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10 Qualities To Look For In Candidates Who Will Be Managing Remote Teams

With more employees working from home than ever, the challenge isn’t just hiring remote teams but finding the right talent to manage them. Traditional management styles don’t always work as well with remote employees as they do with an on-site workforce. It isn’t just techniques, but managerial mindsets that have to change for effective remote work management.


Not all managers in place will be up to the task of making this all-important shift. Organizations are scrambling to find talent that is capable of providing strong leadership and support in the new age of the distributed workforce. Here are ten things you should look for in a candidate who will be managing a remote team.

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A great manager who will be managing remote teams:


  • 1. Understands the difference between in-office and remote worker needs

Look for candidates who have demonstrated the ability to differentiate between different work settings. Ideally, a remote team manager will have had experience in managing outside of an office environment, such as field teams.


  • 2. Is capable of setting and articulating clear expectations

This is where references from team members will be useful compared to references solely from those above a candidate in their previous positions. Were they known for being able to ask for exactly what they needed from their team and ensure that each member knew what they were supposed to do and how to complete their tasks? Crosschq 360 digital reference checks give you a clear picture of your candidate's job skills as well as soft skills, from each reference as well as from the candidate themselves, making it easier to make hiring decisions backed by data.


  • 3. Focuses on goals over activity

Does your candidate understand and leverage the difference between goals and activity? Part of being able to effectively manage remote employees is knowing how to track productivity without making busywork. Requiring endless reports and emails to “prove” employees are engaged doesn’t equate to actual deliverables.


  • 4. Is willing to trust remote employees to self-manage their time

A candidate who depends on multiple tracking systems to “monitor” employees is less effective than one who understands how to motivate employees and is willing to trust them to manage their own work process. Shy away from candidates who list their preferred spyware for employee tracking, and look instead for descriptions of how they manage their own time.


  • 5. Prioritizes relationships with employees

A manager who can show compassion for an interest in their team members’ personal lives and who supports a healthy work-life balance will be able to manage more effectively. Their team will trust them and be more forthcoming about personal struggles that could have an impact on work performance, so help can be offered and solutions found. 

managing remote teams

  • 6. Embraces technology but doesn’t overly depend on it

A manager who is able to manage their team using multiple technology platforms will be highly valuable. However, look for willingness to be flexible. Being rigid about preferring one specific technology can make it more difficult on remote employees who are in a region where the tech is less available or where bandwidth is limited.


  • 7. Has a plan for remote teambuilding

One of the biggest challenges when managing remote teams is making all team members feel included. You need a leader who is capable of bridging the divide between office and offsite locations to bring their entire team together. 


  • 8. Is willing to accommodate time differences

Distributed teams often span time zones. Ask your managerial candidate how they would expect to handle communication if their work hours only overlap with that of a certain employee for a few hours every day. Ideally, there will be a schedule for check-ins and a backup plan in case something comes up that requires attention outside of those hours. Blocking out a few hours each day or a few times a week when employees can request a quick one-on-one meeting can help.


  • 9. Recognizes and rewards achievement

During periods of disruption, employees' desire for being recognized for their contributions increases by about 30%. With remote work becoming the norm, knowing how to achieve this important task is critical for managerial staff.


  • 10. Will always have their remote employees’ backs

Finally, a candidate who will be good at managing a remote team will align themselves with their team and its successes. This means fighting for team members who need flexibility in scheduling or other forms of support and striving to help their team members advance and achieve their own career goals. 


While the core competencies for successfully managing remote employees aren’t markedly different from those required for on-site management roles, candidates who will be managing remote teams need to be able to adapt to different styles of management based on the needs of the talent on their team.  

When you need a remote team leader, Crosschq Recruit can help you fill this type of position quickly by providing access to a strong pool of candidates who are clear about their skill sets and suitability for specific roles, including managing remote teams effectively. Contact Crosschq about sourcing these high-value candidates and request a free demo today.

Carla Firpo

by Carla Firpo

Talent Acquisition Specialist

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