No matter what the industry, many of us have experienced working remotely by now, meaning things like virtual meeting platforms are a doddle. It seems this is a trend that’s set to continue, and this is no surprise.
Working remotely gives people the opportunity to save time and money on commuting, whilst also working in an environment that suits them. Because of this, more companies are looking to build remote teams.
Yet, as an employer, you still want to make sure you’re hiring a workforce that’s as strong as it would be in the office. Here are seven practices to make sure you’re doing just that.
1. Figure Out The Type Of Remote Team You Want
Remote working comes in all shapes and sizes. And, if you want to organize remote employees and make sure you have a strong team, you need to figure out how you want this to work.
It could be you want to completely say goodbye to the office, or it could be you want to hire a group of freelancers for certain tasks. It might even be that you want to create more of an eco-office environment and split your time between the home and office.
You need to establish this from the start and put policies in place. This allows you to decide on the sort of person you want to hire. Do you want someone who has years of remote experience under their belt, or are you happy to train someone fresh into the field?
2. Don’t Get Rid Of Your Current Staff
Your team probably already work well together, so why get rid of them? Even if you’re going from 100% office-based to 100% remote, it’s worth holding on to good employees.
If you’re worried about how your current team might adjust, consider giving them adaptability training. It also helps to talk to your employees to see how they feel about the situation. It could be a dream scenario for them, or it could be a nightmare.
There is lots of human resources software out there that will help your team adapt to any changes, such as helping figure out the equipment they might use at home.
3. Make Hiring A Smooth Process
There will be times when you’ll need to give potential new workers more than one interview or even a test, but creating unnecessary steps in the hiring process could put off stronger candidates. This is because, if they’re a good worker with a solid background, they’ll probably have other offers in the pipeline. So, you want to make the hiring process as smooth as possible.
What’s more, you want to prove to your new staff member that you understand their needs as a worker. Being aware from the start will help create more productive remote workers in the long run as you build up a good rapport with team members.
4. Consider The Time Zones You Want To Hire In
Having a global team can have its benefits. However, when it comes to remote working, you need to ensure your team can communicate with each other when needed. As good communication with your remote team is essential to building a strong company, it’s vital you get this right.
Of course, it’s possible to have a powerful global remote team, but if you’re based in LA and are managing a sales team in Stockholm, your 9 am is their 6 pm. So, chances are, they won’t see any work messages until the following day.
5. Be Aware Interviews Are Different
When hiring remotely, you should start as you mean to go on. That means doing an interview digitally. However, as you’ve probably already experienced, relying on the internet isn’t always straightforward.
This means you may need a little more patience when dealing with online interviews, but it also means you can tell who the stronger candidates will be. Those are the ones that practice the same etiquette as at a ‘regular’ interview i.e. people who dress formally and keep eye contact throughout.
If you have a lot of interviews happening around the same time, it may help to use an online scheduling tool to keep on top of them. Turning up on time to the right interview will certainly make sure you’re giving off the right impression too.
6. Make People Feel Welcome
Just because people are working from home doesn’t mean you can’t try to make people feel welcome. You can do this by having a weekly quiz or even sending new starters a welcome hamper.
The key to being a good business leader and growing a great team is that you care as much about your employees as you do your firm. Putting in this sort of effort will make people want to work for you. And, when they get to know their teammates, they won’t want to let them down either.
7. Give Feedback When Appropriate
When you aren’t working in the same space, it’s not as easy to talk to colleagues about the job. So, to create a strong team, it’s important to contact remote workers and give feedback. You may decide to do this via a weekly video one-to-one or after every piece of work.
Bear in mind that, when talking to people online, things can be construed differently. So, you need to be careful with how you word things. This is especially true when dealing with transcontinental staff who won’t have the same colloquialisms as one another.
Let’s say you run a communications firm and the copywriter has written both a Glip and Slack review for your site. You give them the feedback, “It’s quite good”. For a British person, that means the work is okay. Whereas for an American, it means it’s great.
To build an even more robust team, make sure your advice is constructive and isn’t just critical, because people can’t do much with negative feedback apart from get upset.
Now is a great time to get ahead with a remote team. By following these steps, you can build one that is happy, strong, and beats the competition.