Companies with remote employees are often on the forefront of innovation. From a candidate standpoint, they tend to be very attractive potential employers, as they naturally lend themselves to flexibility and work/life balance.
As an employer, you benefit in numerous ways from having remote staff members. This strategy enables you to select from a larger, truly global pool of skilled workers and to avoid the costs and complexities of keeping everyone on site. Studies have shown that remote workers are more resilient: you don’t have to regulate or control them as much as you do when people work on site. Give them clearly-defined assignments and deadlines and monitor them as they work at their own convenience. This flexibility is a boon to both employers and employees.
The Workplace of the Future
While remote, or virtual, teams were almost unheard of 20 years ago, they are steadily becoming the norm. According to one recent industry report, there was an 80 percent increase in telecommuting from 2005 to 2012. Twenty percent of global employees are currently part of a virtual workforce.
How to Build Your Remote Team
Building and managing remote teams can pose certain challenges. But with a clear vision and defined plan of action, your company can not only succeed, but thrive – bolstered by happier, more engaged and productive employees.
You may not be able to interview remote candidates in person, which can make it tougher to assess their abilities and fit. So when hiring virtual workers, keep these tips in mind:
- Have a live conversation. Regardless of where they are in the world, arrange a live interview with prospective remote employees. This way, you can gauge body language and watch for any non-verbal, as well as verbal signs that may influence your hiring decision. Use Skype or another video streaming service as needed to make this feasible.
- Test competencies. Be creative when assessing job-related competencies, especially when hiring for technical or strategy-based positions. Take advantage of such online resources as Upwork and You can also design your own test by asking applicants to complete a task representative of actual work they would be doing if hired.
- Check references. Don’t overlook this step in your hiring process, whether an employee will be working remotely or on site. If possible, speak directly with candidate references including former employers, colleagues and clients. In addition, do a thorough LinkedIn and social media search.
- Gauge candidates’ level of self-motivation. This is an extremely important quality in remote workers, who don’t have a manager or coworker nearby to help keep them on task. Consider having candidates complete assessments like the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory to see if they’d be right for working on a virtual team. Get a solid sense of their initiative and level of interest in your organization. And also as you would with on-site team members, use open-ended, behavioral interview questions to see how they would handle specific issues and situations.
The talent management experts at TRC Professional Solutions can help you build your remote workforce and address all your current and ongoing human capital needs in areas including IT, engineering, accounting and finance, marketing, supply chain and cybersecurity. Contact us today to learn more.