Working from anywhere is possible with technology and virtual workers are now the new normal. Research shows that 3.1 million full-time workers work remotely and that number is growing steadily. Experts believe this is because people with technical skills are hard to find and "as a result, it will be necessary for organizations to look farther afield for talent and develop a team of virtual employees."
If you are hiring remote workers and want to be successful, you must spend time preparing your environment, in-house team, and management skills before beginning the hiring process.
Technology is Crucial
According to an article on Business 2 Community titled It's a Small World After All: 3 Tips for Recruiting and Hiring Virtual Workers, it's crucial to prepare the technology infrastructure needed to successfully collaborate. This includes setting up:
1. An email service
2. A cloud storage space (Like DropBox)
3. Instant messaging or chat functionality
4. A video service for company meetings and events (Hireology's remote team uses Hutt!)
Make in-office connections
An important part to a remote worker's engagement and success is ensuring they feel part of the in-office team:
5. Assign each new remote worker with an in-office buddy that will help them answer questions, connect them to the office, and help them feel included
6. Purchase a HD webcam to include your remote workers on meetings when Skype just won't cut it
7. Plan quarterly/yearly trips for the remote workers to visit the office and connect in-person with office employees
Build a Remote Culture
A 2013 Forbes article titled Why Millennials Are Ending The 9 To 5 found that "the primary indicator of whether Millennials stay at a company is if there is a 'good cultural fit.'"
Ensuring your remote team feels engaged in your company's culture is crucial to the success and retention of your remote team.
8. Provide a chatroom or similar platform where remote workers can connect, share stories, and hold discussions. Check out Campfire
9. Create projects that remote team members can collaborate and work on together
10. Celebrating a big deal in the office with after-work drinks? Provide funds so remote workers can celebrate as well. Nothing beats a free drink!
What do you do to prepare for hiring and building a remote team? Want to learn more about hiring technology talent? Grab our guide to hiring developers and engineers!