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8 Tips for Startups Who Hire Remote Workers

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The trend of working from home is getting more mainstream with about 43% of the global workforce performing remote work to some degree. Telecommuting options are growing and for good reason. Working from home has many benefits for employees and corporations alike, saving them all money, time, and resources.

For start-ups, hiring remote workers might be a necessity because of a lack of office real estate, but there are a number of metrics on working from home that point to the idea that you may not want to ever try to develop a large scale office presence, no matter how much growth you have.

While it was once the dream of a start-up to put together a luxurious dedicated set of offices for their employees, with remote work demonstrating more productivity and less expense the costs for real estate begin to simply feel unnecessary. You may even join the growing number of companies that work entirely remotely.

In addition, more workers than ever are enjoying the benefits of remote work. 9 out of 10 employees who have begun working remotely say they would like to continue for the rest of their careers, and close to 75% of employees say they would consider leaving their current job for remote work.

So, with more to choose from in terms of remote workers, your hiring process should be easy. But there are differences in the kind of employees that thrive when working from home and those that work better in traditional office spaces. When hiring you need to identify, not only the best candidate, but also the new employee that can work most effectively under these circumstances. Tips for finding that person include:

1. Use the right source: Rather than checking on traditional job boards, you may want to look to sites where remote workers already ply their trade, such as sites like Upwork or WeWorkRemotely. After hiring from a site that caters to remote workers, you will be able to establish your company in remote work directories.

2. Have a remote interview process: If the key is to find people who can work well when telecommuting, you’ll want the interview process to reflect their current skills. Are they adept with related software? Do they have the bandwidth necessary to viably work remotely? How is their webcam etiquette? All these are good indications of how they might work out as a remote employee.

3. Look for communication as a strength: Remote work is about finding ways to be clear without being face-to-face. You’ll want to prioritize new hires who have excellent writing and digital presentation skills.

4. Time at work: While hiring remote workers means you can open up your pool to talents from all over the world, you might want to make sure that a team you hire has a good crossover of working hours. It’s simply more convenient and will make for a better and more cohesive team.

5. Target interview questions properly: You will likely want to focus on interview questions that surrounding motivation, organization, time-management and discipline.

6. Think about positive work habits: While you might be concerned about the productivity of someone who works from home, statistics show that those that telecommute actually work more efficiently. However, you may want to identify if your chosen hire works too much. If they make a show of not taking breaks or working 20 hours a day, it might be that you are hiring someone who is headed for burnout or illness that will compromise their work.

7. Look for someone with experience in remote work: There is some transition for those that have never worked remotely before. Try to look for those who not only have experience in what you want them to do, but also have done that work remotely already.

8. Consider a paid trial period: If you have any reservations about hiring someone for remote work, think about giving them a paid trial period. You’ll be able to quickly assess whether they work well with your culture, values, and work ethic. 

With strategies like these, you will be more likely to identify the remote workers that will be the best fit for your startup. Remember, it might actually be more important to hire a person who is adept in what is required to work remotely than someone who actually has the best level of skill for a particular job.

About the Author

Sarah Archer is a Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media and Your Best Digs who works remotely while traveling. She’s passionate about developing high-quality content for diverse industries ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. When she’s not creating content, she’s likely hiking a new trail or mapping out the next destination.

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