Despite we have come a long way since the first online collaboration tools appeared and working with remote teams is part of the daily lives of many of us, when it comes to hiring a new employee to work at your organization, the idea of hiring someone on the other side of the globe (or anywhere which is not in our same physical office) still feels odd for many business leaders.

Some employers just don’t feel at ease when they can’t watch over subordinates’ shoulders and control what they do in their first few days in the organization. They often do not mean to micro-manage but they have a genuine concern that missing personal interaction with their manager/team on the first few days will cause some negative effects on the long run.

However, if you prepare with anticipation and do everything right, the benefits of engaging a remote worker will outweigh all the risks.

With access to first-class professionals from around the world, you will have more opportunities to get hold of talents. Moreover, the remote and freelance staff is key to managing expenditure in a more efficient manner. In particular, they allow you to cut real estate costs, including furnishing the office, insurance payments, as well as overhead expenses.

Still, the process of hiring and managing telecommuters is replete with pitfalls. Your employees don’t have much time to build up a head of steam, and you don’t have a margin for error. To make your collaboration fruitful, you must learn some of the most important secrets of onboarding a remote worker.

1. Do Your Homework

When you’re engaged in recruiting, do not limit yourself to resumes only. There are many other signs to determine whether or not a candidate meets your requirements. If a job seeker is well-known in the industry community, has a professional blog or many successfully complete projects, this information will help confirm his or her level of professionalism.

Set aside CVs and references. Instead, you should launch comprehensive research to understand who your potential employees are and what style of work they have. If you see that they have tackled multiple challenging projects in the past, most likely they are able to work autonomously without anyone on-site monitoring their every step.

2. Trust But Verify

Never hesitate to put your candidates to the test to verify if they are really as good as they want to seem. Your Recruitment Agency and Human Resources team can work with the Hiring Managers at your Organization to craft the right tests, but think about giving your candidates an assignment that reflects their future responsibilities (for example, IT Developers can write a piece of code, conduct a small survey, etc.).

Make sure you balance the difficulty of the test correctly. Whereas you want to filter out that only the right talent makes it to the final rounds of your selection processes, you can also accidentally scare competent staff away who will not be afraid of the content of your tests, but may jump out of the recruitment process if the test takes too much of their time to be done, and they do not have even had the chance to ask the necessary details about the job offering.  Balance is everything in this step, and a good Recruitment Agency will be able to coach on finding the right point.

Once you have the (positive) results of this trial from the remote candidate, it will help dispel doubts and make sure that your choice is right.

Statistics say that more than half of candidates bend the truth in their résumés, so a simple check becomes a must.

3. Prepare the arrival

Joining a new place is something exhilarating, but also can be a bit daunting as the new employee has to find his way across new policies and learn many new faces and names of their new colleagues.

This is why you should make sure that they receive a Welcome guide to their email address days before the day they are joining your company. This Welcome guide should include links to the main generic information and figures of your company, but ideally a bit of concise information from their future team.

Tip from us:  Add ain the Welcome kit a fun checklist of things to do on their first day / week / month.  Humour is key to make people feel at ease.

Many companies offer a welcome kit to their employees on their first day in the office and there is no reason why your employee that is being onboarded “on-line” should not receive a physical token too.

You will have to arrange the logistics well in advance so that the employee to receive this on their first few days, and while you regrettably will not be able to see their faces when they receive the surprise box, they will for sure let you know that they appreciated it by increasing their engagement.

Consult with your team which could be good objects.  We, at Fut-Ure, we can offer you a wide range of those at the best prices, contact us and we will be happy to advice something that suits your budget and company image including bags, hoodies, mugs, camera covers, office toys and other objects and gadgets that your new employees will find both fun and memorable, as well as providing you with some FREE customized welcome pack slides and information guides.

4. Arrange the Right Work Process

After you picked people who are a right fit, you need to ensure that the work process is fine-tuned for the best productivity. First of all, you ought to keep transparency in mind. When setting a task, every detail must be clear to your remote worker. Also, you need to make sure they have everything to complete your project with a bang and in a timely manner. By the way, time is another critical factor in fruitful work relations. Therefore, all the deadlines must be set clearly and reasonably.

The fact that your employees don’t work in the office doesn’t mean that you should leave good communications behind. Let your team know that they can contact you at any time to clarify something or ask for more details. You, in turn, should message or call them every once in a while, to keep them up and running. Integrated communication tools like G-Suite, Microsoft Teams, Trello etc. are a great ally.

Finally, you need to constantly check their progress – whether they keep up with the plan, schedule, budget, etc.  Think about underpinning some of your core business processes with OKR’s (KPI’s). Consider adding some reward and compensation management system – ideally with gamification functionalities – like the ones that Fut-Ure can offer you from different Partners (Feel free to ask us!)

5. Choose the right Technologies

Modern technologies make it possible to manage backlog of a remote workforce as if they were right next to you. Apps such as Slack, Workzone, Chanty, etc. are essential to keep in touch with every team member and visualize the progress they are making on a daily basis.

If you want to actually see each other, you can do so with TimeCamp, BigTime, Clevork, and similar applications. In fact, it is recommended that remote teams turn on their cameras to see each other and take remote communication to the next level, as non-verbal plays a big role in communications.

On top of that, this type of Software also lets you see what’s there on each other desktop. Besides, many of them offer integrated timers that can help tracking indicators that become such as time they spend on assignments, the revenue they generate, costs they entail, etc. In other words, they enable customers to pay only for real work, removing any concerns of employees being idle, while respecting mandatory breaks to keep high levels of creativity and motivation.

6. Build Trust

Now that we have set up the technology layer to and the business processes to give sufficient control of the activity of the remote worker, comes the hardest part:  Embracing the idea that you will have to deal with the unknown, in an important portion of the job of the employee.

Yes, the employee works in a different location than you, and you will never see everything they do and be there to help in their struggles to become familiar with the organization, but let us be honest, neither would you if they were working in the very same office !  Chances are that your rhythm of daily meetings and job would prevent you from spending too much time with the new employee anyhow, even if you were both co-located in the same office.

Dealing with the uncertainty is something that we need to learn to be comfortable with. As long as you chose the right KPI’s and are tracking the ‘critical deliveries’ correctly, it is absolutely fine to see pieces of the job of your employees as a black-box.Just make sure they are well documented somewhere, and that some Continuous Service Improvement activities are ran from time to time, in order to ensure that no one gets too much comfortable and keep things running forward.

Want to take a chance and onboarding remote workers?

Entrust this task to the professionals from FUT-URE, your leading recruiting agency. With us, hiring telecommuters is a risk-free experience. Call us today to find out how we can make your business more productive with a professional and efficient remote workforce.

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