remote IT employees who possess excellent time management skills.

These candidates will know how to prioritize tasks successfully and meet deadlines. This, in turn, will facilitate achieving team goals as well as overall business goals. Remote IT hires without efficient time management skills would mean their managers falling into the trap of closely monitoring their time at work instead of tracking their (and the team’s) results and progress.

5.      Self-Motivation and Strong Work Ethics

Your remote IT employees should be self-driven and be able to take responsibility for the job allotted to them. Unless they have an intrinsic motivation to handle the tasks without a shove from their managers, their superiors may tend to spend a lot of time checking up on them and micromanaging their work, which will eat into precious work hours, and adversely affect your business processes and overall production.

Having strong work ethics is equally important as remote IT professionals with strong work ethics often outperform their peers when it comes to accomplishing company objectives. By hiring a remote IT employee with a good work ethic, you can get high-quality work consistently, which will help move your company forward.

Final Words

Remote candidates for a specific position may be required to possess particular IT skills and certifications. But there are certain must-have skills like the ones mentioned above, which will help them excel as remote IT professionals. As an employer, you should screen your prospective remote IT hires for these skills to set your company up for success.

If you need help finding suitable remote IT candidates for your company, you can rely on us at InHunt World!

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