By Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Founder, Flock
An important question that has arisen in the current times is how do you build a strong remote team? Coordinating with your team which is spread across many time zones, ensuring every task gets completed in time, and catching communication breakdowns before they deteriorate are crucial. However, the reality is that remote work is a huge driver for competitive advantage and it is gaining popularity among businesses of all sizes and industries.
Remote teams can tap into large, untapped pools of talent beyond their geographical boundaries. Also, going the remote way eliminates real estate and administrative overheads for businesses. Additionally, ‘remote work productivity’ has been on everyone’s mind for quite some time now. Remote employees are supposedly happier than ‘traditional’ employees and what better way to boost productivity than keeping your team happy and at ease?
Once you consider a remote work model for your business, it is vital to identify, hire and on board remote employees for your business. How easy it is to hire virtually? These steps may help you identify your remote rockstars!
· Signs of a great remote employee
· Set your remote hiring process
· Best practices for on-boarding remote employees
A. Signs of a great remote employee
There are plenty of qualities to look for when making any hire. But to hire remote employees that truly excel, some characteristics can help tip the balance.
1. Experts in their field, not just skilled
In this increasingly competitive economy, finding people who can perform highly specialized tasks can get a little difficult. With the immense amount of talent available globally, remote hiring creates a distinctive opportunity for companies to reach out to individuals with targeted skill sets.
2. They do not necessarily need external motivation
Obviously, the rules of an office environment – work hours being tracked, observing employee dynamics, etc. – don’t apply to a remote team. So the ability to organize and stay motivated in the absence of external guidance becomes a vital requirement in a remote employee. Basically, find individuals who are self-motivated enough to stay productive without someone looking over their shoulder all the time.
3. They’re as great at listening as they are at speaking
In a remote hiring environment, communication skills should be assessed more than the ability to talk or the project updates shared. Great communicators are empathetic, proactive, express themselves quite clearly, and are sure that their message is understood. They have commendable interpersonal and listening skills that must be evaluated from the very first interaction.
4. They are more productive when they focus on results, not procedures
Remote team members have little visibility into operational procedures. Hence, it is critical that remote employees keep their eye on the ball and focus first and foremost on achieving expected business goals.
B. Setting your remote hiring process
So you know what to look for in a great remote employee, but how do you hire them? What about the hiring process? Hiring remotely also involves adapting your hiring process to the realities of remote employees. Set direct and clear expectations before you even start interviewing. Hiring remote talent can limit your opportunities for face-to-face interactions. Try to avoid routine questions that can lead to obvious and prepared answers when you evaluate skill sets and cultural fit. This helps you spend zero time on candidates and sets precise expectations about your team culture and hiring process. Also when sourcing candidates, think of less conventional ways where you can find new talent!
Think beyond LinkedIn etc… Where do people meet to bounce off ideas on shared interests?
Additionally, it is imperative to build strong personal connections even when hiring remote employees
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