How to Create a Top-Notch Remote Team


Article by Tina Martin

As a small business owner, your first go-round with remote workers can be a bit intimidating.  You want to ensure you get the best possible talent, then make the most of those you hire.  You might feel like you’re going at things blindly, but it might just be one of the best decisions you ever make.  Here’s how to successfully pull together a top-notch team and manage them comfortably from afar. 

Assess Your Needs

Building a remote team can be exciting - any time you can dip into new talent and new faces, there is a certain exhilaration in adding to your staff.  However, these workers will not be in-house, so in many ways, it can be disconcerting in how to manage them.  Before you dive too far into the hiring process, it’s crucial to decide on the capacity your remote workers will fill, because that can affect what you require from them.  With that in mind, weigh the pros and cons of hiring freelancers versus permanent, full-time people. 

 There are a few key benefits and drawbacks associated with these two scenarios.  For instance, freelancers can save you money, since you don’t have to pay benefits.  They also forfeit certain rights, such as unemployment, or a right to sue you for things like harassment or discrimination. 

At the same time, freelancers receive highly desirable flexibility, and you receive their skills and expertise.  The risk you take is in losing people you value if they elect to move on, or in not receiving results you hoped for.  Your best bet is to start by hiring high-quality people in the first place.

How to find Great Talent

Hiring exceptional remote workers begins with where you search for them.  For instance, better job boards will lead you to better quality freelancers.  You can easily find talent to fill every need and niche imaginable from security analysts to web designers to human resources professionals.  Contemplate where your business would see the most benefit and start there. 

When sorting through candidates, The Muse suggests avoiding some common mistakes employers make when hiring remote help.  Plan on a face-to-face interview, which technology makes simple through video conferencing tools.  Develop an appropriate list of interview questions, designed to pull out candidates’ capabilities, professionalism, and knowledge.  And lastly, figure out some measures for assessing skills, depending on the role the candidate will fulfill. 

How to Manage Your Remote Team

When it comes to managing your remote team, you might feel like a duck out of water at first.  Chron recommends ensuring your management strategies include balanced communication.  That means you should avoid overlooking your remote workers when touching base with the rest of your staff.  Keep routine interactions succinct, and think about the best format when you engage your remote people.  For instance, lengthy instructions should be in a shared document or email so they can be saved, printed, highlighted, and so forth.  Loose information or brainstorming sessions might be better handled in a live chat or video conference. 

One of the keys to keeping remote people happy is remembering why they chose their work arrangement.  If you come on too strong, have too many restrictions, or heavy-handed guidelines, you might be overstepping your bounds.  Flexibility regarding hours and environment is crucial to keeping them happy, and helps to ensure you retain your better workers.  Don’t skip over them when it’s time for promotions and raises, and you’re sure to see your remote workers blossom - and your company right along with them. 

There are simple strategies that make a big difference when hiring remote workers.  Decide what your specific needs are, then look for top-notch talent.  Manage those gems wisely, and you’ll be on the road to success in no time. 

Tina Martin is a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance