How to Make Sure Your New Hire Fits Into Your Remote Team Culture by Jaana Metsamaa on Sep 26, 2017

Hiring the right person to your team has always been difficult, time-consuming, and considering all the effort put into filtering the CVs, screening and face-to-face interviews, also expensive.

Today more and more companies choose to recruit talent to remote positions to ease the pain of not having suitable candidates locally. On one hand, this increases the number of candidates to pick from, on the other hand, it also introduces whole new challenges to the hiring processes.

The good thing is that the dream employee will be amongst the candidates but there will also be a lot of “fortune seekers” who will apply everywhere, no matter if they have any relevant skills and experiences. Additionally, we need to consider that when hiring independent remote workers from all over the world, culture fit assessment needs, even more, attention than usual.

To find the right candidates and keep the time and cost it takes, to sort out the candidates who have the suitable skills and an organisational fit, under control, the old process of browsing the resumes manually and doing phone screening interviews needs to be changed.

Introduce skill-based hiring

One option to weed out the not qualified people and find the right candidates is to introduce skill-based hiring. In skill-based hiring, you first define the goals that the future employee needs to achieve and the skills you believe to be required in the role. Next, you need to test and evaluate the candidate’s skills and knowledge.

This process surfaces the very knowledgeable candidates to the top and additionally allows to sort out the least suitable ones even before their profile would be reviewed by a human. Considering the effort required to get these quantifiable results about the candidate’s skills it’s not a surprise that research shows skill-based hiring to reduce employee turnover from 25% to 75% and having a significant reduction in cost-to-hire. You can read how Toggl tripled their team using skill-based hiring in one of our previous blog posts here.

Check personality culture fit with pre-employment test

We all know, however, that skills alone don’t mean that the new hire will be a good match with the team. You also need to figure out if they have the cultural fit with the company. When hiring remote team members this needs special attention as you need to be confident that the candidates have the cultural values and traits needed for remote work up front. They won’t be working with the rest of the team face-to-face where they can soak in all the norms and values that make the team tick. Specific traits needed will of course vary depending on the role, the team and your company but being a self-starter and a problem-solver seem to be the universal must-haves for a successful remote workers.

Such screening, could of course, be achieved with different interview questions that reveal about the candidate’s personality and character. However, that would assume that there is a phone or face-to-face interview for covering these topics. Alternatively, you can include questions about “soft values” already in the pre-employment tests and even further sort out the candidates that really deserve your full attention.

Now that you have tested for both required skills and included questions about soft values you will have a good set of candidates to move forward with. To them, you can pay your undivided attention in a more standard interview process, include more team members and maybe fly the top candidates to the headquarters to make sure they fit your remote team culture.


Hiring globally to remote roles is difficult and time-consuming. Such roles attract a lot of candidates from everywhere and you need to sort out the ones who have the skills and match your culture without spending an endless amount of time reviewing CVs, spending time at screening interviews. Tests will never replace all recruiting and hiring activities but they can be an excellent sight to get the perfect candidates in your crosshairs. From there you can take over and hire the dream employee.

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