Best practices when hiring remote team members for your small business

In this 7-minute read:

  • Benefits of hiring remote workers
  • Tips for interviewing and hiring the best remote team members

Are you opening up to the possibilities of hiring more remote employees for your team? Is your business currently working remotely and it’s going a lot better than you thought it would?

When your next job opening comes up, hiring remotely may be the best option for your company. If that’s the case, then there are some things that you’ll want to do to ensure that you get the best candidates for the job. 

We’ll walk you through the steps of hiring the best remote team members for your company. 

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Benefits of hiring remote team members

Before we dive in, we want to go over some of the benefits of hiring remote workers. Hiring remotely offers several advantages that hiring in-house might not provide:

  • You aren’t limited to the people who live in your region or who are looking to relocate. You can open up this job to a much broader area (the entire country, or dare we say it, world, becomes a possibility). This gives you access to a much larger talent pool and the potential for better-qualified candidates
  • Virtual team members reduce real estate expenses. Without the need for a physical office, you can eliminate that expense
  • With remote employees, you can offer more flexibility in their work schedules, creating higher job satisfaction and higher productivity
  • If you have remote team members in different time zones, you can expand your business’s open hours

Go deeper: How to create a successful remote team for your business 

Alright, let’s get into the goods of hiring the best remote workers for your team. 

Write a good job description

First, you need to have the perfect job description to draw in the right candidates. This should be detailed with the qualifications and job responsibilities while also showing off your company’s personality. You want to attract candidates that are not only a good fit for the role you have available, but a good fit to work with your team (even if it is from afar). 

Must-haves for a good job description:

  • An accurate (yet catchy) job title
  • Job responsibilities
  • Skills and experience necessary for the role
  • Traits and qualities your ideal candidate possesses
  • The schedule or hours you expect
  • Explanation of why this job is important for your business
  • Your goals for this job position
  • Hourly wage or salary (at least provide a general range or starting wage so you can get candidates who will be more likely to accept your offer)

Job descriptions don’t have to be just the dry details with specifics about the job. Put some personality into it (if that makes sense for your company) to get candidates who match that personality. 

Start finding candidates

Now it’s time to put your job posting out there and start reeling in candidates for your remote job. Remember, the world is your oyster now, so you should utilize resources that spread your reach far and wide. 

First, determine how far you want the reach to go. Are you open to receiving applications from people thousands of miles away? Or do you need them to be within a set radius from your location so you have the option to meet with them in-person on occasion?

Next, decide where you will list your job posting. There are tons of job sites out there, Indeed and GlassDoor being some of the larger names. But also take advantage of your social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn. Both of these have great capabilities for accepting applications and targeting specific audiences for the job. 

Last, watch as the applications start rolling in. 

One point we want to emphasize as you put your job posting out there is to give it time. Don’t expect to have 5-10 solid candidates come in overnight, or even in the first week, particularly if your business is in a specialized or niche market or your job requirements are unique. Be prepared to list the job for a couple of weeks to get the best candidates that you can. 

Screen your candidates

Once you started receiving applications, you can begin screen your applicants to see who is a good candidate for an interview and who isn’t. When it comes to remote employees (really any employees, but especially anyone remote), there are a few traits and skills that they must have if they are going to do well. 

Traits of a good remote team member

  • Proficient written communication. Was their email, application, or cover letter well-written and void of typos and grammatical errors? Written communication is key when it comes to remote employees because this will be your primary method of contact and how they’ll potentially communicate with customers
  • Ability to prioritize. Does their resume show jobs or experiences that display an ability to balance multiple responsibilities?
  • Demonstrated job experience. There’s only so much training you can do remotely, so you want to hire someone who is already showing the potential to thrive at this new job if at all possible

Beyond some of these basic traits, you can also ask job applicants to include additional information with their application like a portfolio link or work samples to provide a better look at what they can do. 

Conduct effective remote interviews

Time to conduct your interviews. When you have all of the candidates selected that you want to interview (or maybe even before all of the applications are in) you can start scheduling your interviews. 

We highly recommend doing these interviews via a video conferencing app like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts so that you can see the individual rather than just hear their voice on a phone. As you are scheduling the interview, make sure that the applicant will have access to a webcam at the time of the interview (don’t just assume this). 

The reason for this is that you can tell much more about a person by seeing them. You’ll be able to read their body language and facial expressions, and learn more about them by seeing them, even if it is via a camera. 

Before you start an interview, have a list of questions ready that will really help you get to know each applicant and if they are a good fit for the job. 

Beyond the basic interview questions for your job, there are some remote-specific questions that you should ask:

  • Have you ever worked remotely? What challenges did you face?
  • If you have worked remotely, what were your experiences with a remote team? How did it go?
  • Why do you want to work remotely?
  • How would you rate your technical skills? (They need to be able to keep their own wifi on and manage remote tools that you may use)
  • How do you switch off from work when working remotely? (This is important to understand how they balance their work and personal life and helping them avoid getting burnt out)

Extend a job offer

Like any other job position, once you find the person you want, it’s time to extend an offer. Start by calling them over the phone to offer them the position, discussing their pay, hours expected, and when they will start. 

Follow up with an email that lays out all of the details from your phone call and anything else they will need prior to starting (training information, payment processing information, benefits, probationary periods, etc.)

Congratulate yourself on expanding your virtual team!

Additional resources for your remote workforce

As you expand your remote workforce, you may need to expand your resources and tools for managing that team as well. 

Check out these guides for more information:

We also have some tools that will help your remote marketing team with their efforts. Womply Reputation Management allows your team to monitor and respond to your online reviews all in one place. If you need email marketing assistance, Womply’s email marketing engine can help you enhance customer relations and maintain those customers for life! 

Womply also offers business intelligence, customer relationship management, payments, and a dynamic customer directory that updates automatically with each transaction.

Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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