Remote Work

How to Hire a Remote Team

September 14, 2022

A recent Microsoft study on hybrid work revealed that about 50% of companies want to bring people back to the office, while 52% of workers want to be fully remote by 2023. Now more than ever, remote companies are thriving with fully or partially remote teams. Some companies that have achieved success while being fully-remote include Zapier, Toptal, and Automattic.

While hiring remote teams comes with benefits like access to global talent and better work-life balance for employees, going remote has its bumps. Some of the challenges of hiring remote teams include: maintaining connections and productivity, establishing proper communication tools and channels, compliance with hiring and compensation policies for employees in different countries. Here are some of our best tips for hiring a remote team.

1. Hire Trustworthy Employees

It's easy to build trust with in-office employees — communication can be as easy as walking to the next desk. One-on-one relationships in an office setting can establish close bonds that foster trust, however that trust is important in remote teams as well. Cultivating trust within remote teams requires you to hire reliable employees who will maintain high-level performance even when they go remote. When you trust your team, you don't have to worry about your employees’ day-to-day operations, but instead can focus on more strategic decisions. Some of the ways to ensure trust in remote teams include:

a) A thorough interview process

A strategic interview process will attract the best candidates to your company. Some of the things that will help you hire the right candidate for your remote team are:

  • Prioritizing certain skills such as good communication and interpersonal skills, self-drive, and motivation to succeed.
  • Asking candidates relevant questions to gauge their honesty and work ethic such as how they perform tasks, work independently, manage time, and what motivates them.
  • Body language — trust is built when verbal communication matches non-verbal cues. Identifying the right cues is harder when in virtual interviews, but can be done after a few meetings with a candidate.

You can also work with a recruiting agency software to help find top talent.

b) Start with a probationary period

In certain countries, employees have a mandatory probationary period between a few weeks and a few months where the employer can terminate the contract for any reason. A probationary period can also be negotiated when submitting an offer to a potential employee. This time can be considered as a paid trial at pre-agreed conditions to gauge a candidate's skills, reliability, and how they relate with other team members. If they present high-quality work, move on to more difficult tasks and gauge how they do in terms of quality and reliability. You can also test their leadership skills by assigning them a project or other leadership role and seeing how they do before you bring them on permanently.

c) Have an onboarding process that creates trust

Trust is built on having great relationships. The impressions you make on new employees can help build trust. Warm and personal welcome emails can give new hires a sense of belonging and make them feel motivated to work with you, as will clearly-outlined processes and regular check-ins to ensure that new candidates are settling in well. You can build trust with your employees by being fair and honest with your feedback and creating a culture of appreciating employee strengths and contributions.

2. Establish a Standard Remote-Working Strategy

Managing remote teams who are spread across time zones, cities, and countries, can become complex without the right strategies. You can establish a solid remote working process by:

a) Establishing clear communication rules

Remote teams need more communication and collaboration given your employees are spread out, and this requires equipping them with the right tools. You should establish rules around communication such as which are the accepted communication channels (such as Slack chats and email), frequency (such as weekly or bi-weekly check-ins), and protocols (chain of command) to ensure that your employees feel heard and connected and continue to share in your company vision. For instance, employees should know the immediate person to contact when they have questions or concerns. Communication also establishes a sense of community and can be achieved through avenues such as videoconferencing as well as organizing in-person events.

b) Setting KPIs and clear tasks

Remote workers should have clear tasks and responsibilities, and be aware of any required timelines. There should be clear and detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) so an employee knows what is required of them on a day-to-day basis. You can set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and rewards for meeting or exceeding the required milestones to help keep your employees motivated.

3. Consider Employee Fitness for Remote Work

Most employees can work well in an office setting when there's strong teamwork and a positive company culture. When hiring a remote team, it’s important to make sure your employees are able to work remotely. Certain companies have roles that require a lot of face time and collaboration with other employees, and sometimes you’ll find that job candidates are not interested in working remotely. When interviewing, it’s important to emphasize the remote aspect of the job and make sure that your candidate is comfortable and excited to work remotely.

Hiring a Remote Global Team Can Be Easy

Remote work allows you to access a wider talent pool while allowing employees to work from their preferred locations (which increases job satisfaction and translates to better productivity and profitability for your company). You can find success in remote work when you establish a strong system of trust and standard procedures for your teams that are working in different countries.

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