The future of flexible, WFH arrangements is looking pretty bright as more teams are seeing the benefit of remote setups. Employees are loving their freedom and productivity while working from their own homes, and it’s predicted that many teams will choose to remain remote even after the pandemic subsides.
Are you thinking of recruiting your own remote workers once COVID-19 has passed? Here’s what you need to offer employees in order to build a reliable, talented team.
1. Offer a flexible schedule
If you’re hoping to appeal to high-end, well-trained remote employees, you need to play into what they want most: flexibility.
Image source: Buffer
According to reports from 2020, the biggest benefit that most employees reap from remote working is the ability to set their own schedules. They can work hours as they choose and dedicate more time to friends and family, even during common work hours.
At most remote work organizations, flexibility is the norm. Top remote managers give their teams the ability to craft their own schedules, and as a result, their teams appreciate the freedom.
People don’t just like flexibility because it grants them more free time - they appreciate flexibility because it equates to trust. When a manager allows employees to set their own schedules, they show they trust their employees. This leads to better productivity over time.
If you want to attract a team of highly talented individuals who work from home, focus on offering immense freedom when it comes to setting their own schedules. Trust us: you’ll quickly recruit a number of valuable employees.
2. Strong communication
Next, focus on communicating on a whole new level.
It takes extra effort to keep out-of-office employees and teams looped in - and that requires heavy communication. There are two methods for communicating with remote employees: synchronous and asynchronous.
Image source: Doist
Synchronous methods are conducted in person, during virtual team meetings, or when hard-to-handle issues arise. In these cases, you need to call your remote employees - an email isn’t sufficient.
You’ll recruit more employees if you give them a personal call. Just because we can communicate without using our voices doesn’t mean that we always should. Recruits appreciate personal methods of conversation.
Asynchronous methods, on the other hand, are more virtual or technology-based. These methods can be anything from communicating on Google Docs to sending quick chats. It’s a fast form of communication, but not as meaningful as a call or video chat.
If you really want to recruit the best of the best, advertise a workplace where remote employees are communicated with frequently and thoroughly. Experienced remote workers won’t go for setups where they only receive occasional texts or G-Chats.
Discuss your methods of remote communication with potential recruits. Chances are, they’ll be happy to hear you’ve already implemented strong methods of communication. Most remote workers have already had negative experiences with companies that don’t communicate well, so they’ll be eager to work for an organization that takes communication seriously.
3. Crystal clear expectations
Let’s talk about the expectations you’re setting for your new recruits.
Reliable remote employees want their managers to set clear, easy-to-meet expectations. If your directions or employee responsibilities seem hazy, you’ll send potential recruits running for the hills.
Image source: Center for Creative Leadership
Research has repeatedly indicated that setting clear expectations for employees is monumentally important. Ensure that you’re defining, clarifying, and establishing roles and procedures. Build trust with your remote workers, and continue to lay ground rules throughout their time with your company.
You might even want to put your expectations in writing while recruiting and hiring new remote workers. The clearer their responsibilities are, the easier it will be for employees to meet their objectives.
4. Structured onboarding process
Just because your employees are working remotely doesn’t mean you should skimp on the onboarding process.
Every employee, whether in-office or remote, should be welcomed to the company in a structured manner. This ensures that all workers feel comfortable as they enter their new positions. Additionally, it allows for a period of adjustment between the remote workers and their new colleagues - even if they won’t be working in the same space.
Image source: Bamboohr
As you can see from the statistics above, employees who had highly effective onboarding processes were 18 times more likely to feel committed to their organization. If you want remote employees that will stick around, introduce them to your company as thoroughly as you would in-office workers.
When conducting interviews with remote recruits, you’ll find that many of them are eager to participate in an onboarding process. They should be introduced to the company as a real employee, not just as a temporary outsider who won’t be around for long. Orientation should be a gift, not a hassle.
If we’re talking about hiring people during the pandemic, this also means welcoming them to the company in a manner that’s safe for their health.
Consider looking into contact tracers if they come into the office in-person, either for interviews or for work. Contact tracers will analyze candidates to assess their likelihood of coming into contact with COVID-19. Their findings are meant to a) keep organizations protected, and b) aid the research process on the virus
In addition to contact tracing, checking temperatures and maintaining high standards of health safety will make everyone - remote or not - feel safer about working for your company.
Unfortunately, many companies miss the memo when it comes to standardized onboarding procedures. They barely onboard their new remote workers, which leads to weak connections and difficulty recruiting trustworthy employees.
Last but not least, let’s talk about providing positive affirmation to remote employees you’re trying to recruit.
When recruiting new employees, they’ll want to know that their hard work will be recognized. Even though they won’t be in the office, they’ll want to hear about positive incentives like raises, praise, and bonuses as they do their jobs well.
Almost every expert will tell you giving good feedback and rewards to employees is an essential part of maintaining a positive work environment. It doesn’t matter if your office is remote or in-person: every worker needs to be appreciated for their loyalty, hard work, and productivity.
Over half of all employees (52%) want more recognition than they’re currently receiving. This is even more true amongst employees who don’t meet their managers, co-workers, or bosses in person. It takes extra effort to praise remote employees, but they need the affirmation just as much as in-office workers.
Keep in mind that employee recognition is more than just general messages of thanks. You need to make praise individual and personalized for your remote employees, new or old, to feel valued. Take time to thank any remote workers for their effort and skills as often as you can – and make it clear this is a priority in the recruitment process.
You might even want to consider weekly Skype sessions or phone calls so that this positive affirmation can be done in a more personal method. Connecting via multiple forms of communication makes it easier to form strong bonds with your employees - and tell them when they’re doing well.
If you want to continue finding remote workers post-COVID, these are the factors you really need to consider. Even though remote work is becoming more popular, you’ll have to try extra hard to find employees you can trust to do the job correctly.
Focus on promoting strong communication, rewards, flexible schedules, and clarity. Advertising these benefits of working for your company will have dozens of great remote candidates rolling in right away.