Five Tips for Hiring Your Next Remote Team Member

Ji Yeon Lee
April 5, 2024
Five Tips for Hiring Your Next Remote Team Member

Five Tips for Hiring Your Next Remote Team Member

Did you know that approximately 22 million employed adults in the United States work remotely?1 I know this number would be even higher because I meet many small business owners who are nervous about hiring their first remote employee or contractor. I get it – remote hiring comes with challenges and broader company concerns. 

  • Will you be able to navigate different time zones?
  • How do you on-board and train someone remotely?
  • How do you check in and evaluate a remote team member?
  • Will company culture be affected by the lack of in-person interactions?
  • How can you communicate effectively when they are virtual?

These questions can feel daunting, but there are major benefits to bringing on talented remote employees. Especially since the pandemic, remote autonomous employment options have come a long way. Offering remote options to your team can lower overhead costs, provide access to a bigger talent pool, and improve efficiency. 

I know this because LVL-Up Strategies is a fully remote and mostly asynchronous company with teammates located around the world. This remote-work model has served us well for four years now, and we help other business owners make remote employment work for their teams. We can set you up to successfully outsource, delegate, and lead your team members remotely.

Whether you let LVL-Up do the work, or you prepare on your own, these five tips will help you overcome common obstacles when hiring your next remote employee.

1. Manage Time Zone Differences & Asynchronous Work

Coordinating meetings and deadlines in various time zones can be difficult for even the most experienced remote team. It requires clear expectations, processes, communications, and technology to vastly improve the way you handle asynchronous workflows and synchronous meetings. 

For example, here are ways that LVL-Up handles an international team:

  • Schedule meetings in the client’s time zone to avoid strange nuances like Daylight Savings Time.
  • Agree on weekly availability, capacity, and regular check-in schedules.
  • Create Calendly or scheduling profiles to make scheduling meetings easier with less friction (no more back-and-forth emails about a day and time to meet).
  • Leverage a screenshare tool like Loom to replace meetings and provide clear task instructions, give feedback, or ask questions.
  • Create an easily accessible library of SOPs and company materials to avoid questions that could be answered by a quick search.
  • Use digital polls like Calendly or Doodle to find meeting times that work for everyone.

If anyone can speak to time zone differences, it’s me. There is a 12-hour time difference between me and some of my LVL-Up colleagues. While this difference can make it a bit more challenging to schedule meetings in Eastern time, it actually makes me more productive in my asynchronous work. I love being able to tell my manager or client, “I’ll work on this while you sleep!”

2. Create a Remote On-Boarding Process

Most new employees are likely to be overwhelmed during the first week at work, but this is especially true for people who are new to remote work. In fact, new employees are generally only 25% productive for the first month and don’t reach full productivity until after three months of onboarding and training.2

So how can you overcome this hurdle? In my experience, the key to success is a well-structured onboarding process with clearly defined goals and expectations. 

The onboarding process I went through here at LVL-Up included: 

  • A week of completing onboarding tasks (administrative, meeting the team, introductions to the company, etc.);
  • Training on various company tools and platforms including Trello, Hive, and Google Suite;
  • A mix of live work sessions, reading, video tutorials, and hands-on exercises;
  • Attending team meetings to learn more about our work and culture;
  • 30-, 60-, and 90-day check-ins with different managers and company leaders; and
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate my progress along the way.

I am not saying there wasn’t a learning curve when I joined LVL-Up, but having a comprehensive onboarding and training system like this set me on the path to working autonomously and asynchronously much faster. If you do not currently have an onboarding system like this, it would be beneficial to create one before you make the hire. We personally like Trello for this because it’s easy to use, clear to see the status of each task or assignment, and the free version is very robust.

3. Find the Strongest Candidate for the Position

Interviewing can be the most time-consuming part of hiring. Even after scheduling interviews, a high percentage of folks may not even show up. At least that makes it easier to move them to the “no” column! After you have interviewed qualified applicants, evaluate their fit for your company beyond the resume and interview:

  • How did they demonstrate their purpose and does that align with the company values?
  • What did their references say?
  • How well (and quickly) did they respond to your emails?
  • How does their portfolio look? 
  • Will they be able to handle the autonomy of working remotely?
  • Have they demonstrated integrity with autonomous work in the past?

Once you find your newest team member, make sure to understand how they communicate and how your communication style is likely perceived by them. LVL-Up uses GiANT’s 5 Voices Assessment to better understand communication and leadership tendencies. The results, and discussions about them as a team, allow us to communicate more effectively despite being remote, asynchronous, and of different voice orders.

4. Maintain Personal Connections

Maintaining personal connections can be challenging for remote and asynchronous companies. Working from home can sometimes be isolating, but you can put things in place to help folks feel more connected and collaborative. LVL-Up uses techniques like:

  • Company huddle meetings to discuss priorities, share updates, and foster an open exchange of ideas;
  • Synchronous leadership training and discussions;
  • One-on-one monthly coffee chats that are not work-related;
  • WhatsApp groups with engaging activities like choosing a topic for the day to learn more about each other and stay connected in real-time; and
  • Snail mail cards and care packages on special occasions.

I appreciate the effort LVL-Up makes to boost morale at the company, and I highly recommend other remote businesses do the same. 

5. Communicate Clearly

When non-verbal communication is taken away, a lot can go wrong. That’s why remote teams must make communication intentional, and technology plays a huge role here. Rather than just emailing back and forth with your remote teammate, you need to consider more versatile tools that allow for more effective communication and delegation.

  • Texts for Fast & Direct Messages: WhatsApp is our most urgent line of communication. We have an All-Hands group, but we also maintain separate group chats for projects and departments. 
  • Video for Meetings, Check-Ins, and Training: Some things need to be communicated face-to-face. That’s why we use video calls like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams for evaluations, interviews, and internal and external meetings. 
  • Loom for Asynchronous Show-and-Tell: I find Loom very efficient because it enables me to record my screen with my voiceover to show people what I want or need. It eliminates a lot of time going back and forth with questions or waiting until we can both meet.
  • Project Management Software for Task Planning, Delegation, Time Tracking, and Management: We love project management software (i.e. Hive, Trello, Asana, Notion, ClickUp,, etc.) because you and your team can communicate about specific tasks, deadlines, deliverables, time allowances, approvals, etc. This might be less urgent than email and text, but it is easier to keep notifications organized (and your inboxes clutter-free).

Pro Tip: No matter which platform you use, be aware of how your messages are received. For example, don’t just text your remote hire, “Can you talk?” You may just give them a heart attack. Be clear about what you want to talk about and when. Try instead, “Are you available to discuss the process documentation for Client X around 1pm your time?”

In Summary

Finding the right person for a role is essential to your company’s success and survival, and considering a remote hire can expand your pool of applicants and benefit your company in the long term.

If you lack the time it takes to hire, onboard, and train a new remote employee, then schedule a free discovery call to learn more about how LVL-Up can Get It Handled® for you!




Ji Yeon Lee