When recruiting employees for a global team, you need to take into account their experience, skills, emotional intelligence, and a few other personality traits that will tell you if these individuals will work well in a distributed team.

Characteristics of good global workers


RecruitingGlobalTeamsA new hire needs to be an autonomous person by nature; somebody that feels comfortable working without explicit instructions and fixed schedules. To be a virtual worker requires the ability to work independently and to take initiative. A person who is not self-directed will have a hard time because he/she will constantly feel that the manager is not giving enough instructions and will feel lost because the guidance he/she is expecting is not arriving.

How can you identify autonomous individuals?

Ask how the individual would organize his/her day upon acceptance of the job. If the answer is “I was hoping you would give me a detailed schedule,” that person is not autonomous. If the answer goes from “First, I would need to see the way the team is organized” to a full description of a work day, you have found yourself an autonomous person!


A global worker needs to have a certain degree of self-motivation since distributed teams lack contact between members of the team. Interactions motivate us, and the individuals working in a virtual team need to be self-driven.

How can you identify self-motivation?

Ask about the changes in his/her life. Who provoked those changes? If the origin of those changes came from the person you are interviewing, then you have found a self-motivator. If all the changes have come from the outside, then that person will have a hard time staying in a virtual team.

Good communicator

The remote worker should be a good communicator, at least in writing. Most of the interaction that person is going to have will be through written communication, so make sure the person can write to-the-point messages that are easy to understand. Also, you should check his/her reading abilities. Communication is the only tool that the manager will have to improve within the team to achieve goals.

How can you identify a good communicator?

Analyze the emails that you have been exchanging with the candidate; were there any misunderstandings? During the interview, did the candidate ask some questions that had already been answered before? Were you able to understand clearly what the person was saying? Did the candidate follow your instructions?

Share or relate to the company’s mission

The new hire should relate to the company’s vision even more strongly than if we were talking about a worker that commutes to the office daily. When we hire a person that we will see every day, we can make sure that we “teach” that individual about the company’s vision and that he/she relates to it. However, when we work in a remote team, that motivation needs to come directly from the person. Look for candidates that truly relate to the company’s mission and its values. Hire only those who do.

Other characteristics that you should value:

  • Multi-tasking
  • Good organizational skills
  • Adaptable
  • Resilient
  • Ability to plan ahead
  • Flexible
  • Extroverted
  • Open to new experiences

Some of these traits can be taught and are acquired with experience, but we recommend that you check them off before hiring a new person; otherwise, the team, the employee, and the manager will struggle during the adaptation process.


online human resourcesThe needs of virtual teams vary along with the online context, and the rapid, frequent changes this medium experiences. This is the reason why special attention must be paid to how the team adapts to these changes, and how best to go about supporting this process from online human resources.

Why is it important to identify the needs of the team?

Sometimes it seems as though the team is encountering a string of one problem after another, and it may likely be a sign that the company's work approach or dynamic isn't getting to the real needs of the team and its projects. This is more than likely because the company is lacking in strategies that today are offered by online human resources Maintaining the following aspects is an essential part of avoiding this kind of inconsistency:

  • Consistency: between the objectives, the team, the project and the company.
  • Context and Updating: putting the goals and objectives in the context of the current reality of the team and projects.
  • Detecting Key Points: detecting the critical, and most relevant points makes it easy to create strategies that answer the needs of the team.
  • Follow Up: tracking the team is essential to getting a read on its needs and providing useful feedback on its work.

Some Needs of Virtual Teams

  • Emotional Connection: Without physical interaction, distance is bound to arise between members of the team. Try to reduce this distance by scheduling periodical team activities and by aligning all team members with the purpose of the company.
  • Technology: cools relations doesn’t always allow the kind of informal encounters that could sometimes prove pivotal to strengthening the team's synergy. Use “warm” technology such as videoconferencing and chats. Avoid “cold” technology like emails.
  • Language: very often we are talk about multicultural teams, it's plausible that not everyone will be on the same page, as far as language is concerned and this could break down communication. Provide language training to those who need it and summarize meetings in writing so everybody is on the same page.
  • Knowledge: the software tools that we use every day are advancing rapidly and sometimes the knowledge we have about them can fall short. Provide extensive training for all the collaboration tools you use. Only show people the best practices and provide them with short videos that they can always refer to when they need to.
  • Scattering: without a shared physical space, teams are prone to experience a level of scattering among the members of the team. Organize team activities that can bring the team together. If you don’t know how to organize them, take our 2 hour course and we will teach you everything you need to know

Alternatives and Solutions

  • Humanizing the Virtual Medium: Humanizing the Virtual Medium: Meet with us on a one on one basis and we will enrich you with different strategies for humanizing the virtual medium through effective real tools where you can inject enthusiasm and respect into virtual employee relations within the virtual workplace. Online human resources is something new for a lot of professionals, let us help you learn different ways to convey your knowledge to your distributed team. Schedule a free consultation with us now.
  • Listening to the Team's Voice: The answers and solutions to difficulties and needs will always lie with the team itself, since they are the ones who day in and day out work within the virtual world, so your listening and participation must be active.
  • Develop the Human Potencial: build the talent and skills of your whole team by uniting their efforts, and empowering the potential they have.
  • Virtual Gatherings: through group activities and meetings, you can break down the icy barriers that sometimes spring up as a result of technology, while strengthening relations, communication and synergy among the members of your team. If you need, use a monitoring software, we only recommend it when you need to help a team improve in something and find the right production speed.
  • Training: Your team must receive continuous training so it receives the tools it needs to face the constant changes that characterize the current world. If your team consists of Millenials, make sure that Training and Development are a priority in your company; otherwise talent retention will be hard.


recruiting personnelInternet work no longer plays second fiddle to onsite work thanks to the ever increasing number of tools that you can rely on during recruitment and the wide range of professionals at your disposal. Recruitment and hiring adequate virtual personnel will be key to your company’s success.

Technical Tools

Certain technical tools are needed in online recruitinment and they  always make the whole process easier, here are some examples:

  • Virtual Search Engines: Availing virtual professionals and workers with an array of characteristics (multicultured, speaking different languages, from different time zones, of different ages, of different professions, etc.) Some virtual search engines include Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, PeoplePerHour. Hiring professionals who are already on these platforms have the advantage of being able to check their reviews.
    • If you are specifically looking for translators, we recommend Zingword. On this site, you can hire translators, see their reviews, profiles and assign jobs to them.
  • HRM: which ease the recruitment process and allow you to database candidates for different projects. Some examples are: Qandidate, Jobsoid, Fitzii, SmartRecruiters, OrangeHRM or SageHRMS.
  • Virtual Psychological Tests: with platforms that offer aptitude tests, personality, analysis and abstract reasoning tests, and other wide array of tests to help enhance the recruitment process.
  • Virtual communication: always use video conferencing for your online interviews and you will learn a lot about the candidate. You will be able to read his/her body language and also learn about their degree of professionalism based on their background during the call. Your team members need a place where they can concentrate. If your interviewee cannot find a quiet place to take the interview, it is more than likely that they won’t find it when it comes to work also.
  • Virtual agendas: allow for better organization of time and virtual interview scheduling, with reminders and other useful options. For those  who are in love with Youcanbook.me
  • Planner with Time Zones: allow you to see the current time in all countries and geographic locations, making it easier to schedule virtual gatherings and interviews including time and date.

Searching for Online Workers

Ways to go about the process of searching for online workers include:

  1. Publishing the offer on virtual employment platforms where candidates can apply and send their information.
  2. Search virtual employment databases for professionals that meet the profile characteristics you need.
  3. Review your company's database if it contains workers that have collaborated previously with the company and gave a good performance.
  4. Review your company's current virtual team, there might be people with available hours to work on the project.

Content for Online Interviews

  • Semi-Structured Interview: Conduct a semi-structured interview for your recruitment process, which entails making a script with guiding questions to give the encounter direction, while at the same time leaving you room to vary your questions and order.
  • Scheduling Gatherings: Plan the group or individual interviews or gatherings (as the case may be) in a orderly fashion, and at a time convenient for everyone. Leave a space of at least 30 minutes between each interview to avoid the interviews overlapping each other. Punctuality is advised in all encounters, this reflects professionalism on the part of the company.
  • Logistics: Review and make ready all necessary communication tools for the encounter. Internet connection, sound, microphone, speakers, camera and any other tools you plan to use should be in excellent working order for the session. If you plan to give any kind of test in the same way, make sure everything is ready and working properly.
    • Tip: if at the beginning of the interview the candidate says that they cannot turn on the camera, reschedule the meeting so you can be able to see the candidate.
  • Adequate Space: Conduct the interview in a preferable quiet place to avoid interruptions of any kind. Look for the same attributes in the candidate’s place.
  • Attitude: The interviewer should keep a proactive and positive attitude throughout the process, particularly in virtual recruitment interviews. This will be the first impression candidates have of the company. Make sure the candidate has all the 4 traits that online personnel should have: autonomy, self-motivation, good communication skills, and relation with the company’s purpose.


recruitment processThere are certain things that set recruiting virtual personnel apart from the onsite context. Here you will find some useful advice on how to go about this task in a professional and confident way.

Set the profile

Before embarking on the recruitment process, it is essential to define the profiles of the people, your team needs and the common objectives they will have. This is the best way to organize your process recruitment and hiring of the people who will collaborate on your team.

Some things to keep in mind as you start to define the profile are:

  • Duration of the project
  • Amount of time your prospective employee will be working on the project (full time, part time, on demand…)
  • Duties that are required for the project
  • Education level
  • Languages
  • Talents and skills
  • Specialized knowledge in any area
  • Experience
  • Previous experience as a virtual employee

Preliminary Steps

  • Search for virtual workers and professionals that fit the profile
  • Review résumés and set aside those not meeting all of your requirements
  • Prepare content for the recruitment interview of virtual personnel
  • Plan interviews for groups or individually

The Virtual Interview

The most advisable steps for carrying out the recruitment interview of virtual personnel are:

  1. Introduction of the session and presentation
  2. Guiding questions for the session (review the semi-structured interview script)
  3. Test as needed
  4. Description of the position offered (project, duration, availability, duties, pay rate, etc.)
  5. Participation and applicant perceptions of the proposed position
  6. Conclusions and closing

During the interview, it is advisable to take note of the most relevant aspects of each candidate to simplify your decision.

The Final Decision

  • Traits: During the entire process, keep in mind the 4 key traits that all virtual employees must have: autonomy, self-motivation, good communication skills and a strong connection with the company’s purpose.
  • Consistency: Look at each candidate's consistency and how they fit the profile you outlined at the start, this will help you decide who is best suited for the position offered. Keep a score card for each candidate if necessary.
  • Second Interview: Some recruitment processes require a bit more detail and precision, for cases like this holding a second round of interviews with the people who most fit the profile is advisable. In this second interview you can measure up and touch on other additional factors to give you a better sense of the candidates' knowledge and skills to make a better decision.
  • Second opinion:Sometimes one opinion or view is not enough to decide the best suited personnel for the job, for this reason it is also advisable to seek the opinion of someone else with knowledge of the project who might enhance the recruitment process.
  • Response and Confirmation: Once you've made the decision on the person or persons who best fit the profile you need, you'd be advised to send a response and confirmation email to say thanks for participating, and spread the final outcome of the recruitment process for the job they applied for, to both the successful and unsuccessful candidates. This is part of your company's good image.
  • Database: You're advised to keep a database of your applicants who were not chosen for the job, listing the type of tasks they might do well in. Even though they didn't fit the profile of your immediate needs, in the future these people will likely be useful for upcoming projects and recruitment processes.




"Managing Virtual Teams (MVT) provided workable solutions that could be implemented right away for long term success. I went into the course hoping to grab a few tips and tricks but instead experienced a hands-on workshop that was tailored to my organization's needs." Megan West, Digital Communications Manager. Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI)

This website uses cookies to enable certain functions and to improve your user experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.