There is nothing more valuable to a manager, director or business owner than a good, efficient and reliable workforce. Everyone looks to hire people who are going to be part of a team that will add value to the business and help it achieve its objectives. As the manager, you really want to get a good employee if not the best because, let’s face it, you are going to pay that person and therefore want value for your money.
Finding the best person for a job has always been a challenge for the conventional workplace, and the onset of the virtual or remote office only took the challenge to a new level. Getting the right person is a task that requires special skills in sourcing and sorting through a pool of applicants to find only those who perfectly fit the positions that need filling. As for your remote team, you are going to have to see to it that you follow three basic steps in this challenging exercise if you hope to find the best remote team for your business.
These steps are as follows:
1. Define what you need for your business
There are many ways to go about finding something but you can never really find anything unless you know what you are looking for. It’s the same thing with a remote team. If you want to find the best team, start by defining what the ‘best team’ is to you. What is best for someone else might not necessarily be the best for you and the other way round.
Your definition for a good programmer for instance, might not be the same for another manager somewhere else because for you, a good programmer is someone who can write good code as well as design and add new elements. The other person would consider a good programmer as that person who strictly follows the guidelines provided without trying to alter or input new ideas. Each of you will have to decide exactly what you require in a person before you begin to look for remote talent to build your team.
2. Advertise the positions explicitly
When posting the jobs that you want to hire the remote team for, take time to fully explain each and every task they are going to be required to perform and what skills will be needed. Having an open post will most likely invite a lot of applicants, many of whom only have general skills about what you require but not what you want.
Start by putting yourself in that position for some time and as you work, note down all that the position entails and what skills you would require to fulfill that work.
From here, you can then write a more elaborate job description defining how each role is important and how you will determine the right person for that job. Post the positions in appropriate networks, job boards and other places where you can find the right/relevant candidates.
3. Test and try the candidates before hiring
Just as you would put the normal office employee on probation for sometime before permanently hiring them, do the same for the remote worker. It might be hard to evaluate someone who is not physically there with you, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. There are certain characteristics that good remote workers tend to possess and these are things that you’ll need to search for if you are going to have the best team.
Always start by hiring your remote team on a trial period where you can have a chance to test and review their skills among other things before settling down to build the team.
Below are some of the traits to look out for when hiring your remote team:
Good communication skills
Communication is the backbone of remote working. The ideal candidate for your remote team should be able to communicate with you and with fellow team members effortlessly. If you find someone having difficulties in expressing themselves both in written and verbal communication, then you may be better off finding someone else.
Degree of responsibility
There are some people who don’t make the initiative of owning a task and making the best out of it. Then there are those who take up tasks and complete them well above what was expected. To build the best remote team, the latter will be your best bet.
Speed of grasp and execution of tasks
This is very important and more so for the more technical projects that would need to be handled by the remote team. Give the candidates several speed tests during the hiring process to get to know how each of them will perform.
Ability to learn and adapt to change
The best person for a remote position should essentially be resilient to change and be capable of adapting to new ways of doing things. Everyone in your remote team should be open to opportunities that will help them be more productive.
Collaboration and collective team effort always amount to productivity and efficiency in getting the job done. In order for you to have a perfect remote team, check to see how well they work together and make the bold steps of letting go those who seem to be having trouble working or collaborating with others.
Trust is of paramount importance in remote settings where everyone goes by nothing other than the word of the other. If you find it hard to believe some of the things that a certain team member is telling you, then you have cause to doubt their credibility and would probably do well by letting them go early enough.
Building a remote team for your business is really not that complicated if you consider the three definitive steps outlined above. With a little effort from your side in providing all the necessary training and software for running a remote business, you will have a great remote team in no time.
Image: Official GDC