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A Guide for Attracting the Best Remote Workers

One of the struggles for many businesses when it comes to hiring look like this:

  • You know you need to hire help to fill vacancies in your organization.
  • You look in your immediate geographic area to find talented workers who can bring something valuable to the table.
  • You settle for someone who is a decent fit but not the best fit because they’re local.

And in doing so, your organization suffers. Nothing is worse for a business than bringing in someone who will only do a mediocre job when you know there’s someone else out there who can do stellar work.

When organizations narrow their scope and only look locally, two things happen:

  1. It takes longer to find quality help from the current pool of candidates so you hire quickly instead of smartly because there’s work to be done.
  2. Because the person isn’t the best fit for the job, you see higher turnover, making it harder to keep up with your HR demands and organization needs.

It’s a rut that too many businesses get into. What if you could hire remote workers instead? What if you could hire the best candidate to fill your open positions by looking outside of your immediate geographic area? You can but it takes a unique type of job search to find the perfect person for this increasingly common way of working. Here are a few tips to get you started.

A Guide for Attracting the Best Remote Workers

Start Your Search in the Right Place

Remote workers are everywhere, but if you’re not looking in the right place, you could come up short. There are several spots where you can source potential remote working candidates. Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Social Media. Believe it or not, you could have a follower or fan who might be the perfect fit for your business.
  2. FlexJobs is ideal for part-time, contract, or freelance workers.
  3. SkipTheDrive is ideal for just about any industry and any type of job.

Search around the various websites out there. As you find resumes, you’ll quickly be able to determine the caliber of the people on that specific website and whether it matches with your expectations or not.

Get Clear on Your Expectations

Will your remote workers need to check in with you regularly? Will you require them to clock in and out at a specific time? Get crystal clear on your expectations before you start searching for candidates. This will help you weed out any candidates that look good on paper but might not be the right fit for the specific role you need to fill.

Be Ready to Contract Work Instead of Bringing Someone On As a New Employee

Often times, remote workers aren’t ready to commit to being an employee of a company. In many cases, these types of workers prefer to operate on a 1099 status (or as a contractor, for those of you who aren’t in the United States) instead of salaried or hourly as an employee.

This is actually a benefit to your company because it lets you have more flexibility. It also tends to be more cost effective.

If a contractor doesn’t match what you need for your organization, you can also take the contract-to-hire approach, where you take the person on as a contractor with the expectation that you’ll eventually bring him onto your team. Decide ahead of time what makes the most sense for your business.

Ask the Right Questions

It’s important to understand why a person works remotely. It’s equally important to understand how the person works. Ask the right questions to dig deeper into their motivations for choosing to take on remote work instead of showing up to an office each day. Perhaps the person is a working mom who needs to stay at home with her kids but still wants to earn an income and work. Perhaps the person lives rurally but wants to work in a role that best aligns with her talents. Understanding this will help you determine if it’s a good fit.

Once you’ve asked the questions, take a look at your expectations for the job. Do their answers align with what you have in mind? For example, does the working mom need to have flexible hours, but your expectations are for her to check-in every morning between eight and noon? Be sure their behaviors and your requirements mesh well before moving on to the next phase of the search.

Find Someone Comfortable With Technology

If you’re working with someone across the country (or across the ocean) you’ll need to use modern technology to communicate effectively. The person will need to jump on board with the technology you’re currently using in your organization to operate, such as chatbots or online schedulers.

To determine whether the person feels comfortable adapting to new technology, start using the technology during the interview process. This is an excellent opportunity to see how the person engages with the tools your business already uses, and how she’ll adopt to your modes of operation.

Provide Incentives

Remote workers still want to feel connected. They want to feel engaged with your business. By feeling like they’re a part of the team (even if they’re working as a contractor), they’ll feel more invested in your organization’s overall success, which will pay dividends in the long run.

Before you make your first hire, determine what these incentives will look like. Some companies send remote workers nice office furniture. Others offer gift cards to Starbucks for those times when they need to break free from the home office and work from a coffee shop.

No matter what the incentive, offering perks to remote workers will entice the cream of the crop to come forward and apply for your job.

Getting New (Remote) Talent on Board

Getting remote workers on board with your team doesn’t have to be hard. When approached the right way, you have the potential to find better talent than you could in your immediate geographic region. Don’t shy away from this new mode of operation in the business world. There’s tremendous opportunity here.


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Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine's Top 500 Software Companies 2004-2007 and again in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016. http://www.schedulebase.com

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