Utilizing the skills of a remote team can make a lot of sense for your startup. It’s usually a lot cheaper to hire freelancers who work from home, since you save on office space, bills and equipment. You also get access to the best talent anywhere in the world, because your team doesn’t have to live in the same city as you. These are just some of the reasons why start-ups hire a remote team far more than bigger companies.
If you’re looking to build a remote workforce – whether for full time employees, or just to access the skills of a couple of freelancers to fill out your team, the tips below should help.
Where to find them?
Placing ads for remote workers on the big job sites may not pay off – most people using those sites are looking for ‘regular’ jobs. Instead, head to sites like:
• Flex Jobs
• Remote OK
• Skip the Drive
• We Work Remotely
• Go Remote
Posting your ad on these sites is usually free, allowing remote workers to find the job. You can also approach freelancers directly by searching for certain skills.
It’s also worth using LinkedIn’s basic search features to find people who may be interested in your remote working position.
What to look for
Now your ad’s live and you have applications coming in, what kind of traits do you want to look for in your new remote employees (besides evidence they have the specific skills you need)?
- Good written communicator. Your remote employees need to be able to express themselves concisely yet clearly. You don’t want to wade through confusing emails, or deal with someone who offers one-word answers
Read our guide to negotiating over email for more tips
- Motivated self-starter. You need to look for evidence that your new employee can manage themselves properly, without being constantly told what to do. If they’ve got remote working experience this might be enough. If not, ask for evidence of times they’ve worked well alone – perhaps during their studies
- Trustworthy: you need to feel confident that your remote workers will stick to their contract and do the work you expect in the time allotted. When speaking to their previous employers, ask about times they’ve worked alone and their ability to do so
Set clear expectations
In a traditional office environment, it’s much easier to manage people face to face, using body language and verbal requests. Equally, misunderstandings can be cleared up a lot faster.
So, during the recruitment process for remote workers, you need to create job ads which are aligned with this. You need to make it super clear exactly what is expected of the remote worker – this means you avoid the risk of hiring someone who didn’t understand what you actually needed.