There are many benefits to hiring a remote team, but how do you go about recruiting them in the first place? Here are five things you need to do to find the perfect remote team.
Work-from-home arrangements are popular among employees. Managers are increasingly fond of this arrangement, too.
Hiring freelancers is no longer a startup thing, and even high-brow corporations are opening up to the prospect of employing remote teams.
If you’re new to the game, you’ll probably feel somewhat overwhelmed at first.
Here’s what you have to pay attention to if you want to hire the best talent for your remote team.
1. Find the right candidates for remote work
When placing a job ad, it’s all about reach, right?
Wrong. You’re not looking for vast numbers of sales reps, so major job boards aren’t the place to be. Also, hiring a remote team means you’ll work through the recruitment process online. So, you don’t need print ads. After all, you want to capitalize on time-saving qualities.
Granted, major job boards will provide you with dozens or hundreds of resumes. But then you’ll have to waste time sifting through them. According to recruitment statistics, this will postpone deployment by weeks.
Instead, focus on job boards for remote workers like:
- Remote OK
- Hubstaff Talent
- Working Nomad
- Skip the Drive
- We Work Remotely
- Go Remote
- Flex Jobs
- Upwork (formerly oDesk)
These remote job boards might still be too general, so go ahead and focus on niche job boards like:
- Stack Overflow (programmers and developers)
- AngelList (startup jobs)
- Behance (graphic design)
- Idealist (nonprofit)
- Inbound (marketing)
- ProBlogger (writing)
Pro tip: Make sure they have a positive online image!
Seek Out Talent on LinkedIn
There are dozens of websites to choose from, so it’s easy to overlook any professional’s go-to page — LinkedIn.
You can reach out to talented individuals using your regular account, though upgrading to a LinkedIn recruiter account will provide you with more sophisticated features.
Say you want to find someone who could come up with solid copy in German and communicate with you and the audience in English. Perhaps they should also be an expert with a few years of experience in the industry. They’ll be working remotely, so you might want to make sure they’ve mastered G Suit and Wordpress.
Do a standard keyword search. This is good enough, though a recruiter account will give you access to more data.
Here’s what we’ll be looking for in our example:
This is clearly not specific enough. Let’s narrow it down and switch to advanced search. This will help us find talent that has put in the effort to optimize their LinkedIn account.
- Skills: WordPress + G Suit
- Experience: 5-10 years
- Languages: German + English
We’re getting there!
Worried you might be missing out on talent? Let’s give LinkedIn groups a try.
It might be your intuition to start with local groups. However, you’re looking for remote employees, so scanning and posting in remote work groups makes more sense. You could easily join a global group as there are plenty of remote workers and freelancers working around the globe.
Revisit prior applicants
Over the years, your company has probably said no to a few candidates who didn’t meet your expectations regarding in-house work. This is the time to get back to them with a deal they can’t refuse.
You do keep a database of all applicants, right?
If not, you’ll have to seek out references among your employees. Ask around among your staff.
Pro tip: Employees who come from referrals stick around for longer. Up to 50% stay with the company for three years or more. It’s only a third of that for candidates hired through job boards.
To make things easier in the future, you’ve got to set up a database to keep track of applicants. Remember to record their preferences concerning employment arrangements (full-time/part-time and remote/on-site.)
2. Write an attractive job offer
Technically, a job ad is a job ad. However, when it comes to remote employees, you definitely have to follow the best practices in recruitment.
- Potential employees want the ad to feature clear information on benefits and salaries. Not many companies adhere to this, so that’s all the more reason to do it — you’ll stand out. Plus, you’ll limit the influx of resumes to only those whose financial expectations are met. You’ll save time and resources you’d otherwise have to invest in sifting out applicants who’d withdraw their candidacy anyway.
- Explain how their work will be evaluated, as well as when and how they’ll be paid.
- Tell the reader about your company culture and say a few words about the team. This will make them feel at home with people they might never meet in person. Make it clear what the work environment will look like.
- Be clear about what tools and applications your team uses. This will help candidates understand the workflow. It might also screen out any applicants who are not familiar with the software.
- Candidates are also interested in learning more about skill development plans. Tell the candidates how their career path might progress.
- And, obviously, break down your recruitment process. Provide the potential remote workers with a timeline and explain what steps are involved.
3. Test your remote team candidates
One of the perks of seeking out remote employees is that it makes testing them a breeze. Besides asking your candidates to send over samples of their work, you can ask them to do a pilot project or a trial run.
This work-before-work should be clearly mentioned in the job posting. Tell the potential recruits if this will be rewarded financially.
Stick to trial runs that actually test essential job-relevant skills — make the test stage too long, and they’ll abandon it altogether. Prepare case studies that feature challenges your team faces and see how candidates work through the task.
4. Communicate during the recruitment process
Online work, online recruitment, online communication. Don’t touch that phone. Make use of messaging apps you use at work. Interviews still make sense — just use your go-to video conference tool, be it Skype, Google Hangouts, or whatever you use with your team.
You probably use platforms like Slack and Trello on a regular basis. Set them up for the candidates to use as they’re working on the test project.
5. Don’t micromanage
Not having employees around the office takes getting used to. If you don’t set up the workflow just right, you’ll find it difficult to keep track of the employee’s performance and efficiency.
It’s crucial to keep track of progress, but it’s all too easy to switch to micromanagement mode. The same holds true for the recruitment process. Once you get enough quality resumes, invite the select few to participate in trial runs and let them do their thing.
If you put thought into the process, things will work out just fine. Answer questions and address concerns, but keep track of stragglers and potential problem hires. After all, you want to pick just the right candidate: someone who can take care of themselves and deliver a quality product.
Eager to give remote teams a shot?
Author: Bart Turczynski is a writer at Uptowork, a popular career advice website. He shares insider tips on crafting resumes and surviving the recruitment process. He devotes too much of his spare time to audiobooks and TV shows.