In today’s modern business landscape, working remotely has become an increasingly important part of the workplace. This shift is causing companies to adjust their staffing practices to accommodate remote workers.
There are two angles to consider. The first consideration is part-time remote work. Specifically, workers that split time between on-site presence and remote work. These workers generally have the flexibility to work on-site or remotely, depending on the company’s needs.
The second consideration is full-time remote work. Increasingly, companies have embraced full-time remote work, particularly with back-office functions. Many of these roles don’t require employees to be physically present. As a result, businesses have found growing success in hiring remote employees.
Let’s discuss remote employees and the advantages and key considerations when hiring.
Why Should You Hire Remote Employees?
You might be on the ropes about hiring full-time remote employees. The thought of paying someone you can’t supervise may seem outlandish. Nevertheless, hiring employees that work from home is a good idea when you have tasks that don’t require your workers’ physical presence. For example, finance and administrative tasks don’t often require employees to be on-premises.
Depending on your business’s core functions, you may be able to have a combination of on-site and remote employees. In some cases, you might have a chance to go fully remote. Ultimately, this decision boils down to your company’s core business. The rationale here is that you should hire remote staff any time tasks don’t require an employee’s physical presence.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring Remote Employees?
There are five key advantages to hiring remote employees:
1. Access to a broader talent pool
When you hire on-site employees, your talent pool is smaller. You must look for qualified staff within your company’s immediate geography. With remote positions, you can virtually hire anyone around the world. Consequently, your company has a much better chance of finding the right people to help it grow. A broader talent pool makes it easier for you to find staff with the same values and principles as your company.
A 2020 paper from MIT’s Sloan Business School discusses how employees and companies that share the same vision see an increase in productivity. Specifically, companies that empathize with their remote staff see much better engagement leading to improved production. Therefore, having a common vision is pivotal in making working remote truly successful.
2. Greater access to highly skilled staff
Finding specialized staff may be more challenging in some areas. Highly qualified individuals typically concentrate in large cities with more job opportunities. When you hire remote employees, you can employ top-notch folks wherever they may be. As a result, you don’t need to look for a needle in a haystack. You can significantly reduce the time required to find the best person for your company.
It’s unsurprising to note that hiring remote employees facilitates hiring top-tier talent. A 2001 study published in the Journal of Organizational and End User Computing discussed how top-notch talent gravitates toward the best organizations. This understanding has been vital in the computing industry for more than two decades. Nevertheless, we are now seeing this concept catch on across the business world.
3. Improve cost control
Having on-site employees generally means increased company overhead. When you hire remote employees, you can downsize your physical presence. Consequently, you can also improve cost control. Hiring remote talent allows you to downsize office space, save on utilities, and cut down on ancillary employee benefits such as meals, snacks, gym memberships, transportation subsidies, and so on.
Your business can also save on insurance payments such as fire, property, commercial auto, and third-party liability. An entirely work-from-home business model makes it easier to cut down on costs, thereby maximizing your bottom line.
A 2009 paper from MIT underscores how remote staff can help companies improve cost control and the paper specifically highlights how companies can save on real estate costs while boosting productivity. Indeed, the concept of boosting productivity and reducing costs with remote workers is appealing to managers across the spectrum.
4. Increased flexibility
Hiring remote employees offers your company increased flexibility. Particularly, remote workers can plan their schedule around their lives and your company’s needs. Remote employees can work in different times zones and locations without disrupting your company’s operations and their lives. Online tools can facilitate communication thereby allowing greater flexibility and increased productivity. Increased flexibility helps boost employee morale resulting in better-than-expected output.
A study by Global Workplace Analytics found that 26% of employees surveyed preferred a remote working set-up to a pay raise. This surprising figure underscores the importance of flexibility to today’s workers and how your company can capitalize on the opportunity to increase productivity by promoting flexibility.
5. Employees become contractors and freelancers
Hiring remote staff and specialized talent may allow you to turn part-time and full-time positions into contractor roles. For instance, writers, translators, programmers, graphic designers, and back-office staff can all work under a freelance or contractor agreement. This arrangement also helps your company cut bonuses, benefits, and overtime costs.
Mark Lobosco, VP of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn, offers this insightful thought, “Now that companies have built the framework – and experienced the cost and time savings associated with it – there’s no real reason to turn back.” This thought into the usefulness of remote working highlights how remote working is here to stay. So, why not take advantage of a vast talent pool looking for flexibility and a greater sense of freedom?
What Are the Disadvantages of Hiring Remote Employees?
There are three main drawbacks to hiring remote employees:
1. Need for supervision
Having on-site employees allows you to supervise their work more closely and help employees identify potential issues sooner. If a specific role or task requires close supervision, hiring a remote worker for that position may not be your best choice.
2. Possible Decreased productivity
Productivity may actually decrease without appropriate supervision. The fact is that the right remote workers increase their productivity when given a chance to work independently; but remote work is not for everyone. Ultimately, increasing or decreasing productivity boils down to managing remote workers carefully. Clear communication is key to ensuring that productivity doesn’t slip.
3. Not all positions can become remote
Some positions require on-site employees that can report directly to their supervisors. These positions involve confidential information or sensitive tasks such as managing cash or valuable items. Moreover, handling customer information and computer systems remotely may increase vulnerability to security breaches. Please remember that if hiring a remote worker, it’s crucial to ask yourself whether this move may somehow increase risk or cause some sort of vulnerability to your company’s operations.
How Can You Hire Remote Employees?
Here are six things you can do to successfully hire remote employees:
1. Advertise your job opening(s)
The first step is to advertise your job openings. You can do this by hitting up popular job boards such as FlexJobs, RemoteOK, or online job sites like Indeed and Monster. These job sites will charge you depending on the type of ad you want to run. For example, you can choose to list jobs nationwide or by state. Some charge per posting while others charge based on the number of “hits” you get on your ad.
2. Screen applicants
Online job sites automate much of the screening process for you. These sites match applicants’ profiles with your job requirements. Moreover, these sites ask candidates to complete quizzes and answer profile questions. You’ll then get a curated list of applicants.
3. Schedule interviews
You can conduct synchronous and asynchronous interviews. With synchronous interviews, you can use tools such as Zoom or Google Meet. Then, you can run the interview as you would in person. For asynchronous interviews, platforms such as SparkHire ask employees to record answers to your questions.
The most significant advantage of asynchronous interviews is that you can review responses at any time. Similarly, candidates can record answers whenever it is convenient for them. The main drawback of asynchronous interviews is the lack of interaction and, as a result, a lack of candidate engagement. Asynchronous interviews may become one-sided if you don’t pay careful attention.
The onboarding process for remote employees is often the same as it would be for on-site workers. The difference is that you will need to rely on digital copies of documentation and ship necessary supplies. This requires coordination at the corporate level to ensure the proper documentation, IDs, supplies, etc are successfully set up to get your new employee productive as soon as possible.
Like interviews, you can schedule new employee training both synchronously and asynchronously. For instance, synchronous training can take place over Zoom or Google Meet. You can organize group or one-on-one sessions just like in an on-site scenario.
Asynchronous training generally consists of training videos and reading materials new employees can complete on their own time. Most companies offer some type of combined training where new employees can complete self-paced training materials before engaging in live training sessions. This approach ultimately depends on your company’s specific needs. You may find that a hands-on approach is more suited for your business’s needs.
Some companies add a component of on-site training to acclimate the new employee to the organization and help them feel bonded to their new co-workers. Organizations are getting creative in combining remote work with hands-on training.
6. Hiring a trusted recruitment firm
There are times when hiring a trusted staffing or recruiting firm can be your company’s best choice.
External staffing firms have dedicated people and resources focused solely on finding top talent. Moreover, reputable recruitment firms have the experience and know-how needed to find the best people for your company needs. Hiring remote employees through a trusted staffing firm cuts down on the time and effort required to source the best talent for your business. Using a staffing or recruiting firm can allow your people to focus on growing your business and improving your bottom line.
How Can TalentZök Help You Hire Remote Employees?
At TalentZök, we are experts in filling your staffing needs. Whether you need on-site or remote employees, we’ve got you covered. We can assist your remote hiring needs by taking care of the heavy lifting. Our associates have the expertise needed to recruit, screen, interview, onboard, and train remote employees. We take care of your staffing needs so you can focus on what you do best: delivering value to your customers.
Learn more about how TalentZök can help you hire remote employees today!
This post is made available for informational purposes only to provide a general understanding of the topics discussed herein. It is not intended to provide specific business, legal, or professional advice, and should not be relied on as such. TalentZök is not liable or responsible for any damage or loss arising from any reliance placed on such materials.