Best Practices for Hiring Remote Workers

The traditional way of hiring talent is, to say the least, limiting the options available to you to hire top talent with truly diverse skillsets.

If you want to hire an Operations Manager, for example, you can’t select from all diverse talent with all the skillsets you need. Geography and distance limit your choices.

If you want your options to be limitless, chose to go remote! Because you’re not constrained by location or distance, you can choose any talent you want in any skillset you want from any part of the world. And that gives you an advantage over any company that hires the traditional way.

But while it’s easy to say that you’re among the majority of companies now offering remote work options, it’s harder to organize a remote recruiting process. That’s where we come in. Our team of experienced Human Resources professionals put together a list of best practices to get your new remote recruiting initiative started on the right foot.

Here are best practices for hiring remote workers:

Establish the Characteristics of a Competent Remote Worker

Not everyone is adept at working remote, so before you begin hiring people for a remote position, you’ll need to consider the skills it takes to be successful in this type of environment.

Great remote workers have a few traits that make them successful:

  • Propensity Towards Action: This is the type of person that devoid of a task list will still find something meaningful to do.
  • Organized and Able to Prioritize: It’s not about “proving that you did something,” it’s about results and delivering on time. Someone who can concentrate on the right tasks and knows to backseat less important ones will do well.
  • Independent and Self-Motivated: Independence is a priority in the recruitment process, especially when hiring remote workers. So, if a remote worker needs constant praise or reminders to stay positive and on task, then that candidate probably won’t thrive remotely.
  • Proficient Writing: Most communication in a remote team happens via text – email, team chat, or one-on-one messages. If someone struggles to write clearly and concisely, they’ll struggle in a remote team.
  • Tech Savvy: Apart from IT systems that organizations use for running their business, remote freelancers need to communicate using tools such as Google Hangouts, Skype, email, and other collaboration tools. Conversely, to have a remote worker who constantly relies on IT services for the simplest of issues will waste valuable time and resources.

How to Find Remote Candidates

It’s impossible to hire if you don’t have candidates for the role, of course, so the first thing to consider is how people will find out about your open position.

Sourcing candidates is often a harder task for remote teams than you’d think. Since you don’t have global connections or you’re a small brand, and local ties can be hard to come by, too, it can be hard to get the word out about your company and your positions. Take advantage of every channel you can find to get the word out and keep track of where the good candidates come from. Then make sure to utilize them in the future.

  • Networks: People you’ve worked with in the past are great candidates to join up with you. This is especially true if you enjoyed working with them and want to work with them again. Also, ask customers, partners, investors, family, friends, and anyone you think might be helpful if they know of any good candidates. Often times, people aren’t actively looking for jobs, but they will confide in a friend that they are unhappy in their current role.
  • Your Own Userbase: If you’re fortunate enough to have a large userbase that matches the credentials you need, then it can be a great place to recruit from. We do this by adding a “hey, we’re hiring!” link in emails that go out to customers and blog readers as well as on our website. These drive dozens of daily applications when we have open positions. Additionally, your users are likely a strong culture fit since they are already more familiar with your company and how you operate.
  • Ask Teammates to Help with Sourcing: Simply ask teammates to help spread the word with the goal of getting an awesome new teammate. People are excited about helping to select their new teammates, so including them in the process is a net benefit to all.
  • Share, Share, Share: Use Twitter, LinkedIn, and any channel you have access to let people know that you’re hiring. The more spread you can get, the more likely your job post will stumble across the right person’s desk.

Hire People You Can Trust

One of the many problems of remote work is the issue of trust. How can you trust someone you have never met in person to run your company’s accounting, marketing, or administrative tasks?

Are they truly what they say they are? Can I trust them with my company’s information? What if they wake up tomorrow, decide to quit, and run off with my data? These nightmares might cross your mind if you’re thinking of hiring remote workers.

The truth is that most of these thoughts are just distractions. They are far from the truth. Background checks and smart recruiting cut through the noise to find you great candidates you can trust. Whether you need employment verification, credit inquiries, criminal, or social background checks, we will get it done for you.

Nothing should stop you from taking advantage of outsourcing or hiring remotely to stay ahead. The key is to pick the best of the best and save your mental energies for moving your company forward.

Hire Professional Communicators

In a traditional, co-located office, a lot of information is shared in person.

You delegate to your VP or set up a meeting with your staff and pass on to them the important information. Or your staff walks into your office to update you about the project you assigned them.

In a modern remote situation, everything is shared online via phone calls, text messages, email, WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, or other means of communication. In other words, remote teamwork requires a lot of communication. Hire people who are not only skillful at verbal communication but also excellent at written communication. Regardless of the role, great writers and strong communicators are a must for remote hires.

Welcome New Hires with a “Welcome Guide”

Many start-ups struggle not with hiring but with aligning their hires to their business operations, their terms, and their work processes. How do you keep your remote team aligned with your business processes and company culture?

Embrace them with your “Welcome Guide.” As soon as they accept the position, after a hello and a virtual hug, hand your remote hire a welcome guide.

Make New Workers Feel Welcome

Working remotely can be a challenge for those accustomed to a traditional shared workspace, so you have to go out of your way to make sure new virtual hires feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts. Remote employees who feel a connection with your company will be more motivated to make a positive impression.

It’s important that new employees become a functional part of the team. Introducing them to other team members, and where to turn for help, builds relationships that are important to job satisfaction and performance.

Refine the Onboarding Process

For each new process you implement, you should review its impact and results. Document and evaluate how both existing and new employees react to the onboarding process. Find out what works best for onboarding remote workers by consulting those who’ve had similar experiences.

After new remote workers have been at their jobs for a while, ask them about the value they got from your onboarding strategy. By constantly evaluating and improving the onboarding process, you can help remote workers adjust to their new roles easily and refine for future remote hires.

Onboarding any new hire is important, but remote hires provide special challenges (and opportunities) in building your team. You should bring new team members to headquarters if possible, but otherwise utilize video conferencing to make them familiar to coworkers and start building relationships. The first step should be making them aware of and comfortable with social and professional expectations. Make them feel welcome, and follow up by gathering feedback to evaluate and refine your onboarding process. Often, you’ll have to look beyond local job candidates to find the best talent.

Need help with setting up any Human Resources process? We are happy to help!

Set Expectations

Clearly communicate your expectations to new employees before they start work. Onboarding employees with a clear picture of their duties is the basis for successful hires. Both you and the remote worker should be clear on company values, team objectives, and individual goals. You should also establish time frames for training, reviews, and milestones.

You should verify that new employees understand their tasks and the systems they’ll use in their work. Discuss upcoming projects, organization leaders, and access to shared employee resources.

Work out a schedule for availability to attend team meetings. Provide the new hire with documentation of your onboarding process so that they can reference it for answers and guidance.

Partner with an Employer of Record (EOR)

An EOR, more commonly known as a PEO in the USA is a great help to manage remote employees across the border. From handling administrative tasks to managing relationships with the workers, an EOR will take care of the entire employee life cycle.

Forget the hassle of learning the business environment and maintaining compliance to work with Canadian talent. Hiring a Canadian worker through an EOR based in Canada or as an independent contractor, is easier than you think.

In the end, building a remote team is not rocket science. It’s an art. And like any form of art, it needs a few tips, tricks, and hacks to help you and your team excel.

The first tip or best practice for setting up a remote team is to hire the best of the best from the pool of diverse talent around the globe. Next, choose only those you can trust, trust the people you hire, and give them an informative welcome to ensure they are aligned from day one. To make sure everyone stays aligned, hire great communicators and keep communicating day in and day out.

Now put these tips into practice. The joy of running a remote team that grows your business awaits you.

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