Remote Control: Hiring and Working With Remote Employees

Once upon a time, in a world very different from the one we inhabit today, the reasons for remote hiring were often based in business decisions grounded in:

  • required skills being scarce in the business area
  • desired avoidance of the logistics relocation demands
  • demanding the best expert talent without relocation limitations

In today’s pandemic-disrupted world, COVID-19 is the key influencer. To the point where a Gallup poll published in April, 2020, showed 62 percent of US workers claiming they have worked from home during the crisis.

A number doubled from mid-March.

Only 41 percent of those currently working from home want to get back to the office.

And with the bottom line always in mind, items like productivity increases from remote workers, along with lower overheads, have led to numbers such as a $2000 increase in profit per employee being happily announced.

Remote hiring is here to stay.

Remote Hiring: Social Distance & Success

A potential remote candidate for your company is likely to know nothing about you, what you do, how you do it, or the kind of talented people you choose to help you do it well.

Except for your online presence. 

The value of your company website and social media presence has gone up. A lot.

So how is your careers page looking? Does it reflect your company culture? Does it show the team and have little stories about remote working with the company?

How about a bunch of faux TV screens thrown onto the page? Photos of team members in each, along with names and titles beneath? And all with little lines interconnecting them?

As each is clicked, a video of that team member opens and they talk about the company, culture, working remotely, and how its all done effectively and enjoyably?

Too cute?

Fair enough. Your page should at least give a sense of the team, the culture, and how remote working functions. This is all critical information for a potential new hire.

Especially as it establishes critical structures in an informal, even fun way.

Cat-In-The-Lap Productivity

The idea of remote work runs seamlessly with the thought of flexible hours. Do a bit here. Do a bit there. I work best late at night or under a tight deadline, anyway.

Hence the structures mentioned above. Hence the need for a strong website and social media presence that promotes your culture and remote work ethics and habits. Answer this:

What is the work-life balance of your remote employees?

Timelines and deadlines, video meetings, schedules, fun video get-togethers, informal meeting requests, cat-in-the-lap five-minutestandups”, online happy hours — it all matters.

Make potential flexibility and necessary availability known from the get-go.

And this counts doubly from a logistics point of view.

Are time zone issues connected to the position? Regions that must be catered to by your new team member? Timelines that must be followed? Deadlines met? Meetings attended on a regular basis?

All nailed down? Then smile as those on-camera cats jump around.

Sourcing & Establishing Career Success

Appearing in directories dedicated to remote careers is a good idea for sourcing needs. High-ranking roundups of companies that hire remote workers are a good place to be seen.

Your social media presence could get inroads in remote working communities on Facebook, for example. 

Here at Ladders, we have a remote work only job search feature for our $100K+ professionals, which lists all relevant jobs for remote experts. Once they start a search, the option appears.

So targeting for high-level remote experts is easy.

Still, targeting for talent may need to be followed with training for remote productivity.

Screen for compatibility with your company: Compatible OS, software: product management, internal communication tools, etc., high-speed connection and so on.

Decide the value of the candidate: What investments in hardware, software, upgrades — and training would be required? It’s much harder for a remote worker to learn as they go.

And if you haven’t upgraded your website and social media for remote hiring, or have opted for a low key approach, consider the following:

Video interviews with candidates — in which team members talk through the culture and the structures mentioned above.

Easy investment, long term payoff.

Another employment element whose value has skyrocketed is competencies.

Competencies cannot be trained into people; and cannot be viewed and assessed in-house. 

Assessing core competencies is critical.

A short list includes:

  • Self-discipline
  • Organizational abilities
  • Communication abilities
  • Collaboration abilities
  • Time management abilities

And that’s why pre-employment testing has recently become far more important for employers. 

Also, trial employment periods are an option used by many companies before committing to a new remote worker.

But always ensure one thing.

Once onboard, your new employee is part of a remote team in which robust internal communication happens throughout each working day, including video meetings.

Your company’s unique usage of the OS’s and communications software has been second-nature from (pretty much) day one.

And she soon feels a personal, dynamic working relationship with each team member.

It’s what we couldn’t resist calling Remote Control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *