How to Choose the Perfect Remote Project Manager

Hiring Remote

Filling remote project manager jobs takes a well-orchestrated plan of attack. Follow these 6 steps to do it right the first time.
There’s no shortage of applicants vying for remote project manager jobs.

So how do you choose the perfect candidate for your team?

Let’s assume you’ve already crafted and posted an enticing job ad. And now you’re trapped under a stack of virtual resumes and wondering how to dig your way out.

You can’t meet each candidate in person like filling a regular job vacancy.

And you probably don’t have time to sift through every CV.

But you can use these tips to find the best match the first time around -- and in less time.

How To Fill Remote Project Manager Jobs Like a Pro

The sooner you find your trusty remote project manager, the faster you’ll get back to business.

So go through this step-by-step checklist for the easiest, most effective hiring experience:

#1. Define Must-Have Skills for Your Ideal Candidate

Does your remote project manager job ad include specific, targeted keywords? There’s no point in moving forward with candidates who lack these essentials. 

Remote workers should mention their outstanding skills in:
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Virtual collaboration
  • Self-motivation, self-discipline, and accountability

A remote project manager possesses all that and more.
Essential remote project manager skills include the ability to:
  • Create timelines and budgets for projects to get done
  • Organize projects into smaller milestones/deadlines to reach
  • Delegate tasks based on team members’ strengths
  • Supervise without micromanaging 
  • Mitigate risk
  • Provide and take constructive feedback
  • Handle stress under pressure
  • Inspire enthusiasm and integrity 

Most of these skills are personality traits that cannot be learned on the job. Candidates should not only have them already but excel at using them.

You’ll have the wheat separated from the chaff with parsing software. Online quizzes and personality tests will speed up the process from here.

#2. Use a Pre-Employment Quiz, Personality Test, or Online Survey

What if candidates embellish on their resume? What if they overestimate their skills?

You don’t want to learn about these short-comings post-hire.

So send out a pre-employment quiz or assessment to test each candidate’s skills instead.

Studies show pre-employment skills testing saves time and money. It also leads to snagging better-performing employees[*].

Set up a fun set of multiple-choice or open-ended questions candidates must answer to move forward. You’ll learn about their abilities and whether candidates align with your culture at the same time.

#3. Engage with Top Candidates ASAP

The best candidates probably already know they’re the top in their game. So if you want to hire them, you better act fast.

Set up automated emails when candidates complete their tests with high marks. Then immediately contact your candidate using your company's preferred communication method.

You'll learn two pieces of information here:
  • How candidates reply to your messages/contact
  • How familiar they are with your video/messaging tools

If candidates give you the cold shoulder, put them on the back burner.

Candidates who reply immediately and professionally should move onto the next step... which may actually turn them away.

#4. Show Candidates What They’re Really Signing Up For (+ Slightly Hope They Walk Away)

Okay, you don’t want your number one pick to walk away. But you want to turn away candidates who may be in over their heads.

So ask your team to create content about what it’s like to work remotely for your company.

Once candidates know what they’re signing up for, they may back out before it's too late. 

This content doesn’t have to be dense employee manuals. 

Think about crafting blogs or personal stories from your established remote work team. Each should represent different aspects of remote work life.

Here are a few examples to start with:
  • Benefits and perks of remote working
  • Info about tools, software, processes, etc. your company uses
  • How current remote workers manage expectations, work schedules, deadlines, communication, etc.
  • Stories about employees who realized a dream by working remotely (such as traveling more, being a stay-at-home parent, or volunteering)

Ask your candidate to read over this intel and then reply with the best time for a virtual interview (if they’re still interested).

#5. Arrange a Virtual Interview

Face-to-face video calls are the best way to gain a true feel for the person working on the other end of your email chains. It’s the most often used form of interviewing remote candidates.

To ace a remote job interview, candidates should:
  • Show up on time 
  • Have zero technical difficulties 
  • Take notes during the interview
  • Give authentic responses with real examples (not canned replies)
  • Follow up with prepared questions

Your top candidate will crush it out of the park with their answers.

#6. Offer a Paid Work Trial

So your candidate has a rad resume, scored high on your survey, and had everyone on the virtual interview ready to offer them a job.

Let’s pump the brakes.

Give your candidate a small job assignment to test whether they’re the right fit for your crew.

Put them on a short deadline to assess how well they handle the pressure. Make them use all the tools your team utilizes to display their skills. 

That may mean collaborating in Slack, creating outlines in Google Docs, and sharing them with team members in Trello, for example. Each step will show you their abilities.

If they’re reluctant to take on the project, they’re probably not the right fit.

This exercise should give you an idea of your top-performing candidate. It'll be a pleasure to work and communicate with them.

Then you and your team will need to make the final decision and hire the best candidate, no matter where they are.

But First: You Have to Post Remote Project Manager Jobs Where the Best Candidates Look for Them

Remote workers skip popular job sites in favor of those catering to virtual gigs.

That’s why remote job boards such as We Work Remotely earn traffic from the highest-skilled digital nomads.

Post your job on our board and you’ll have thousands of eyes peeping your remote project manager job ad every day until you find the winner.

This step-by-step guide will help you hire the best candidate, speed up your hiring process, and make room for more important things. Like tacos. 🌮

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