7 Red Flags When Hiring an Overseas Team Member
Hiring for the first time overseas? Awesome! We are here to hold your hand each step of the way. But if you’re not the hand-holding type, we’ll just shout instructions from the sidelines.
Generally speaking, when you’re interviewing for a position, candidates put their best foot forward. They’re trying to show you their best qualities and hide any potential flaws. This is natural behavior and is to be expected.
The problem is, that when you’re hiring someone remotely, it can be harder to catch those potential flaws. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 7 red flags to look for when hiring an overseas team member, so you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your company.
1. They Can’t Work the Time of Day You’re Advertising
If you clearly state the shift/hours you want a team member to work, and it comes out in the application or interview process that they are not available for those hours. that’s a red flag. We recommend stating hours in their native time zone… so if hiring in the Philippines, use Philippine Standard Time (hint it’s 12 hours ahead of EDT)
2. They Say They Can Work the Time of Day You’re Advertising (But Can’t Really)
So let’s say a potential candidate says they can work nights in the Philippines but once you get to the interview day, they reveal they’re a morning person and will only be available during morning hours local time. This is a huge red flag and is a sort of bait and switch behavior. If the potential hire isn’t upfront about something as important as this (the time they are available), what else might they not be honest about?
3. They Ask About Higher Pay in the Interview
If you advertise a pay rate in the job description, a candidate applies and then are asking about higher pay in the interview, that’s a sign they won’t be content with the pay you originally offered.
The only overseas team member that I’ve ever had ghost me after being hired and working for several months, had asked about higher pay in the interview. My guess is that he worked for us for two months and then got a better offer and didn’t even bother to tell me he was done.
It’s unfortunate to have to read so much into the nuances of what people say in the interview but it really can reveal a lot about their character and willingness to stick with your company for the long haul.
4. They Don’t Turn on Their Camera at Any Point During the Interview
When you’re managing a remote worker or team, communication, honesty, integrity, and transparency are key. If they want a position and are putting their best foot forward, then they should be willing to put on their video camera during the interview process. If they don’t turn it on in an interview, don’t be surprised when they don’t want to once they are on your team. Your mileage may vary here but it is something to keep in mind.
5. They Don’t Complete the Trial Test On Time
If you narrow down your candidates and decide to give the best ones a trial test or project, give them a deadline. If they don’t complete it by the deadline or fail to request more time prior, then what do you think they will do when you hire them and can’t meet a deadline? They will blow off the deadline just like they did in the test phase, of course.
Communication is key here. If they need more time on the trial test, that’s fine. But they should give you the courtesy of letting you know prior to the deadline so you can make a decision on whether or not it’s acceptable. We all run into situations where a deadline is just not feasible, but it’s how you communicate about it that really matters.
6. You Have Difficulty Understanding Them in An Interview or Can’t Get Much Information Out of Them
If you have trouble understanding the candidate or have difficulty holding a conversation during the interview, it’s going to be even harder when you’re trying to relay client requests and make sure they understand or discuss a coding issue or something similar.
Make sure you are comfortable with their ability to be able to speak and understand your preferred language. And if they are overly quiet, that can be a sign they are covering up a lack of speaking skills or even comprehension. While this isn’t always the case (they might be shy) it’s still a point worth exploring further. If communication and comprehension are issues at hand, the potential hire will also be less likely to ask for help when they need it once they are on your team. Big, bad, no-good red flag.
7. They Don’t Seem Like Someone You’d Want to Hang Out With for Fun
I would rather hire someone that was a great culture fit and seemed to have the potential to do the desired work, than the A+ skilled person who I didn’t think was a good fit for the team.
I like to hire people that I would enjoy hanging out with in person. If they are funny, personable, kind, relatable, and so forth they are going to be much more enjoyable to work with.
Areas of Caution
So we’ve covered the 7 major red flags for hiring an overseas team member but there are still a few areas of caution you should be aware of.
They Don’t Ask Any Questions
I love candidates that have thought through the position or reviewed our company and can ask specific questions at the end of the interview.
When a candidate says something like, “I notice you have a lot of X type of clients and those are my favorite because this or that,” it makes me feel like they want this specific job.
Similarly, when they ask questions about who is on the team, who they will report to, or what happens if they need to change hours on a specific day because of a conflict with their spouse’s schedule, then it seems like they care more and want everything to work out for the best over the long-term.
They Don’t Show Up or Have to Reschedule the Interview
If you set a day/time for an interview and they agree to it, then they should show up. Unless they are seriously ill, if they have to reschedule a video interview for a job they want, think about what they will do when something inconveniences them when working for you.
Avoid the Red Flags for Hiring an Overseas Team Member Successfully
By keeping an eye out for these red flags, you can avoid hiring someone who will end up costing you time and money. If any of these come up, move on to the next candidate.
When you do find a great overseas team member, embrace them and help them transition into the team. They will likely be very excited and grateful to have the opportunity. Make sure you give them the tools they need to be successful as well.