Business tips

Remote work is our new normal: tips on how to successfully hire remote workers

remote work

As the world faces new challenges businesses have to adapt to constantly changing conditions, for example, remote work. It’s relatively new and only recently was it introduced as a new ‘forced’ normal.

The shutdowns injured the economy and caused serious financial difficulties for everyone from small enterprises to large ones and especially people in the gig economy. However, the companies that managed to get employees to work remotely continued operations in and through the chaos and confusion. Many even find that having their teams work from home increases overall productivity. 

Studies prove that if it’s done right, giving workers a flexible in-office/out-of-office schedule creates a positive effect on work performance, creativity, and morale.

Twitter recently announced that it’ll support employees who can and want to work from home “forever.” Many other technology giants, from Facebook to Google, have also said they plan on supporting remote work “for the foreseeable future.”

But is it applicable to any other company? The answer is short and sweet, yes. If you do it the right way of course.

Remote hiring: what to consider before you begin

Remote hiring can be tricky. There’s a little bit more that goes into the hiring process. For example, your future team member has to be suitable for the position and be suitable and effective in a remote environment. Teams that want to switch to remote work experience a bottleneck when it comes to communication. They have to recreate the new norms and practices to satisfy their new situation. And the reality is, the best method can only emerge from experimentation. 

To soften the shock, take a look at the common issues found with remote working below:

  1. Distractions – the number one reported complaint by remote workers. 
  2. Isolation is a tough thing for many who are used to seeing their colleagues every day.
  3. Security issues – are a common thing in remote workspaces. It’s important to make sure the WIFI networks, devices your employees use, and platforms you work with are secure.
  4. Managing conflicts – doesn’t get easier. Digital boundaries create new hurdles many HR specialists haven’t learned how to handle yet. When problems arise it’s crucial your HR and management are ready to be clear, concise, and respectful when it comes to online communication and problem-solving.

A common mistake made by most managers is to compensate for the lack of direct observation by carefully monitoring how remote employees do their work (micromanaging). This strategy is bound to fail because managers don’t know everything that happens in the employee’s life. For instance, an employee feels better working in the evenings or wants to work on the weekend to compensate for taking care of a sick child during the week. There’s an infinite amount of variants that just aren’t present in an in-office working environment. 

During troubled times, it’s better not to focus on how your employees should work, but why their work is important.

Three valuable steps to making remote hiring successful 

Before we get into the details, understand that now, EVERY job description should be tailored to remote work. Explain the level of flexibility you offer and ask candidates to provide as much information as possible. The main goal is highly productive work under minimum supervision

 

  • Present your company’s values

 

Be open about what you’re looking for and share what qualities are the most important for the role. Present your team and explain how you encourage collaboration, especially if your employees are from different parts of the world. Focus on individual aspects of your business and what makes you competitive. 

 

  • Offer fair compensation

 

Hiring remotely, you can’t offer snacks or foosball. Consider an attractive salary to better compete with companies across the globe. The cost of living differs from city to city and it’s an issue to use an ‘average wage’ method of valuing work (you might not know the average wage in the city the candidate lives in). Consider compensation and benefits packages that can satisfy your candidates’ needs but would not create a big gap in salary between team members.

 

  • Use digital tools for smooth communication 

 

From the first interview, communication should be clear and procedures executed smoothly without a lot of hassle from the candidate’s side. It’s not only about the apps you use to communicate but the tools you use within the company as well. For example, proposals, commission statements, price quotes, offer letters, and many other documents that have to be signed should be signed electronically. In a world that’s quarantined, having proper tools for managing e-documents and processes is essential.

Hiring remote teams comes with a lot of benefits. To start, you don’t need to have such a large office, if you even need one at all. Think of the savings. In addition, you get to avoid things like crowded working spaces, office supplies including desks and furniture, and best of all, your teams get to spend more time with their families. But be ready to manage your remote team. Rethink your company policy, your teams’ schedules, and workload to keep productivity levels as high as possible. Remote employees are just the same as the people you work with in the office, they need respect and support to stay motivated and feel appreciated. Help them develop as professionals and give them the tools they need to thrive.  

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