The mecca of the 9 to 5er working from home can have many benefits not only for the employee but for the employer also. Sick day? No more- what is the employee going to do? Stay at home? They’re already at home! Okay, so before you start treating your telecommuting workers like serfs of your corporate empire, keep in mind you have to hire them first. And that can be a daunting prospect, how do you know they will be self-motivated and not goof around with their pet canaries all day instead of doing work? Well, allow me to help: this is how to hire remote workers with the right skills.
1. Location, Location, Location
So, if you need to develop a remote work team, but you don’t know where to start or where to find them and your first impulse was to take out a classified ad that reads: “Work from home and never have a sick day again!” then you might attract the wrong type of people. If you have money to spare, a recruiter is probably the safest bet to source reliable and qualified people. Another solution is websites that cater specifically to flex schedule or work from home employees such as flexjobs and weworkremotely. Of course, if your company has a blog, you could share the position and get employees that actually read your content. It’s much easier than you think to start constructing your internet enable army of peons.
There is a completely different set of requirements for remote workers and you need to focus not only on their credentials pertaining to the job but also their experience as telecommuters. Is the candidate just a person that happened to be enticed by the idea of working from home, or is it someone that has done so successfully in the past? Does your candidate have a solid track-record meeting deadlines and quality standards with minimal or no input from their supervisor? These are all the peripheral requirements of a tele-worker beyond the demands of the position they’re applying for. Modify your interview accordingly to assess these qualifications and characteristics, beyond the base-line requirements you would normally try to determine.
Now, if you want to skim off the cream of the crop you are going to have to pony up to the bar and pay for a round or two. If that metaphor was too cowboy-ish to decipher, let me explain: if you really want to get the best of the best you will have to offer a little something extra that not everyone already offers. Most people give out free computers but honestly that’s old and tired. Some of the best companies in the world are offering their out-of-house help starbuck’s credit, book credits, nice office chairs or even something that will make an oligarch like you cringe: paid vacation time. Actually that last one has proven to be the winning perk, as most jobs don’t offer their telecommuters any vacation time.
Most remote workers do so because they enjoy the freedom, so trying to impose your dictatorial ways on them might back fire. Instead of offering them full on employment with all the benefits and your oppressive style of managing, instead try offering them contracts which they will get paid for upon completion. You can even go as far as offering them a position as independent contractors, lulling them into a false sense of boss-less security, because eventually they will work for you, no matter how hard they try not to. Well, at least in your mind.
Do you have any other ideas that might help people land the perfect remote worker? Let us know in the comment section below.