How to Test Remote Candidates & Hire Only the Best Remote Workers

How to Test Remote Candidates & Hire Only the Best Remote Workers

6 minute read

When hiring remotely, it’s not always easy to determine whether the candidate is right for you. While your talent pool is much larger, so is the number of applicants – and it’s not easy to assess their skills by simply going through their CVs and having a short interview.

In fact, 30% of workers admitted to lying on their resumes. Also, relying on an interview where they tell you about their competencies, rather than show you what they can do is still not enough to give you a clear idea of whether they’re suitable for the position.

That’s why offering test tasks is our #1 tip for selecting and hiring the best remote workers. By offering test tasks, you get to see the quality of their work and their communication, and you can directly assess their skills and see exactly what they can do. 

It’s very important to always pay for test tasks. You should never expect any of your candidates to work for free.

So, test tasks are crucial for remote hiring. But what kind of tasks should you use?

There are some competencies – like communication skills – that every remote worker should possess. These should be determined during the interview process. 

The test task you’re offering should depend on the position you’re looking to fill. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of tools and services you can use to help you test your candidates. Read on!

How to Test Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are among the most versatile workers, so it’s very important to check if they are familiar with the tools you’ll need them to use. If not, that’s not a dealbreaker – the important thing is that they’re able and willing to learn!

If you need your VA to communicate with important clients, you can have them do a quick English language assessment, either for general or business English. There are also many free online tools that can help you assess their typing skills:

The best way to test VAs is to delegate, so give them a chance to do something they would normally do if you hired them. For example, you can give them an online research task where they need to gather data and add it into a usable format. If you need them to work in Excel, you can send them a spreadsheet with very specific instructions on what to do – data sorting, highlighting or proofreading.

It’s best to give them tasks that will show their skills, but try to give them a task that you need completed, as you will be paying for their work anyway. 

How to Test Remote Developers

For most roles, test tasks are conducted to avoid hiring candidates who lack skills but can sell themselves through resumes and interviews. For developers, it’s the other way around: test tasks are important so you don’t miss out on great candidates who just don’t know how to stand out on paper or in an interview.

On the other hand, many developers also try to embellish their resumes with programming languages they have little experience with. That’s why some employers choose to offer live coding tasks including screen sharing to really understand their candidate’s approach to coding. This may be stressful for those who prefer working on their own, and it may be time-consuming for you (depending on the number of your candidates).

There are many online tools such as Codin Game or Codility, designed specifically for testing remote developers. While you need to pay a few hundred dollars for some of these, many offer free trials (Qualified offers a 14-day free trial with up to 5 free assessment results). Testdome is another popular platform offering tests for a wide range of skills, including programming, accounting, customer service, project management, and more.

How to Test Content Writers

Content writers need to be creative, attentive to detail, and have extremely good writing skills. It’s very difficult to determine if the candidate possesses these skills through an interview. Also, if you’re hiring remotely, the chances are that some of your candidates are not native English speakers. That’s why it’s important to offer your potential content writers a test task.

One of the basic test tasks that you need to give them is a sample article. Simply give them instructions to write an article similar to those they would normally write for you.

A big part of content writing is research; so you can also give your candidate a list of questions and some time to do their research on the topic. 

These tasks should help you assess their English skills, but you can also do that through a separate English test.

If you want to take an extra step and have your candidates professionally assessed, you can do that through Mettl. This company offers assessment tools for technical and web content writers across different industries, while also determining whether they can creatively use charts and graphs. You can request a customized pricing quote based on the features you want to use, and there’s also a free trial available.

How to Test Graphic Designers

Graphic designers are usually evaluated based on their portfolios. However, a test task can help you gauge their competencies in various programs – and also show you how creative they can be when given a specific task.

Here are some online tools you can use for testing graphic designers:

  • InterviewMocha – tests in Adobe, Coreldraw, AutoCAD and more
  • Expert Rating – reasonably priced tests for around 90 different programs
  • AssessHub – offers aptitude tests assessing both technical and creative skills

These were some of the awesome tools you can use when hiring & testing remote candidates. If you are looking for more general tools that offer an assessment of candidates regardless of the position you’re looking to fill, some great online options include TestDome, CriteriaTestGorilla and Eyardstick.

Although it’s great that you can try these tools for free, in our experience, a few simple test tasks are usually enough to successfully filter candidates on your own. It’s best to select a few talented workers and offer them a similar task. Always offer to compensate them for their time, even if they don’t get hired. This way, they’ll take you more seriously and put in effort as if they’re already a part of your team!

Now that you are ready to test remote candidates, you can hire more remote workers, build your team and expand your business. You can find skilled remote candidates right here at JobRack – click here to find out more.


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