Remote work is here to stay, and by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers.
This guide looks at how to hire and manage remote workers, covering tactics for interviewing remote candidates, benefits of hiring remote workers, and frequently asked questions about remote talent.
Hiring remote workers can provide cost savings, increased productivity and morale, improved communication, and access to a global talent pool. When it comes to hiring talent, there are two main options: remote or on-site talent.
Each has its own advantages, and choosing between them depends on the organisation's needs and priorities.
Knowing how to hire and manage remote workers is essential for organisations to access the very best talent, who are choosing to work from anywhere and value flexibility more highly than ever before.
The ability to hire and manage remote workers has cemented itself as a critical function in organisations in order to hire the best talent.
Working from home is here to stay says Australia’s top statistician, Australian Bureau of Statistics chief David Gruen.
And by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers1.
In this guide, we'll look at how to hire and manage remote workers for your organisation, interview tactics, where to find trusted remote talent, the pros and cons of remote workers, and frequently asked questions about remote talent.
We'll also cover the benefits remote talent offer over on-site talent - and when you should choose remote vs on-site talent.
Hiring remote talent
Hiring remote talent is a great way to expand your team and bring in talent that can't be engaged anywhere else.
Why are organisations now choosing to hire more remote talent? Remote working has become increasingly popular over the last decade, with many individuals seeking a more flexible way to work.
Remote work gives organisations access to a larger talent pool, as they are no longer limited by geographic boundaries when looking for skilled workers.
New collaboration software has made it easier than ever to blend on-site and remote teams, so that virtual and in-person collaboration can occur seamlessly.
Additionally, an emerging trend points towards talent that simply are never going to come back into the office. When a major proportion of this group are technology experts, it becomes even more critical to be able to engage these highly-skilled and scarce people in your workforce.
Where to Source Remote Workers
Finding the right remote workers for your organisation can be a daunting task. Remote teams are growing in popularity, and with this comes an influx of options for where to source talent.
One of the most important factors of sourcing remote talent is vetting. Being able to hire from trusted talent networks like Expert360 ensures that talent has been pre-vetted and ideally, have transparent feedback from previous clients on their performance.
Talent networks are often the most effective way to engage remote talent, especially when they cover all of the administrative side like payments, billing, and timesheets.
You should also consider whether you need permanent or freelance/contract talent. Our data shows that many of the the highest-skilled talent choose to work on a freelance basis rather than permanent - which is another factor to take into account when hiring.
Interviewing Remote Candidates
When interviewing remote candidates, it is important to ask questions that will help you get a better understanding of how they would handle working remotely.
- Ask about their previous experience with remote work, their track record, and the timezones they are used to working in. Also, inquire about the frequency of syncs they prefer and if there are any tools or methods they use for communication.
- It is also essential that you discuss expectations upfront so both parties understand what is expected from each other in terms of hours worked and availability for meetings/calls etc. This helps ensure everyone is on the same page before beginning work together and prevents misunderstandings down the line.
- Think about how this candidate would fit into your org culture, and ask them what they liked and disliked most about their previous work cultures.
- If hiring software/engineering talent, ensure they have been pre-vetted in technical tests, or have a portfolio/proven track record of ability.
Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers
Hiring remote workers can provide a number of benefits to businesses. Cost savings are one of the most obvious advantages, as there is no need to pay for office space or other overhead costs associated with having on-site employees.
If hiring freelance workers, you will pay a higher hourly rate - but you'll often save on the total cost of an employee, especially as you can engage flexibly without any employee downtime.
Additionally, remote workers tend to be more productive due to fewer distractions in their work environment and access to global talent pools that may not have been available otherwise.
Remote working arrangements also improve employee morale by providing flexible schedules and allowing employees the freedom to work from anywhere they choose.
Another benefit of hiring remote workers is improved communication between team members who may be located in different parts of the world or even different time zones.
With tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging platforms, and project management software, it’s easier than ever for teams spread across multiple locations or countries to collaborate effectively on projects without needing face-to-face meetings all the time.
Finally, when you hire remote workers you don’t have geographical restrictions limiting your search for top talent; instead you can cast a wider net and find people who bring unique skillsets that often aren't available locally.
Key Takeaway: Hiring remote workers offers numerous advantages such as cost savings, increased productivity and morale, improved communication, and access to global talent pools.
Remote Talent vs On-Site Talent
When it comes to hiring talent, there are two main options: remote or on-site. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before making a decision.
Pros of Hiring Remote Talent
- One of the biggest benefits of hiring remote talent is cost savings. With no need for an office space, companies can save money on overhead costs such as rent, utilities, furniture and equipment. Additionally, they don’t have to pay for travel expenses associated with bringing in candidates from other locations.
- This makes it easier to hire top talent from around the world without breaking the bank. Furthermore, remote workers tend to be more productive since they don’t have distractions like office chatter or commuting time eating into their day.
Cons of Hiring Remote Talent
- On the downside, managing a team remotely can be difficult since you won’t always know what your employees are doing throughout the day unless you set up systems for tracking progress and productivity levels.
- Additionally, communication can become strained when working with people who aren't physically present which could lead to misunderstandings and missed deadlines if not handled properly. Finally, some tasks may require physical presence so having someone available at all times isn't possible when working with a distributed team.
Pros of On-Site Talent
- Having employees work in person can have some advantages over remote work including better collaboration between teams due to face-to-face interactions
- Faster decision making since team members are in the same place and can quickly come to a consensus, and more control over the work environment
- Extroverts often prefer being in-person in a high-energy office environment, where they can draw motivation from their team and leadership.
Cons Of On-Site Talent
- The primary disadvantage associated with having an onsite workforce is increased overhead costs - building leases, equipment, food, etc.
- There's also less flexibility when it comes to scheduling since most businesses operate within regular business hours whereas remote workers often have more freedom when setting their own schedules .
- Finally, depending on where your company is located, finding qualified local candidates may prove difficult especially if you're looking for specialised skillsets.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Choosing Between Remote Or On-Site Talent
Before deciding whether you should hire remotely or on-site, consider these questions:
- Does this position require daily interaction with other staff members?
- How important is face-to-face contact?
- Is budget an issue?
- Are there enough qualified applicants locally?
- Do I want my team spread out across multiple locations?
- Do we have the technology/infrastructure to support remote talent and integrate them with our existing on-site team(s)?
Key Takeaway: When deciding between remote and on-site talent, consider the pros and cons of each option including cost savings, productivity levels, communication issues, control over workflow, overhead costs and availability of qualified candidates.
10 Steps to Managing Remote Workers
- Establish clear expectations: Set measurable goals and objectives that are achievable, trackable, and understandable to remote workers.
- Foster communication: Encourage open dialogue between team members through video conferencing, instant messaging, or other tools for collaboration.
- Create a virtual workspace: Utilise cloud-based solutions to provide access to documents and resources from anywhere in the world.
- Promote accountability: Develop systems of checks and balances so remote workers can be held accountable for their work performance.
- Leverage technology: Use project management software such as Trello or Asana to keep tasks organised and on schedule while providing visibility into progress updates from remote workers in real time.
- Encourage feedback loops : Make sure there is an easy way for remote employees to provide feedback about their experiences working remotely so you can identify areas of improvement quickly.
- Reward excellence : Show appreciation for outstanding work by recognising individual contributions with rewards like bonuses or promotions when appropriate.
- Provide training opportunities : Ensure that all employees have access to the same learning materials , regardless of location , so they stay up -to-date on industry trends and best practices.
- Prioritise mental health : Take proactive steps towards creating a positive workplace culture by offering flexible hours , wellness programs , or other initiatives designed specifically with mental health in mind.
- Off-sites: Consider having scheduled off-sites where the remote team can meet in-person with on-site team members to ensure they feel included - with the additional benefit of a dose of motivation and reinvigoration.
Hiring remote talent can be a great way to find talent that are the best fit for your company, no matter where they are located. By following the tactics in this article, you're set up for success to hire and manage remote workers effectively.
There are pros and cons to both remote workers and on-site workers, so make sure to consider what will work best for your company before making a decision.
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