Telecommuting, or working from home as part of a remote team, has expanded dramatically with the boom of the technological age. A study from Global Workplace Analytics revealed that telecommuting has increased 140 percent since 2005.
Business owners are no longer limited to hiring people who live in their city or are willing to commute from another town. Hiring managers and business owners can pick anyone with a good internet connection and the desire to work from anywhere in the world they choose.
One of the hardest parts of starting a remote company is figuring out how to build your team. Obviously, you'll want to build up a group of strong individuals who add value to your company. If you're thinking of creating a remote team or currently looking for new hires, here are some tips to speed up the process and make hiring a breeze.
1. Establish company values early.
Despite our rapid advances over the past couple of centuries, we are still extremely tribal creatures who enjoy being with people who think the way we do or, at the very least, relate to our values.
When you're thinking about growing your remote team and want to do it quickly, the first thing you should do is establish your company's core values. This means that other people will be able to look at your business, see what you stand for and decide if that is somewhere they would like to work.
A Fond study found that 90 percent of corporate organizations have core values. Sounds good, right? Well, not quite. It's great that these companies are creating standards and letting employees know exactly how their business should operate (think "helpful," "kind," "compassionate" and "desire to learn"), but surprisingly, according to the study, only 1 in 10 business leaders claimed that their employees actually know the company values and can recite them front to back.
As you can see, it's easy to create values for your business. However, if you want to attract remote workers who appreciate your values, you have to ooze your company's core principles in everything you do, which leads to the next point.
2. Put people first.
Far too many people think "put people first" means just the customers who are going to pay for your product or service. However, it's equally important that you put your remote workers first.
People are far more likely to work at a company that has their back. If you felt like you could be replaced at any moment, would you be comfortable showing up to work every day? Would you be happy and feel like you're adding value to the company? Probably not.
You should do everything in your power to make sure employees don't feel like they are part of just a team, but a large family. Host events that allow every employee to ask questions and voice concerns. If you're pressed for time, you could also create a survey to see what your employees think of your current system, showing you where you can improve and how to keep putting people first. It's important to go out of your way to enrich your company culture, all while looking out for your employees.
We saw a great example of this type of behavior recently. The company under the microscope was none other than Marriott. One of its main highlights was that it implemented the first holistic workplace wellness program for interested employees. The company took this a step further by using the money it saved from the 2018 business tax break to add more supplemental income to its employees' retirement plans.
These are the things that potential hires are going to look at before they apply to join your team. If you offer perks that go above and beyond, odds are you'll see rapid growth in your remote team.
3. Strengthen communication.
We would say that communicating with your current remote team and potential hires is the best way to quickly grow your remote team. There are two reasons for this principle.
First of all, let's re-examine the tribal tendencies we discussed earlier. Potential and current employees are looking for a company that focuses on communication and makes it so that there is never any question as to what needs to happen next in the workday. Beyond the comfort of knowing what tasks we have to tackle, it just feels good to communicate with other people.
Working remotely can bring on feelings of isolation. You can counteract this by letting potential hires know that your company is communication-centered and everyone always has access to the people and resources they need.
You may want to consider holding monthly company meetings (hint: use a video conferencing service so people can see each other!). This will help build rapport and dissolve any miscommunications or questions your team may have. At my company, we personally like having meetings every week so there is never a question as to what is happening with the company and what to expect in the future. [Related: Looking for a video conferencing service? Check out our best picks and reviews.]
Building a remote team from the ground up may seem like a daunting challenge. However, with the right tools and patience, you'll find that it's easier and more cost-efficient to run a remote business than a traditional office.
The main takeaway here is to show that, behind the big business name, you're just a human being looking to bring everyone who comes aboard on a path to success. Treat everyone with compassion and respect, and you'll have a wonderful company culture and a full staff before you know it.