7 years ago, I realized that hiring a remote team and managing it was an approach I wanted to pursue. I’ve been working remotely since then.
Hiring and managing the team remotely is not the easiest path. Also, since I have 3 projects — CV Compiler (ML-powered resume enhancement tool), Relocate.me (tech job relocation platform), and GlossaryTech (online glossary for learning tech terms), for me this path was even harder. But still, such an approach has many advantages, and all my projects at the moment are run by distributed teams.
In this article, I’m sharing 7 costly lessons I’ve learned while hiring the remote teams for my projects.
1. Don’t neglect test assignments
Make them as close as possible to the real tasks your future developer, copywriter or sales manager will be performing. It’s reckless to judge a candidate only from the perspective of their portfolio or resume, not seeing this person in real work.
2. Put some ‘traps’ in the job description
Attentiveness is a trait every professional should obtain. In the job description, ask candidates to replace the subject line of their application with a specific phrase, or send their resume via the different channel, (not a job board.) Such ‘traps’ are a great means of initial filtering.
3. Search for locations with low local competition
If the employers in a particular city/country don’t offer competitive compensations and work conditions, talented specialists will start searching for remote opportunities. What you need to do is to offer decent perks to the candidates from the areas with a low employer competition.
4. References work when hiring a remote team, too
Just follow the previous rule, and your team members will start spreading a word about your company with a speed of light. Your best employee might be one of those people referred by your colleagues.
5. Talk about life with your candidates
I have one simple rule: I don’t want to work with people whom I wouldn’t invite for coffee. When hiring a remote team member, I always talk to them about their life plans or favorite books. This small talk shows me whether a person will be a good fit for our team.
6. Pay well
Underpaying remote team members is one of the worst practices I’ve ever seen. Just don’t do it.
7. Take care about proper onboarding
Our company has a special book for newcomers. It’s a 50-page PDF, describing the internal processes and providing answers to the common first-day questions. You should have something similar, too. Proper onboarding is a must — as you’re hiring a remote team, you can’t explain all the details in person, so all the processes should be well-documented.
Hiring a remote team — Conclusions
If you now believe that hiring and operating a remote team is for you, I highly recommend this book: ‘First, Break All the Rules‘ by Marcus Buckingham. One time, it completely changed my thoughts about hiring remotely.
Hiring and managing the team remotely is not the easiest path, but it’s the approach of the future. The faster you learn how to do it, the longer you will stay competitive.