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The Selection Process: Tips for Leveraging the Right Remote Candidate



The Selection Process

After the basic application process is completed, we will show you what to look for in the candidates. We will walk you through the selection and interview process as well. The external agency that you use will provide you with people to consider structuring your outsourcing team.

Retaining a BPO, such as Gahn, should be stress free—and an educational experience.

Regardless of your decision, a great BPO is willing to provide you with tips to help screen those people.

At Gahn, we'll assist you in identifying the right characteristics you want in an employee as well as good interview questions to ask. These tips will assist you greatly, seeing as though it’s likely all your interviews will be done by phone or video.


3 Qualities to Look For

Skill level, reliability, and being action-oriented are the 3 main qualities to look for in a candidate. These are listed in order of importance.

Action Oriented

When working with outsourced talent, you must consider that you will both be working on different schedules. If an issue arises, you want them to take action instead of them waiting for you to respond to take care of a minor issue. So allow the space for people to take action, even if the conclusion turns out differently than what you expected. This characteristic can be discerned in the initial testing period.


You can use tools such as Time Doctor or click up to monitor our new team members during the initial testing. This will allow you to see how much of the workload is being completed.

Skill Level

A practical test can tell you rather quickly the skill level of a candidate. T The use of quick tasks in different areas will work well.


Stages Of The Interview Process

There are 3 main phases of an interview process.

Initial Testing

The fastest way to filter out candidates is to give them an initial test to complete. You can use this to gauge who is serious about the position. Allow for a 48-hour time limit for the completion of an hour-long test. This also takes into consideration different time zones. This is the fastest way to filter out candidates.

Clarification questions are the most important. It sounds contradictory to the Action Taken quality however, sometimes asking questions for clarification is the best action to take. The most important thing to look for is clarification questions.

Here is an example test I’d give to a graphics designer. (I call it the gif test!)

Hi, please make the following changes to the PSD image that I have included.

  • Change the color of the image to red

  • Turn the image into a .png

  • Send it back in 48 hours.

Please MAKE SURE TO EMAIL ME with any questions. Be sure to clarify anything that you don’t understand with me first before moving forward with the test.

Excited to see how you do!


So, it seems like a pretty simple test. However, (and this is the point of the test) I don’t send the candidate a PSD, I send them a GIF.

This is done purposely because a successful candidate would:

  • Ask for a .psd file of the image knowing that it is harder to complete the test with the .gif format.

  • They would ask for clarification on the “red” or would present me with a few different options.

A great candidate would email me back, ask for clarifications, and would be able to complete this test in under 5 minutes. Creating a new image or making changes to a .gif would take much longer than 5 minutes, maybe the rest of the day.

Pro Tip:

You need people to tell you when you’re wrong

Candidates who will spot errors and alert you of those errors are what the test is structured for.


Come up with a test

Create a specific test for your job position. Make a simple test, have your candidates try it, and if it exceeds an hour, then pay them for the time spent over an hour.

Interview Questions

We now have to interview the candidates that have made it past the initial testing. You can use Skype or another platform. When hiring long term this stage is critical. For smaller projects, it may not be needed.

A stable interconnection and a personal computer are essential.

Can you hear noises in the background on the call? This may indicate they are using an internet cafe as an office, which is not ideal.

Do they provide confident answers? Do they speak proper English? (especially important for content writing or customer interaction)

Possible questions to ask:

  • What is your work experience? What do you believe you can bring to the position we are offering?

  • Are you able to work independently? Give me an example of when you had to take action without consulting management and what was the result of that decision?

  • Please provide examples of how you took action and the end result of that action?

  • What is your experience working with virtual teams? Do you prefer to work virtually or in an office?

  • Having people that will tell us when we are wrong is very important to us. Please provide us with an example of when you told management when they were wrong? How did that turn out?

  • What are 3 things you think you can improve at our ( company/website)?


Do at least three interviews

Pick 3 candidates that you are impressed with to do interviews. Ideally, they should all be excellent candidates on paper.

Trial Stage

At this point, you should have 2 to 3 candidates that are tested and interviewed, that you consider to be a good fit. You may even have singled 1 out that you feel ready to hire but you must overcome that impulse.

You need what is called ‘real-world interviewing’ because testing and an initial interview only accounts for 10% of what is considered a good fit for the job. Take 2 or more people out for a day of work, use software to track them, and give them all the same tasks.

The results may surprise you. Some candidates give excellent interviews but don’t work well and others do just the opposite. Once they have gone through a day's work, go over both of their results and then make a decision.


Try a real-world interview with two or more candidates

It will be extremely beneficial to pay the candidates for a one-day trial. This is a very important step.

Hiring Misconceptions

There are common misconceptions that adversely affect your hiring process. Steer away from these as you begin your freelancer recruitment:

Cheaper Talent = Quality Work

Some businesses expect to receive the same level of work from higher-priced freelancers but expect to pay lower rates.

The term you get what you pay for is applicable here. Paying a lower rate may seem like a good financial decision in the short run, but it always Although it may be more feasible to save money initially, in the end when quality is lost or projects are behind your brand and business will suffer. Don’t corners, get the best possible team so that you can provide the best product and service to your customers.

Hiring Only One Freelancer

Maintaining a team of freelancers to handle different projects may seem complicated but it provides you with insurance if one of your freelancers may quit. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. This will put you in an awkward position and have you scurrying trying to replace them. Whereas with a team, you can recover quicker from the loss, especially if another member of your team is also skilled in the role you need to have filled. You will also benefit from hiring specialized VAs or freelancers for specific tasks.

Hiring Freelancers as Temps

To scale up faster and ensure a higher level of commitment, you should hire freelancers on a long-term basis. Many businesses like to hire freelancers as temps for single projects. Making long-term commitments give the freelancer security knowing work is coming and makes your projects a priority.

The process of selecting outsourced candidates to get the best fit for your company's needs is extremely important to the success and growth of your business. Using a BPO that provides you with the tips and guidance to get the best fit for your business, is essential. If you follow these steps and methods, you will ensure the quality of growth for your company that you desire.


Let's secure that growth! Book a free discovery call with us. We're here for you—and we'd like to learn more about your business or project. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


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