The world is shifting toward working remotely ‒ it is a fact. According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2017, as much as 43% of Americans spend at least part of their working hours at home, which is a 4% increase since 2012.
Telecommuting is beneficial both for employees and employers as it improves employees’ productivity, decreases business costs, reduces employee turnover, keeps older generations in the workforce and, most importantly, it is much better for your health and the environment.
And even though some people may still be skeptical about the concept of remote working, more and more business owners are deciding to have remote teams and most of them get to see the benefits very soon.
However, in order to build a high-performance remote team, the first thing you need to do is hire remote workers. But how do you do this successfully and avoid many mistakes associated with this process?
We’re glad you asked. This article covers the most common mistakes that you need to avoid when hiring remote workers.
Not doing your research
One of the great things about gathering a remote team is that you are not limited by factors which occur in traditional workplaces. This means that you don’t have to choose a person who lives two blocks away from your startup, but instead, you can hire people from all over the world.
You have a much wider choice when hiring remotely.
We suggest that you look for your perfect candidate on one of many freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, etc.
And since there are a lot of candidates to choose from, you will need to do your research in detail. Before you begin, we want to warn you that this will not be easy as there are hundreds and thousands of freelancer profiles on these platforms.
To make your choice easier, pay attention to your potential employee’s experience, portfolio and client feedback. This will help you narrow down your choice without having your email cluttered with hundreds of resumes and cover letters.
Not running an interview
Once you have come up with a list of several people that you think could be a good fit for your business, it is time to conduct an interview. This can be a text or video chat, whatever you find more effective.
The interview is necessary because there are a lot of things you can’t find out by only looking at candidates’ profiles. These include personality, communication skills, flexibility, willingness to genuinely contribute to your business, and so on.
Even though you cannot have a face-to-face interview with someone living at the other end of the globe, you can always do it via Skype, Google Hangouts or even video calls which are featured on many freelance platforms.
Hiring based only on price
When you hire someone from developing countries who has the same set of skills as their U.S. peer, you can save incredible amounts of money. In fact, hiring a remote employee can save you as much as $47,000 a year.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should hire someone with the cheapest rate. If you settle for such a candidate, you risk hiring a person without adequate skills or experience and ending up with terrible design or a copy that will be useless.
On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you should hire only people with the highest rates. Instead, determine the price that you are willing to pay and search for candidates with great portfolios within your price range.
The key is to hire someone who can give the best value for your budget. If you have not had remote employees so far, you may find the entire process difficult at the start. Who knows, you might even make a mistake the first few times and end up paying money for poor quality.
But this is perfectly fine. You live as you learn. After all, hiring a remote team will save you much more money in the long run.
Not giving a test assignment
Having your potential employees do a test assignment has become a norm when it comes to online recruitment and hiring.
Once you have narrowed down your choice to a couple of candidates, you can have them do a paid test assignment. Provide them with clear guidelines about the final version of the project and let them show what they got.
This is extremely important because it will give you an insight into many things. This will help you see how the candidates communicate, how professional they are, whether they respect deadlines and which ones are ready to go a step further to deliver an outstanding final project.
When you receive projects from all candidates, take your time to decide which one you like best.
Finally, inform your best candidate but also send emails to all finalists as this will show them that you are professional. Who knows, you might want to hire them for other tasks in the future.
Lack of (clear) communication
How many times have you misunderstood a message that your friend sent you on WhatsApp?
When we don’t talk face to face, communication tends to be much vaguer, which results in frequent misunderstandings.
This goes both for personal and professional communication. Luckily, you can improve your business communication by using a designated messaging system like Slack or a task manager like Trello. You can even use CollabPress to manage your projects in WordPress.
Whichever communication method you choose, it is better than none as it will definitely improve the prospects of building a great relationship with your remote employees.
However, clear communication is not only needed when hiring remote employees, but also in your future relationship with them. Knowing how to convey your ideas and impressions at every moment is essential. It can help you build trust in business relationships, give honest feedback, as well as handle negative feedback from your employees.
Hiring remote employees will definitely open a lot of new doors for you. And although it may be difficult at the beginning, rest assured that it will do your business much more good than harm.
If you are a startup owner, you might lack the necessary experience to go through the entire recruitment and hiring process flawlessly. Following the tips that we have listed will help you avoid these five most common mistakes.
When you discover how beneficial hiring remote employees is, you will be able to build an entire remote team and successfully collaborate on projects with experts from different parts of the world.