Many working professionals struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal responsibilities. Meanwhile, many companies are struggling with space and resource limitations.

Remote working (also known as telecommuting) is a solution that addresses both of these issues: Remote employees can pick up their kids from daycare or schedule daytime doctor’s appointments, while businesses can keep a lid on overhead costs associated with having people work on premises.

Companies looking to hire people for remote work are having to shift their candidate selection process, however, as these positions call for people who are dependable and can manage their time effectively. If you want to angle for a remote-work position in your next job search, consider the following qualities that companies are looking for in candidates for telecommute positions.


Employers realize they won’t be able to directly observe remote workers, therefore, they need to find candidates who can be counted on to work efficiently and dependably. In order to assess candidates’ dependability, hiring managers look at work history, personal interests and personal references.

Task management

Somebody that works hard but spends their time on secondary duties may be getting a lot done, but they are not a very effective team member. To get results that matter, you need to effectively prioritize tasks and focus on them until they are completed. A good remote employee is capable of seeing which tasks are most essential, and getting those tasks done before moving on to less-essential duties.

Hiring managers often use open-ended interview questions to determine candidates’ task management abilities. For instance, a hiring manager might ask: “If you have two tasks of equal importance, how do you determine which one to do first?”

Problem solving

Remote workers who come across a problem must try to get an answer over the phone or internet, and if they can’t get an answer right away – they have to figure out a way to solve the problem themselves. Furthermore, employers know remote workers who can solve their own problems are more efficient workers because they stop less to ask others for solutions.

Hiring managers looking to evaluate problem-solving ability might ask candidates to provide an example of when they solved a major problem.

Good communication

People working remotely generally don’t communicate face to face. Therefore, it’s important for them to be able to communicate clearly, unambiguously and efficiently over both email and phone. Candidates should not only be able to convey information accurately, they should also be able to build a rapport with their colleagues, despite not working alongside them day in and day out.

When it comes to assessing communication skills, the proof is in the pudding. If a candidate’s cover letter is poorly written, if their email responses seem flat or too casual, they’re probably not going to be the best remote worker.

Work with a leading supply chain recruiter

At ZDA, we work with job seekers to locate the work environment they are looking for in a job opportunity. If you are currently looking for a remote work opportunity, please contact a top supply chain recruiter today to see what opportunities we currently have available.