We hope you’ve made your peace with remote work culture, because it’s here to stay. Remote workforce has grown by 140% in the past 15 years, and almost all remote workers (90% of them) don’t plan on going back to an office.

While managing a remote team comes with many pros and cons, we’re not here to talk about that. Today, we’ll be guiding you through the process of growing a remote team. Where should you look for remote employees? How should you go through the selection process? Are there any pitfalls you should pay attention to? Keep reading and start taking notes!

Where to Look for Remote Employees?

With the rise of distributed culture, remote hiring platforms rose as well, and there are more than enough ways to look for talent across the globe:

  • Freelancing platforms don’t have to be used to source talent on a per-project basis. You can also find excellent professionals who are willing to work full-time if the opportunity arises. If you opt in for this option, you should look into platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Envato Studio, Toptal, PeoplePerHour, or any of more than 100 platforms specializing in freelance hiring.
  • Remote work platforms specialize in helping remote companies and workers find each other. Professionals and companies make their profiles, set up ads, and hopefully find a perfect match in no time. Some of the most notable platforms in this range are FlexJobs, SolidGigs, Remotive, AngelList, We Work Remotely, and Remote.Co.
  • Social Media - Facebook and LinkedIn are swamped with Remote Workers’ clubs (groups) and it’s very easy to find top talent there. 
  • Traditional Job Posts are for those who prefer using the old-fashioned Indeed, Glassdoor, or Monster Jobs. You can advertise your remote positions on any of these platforms, but you might have better luck in finding a perfect remote candidate if you turn to one of the specialized websites.

You shouldn't forget about employee recommendations as well. People in the remote community are very tight, and they know a lot of people who are already working remotely, or would love to switch their office desk for a more comfortable seat in the house. You can maybe even start a recommendation program in your company, and incentivize employees who recommend good workers.

What to Look for in a Remote Employee?

Now, you already know what you’re looking for in an employee. They should be hardworking, willing to learn, capable, skilled, and they should fit in culturally. But, there are a few more things you should pay attention to when you’re hiring for a distributed team.

Remote workers should be more proactive and independent than in-office workers. It’s because they’ll spend their working hours away from the team, without the opportunity to lean on someone else as quickly as they could in an office.

Also, their communication skills should be top notch, as everything they do will depend on the way they communicate with other team members. Additionally, if you’re hiring outside of your language area, make sure the new hire has excellent knowledge of the language you’re using in the company.

Make sure your new team member is self-disciplined enough to handle working without supervision, or purchase the best remote monitoring software to make sure they’re spending working hours finishing their tasks. What is more, with a remote worker monitoring software you’ll be able to know during which time of the day their productivity peaks, so you can adjust their working hours, or switch around deadlines.

You might want to hire someone who already has at least some experience working remotely, even if it’s only freelance. This way you can be sure your worker has experience being away from the team and organizing their own time, as well as work tasks.

Pitfalls to Avoid

If you’ve never hired a remote worker, you should definitely do some research online and read some handy articles about remote hiring so you can learn from other people’s mistakes. Hiring a bad fit can cost you much more than investing a bit more time to find a perfect match.

Or, you could just read this article, because we’ll point out some of the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring for a distributed team.

Not Running a Video Interview

Some people might be more comfortable with only speaking on the phone, or texting. But that shouldn’t be a case when it comes to job interviews. Think about it, would you ever hire someone for your office without having a face-to-face meeting with them first? I didn’t think so… 

Well, it’s a bit costly, and it takes a lot of time to get someone to your office if they’re located in another country. Which is why we have video conferencing tools. Make use of them, and schedule a virtual face-to-face interviews with your candidates.

It’s important that you see your potential team members live, because you can learn so much about a person from their body language, posture, and the way they speak.

Not Asking the Right Questions

It’s important that you ask the usual interview questions. Finding out about your employees background, experience and skills is the most important part of the interviewing process. Besides, you should try and find out something about them personally, to make sure they would be a good cultural fit.

However, remote workers aren’t like office workers, and you already saw in this article how they should be different from your local team members. Because of this, you should prepare some different questions to ask after you’re done with regular queries. 

Here’s a list of our 3 favorite questions to ask during an interview:

  • Which organization methods do you use to stay focused and on every task/project you have? - This is very important because you want to find out how your employee will manage to juggle work and private life, how they organize their workload, time and projects.
  • What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while working remotely? How did you overcome it? - The answer to this should show you what you should pay special attention to with this worker. Maybe they had issues with collaboration, and you’ll need to take different steps when working with them on a project.
  • What would you do if you had an urgent question and your team was offline? - This way you’ll see how resourceful they are, which is extremely important in remote teams. Especially if you’re hiring outside of your timezone.

Forgetting About Skills Assessment

The fact that your employee is working from home doesn’t need they should be spared of the skills assessment. Depending on the position, you might give them the same test as you would to any other candidate. 

Technology nowadays allows you to perform all tests online, in a certain time amount, so you can ensure complete honesty and transparency in these tests.

If you don’t perform tests with new candidates you can never be 100% sure that they know how to do the job you’re hiring them for.

In Conclusion

You can see how growing a remote team is different (some would say even more difficult) than growing an in-office team. Which is why you need to be prepared for any challenges, and avoid pitfalls. 

Yes, you can learn from trial and error, but how much will that cost you in the long run?

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