Hiring Remote Workers

A recent study covered by the Harvard Business Review demonstrated that hiring remote workers doesn't just save businesses money - it can also lead to increased productivity and a happier workforce. With studies like this illuminating the benefits of remote workers, it's no wonder that more and more companies are coming to rely on them for all or part of their business. Additionally, remote hiring has been on the rise in recent years, especially for companies that need specialized technical skills or have a global reach. The increase in demand has led to an increase in supply from skilled professionals who would rather work remotely than be confined to one location.

Hiring, leading, and connecting remote workers can be a daunting task. How can you make an effective hiring decision when your new employee might well be on another continent? Here we'll discuss the advantages of hiring remote workers as well as what exactly the remote hiring process looks like.

Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers

Remote employees are quickly becoming a business necessity, and hiring remote employees can be an excellent choice for many businesses. Remote jobs offer unique benefits that may not be available to employees in-office. These include more flexible hours, increased productivity due to reduced distractions at work, and lower overhead costs for employers hiring remotely. Many companies find hiring remotely is worth it because they can build their team based solely on talent instead of physical location. You'll also see how hiring remotely helps your company fill positions faster than traditional recruiting methods if you're short on time or resources to manage your recruitment process internally.

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Increased Size of Talent Pool

Remote hiring is on the rise, and hiring remote workers increases your hiring pool to include potential candidates all over the world. Remote work has exploded in recent years with nearly 4.7 million people work remotely at least half of the time, according to Apollo Technical. As many as 65% of Americans would rather earn less money but have a job that gives them the opportunity to work remotely, according to Bloomberg report.

No Office Space Needed

Companies hiring remotely don’t need to create an office space to find hiring success with remote jobs. And hiring remote workers can save companies thousands of dollars in hiring costs, as there is no need for office space or recruitment resources. Saving money on rent space or building size can save a company hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars year after year.

What are some of the benefits hiring remote workers can bring to your company?

Hiring remote employees comes with many great benefits, including:

  • No office space needed (and you save money on hiring costs by not having an office)
  • No recruiting resources needed
  • Decreased turnover rate among employees working remotely
  • Hire from a bigger talent pool of candidates due to hiring remotely
  • Higher productivity levels among employees working remotely (due to reduced distractions and better work-life balance)
  • Increased hiring success rate due to hiring remotely
  • No need for managers or supervisors looking over employees' shoulders at their desks
  • Reduced hiring time frame (you can find and hire remote workers faster than hiring candidates in your local area)
  • Better communication channels available with remote employees such as email, text messaging, chat programs, etc.
  • More hiring flexibility
Hiring Process for Remote Workers

Hiring Process For Remote Workers

Hiring remote workers is an efficient way for companies to increase hiring potential while decreasing costs. There are many hiring managers who've hired employees in the past, but have yet to hire a remote worker. This hiring process can seem daunting at first, but hiring remote employees is similar to hiring local employees. Let's take a look at the hiring process and how it differs from hiring locally:

Hiring Process for Remote Jobs : 

  1. Post job on major recruitment sites - Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, International Job Boards, etc. You can post jobs for free or use a recruiting service that will post the job, vet applicants, and help with hiring.
  2. Review submitted resumes - Check out submitted resumes to get an idea of who you are hiring. You can do this by hiring a service that reviews the resumes for you or you can review them yourself or as a team
  3. Phone screen or test project - If you're hiring a developer or similar type of role, a phone screen or a test project is a good way to eliminate applicants. If you're hiring for a different position, ask them about their experience and what makes them qualified
  4. Invite them to hiring event - Let the best applicants know that they've been selected for hiring by sending an invitation to a hiring event
  5. Conduct hiring event - At hiring events, the hiring manager usually talks to each candidate and asks them questions about their background and experience, and gets to know the candidates on a more personal level. Candidates can also get a feel for the job and see how current employees feel about the company.
  6. Check references - check job candidates' backgrounds by contacting references
  7. Let winning candidates know they got the job 

These are just a few steps in hiring remote workers. We recommend hiring a service for this task if you feel hiring remotely will be an ongoing part of your business. A hiring service can help you find the right employees for your company. And hiring remotely is a great way to find new talent! There are many recruiting services that are available, hiring jobs are posted on their website, and applicants are screened before being introduced to hiring managers. 

Hiring Tips & Tricks

Hiring remote workers does come with its challenges. Sometimes there are language barriers, scheduling conflicts due to different time zones, or simply compatibility issues with different type of software and tools that are used to complete their work. In order to be prepared and to make sure you do not waste any time or energy in the hiring process, there are some important questions to ask a remote worker candidate before bringing them on your team.

Here are some important questions to ask a potential candidate for working remote:

1. What Hours Do You Work?

This might seem like a strange question, but it's entirely possible that you'll be hiring someone who lives and works in a different time zone than you. Use the interview to work out when and how you can speak to them if you need to, and whether they'll be available at key times for your business.

2. What Software Do You Use?

When hiring a remote worker, one thing you definitely want is someone competent with technology. Asking them to talk about what software they use is a good way to check that you're on the same page and that they'll be able to handle the work you have in mind!

You may also wish to ask about time-tracking software and productivity apps. Although not all workers use these, leading remote workers who are familiar with them can provide you with evidence that your remote worker knows how to manage their time productively and keep things on track.

3. What Do You Do When There's a Problem?

Any remote worker you hire will probably be working alone -- and won't be able to rely on colleagues or other in-office staff to help resolve minor issues. It's crucial, therefore, to ask about how they might tackle any issues that arise.

Will they keep you informed? Will they be able to diagnose and fix minor technological problems without assistance? Are they savvy enough to learn the processes and workflows they'll need without too much guidance?

Hiring The Right Person Through Social Media

Hiring The Right Person Through Social Media

You have a job opening. You are looking for the right person that can be remote, but you want to use social media to find them. How do you navigate through the noise? What should you look for in someone's profile on Linked, Twitter or Facebook? Here are some tips on how to get started.

  1. Look at their photos and see if they are smiling - Smiles show happiness which is important in your workforce who is going to be remotely working with clients or vendors all day long.
  2. Read what they post about themselves - If they only share negative things about themselves chances are they will not bring positivity into your company culture.
  3. Get an idea of what kind of work hours this person has by looking at their activity/focus on social media.
  4. If there is a red flag that pops up in your research, ask some questions. If they are a match for your company then they will be happy to answer them.

Potential Problems For Hiring A Remote Worker

The benefits of hiring remote workers are clear. But there are also some drawbacks to be considered before making the decision to hire them.

Remote employees don't always have an office, which means that you may not be able to meet with them in person or see their work on a daily basis. You'll need to find creative ways of motivating, rewarding, and engaging remote employees. And keep in mind that your company may incur additional costs for technology and software needed for remote workers, as well as ongoing training expenses. This might make it more expensive than paying someone who works at your location full-time without any of those extra costs associated with the job's setup and management.

Managing and leading remote workers is also a unique challenge. Leading gig workers is usually done remotely and has challenges with things such as collaboration. 

Before hiring a remote worker, be sure you have a good reason for doing so. For example, your company needs to expand its workforce quickly or wants to lower operating costs by hiring part-time gig workers instead of full-timers in existing offices. You also shouldn't hire a remote worker if they will need access to restricted information about your company or its clients.

If your remote job is to be based mainly from home, make sure the conditions and environment of that work space will encourage high productivity and calm working orientated mood. You also need to consider how much this will cost for you: finding employees the perfect place to work is a challenge in itself, but after that comes the need to provide them with all the necessary equipment for work, save internet connection and power supply. 

Moving Forward After Hiring

Once you hire the right employees that will fit into your company culture, then it’s time to give them what they need in order to do their jobs. This can be a laptop, a cell phone or anything else that will help them work from the comfort of their own home or wherever they choose to settle down. You also need to make sure you give them the software and resources they need to succeed. If your company has an IT team, make sure they connect with them right away to get set up. 

Keep Them Around

The last step is to keep your employees around and satisfied so they won’t want to leave anytime soon. You need to make sure you give them the compensation they deserve, even if it means offering better benefits than you’re currently providing since most of your employees are already working from home. For example, if their commute is shorter, they’ll arrive at work with more energy and it will be easier for them to do their jobs.

This also means you need to give them some time off so they can relax or simply be around family since it’s likely the only time they get to see them on a regular basis depending on their situation. Keeping your employees happy will give you a better chance at building a strong relationship with them and making sure they stick around for the long term.

And the most important way to keep your remote employees around is to keep them engaged. Deploy employee engagement surveys often to get a feel for how connected your workforce is. Practice good leadership skills so your remote employees trust you and know that you are always available via Skype or Zoom.

Following these simple steps to hiring remote workers will save you time, money and effort in making sure you get the right person or people working for your company. You just need to be specific on what you’re hiring them for, make sure you test them and give them everything they need to do their jobs successfully. This is the only way to make sure your business continues to grow from day to day without any issues along the way. And when it comes to managing and motivating remote workers, you can brush up on all the skills and expertise you'll need in the new eLearning module from A Better Leader.

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About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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