How Important Is Education When Hiring Remote Workers?

Workers these days are able to do their jobs in an ever-increasing number of ways. As business and commerce continue to move in the direction of the internet, more and more of the most valuable occupations involve work that can be done from just about anywhere. The rise of “the cloud” has contributed heavily to this, and refers to the idea of creating and/or storing data that stays on a remote server so that it can be accessed anywhere. If you’ve ever emailed yourself a file so that you could access it on another computer, you’ve utilized this concept. Cloud computing has come a long way, however, and now has entire services that are dedicated to letting us work in ways that transcend physical limitations.

Since we no longer have to be in one physical place to work together, many organizations are looking to the idea of the virtual worker as a way to reduce overhead, save money, and get work done more efficiently. If you don’t have to pay someone to come to an office and work, you save money on overhead. If that worker doesn’t have to report to said office, they have the opportunity to not only potentially save money themselves on things like commuting, but they also are allowed to work in conditions that one can assume are preferred. The resulting boost in individual morale is even likely to result in better productivity for you, the employer.

A question of increasing importance, however, as the way we work continues to grow and change — is how heavily we should consider education when hiring a remote worker. If an individual doesn’t have sufficient formal education, should their ability to contribute to your business be considered? Should this kind of decision be made based on the capabilities of the individual, regardless of what kind of formal education has been obtained?

Many currently-hiring employers would answer in the affirmative to the latter question. Workers aren’t working in traditional settings anymore, and as such employers are able to rid themselves of some of the constraints that often limited the talent pool in the past. Even if a worker is to be performing his or her duties remotely, one can assume that the worker has access to the technology required to do so. This likely means that extensive video chatting or written correspondence is possible; employers have every opportunity to size up a candidate, view samples, and feel comfortable with his or her capabilities before hiring. In today’s market, employers are focusing less and less on documentation of education, and more on the ability workers have to produce, and how quickly they can do it. If you’re hiring for a more sensitive position like a therapist for children, then it’s certainly smart to investigate which candidates have the best school counseling degrees. More and more work is able to be done virtually, however, and if you can take advantage of an off site worker, then you might be able to improve your business in a pretty serious way.

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