Remote work is considered to be the future of work.
According to Owllabs, about 16% of global companies are fully remote with no headquarters or physical office. Not only that, there are currently about 40% of companies in the world that allow their employees to decide if they want to work remotely or not.
What this means is that more and more companies now allow their employees to explore the remote work option. The reason is simple. Since technology makes everything seamless, creating a remote working environment is a sure-fire way to get the best hands to complete tasks and projects at an efficient cost.
When hiring remote employees, companies face a lot of problems. As an employer, you’re likely to encounter such too. In this post, you’ll learn the six things to consider before hiring remote employees for your company.
Let’s get started.
Who is a Remote Employee
A remote employee is a professional whose style of work allows operation outside a traditional office environment. It is based on the concept that work can be done anywhere. It does not need a specific location for successful execution.
These days, many people subscribe to the remote working experience because it presents numerous health gains and lifestyle flexibility for them. In fact, a remote employee can study, travel or pursue another passion on the side.
So, how do you benefit from hiring remote employees for your company?
Why You Should Consider Hiring Remote Workers for Your Business
According to a two-year study by Stanford Professor Nicholas Bloom, there is increased productivity among employees who work from home. This is because people who work remotely are more likely to complete their full shift. Also, they are less likely to be distracted from work.
When you hardly see employees and co-workers face-to-face, distractions and interruptions will be minimal. Not only that, office politics and workplace bullying will cease to exist. And, commuting-related stress will disappear.
Aside from that, the process of sourcing for and retaining the best talent is difficult with a typical work environment. Firstly, the human resource personnel puts out an advert and a pool of applicants indicate interest.
After this, they begin the stressful process of sifting, selection, and interview. In most cases, human resource personnel is usually overwhelmed when employee fatigue arises at the end of the day. The smart ones, on the other hand, prevent this by creating a succession plan for their company.
By hiring remotely, you can boost employee loyalty and love for the job they do. This is because of the flexibility and the relative work-life balance attached to it. In the long run, you’ll have a bunch of employees who are satisfied with what they do.
As a business owner, hiring remotely also helps you to reduce the overhead and bottom-line costs. You can save the cost of renting an office space, furniture, equipment, and utilities.
As a smart employer who wants to build a remote team, the first question you should ask yourself is: how do you hire the right candidate?
How Not to Hire a Remote Employee
Remote hires have a bad rep. Most employers imagine them as an obstacle, but do you care? You have to get past them hoping to get it right.
Looks might be deceptive. In traditional hiring, sometimes looks tell if a candidate is right or not. At that time when your instinct tells you the candidate is right, your emotions might skip hiring steps you’ll pay for in the future.
When hiring remotely, never assume. Do a skill assessment.
This will clearly point out if the individual can fit into the role and deliver the responsibilities required of the position. You can employ a culturally fit but slightly skilled person for an in-office position where you ensure he shadows a person who is skilled to put him through for some time. However, it will be the wrong hire if it’s a remote position.
Also, consider having a video interview with the remote employees via Skype or Zoom if possible. This will help you put a face to the name and also visualize organizational and behavioral traits that may be important for the position.
Things to Consider Before Hiring a Remote Employee
Before hiring a remote employee for your company, here are six things to consider and put in place in your company.
1) Seek the Candidate’s Motivation
Everyone has a motivation. When someone applies for a remote job, there is always a reason for that. Ask your employees why they decide to work remotely so that you can appropriately decide if the position is a good fit for them.
When you ask them the motivation for seeking a remote job, it helps you to know the kind of personality and character they have.
Some of the questions you can ask to have an idea about the candidate’s motivation include:
- Have you ever worked remotely before?
- What are your thoughts about remote work?
- If you were to choose between a remote and in-office job, which would you go for?
- ‘How do you cope with the loneliness that comes with remote work?
2) Identify Their Soft Skills
Employee’s attitude towards work is important. You can never know this unless you’ve had the person worked on a past project. Getting people to work remotely requires some extra skills aside from the ones required for the role.
Some of these include the ability to meet deadlines and manage time. Others are handling little tech glitches and excellent communication skills.
Say, for example, you want to hire freelancers to help out with content marketing for your brand. You need to look out for those who have soft skills that will aid them to perform optimally in that role.
Some things you could check out for include:
- Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it works
- Ability to work with WordPress with minimal or no supervision
- Communication with other team members via email, Slack, Trello, and so on.
3) Be Flexible with Them
To attract employee who seeks flexibility, you have to be flexible. You should also indicate in your company’s work policy that you’re flexible. If you need to hire a pool of world-class talents to brighten your company’s vision, you must ditch the regular workplace mentality and encourage employees to add value around the clock.
When you’re flexible with your remote employees, you give them more freedom to perform optimally for your organization. While it’s recommended that you should have working hours that your remote workers must adhere to, you should also be flexible with them in some instances.
For example, if one of your remote employees has a family emergency or health issue that they need to attend to, you should allow them to cater to it. When you allow them to do things like these, they’ll naturally love to work with you and be even more dedicated to your company.
4) Lure Them With Perks
Job seekers frown at the idea of remote work because they believe it’ll hinder them from some job-related perks. That’s where their motivation lies. Attract applicants to your company by listing what makes your company different in the job description.
Is it the full employee benefits like health, dental and vision, charitable course or paid-time-off policy?
One company that does this really well is Zapier. It clearly states the numerous perks for employees who work with them. That way, anybody who wants to work as a remote employee knows what is in it for them before applying.
5) Test The Applicants
Before any applicant starts off fully on your team, put them on a small project to ascertain what the portfolio communicates. It’s easy to put excellent time management on paper.
If the applicant proves himself worthy of the position with excellent communication, time management, and meeting deadlines, that’s when you can fully place them on your payroll.
For instance, if you want to hire someone who can take care of all the in-house graphics for your company. You can ask them to design a simple Infographics illustrating what your company does with tools such as Canva.
This way you can evaluate them better and see if they’ll be a good fit for your company in the long run.
6) Look Worldwide
Remote hire provides the freedom to hire across continents. Don’t limit your eagle eye to the walls of your country or locality. Look worldwide using social media channels.
There are some websites that house specific talents. Some equip applicants with adequate technical skills and furnish them up for hire. Utilize these platforms to get in touch with high-quality remote job candidates.
You can use popular freelancer platforms to scout for talented remote employees who will work with your company.
Your first step to managing a successful remote company is to hire the best brains in your niche. The right hiring decision will bring the best output for your company.
With the tips shared in this post, you won’t have to bother about searching for or retaining employees—they’ll automatically find the job satisfying and suggest referrals to your talent pool.