4. Mistakes to avoid when hiring remote employees

From 0 to 100 remote employees, Toggl got to where it is today by learning a lot and failing a lot. When hiring remotely, you’re bound to make some mistakes. Here are a few from us at Toggl and some other companies and what you can learn from them

The first one is slow communication. Remote work is all about two things - how good you are at your job and how well you communicate. If someone takes a week to respond to an email or a day to catch up with their Slack messages, there are two scenarios. Either they are not interested in the role or they’re a slow communicator. We made the mistake of hiring a few excellent performers who were poor communicators and it never worked out.

Mistake number two is hiring based on the candidate’s resume. As the people from TimeDoctor found out themselves, you often hire the person who is the best at writing resumes, not at doing their own job. By the time you figure this out, it’s already too late and you have to start the hiring process from scratch.

On the other hand, you can make the mistake of hiring someone who is absolutely passionate about the job and remote work, but they just aren’t that great at actually doing it. This is what the team at Help Scout has witnessed. They hired some great people who had an immense passion for the job but just weren’t good at it and they didn’t perform well in the role at all.

The team at Twist made a different kind of mistake - hiring too many people, too quickly. If you need to fill a lot of remote roles at once, you may be tempted to hire everyone at once. Given the amount of time necessary for onboarding, this can create a proper mess in the way your company works. Twist suggests introducing a “hiring freeze” until you have enough time and capacity to bring on more people. Something similar happened to Buffer as well.

Not hiring for culture is another major mistake that you can make, as the team from Groove found out. As a result, they got great applicants which just didn’t fit into their team. To prevent this from happening again, they did a unique exercise and interviewed themselves to find out what their culture actually is.