Remote staffing often requires a lot of planning. Here are guide questions for laying the groundwork for a remote setup.
Image by Colin Kinner
Recently, we came across this article with tips on when and how to outsource virtual staff. Stephanie Watson shares with Lyz Freeman her outsourcing experience, failures included. “The people I outsourced to 99 percent of the time were late, or could not be counted on,” was how Stephanie described said failures.
But something else that she said struck us. “Half the time it’s the person doing the hiring who is the problem.” Harsh as that is, we see some truth to it. Employers need to consider a number of factors before outsourcing. The same can be said about hiring remote help -- it involves a lot of planning, often more than what most people think.
Stephanie listed questions to ask yourself before outsourcing work. We found that most of those questions apply to remote staffing as well, so we’ll talk about these similar factors.
What should you consider when hiring remote help?
Do you have an established system for remote staffing?
Putting a reasonable system in place is important with outsourcing, but we believe it’s even more essential with remote staffing. Remote staffing entails hiring full-time employees; your employees are in this for the long haul. The work they will be doing in the next foreseeable future will be exclusively for you, so it’s important that they perform using your processes, to better ensure that the work meets your standards. You will also need to have procedures and policies in place that they could look to whenever they encounter any work-related issues.
Do you know what you want your employee to do?
When working with remote teams, especially offshore teams, clear communication is crucial. This starts with the job description. A clear job description should give your employees the tasks the job entails, as well as your expectations for each task and/or for the entire job. Those expectations will be their basis of success whenever they collaborate with you.
Are you willing to pay the rate for the work, skill, and exclusivity required for the job?
Writer and business coach Lise Cartwright describes how freelancers and contractors have relatively lower rates than remote staff, but they’re not always cost-effective. Remote staffing can be cost-effective, but that will all depend on your needs. Consider how much you’re willing to pay not only for your employees’ skills, but also:
- Direct management over your employees;
- Exclusivity and loyalty; and
- Lower turnover rates.
Do you pay on time?
An established system is also important for managing your finances. It may happen that your clients pay you late, and so you pay your employees late. In that case, you’ll need to make tweaks to your system before hiring a remote team. A system that keeps you from receiving payments and settling dues on time is far from established.
Stephanie says it simply: “Treat your contractor how you wish to be treated. If you wouldn’t put up with it, don’t ask them to.” This applies to remote staff as well; they are human beings first, your employees second.
Got any more questions, or need help planning your remote setup? Check out BoltonRemote.com or contact us. We’d love to hear from you.
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