4 Soft Skills Remote Workers Must Have to Land the Gig

Each year since we started collecting data in 2015, the Marketing Hiring Trends Report has told us that more and more organizations are hiring remote workers. In fact, this year the number made a major leap. 47 percent of respondents said they would definitely hire a remote candidate. This is up 21 percent from last year.

So why the change?

Remote work is made possible in part because of rapidly improving technology. And it’s also because strong marketers are increasingly hard to find. Since there are more available roles than talented marketers to fill them, candidates have the bargaining power. If they want to work remotely, more companies are giving it a shot, because they simply need team members. Additionally, candidates who are looking for in-person work are no longer only competing against other local candidates. Now they are competing against remote marketers who may have stronger skills or are willing to work at a cheaper rate–or both.  

But there is a fine art to successful telecommuting. And hiring managers are looking for specific criteria when choosing a remote candidate. We asked hiring managers what they value most beyond skills, experience, and rate, and here is what they say matters when hiring remote team members.

4 Soft Skills Remote Workers Must Have to Land the Gig

  1. Personality. This tops the list for important soft skills for a remote worker. 61 percent of hiring managers say it is essential. For remote workers, personality shines through when making small talk at the top of meetings, writing a friendly email, and thoughtfully answering interview questions.
  2. Communication skills. 50 percent of hiring managers highly value this soft skill and for good reason. Without the benefit of body language to help indicate intent, remote workers must be extremely communicative in other ways. Remote workers should promptly answer emails and let their colleagues know when they may be out of pocket. Susie Aubuchon, Senior Vice President, Client Services at McKinley manages a remote team. She says communication is critical for success: “Be heard in meetings and conference calls. Volunteer to take on projects. Visit the HQ office or regional office whenever possible.”
  3. Culture fit. The third most important trait ranked by our respondents for remote candidates is to be a good cultural fit within the organization. 37 percent say the ability to mesh with the culture even when working from home is of paramount importance.
  4. Independent worker. 27 percent chose an entrepreneurial spirit as the most important criteria for a remote candidate. It’s critical that telecommuters approach their jobs as a business and want it to succeed.

While skills and experience are most important in hiring any team member, the right soft skills are particularly helpful for remote workers. If you want to find remote work, be sure you discuss your soft skill strengths in the interview process. This marketing landscape is the perfect time to demonstrate your affable personality, strong work ethic, and intrinsic motivation, so you can get the remote position you desire.

by McKinley Marketing Partners