How to Recruit and Retain Remote Employees

    [This article was written by Tulie Finley-Moise.]

    There’s nothing easy about starting or managing a business, but with the right team of professionals behind your big idea, you may find the process to be a lot more exciting than stressful. Today more than ever before, business owners are looking to remote employees to fill open positions. Not only is this an effective way to access skilled talent from all over the world, but it’s also a great way to keep costs lower than what you’d pay for a regular salaried employee.

    Whether your business is expanding quickly and you need to fill the growth gaps or you’re simply looking for outstanding freelance talent, recruiting remote employees is likely at the top of your never-ending to-do list. However, it’s important to understand that recruiting and retaining remote employees is a completely different ballpark than your average hiring process. Because so many companies neglect to recognize those discrepancies, many end up failing to either find the right talent or keep talent on board.

    We’re here to fill you in on the steps you need to take to efficiently recruit and retain remote employees. Before venturing into the freelance market, be sure to first hammer out the following details.

    Make a plan

    Every good idea needs an even better plan to make your vision a reachable reality. While it takes many moving parts to reach any ambitious end goal, having smart policies and practices in place along the way make it that much easier to carve out your pathway to success. Hiring remote employees is no exception to this standard.

    Since employees will be working virtually, crystal-clear communication is key. The expectations between employer and business goals and employer and remote employee should be set in stone before any hiring processes are pursued. crystal clear between employer and employee. 

    To begin tackling the logistics of how your expectations will align with your business goals, start with the following checklist:

     

    • Determine what your business needs from a remote worker.
    • Create the framework of the job and the specific details of what will make a successful and impressive outcome. 
    • Calculate your estimated budget and determine a contract length if hiring temporary remote workers. 
    • Consult with fellow executives to ensure all deciding members are in agreement of the business’ next hiring move.

     

    Know how to post remote work positions

    It won’t be soon before long that you figure out that recruiting for traditional in-office employees is far different from recruiting for remote workers. In order to open up your pool to the most qualified candidates, you’ll need to know where to look for them, and how to attract them. Fortunately, there are a myriad of niche job boards that cater specifically to remote work positions—these classifieds sites should serve as your first easy target.

    Next, you need to conjure up a detailed and well-written job description. As the first interaction potential hires have with your company, it’s absolutely crucial to perfect your job listing. An excellent job description is clear, concise, and covers the ins and outs of the job, the company, the expectations, and the necessary qualifications. Ultimately, it pays to take the time to ensure the final version of your job descriptions conveys an accurate message that also makes a persuasive and enticing first impression.

    Need a couple of pointers to get started on your remote job listing? Use these 3 tips:

     

    • Emphasize the fact that the job can be done completely remotely. Use words like “work-at-home,” “remote,” “virtual,” or “flexible hours” so that job searchers immediately understand that the job is not a conventional in-person position. 
    • Stress the importance of soft skills including independence, problem-solving, organization, self-motivation, and amicable communication skills.
    • Highlight the perks of the jobs—will you offer any bonuses? In-person networking opportunities? Learning stipends? Healthcare benefits? 

     

    Fine-tune your interview process

    One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when hiring freelancers is being too lenient or lackadaisical with the interview process. Even if you’re simply hiring a temporary contract worker for a short project, it pays to be picky when choosing your talent. Pre-screening employees and refining your interview technique make a world of difference in the types of candidates who make the final cut. Intensively investigate the person behind the resume by asking the right questions and making note of the right answers.

    When you boil it down, hiring remote employees means hiring for a certain set of skills you need to fulfill the job you have open. These skill sets often include excellent communication, collaboration, time management, self-discipline, and accountability skills. While every candidate will tell you they harbor all of those essential skills, the right interview questions will give you better insight into how genuine they are about their claims.

    Try out these thought-provoking and character-telling interview questions:

    • What critical feedback do you receive most often?
    • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
    • Tell us about the most difficult project you’ve completed. What was the most challenging part?
    • Rate your skills in these areas (time management, communication, etc.) from 1 to 10 and explain your ratings.

    Evaluating your candidates is likely the toughest part of the recruiting process, but these hard-hitting questions are sure to give you a better understanding of the talent and commitment level of the candidates in your pool.

    Standardize your onboarding

    Did you know that the first days and weeks of an employee’s time with your company are the most important of their tenure? An astounding 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days. If you’re looking to improve your employee retention, it’s imperative to begin with your onboarding process.

    There’s no denying that starting a new job is equally exciting and nerve-wracking for any new employee—and for remote employees who don’t get any face-to-face interaction, those feelings of anxiety can be amplified. Your remote workers know how to excel in their position, but that means they need to be first set up for success. Rather than throwing them into the tiger pit and wishing them luck, be sure to have a standardized process that clearly outlines expectations, company policies, and access to company emails, software, and other tools.

    Define your company culture

    Last, but certainly not least, defining your company culture is an essential piece to improving your remote worker employee retention. In every work situation, a healthy culture cultivates higher employee engagement, higher productivity, and lower turnover—however, because remote workers likely never get in-person interaction, it’s important for companies to make a pointed effort in fostering meaningful social connections amongst colleagues. Whether that means virtual happy hours or regular check-ins, be sure to have something in place that makes your remote workers truly feel like a part of the company.

    Author Bio:

    Tulie Finley-Moise is a seasoned content creator based in San Diego, CA, currently writing for 365businesstips.com. With her Bachelor’s of Art in English and Creative Writing, Tulie has over five years of professional experience writing about topics covering a spectrum of industries from technology and fashion to marketing and finance.

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