The other day, my colleagues and I were Skype-chatting about how fast the world is changing these days. India is heading towards a largely cashless economy, more and more Filipinos are working outside of the office, one no longer needs a girlfriend to be happy (you can thank my colleague for that last bit, by the way), etc.
Girlfriend-less future aside, pretty much all the technological and economic developments point to remote work arrangements increasingly becoming the norm. Bizarre as it may seem, it’s no longer unheard of to meet your employees or your boss in person several months or even years after you’ve been hired, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped many firms from thriving.
Thinking of hiring a 100% remote workforce for your next business venture? Great. However, there are a few things you need to learn and unlearn if you want to do that successfully.
The first is how you draft your job openings. Traditionally, you may write long, descriptive listings, but given the fast-paced world of remote work, this is actually counter-intuitive. Instead, use fewer words to build up intrigue and curiosity. If you want to attract high-quality remote talent, highlight your company’s progressive culture with an invitation that reads like “If you like working with a team of ridiculously talented and collaborative people within a supportive environment, check out our job openings.” Directing would-be applicants to pages that summarize your company’s achievements and tout its culture can also help them visualize what it would be like to work there.
If you really want to take things to the next level, you can place a Google log-in box at the bottom of the page as a call to action. Remember, remote workers are, by nature and out of necessity, self-starters, so they’re highly likely to take initiative and apply for a company they’re interested in right then and there. If a person doesn’t have a Google account or isn’t willing or able to put one up to apply, they probably aren’t the right fit for a remote work set-up.
Because you’ll have a limited amount of time to interact with your remote applicants, you need to put a lot more thought into your interview process and questions than usual. Forget about the usual “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question. Rather, employ questions that determine their grit, resourcefulness, and ownership, such as “Who was the most difficult person you worked with? How did you respond?”
Lastly, be sure that you’ve got a good strategy in place for managing your remote team. Countless studies have already confirmed that telecommuters are usually more driven, more productive, and a great deal happier than their office-based counterparts, but that can only be true if you and your company are flexible enough to rise to the exciting challenge of hiring and leading them effectively.