Since the start of the pandemic, remote work has become increasingly popular and it seems to be a trend that will stick. Companies are starting to see the benefits of having employees working outside of the office. As Managing Director and Specialty Chemical Recruiter Wes Washington has experienced, interviewing remote candidates is a process that differs from hiring a candidate to work in the office. Through proper screening, choosing the right remote candidate can add a top player to your team.

The Pros

Hiring remote workers opens the talent pool. Instead of being stuck to candidates within a radius to the office, the pool can be opened to candidates located anywhere. This gives the potential to find even better talent for your team. It also cuts costs due to not having to pay for the office space or office equipment such as a desk and chair. Employees also tend to enjoy the flexibility, autonomy and work life balance that remote work offers.

The Cons

Remote work can have distractions surrounding it, especially with these changing time with family members being home during the pandemic. This can be solved by making sure the candidate has an appropriate workspace and can stay on task. Security issues can come with working on wifi, however there are technological ways to avoid these issues. There is also the issue of limited facetime that can make cultural management difficult. This issue will require being creative in how to include remote workers into the company culture and team environment.

Define the Right Candidate

Hiring managers need to define what the right candidate would be for their team. Some characteristics and qualifications are the same for all remote work needs while others are more personal to the individual company. These are the must have qualities all remote candidates much have:

  • Great communication
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Time management
  • Collaboration
  • Self-discipline
  • Accountability

These skills are not skills to be trained but rather need to be natural skills that candidates already have. Other areas to focus on are culture fit. Even though this person will not be working in the office they will still be interacting with the team so it is essential that they are a great cultural fit.


The interview process and screening candidates is different in that it will rely more heavily on phone and video interviews. The interviewing process does not need to be rushed. If there are a few rounds of interview it gives the opportunity to have more interactions with the candidate. This will give time to check for culture fit and necessary experience. Allowing candidates to shadow team members will allow them to see if this is work they can do and a chance to look into what working remote for the company will be like. For more security, hiring managers can offer a paid trial period or contract to let both parties decide if this is the right fit before extending a full time offer. The goal is for both hiring manager and candidate to see this opportunity as a definite fit.

Hiring remote workers has plenty of upsides when it comes to costs, opening up talent pool availability and adding a potential rock star to your team. The cons to hiring remote can typically be easily fixed. Remote work is not for everyone, so it is important to take the time to screen candidates to make sure that this is right opportunity for them and the right hire for the company. If companies need help in choosing the right remote candidate, chemical recruiters are becoming quickly skilled at identifying these candidates and matching them in the right companies. Remote work is here to stay and hiring managers are starting to embrace what it has to offer.


-Written by Managing Director and Specialty Chemical Recruiter Wes Washington