Remote Employees

How to Hire & Manage Remote Employees

If you’re considering hiring remote employees, now is the time to do it.

Remote teams can be incredibly beneficial for small businesses because they

Creating a flexible work arrangement will be attractive to both you and your employees. Employees who work from home, at least a portion of the time, show greater levels of engagement, so they’ll be more productive. Employees would be able to manage a better work-life balance by working from home.

How to Hire Remote Employees

When you decide to hire a remote employee, it’s important to know what qualities to look for. Look for remote employees who are self-motivated, disciplined, highly responsive, tech savvy, and strong communicators.

When you’re interviewing a prospective remote employee, ask questions to gauge their work ethic and motivation level.

  • What tools and/or processes do you currently use to manage projects, both personally and professionally?
  • How would you prioritize your work, if your manager wasn’t available for a few days suddenly?
  • What does your work environment look like?
  • When you do great work, how do you like to have your work recognized?
  • Why do you want a telecommuting position?

Consider having a phone and/or video interview round and an interview round that’s entirely text based. Remote employees have to be able to have strong written communication skills to explain their ideas and problems.

How to Manage Remote Employees

When you have remote employees, it’s important to make sure out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. When you manage your remote employees, make sure you have strong and consistent communication, trust, and a unifying company culture.

Communication

It’s important to have strong communication with each employee. Without consistent communication, your team will fall apart.

Make sure that every team member understands their responsibilities and that everyone is regularly checking in with each other to make sure deadlines are being met and questions are being answered.

Consistent communication can be easily managed through real-time chat services, like Slack or Skype.

Using instant messaging services helps encourage regular communication, but nothing can replace face-to-face communication. Because your employees may be spread out across the country, schedule regular video calls, using services like Google Hangouts or Skype.

Before hiring your first remote employee, create a clear communication policy so your employees know when to use different communication tools. As soon as you hire your first remote employee, outline expectations up front:

  • let them know how often you’d like them to check in by phone, email, and instant message;
  • let them know if you expect them to be reachable during core business hours; and
  • set clear goals and benchmarks to ensure they’re staying on track.

Trust

When you hire remote employees, you have to trust them, and they have to trust and rely on their coworkers. No one is there to check up on employees throughout the day, so your employees must be able to work independently and be motivated to do their work.

Culture

Company culture is important to the success and unity of your business. When you have a remote team, go the extra mile to unify your team through your company culture.

You want to create a culture that encourages work, and you want your employees to be motivated to work because they find it rewarding. Learn each employee’s strengths and weaknesses and work on them as a team. Encourage your employees to help each other solve problems and answer questions, which will encourage collaboration.