Post pandemic, one of the biggest changes that we have witnessed has been the sheer increase in the number of people choosing to work from home. According to this survey by Buffer, as many as 97% of respondents would choose to work remotely for some parts of their work week.
The good news? The remote model offers multiple benefits to employers too, from reduced operational costs to access to an unrestricted pool of highly skilled talent. However, building and managing a successful remote team comes with its own set of challenges.
Right from the initial policy framework, to setting up the digital infrastructure and recruitment pipeline, an organisation has to consider a multitude of factors before it’s ready to go remote. Here are 5 areas that you must consider:
Remote work policies
A remote work policy is a set of guidelines that outlines the code of conduct and expectations from all remote employees of the company. These policies often cover work timings, communication expectations, time-tracking processes, data security rules, legal considerations and more. For teams transitioning to remote work, having a policy in place helps eliminate uncertainty and ad hoc decision making at the manager level.
A good place to start is by ensuring that your remote work policy covers the following:
Working hours and availability
Ensure that your remote work policy clearly sets down expectations with respect to working hours, times of availability etc.
An effective communication strategy is the backbone of every remote organisation. Clearly demarcate the preferred channels for both synchronous and asynchronous communication.
We know that data security is one of the biggest concerns for all remote organisations. Clearly mention all security measures that employees need to take in terms of firewalls, VPNs, antiviruses and usage of public wifi.
Mechanism for availing paid time off
Put down the number of leaves and vacation days, how they are divided and how they can be availed so as to make life easier for your HR department.
One of your most important responsibilities as a remote employer is to ensure that your workforce has access to the tools and technology that they need. Much like a physical office where you would set up cubicles, conference rooms, computer systems and desks, your remote workforce will require infrastructural support. This can be divided into three parts:
Having a dedicated workspace enables your team members to bring their most productive selves to work. This includes the right computer and attachments like speakers or headphones, a fully functional workstation and an ergonomic chair.
Working without the necessary tools is like running a race barefoot. Ensure your team has access to all necessary licensed softwares like adobe illustrator, Microsoft365, CRM softwares, etc
Remote work tools
Today, there exist multiple tools designed specifically to help remote teams increase their productivity. From synchronous and asynchronous communication, to having a common central repository of all data, these tools help remote teams function as a single unit.
73% of all departments are expected to have remote workers by 2028. Now, more than ever is the time when recruiters upskill themselves in order to have a seamless remote recruitment process.
We recommend dividing this process into office stages:
Assessment and planning
As the most important part of building your remote team, it is important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the various roles and job descriptions. We also recommend having an organisational chart in place before you start recruiting.
Build your employer brand
According to Gartner, 65% of the candidates surveyed report that they have actually discontinued a hiring process due to an unattractive employer brand. The right EVP (employer value proposition) helps potential candidates understand how their professional goals align with your company’s trajectory. Make sure your careers page includes information about your company’s culture, perks and benefits, employee testimonials and opportunities for growth and learning.
Building a remote talent pool
One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is to be able to hire solely on the basis of skill set and relevant experience, regardless of the candidate’s location. Here are some tips to help you build an expansive pool of talent for recruiting your remote team members:
- a) Leverage technology: Thanks to the integration of AI and machine learning into hiring workflows, companies can now post across multiple channels via a single process. Remember to include platforms meant exclusively for remote workers like flexjobs and angel list.
- b) Use your social media: Not just LinkedIn, but even your company’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts are good places to publicise the fact that you’re hiring. If your blog posts receive a fair amount of traction, it’s a good idea to use them for putting out hiring requirements.
- c) Employee and user networks: Employee referrals are one of the most effective ways to find and retain new employees. We also suggest sending out feelers in your user base. The added advantage here is that they are already familiar with your product or services.
Preparing for virtual interviews
Whether an interview is conducted in person, or across a computer screen, the qualities that all recruiters look for remain constant. Share all relevant information like the date and time of the meeting, name of the interviewer and any other such requirements a few days prior to the interview. We also recommend preparing a standard list of questions and a hiring rubric for a completely objective interview. This has the twofold benefit – it ensures that the interview covers all required areas, while simultaneously guarding against any bias that might creep in.
Onboarding your distributed teams
The right onboarding process can improve employee retention by 82%. Effective onboarding becomes increasingly important for remote organisations as it plays a major role in helping new employees find their place within the organisation. In the absence of the same, HR departments at remote organisations need to strategically build a highly engaged and interactive onboarding process.
We recommend dividing your onboarding process into three parts – pre joining, first day, and post joining. This enables you to structure all activities in a chronological order and maximise the results.
Compensation and benefits
The remote workforce knows exactly what perks and benefits it wants, and it isn’t a high-end coffee machine or foosball table. ‘Flexible working hours’ and ‘the ability to work from home’ are some of the most valued employee benefits according to millennials.
When recruiting globally, employers also need to factor in the statutory benefits of the employee’s country of residence. For example, Indian law requires that all companies with over 20 employees make contributions to a provident fund. Most countries will require employers to contribute to provisions made towards health insurance, pension funds, or accidental insurance. As you decide your remote recruitment strategy, it is important to factor the cost of providing these benefits to your remote workforce.
Legal and regulatory compliance
Access to a global team also means that you will now have to ensure compliance with the employment laws, taxation regimes and legal requirements of the countries of residence of your foreing employees. While you might not have to worry about the taxation percentages for the contractors you hire, all full time employees will be subject to taxation in their country of residence.
Similarly, every country has its own employment laws and regulations, non compliance with which can result in hefty fines. A sizable amount of the initial cost will go towards registration and paperwork, and consulting legal and financial experts.
A good way to hire across multiple countries without investing a substantial amount of time and capital is to avail the services of an employer of record. An Employer of Record is a third-party organisation that serves as the legal employer for a company’s foreign employees. The EOR undertakes the management of all workforce-related aspects – from hiring & payrolls to taxation, employee benefits, and legal compliances.
If there is one thing that is common to all companies that have thrived in the last two years, it is their ability to function remotely. As you take the first step towards building a remote organisation, remember that its success hinges heavily on the foundation that you lay much before you start recruiting.
At Talent500, we are helping global companies hire, build and manage global teams in 30+ countries by acting as their Employers of Record. We aim to transform high-impact companies by giving them access to a worldwide community of highly skilled professionals transcending geographical boundaries. Sign up here to take your first step towards global expansion!