How To Hire Remote Workers

By Jason on Aug 31

For many people, the coronavirus pandemic was their introduction to working from home. However, the truth is Americans have been shifting to working remotely for a while now. Statistics even show a 44 percent rise in remote work over the past five years.

In fact, a survey by Owl Labs gathered data from over 3,000 participants and found that 16 percent of global businesses were fully remote. Similarly, 52 percent of workers work from home at some point during the week. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. According to Forbes, a remote workforce can even be better for business. Here are some benefits of going remote.

Benefits of hiring remote workers


There are many benefits to hiring remote employees. Firstly, you can choose from a wider pool of applicants. Online workers don't need to come into the office, so you aren't bound by location. As a result, you can pick from a large group of qualified candidates.

Additionally, not only are these candidates highly qualified, they can cost your company less. With the move towards a gig economy, you have the option of hiring remote employees on a part-time or freelance basis. Since you're only paying for a portion of their time, you have access to expert workers even if you're a smaller business.

Remote worker candidates

Finally, studies have shown that remote workers can produce a very high quality of work in a short period of time. Since they get to set their own hours, they're more motivated to their work quickly. In addition, they have less direct oversight and rely on themselves to perfect and edit their work. Moreover, remote workers minimize time wasted as they avoid dealing with office politics, attending daily meetings, commuting to and from work, or facing other distractions.

Related post: What Are The Benefits Of Remote Working?

How can you find the right candidate?

Finding the perfect remote employee goes beyond reading a list of skills on a resume. The qualities you need to look for in a remote worker are not the same as your in-office employees. The focus is no longer on finding a team player with great interpersonal skills. Instead, you want an independent worker who can manage tasks with little to no interference or direct oversight.

You’ll need a worker who will respond to messages quickly and meet deadlines, in addition to all the necessary technical skills. With online hiring, there's a huge risk of people misrepresenting their identities, abilities, or work history. That's why you need to run detailed checks on all candidates before you hire them. Alternatively, you can employ your remote workers through an agency or platform that will ensure your company's safety and security on your behalf.

Where to hire a qualified remote worker?

There are two main ways you can find the right remote employee for your company. You can either hire a remote staffing agency for the search or contact qualified remote workers through an online platform.

Remote worker

1. Staffing Agency

Finding a qualified candidate can be a lot of work, especially with an online hiring process. If your company doesn't already have a system for employing remote workers, you may find it challenging to start. How do you contact them? What do you ask during interviews? What if a candidate is not who they say they are? How can you avoid risk? Hiring a staffing agency is the perfect solution to this problem.

Pros

Any remote staffing agency will have a registry full of verified and qualified candidates. Ideally, they'll have worked with these people before, so they'll match you to an employee with the right work experience who will fit easily into your company culture. Hiring an employee isn't just about a candidate’s skill set; it's also about their personality, work ethic, communication skills, and so much more.

With a staffing agency, you can immediately hire a remote worker, minimizing the time it takes to interview candidates and finalize the hiring process. Additionally, they can match you with qualified temporary workers on a task-by-task. So, whatever task arises and you need the extra help, you can hire an expert to handle it.

Cons

Staffing agencies will charge a fee, with the amount varying depending on how long you keep them on retainer. This may make hiring temporary help more expensive, however it provides you more flexibility to scale up and down your workforce.

There is also increased complexity when leveraging a staffing agency. When you hire a remote worker through a staffing agency, your employee will technically work for the agency and they will be paid through the agency. While this will save you the hassle of managing your remote workers and providing insurance and benefits, it also creates a barrier between you and your employee.

2. Online Platform

Online platforms are similar to staffing agencies because they provide you access to a pool of available remote workers. However, hiring from this pool of candidates is still the responsibility of the company. They won't match you up with candidates; qualified candidates will apply directly to your job posting. Similar to an agency, the platform will run detailed checks which minimizes risk of unqualified candidates. Popular platforms include:

  • Working Nomads
  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Fiverr
  • Just Remote

Pros

The best part about online platforms is the level of transparency offered. Not only can you view the profiles of remote workers, but you can also look at their job history, education, tasks completed on the site, and reviews from past employers.

Additionally, all payments are managed through the platform, so both parties are protected. Unlike with a staffing agency, you get to directly choose your employees from a wide range of expert applicants. You can also set filters to help you weed out less qualified candidates.

Cons

There is considerably more work which needs to be done when hiring through an online platform, compared to using a staffing agency. You will need to spend time screening and interviewing candidates. This takes valuable time away from managing a business, which can be hard if you already need extra help.

Here's a list of the best webistes for finding remote jobs and workers.

How to interview a remote worker?

It’s recommended you conduct video interviews before you hire a remote worker. This can help you assess if the candidate is the right fit for your company.

Interview candidates

1. Tools to use

You can use several tools for this purpose. The two most popular video interview tools are Google Meets and Zoom. It's a simple, hassle-free process and allows you to quickly communicate with potential candidates or current remote workers. Video meetings allows you to develop a friendly rapport with any candidates before you hire them. You can also use these tools as a system for how you'll give work, discuss deadlines, and expectations.

Related post: How to Effectively Run Virtual Meetings

2. Questions to ask

Working online can differ greatly from working in an office. When you're hiring a remote worker, you need to ask a few extra specific questions, in addition to regular interview questions. First, ask them how long they've been working online. A lot of new remote workers have trouble adjusting to the different work style and may not have the discipline required to work remotely. This can affect their quality of work and ability to meet deadlines.

Second, you should find out why they chose to work online. Some people choose to work remotely because they appreciate the freedom it provides, as well as, all the benefits. These workers are more motivated to submit high quality work and meet deadlines. Candidates who are only working remotely while they search for traditional full-time jobs will not be a good fit.

Finally, the biggest problem facing remote workers is time management. When working from home, it's tough to maintain the boundary between your work life and your personal life. Figuring out how to manage time and divide tasks is the biggest hurdle for remote workers. As part of your interview, ask your candidates what strategies they use to manage their time and ensure they meet deadlines.

3. References

Before you hire any remote worker, you need to check their references. How to check references depends on what hiring method you used. If you're hiring through an online platform, click on their profile to see rankings, reviews, and comments from previous employers. However, if you're using an agency, you can send in a request for referrals, and they will give you the contact information for a candidate's previous employer.

Checking a worker’s credentials through references is extremely important in an online setting where you have limited direct oversight over your employee. That’s why you have to carefully scrutinize every candidate when you hire a remote worker. Also, it’s valuable to ask for samples of previous or similar work to assess their quality of work.

4. Paid trial work

Paid trial work is a popular strategy in remote working circles. This is when you find a qualified candidate but test them with a small task. You'll still pay them for their time spend on this task. If they manage to impress you, you can hire them for a larger project. Letting them know that it's a trial motivates workers to put their best foot forward to receive more work in the future.

Conclusion

Overall, most employers prefer using an online platform to hire remote workers, as this provides direct control over the process while protecting the organization and ensuring a high quality of work. These platforms can help make the process easier, as you have access to a large pool of candidates. Once you've shortlisted your candidates, conduct an in-depth interview to see if they're a good fit for your team. With all these tools available, building a remote workforce has never been easier.

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