Hiring Remote Workers for your Small Business
December 23, 2022
by Alonso Whittaker
Here’s Where to Start
The coronavirus pandemic forced countless businesses to embrace remote work for the first time. Now, some companies are wondering if they should ditch the office for good. Whether by going fully-remote or hiring staff who work from home permanently, more businesses than ever are committing to remote work.
Shifting in-house staff to telecommuting is challenging enough, but hiring fully-remote employees is an even bigger learning curve for employers accustomed to meeting staff face-to-face. If your business is preparing to hire its first remote workers, use these tips to get your work-from-home strategy right.
Understand what type of worker you need and how to reach them
What roles are you hiring for and who’s the best fit for the job? The answer lies not in cost, but in the type of worker your company needs.
- Perhaps, you want to hire remote for a specific team. For example, maybe you don’t want to limit your sales employee search to your local area. There are excellent, go-getter salespeople all over the country so seeking out remote salespeople is a wonderful way to give your business a boost.
- Outsourcing agencies can help hire for siloed jobs like analytics or IT where availability is more important than culture fit. When working with an agency, you may receive a rotating team of individuals instead of a single worker.
- Freelancers are great for a variety of roles, whether you need a virtual assistant, a graphic designer, or data analysis expert. Plus, they’re easy to find and hire on freelance job boards.
- Choosing the type of business to form is important upfront, as it exhibits your legitimacy as a going concern to workers. You may want to start an LLC, as your personal and business assets are clearly differentiated, and you’re able to be assigned an employer identification number (EIN). This further allows you to set up a business banking account and be legally identifiable to the IRS and other entities.
Consider geographical and operational challenges
Speaking of time zones: Time differences can be a major obstacle for distributed teams. While the freedom to hire anywhere makes it easier for companies to find the right talent at the right price, it’s hard to collaborate when half of your staff is across the globe.
If keeping everyone on the same schedule is important, stick to hires within a time zone or two. Take advantage of time differences to keep your company running around the clock (this is especially true if you have a robust, geographically spread out sales team!), and alternate meeting times so no one gets stuck with midnight meetings every time.
You can also use software to make other processes like project tracking and payroll much easier. Monday.com is a great project tracking system for remote teams. Quickbooks Payroll is great for payroll because it offers mobile phone payroll processing, free direct deposit, and tax filing help. With helpful software, both you and your team’s operations become a lot more efficient and hassle free.
Create communication protocol
Synced hours lay the groundwork for staff collaboration, but it’s not enough to overcome the distance that working from home creates. For that, employees have to create a culture of communication. With face-to-face discussion no longer an option, that means establishing norms for email, chat, and video conferencing. For example, employers can create dedicated Slack channels for team-wide announcements, sales updates, project check-ins, and non-work related conversations or start video meetings with team check-ins to create a personal connection.
Pay attention to culture fit
Cultivating a cohesive remote team is easier when you pay attention to culture fit in the hiring process. While skills testing is important, skills alone don’t determine whether a candidate is a good fit for your team. Employers also need to assess a candidate’s remote work capability and their culture fit.
Just like managing remote employees is different, working from home requires different skills too. The best way to hire people who are up to the challenge is to look for candidates with remote work experience, notes the Close blog. The ideal candidate isn’t dabbling in remote work, but already has the tech and the discipline to get things done from home.
As for culture fit, Jostle points out that hiring managers should assess a candidate’s remote communication style and ask questions that explore how they fit into the company’s culture. Does a prospective hire mesh with your company’s mission, management style, and work atmosphere? Assuming these factors are less important for work-from-home staff is among the biggest remote hiring mistakes employers can make.
Going remote may eliminate the office, but it doesn’t change everything about the way we work. Employees still need to communicate, collaborate, and fit culturally in order to create a productive remote workforce. As you prepare to hire your first remote staff, consider how you can bring the best of the office to your distributed teams.
If you’re looking for experienced employees who are eager to help you grow your business, xBound can help. Visit the website today to get started.
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