How to select your remote team members

I am going to give 4 pointers about how to select remote team members.

The first of them is competence. You always need competence among people working with you but when remote, they cannot see when you are available and ask for your assistance.

They they might not be online all the time and people have different rhythms; they might be in different time zones and so on. So the person needs to be able to do the work on their own.

The second is good chemistry, because it’s very easy in an electronic environment to misunderstand somebody, particularly when there are different cultures involved or people have a different choice of words. If there is good rapport, it will be easier to keep the communications under control.

The third one is: communication itself must be reliable. There are two things here. One of them is that the status must be reported: “I have just started this” or ” I have just finished that” and finishing something and not telling the next person in the chain blocks the work. The other person just doesn’t know.

And the other thing about communications is that when you speak or write you have to be able to understand each other. Maybe there are culture and language differences. It is fine if the communication is slow but what is not good is when people really don’t understand each other and they muddle along and create problems.

The fourth requirement of course is honesty. We can check, we can get background checks and references and things like that. In a remote environment it is harder to check up.

One way to work it out is to get these indicators of honesty and then to give a small task out and over a period of time. Working together you get a feel if the person is honest. People are very, very sensitive to honesty and dishonesty among others.

So there you have four tips: competence, good chemistry or rapport, reliable communications and honesty.

Thank you.

Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir (pronounce) is a Collaboration Consultant at Scatterwork, which supports Project Solutions for Virtual Teams.


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