Are you working from home and need to expand your business, but don’t have a lot of money or resources to do so? Are you a start-up that needs to open a new office in a different part of the country? Hiring remote workers can be a cheap and effective way to expand your business and increase your presence in a new location. This article will provide tips for hiring remote workers and/or setting up a remote office as part of your startup or small business. It will also discuss tools and resources that make working with remote workers go more smoothly.
Hiring and Onboarding
When searching for a remote worker, use existing tools such as LinkedIn or Upwork to verify employment history and contact any references your potential employee provides. Conduct an initial screening through email to see if they would be a good fit to work for you remotely. Once you have the pool narrowed to one or two candidates, conduct a video interview, or face-to-face if they are in your same city or state. CareerAddict has a great list of tips for conducting a video interview.
It is also important to do background and credit checks. There are many companies who can perform a background or credit check for you cheaply and online. These companies are in place to make this part of the hiring process virtualized and effortless. Most of these companies are accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and offer an assortment of online packages for your choosing.
Check out this awesome infographic on creating a pre-employment screening policy as a reference for this process.
As for integrating new employees into your business, bring several existing staff members from the current or home office to the new location. They can help set up and connect the new employees to existing systems, clarify company procedures, and maintain company culture at the new office. If you are hiring one or two employees to work from home, have all onboarding paperwork and an employee handbook ready before they start, so your new employee(s) will know how things work and what to expect.
Management and Organization
Working remotely can be terribly isolating for the individual or team. It is important that employees both remote and in the main office communicate regularly. While there is no substitute for face-to-face communication, a weekly, or even daily, call or video chat can help not only with discussions on the most urgent tasks and projects but also brainstorming new ideas, which can be difficult to do via text or email. Setting up occasional events where all team members, including remote workers, get together outside of work can help as well.
Here are some free and low-cost solutions to help your workers communicate:
• Slack helps teams collaborate on projects, share files, and send messages
• Skype one-to-one video, or regular, calls are free. Priced plans available for conference calls
• Join.me offers free conference hosting
Managing and collaborating on projects is essential and it is important that remote workers be able to collaborate on projects as well. If collaboration tools are already in place, the last thing to be learned is if there are extra steps you need to take to ensure all information remains secure when accessed remotely. If there aren’t any tools in place yet, here are some project management tools to help facilitate collaboration:
• Asana – free for teams of up to 15 people
It is important that you provide remote employees with the software and tools that are necessary for their job. You do not want employees purchasing software for their job on their own. Purchasing any software or hardware for remote employees ensures that your company has direct ownership of any technology and limits the remote employee’s use of personal devices to do their work. However, it can also be expected that the new hire will use their personal phone or computer. Make sure to discuss this with them prior to their start to leave the floor open for any questions.
Make a list of all software that you need to buy licenses for before hiring your employee and check with them to make sure they have everything they need after they start. You might want to allow for a small yearly or monthly budget for employees to make small purchases.
As an employer, try to educate new hires on ways they can save with tax deductions such as eliminating costs on utilities. You can read more about your taxes when you work from home from here.
When adding a remote office, or remote worker to your workforce, make sure they have the right tools to help them communicate with others and do the functions necessary for their job. With a little planning, you can add a successful remote office or remote worker to your team!
Last modified: July 30, 2018