How to Effectively Hire and Manage Remote Employees

Are you struggling to keep up with your business’ to-do list? As your business grows and expands, there’s a point where you can’t keep doing all the work yourself. You shouldn’t feel like you have to decline that new project or work long hours. You can do this all and more if you hire help! 

Most business owners hire remote employees and delegate those smaller tasks. Delegating tasks frees up your to-do list to focus on the big and urgent projects. It also gives you a bit more personal time, too! You can reduce your work hours but still get the same (if not more) amount of work done. 

Now that remote work has become more common, hiring an employee that fits the bill has never been easier. Employees appreciate the flexibility that comes along with remote work, and it makes them happier! Hiring remotely benefits you, too. You’re not constrained by set in and out times, geographic location, or technology. You can leverage all the benefits of remote work to attract the employees that best fit your business. 

Hiring and managing remote employees is a great leadership experience for all business owners. While you might be skeptical of hiring help, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t be! Hiring remote employees is a great boost to your business and to-do list. This guide will help you effectively hire, manage, and communicate with your remote employees to get the results you want for your business.

How to Hire Remote Employees

When you’re on the hunt for remote employees, you should treat the process as if you were doing it in person. Look at your options, get to know them, and see their portfolio to see if their work aligns with your business’ vision. You can find all sorts of people all over the Internet, but you’ll have better luck on some platforms compared to others. Here are a few places I recommend you start your search and some things you should think about as you search for an employee. 

Finding quality candidates

You’re more likely to find open-to-work candidates through social media and referrals instead of traditional job websites (like LinkedIn or ZipRecruiter) without too much scrolling. However, you can find quality candidates on freelance job posting forums, like Fiverr and Upwork. I suggest you keep your options open but see if you can find candidates through social media and referrals first. 

You can find tons of quality candidates on Facebook Groups and Instagram! I recommend joining a mix of broad and specific Facebook Groups for your business and niche and see if they allow posts about work availability or candidate searches. If you’ve networked with people on Instagram, it can be a great place to search for candidates who are open to work or have spots available for your business. 

If you’ve made some business friends throughout the years, contact them and ask if they can recommend anyone! Your peers are more than happy to suggest quality employees. If you get in contact with a freelancer through a recommendation, but they’re not available to work at the moment, ask them for recommendations or see when they have spaces available! They may suggest another remote employee friend looking for work. Networking is a great way to reach employees and scope out trusted options.

You can always search freelance job posting forums, like Fiverr and Upwork. These platforms host freelance and remote employees looking for work. If you haven’t had luck with recommendations or social media, this is a great option! You can find tons of quality candidates faster than searching through social media or asking for recommendations. You should know that these websites often take a percentage fee if you find and hire someone through their platform, so be ready to pay a little extra to compensate for using the website. 

Ask the right questions

Whenever you hire help for work, you should always ask questions! If you find someone that looks right for your business, conduct an interview! This is the best way to find out if they’re suitable for the role and figure out how they work. Here are a few topics/questions I suggest asking during the search phase or interview: 

  • Ask about their work style, how they stay organized, and how they complete job tasks.
  • Their communication styles and preferences.
  • Ideal working hours or availability.
  • How many hours of work do they prefer weekly.
  • Their experience and knowledge of the work you’ll have them do.
  • Any strengths/weaknesses with job tasks.
  • What they want to learn, what skills they want to develop, or why they want to work for you.

These questions will cover most of your bases, but feel free to ask other questions you feel are relevant to your business! I also recommend you ask for a portfolio or work sample to see the quality of their deliverables. Results are a great indicator of what you can expect from their work. Remember you’re also being interviewed! Your candidate will ask questions about you, your business, their job tasks, and any other info they find important about the role. Be honest with your responses and expectations about the role!

Get on the same page

When you ask questions or conduct an interview, you both have to be on the same page about the nitty-gritty details. Here are some considerations you should think about and form expectations on before hiring a remote employee.

Pay: How much should you compensate your employee based on the work they’ll do and their experience? Pay depends on the tasks you give them. Don’t lowball a prospective employee. Be open to negotiating compensation. Find a range you’re comfortable paying them that acknowledges their skills and work experience. 

Employment Status: Will your employee be classified as an employee or a contractor? You’ll have to do some research on your country/state/city’s employment laws to figure this one out. Employment status is important for figuring out compensation and taxes and avoiding legal penalties for misclassification. Most virtual assistants tend to work on a contract basis, so you should be familiar with writing and interpreting employment contracts. 

Hours and Availability: Be clear on how many hours you want the employee to work weekly and daily. While the point of working remotely is to allow your employee to work whenever they want, you should ask them when they plan to work or be available for communication. Be conscientious of the time you ask from employees and the compensation you provide for this time. 

Deliverables: These are what your employee should provide to you during their work on a project or task. Detail the general timeline for different tasks, roughly how many hours it takes to finish them, and your expectation of quality upon completion. When your employee starts working, they should have a clear idea of what you expect from them. 

How to Manage Remote Employees

If you signed that contract and hired your remote employee, congratulations! This is a great step forward for your business. After hiring an employee, onboard and familiarize them with your business, process, and communication expectations.

When you work with remote employees, management might take a hands-off approach. Don’t worry! This is super common, and hands-off doesn’t mean completely removed. You’ll be able to review your employees’ work and manage how they get their tasks done. Managing remote employees requires consistent and clear communication about tasks and deliverables for the day or week. Make communication your #1 priority! 

I’ve been in the remote game for a while now, both managing remote employees and being one myself! If you’re worried about navigating the process alone, don’t be! You can get some help just by contacting me. 

As you onboard and set expectations for your new employee, know what tasks you’ll give them and set up platforms for an effective work environment.

Set Up Effective Communication Methods

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Clear communication is the backbone of a great working relationship. When you onboard your employee, have 2-3 ways to contact them. Two easy options are email and project management platforms, like Asana or Trello. Use email for asynchronous communication (communication that doesn’t need to be answered right away). Project management platforms are when you’re both working and need to send quick messages that need fast responses. 

If you’re not comfortable giving out your phone number to your employee, there are options! Text messaging apps, like Slack and Voxer, are great options for staying in touch with your employees and updating them. In any case, make sure you have ways to reach each other with questions or updates.  

Establish a Project Management System

Along with communication, task organization is crucial for keeping your business on track. An online project management system is the most effective way to stay organized with your remote employee because you can easily create, transfer, and complete tasks on a shared calendar. I recommend platforms like Asana, Trello, or Clickup because they’re intuitive and easy to use for you and your employees. 

Project management systems and platforms let your employee know what their deliverables are for the day/week. It helps them organize their week and plan when to work. It also helps you decide what tasks to delegate and how much you should expect to work that week. 

As part of onboarding, show your employees how to complete work tasks. You can do this with an online meeting through screen sharing, a step-by-step guide, or a video tutorial. Make sure they can reference these materials later on! Set upfront expectations on when your employee should complete their deliverables or transfer work to you. This is most easily communicated by having them create a task for you or emailing you their work.

Check-in

Whether it’s a quick meeting or email, see how your employee is doing professionally and personally. During their first month, have a weekly meeting to check in with your employee and see how they’re adjusting. These meetings can help you structure work tasks, address any potential concerns about their work, and help you both get more comfortable interacting with each other. Your employee will appreciate that you’re taking the time to check in on them and see how they’re doing!

While hiring a remote employee can be a time-consuming process, it’s worth it! Most business owners who hire a remote employee tend to be happy with the outcome because it benefits their business, makes managing their tasks a bit easier, and provides development and work to another freelancer. Are you looking for a remote employee to manage your social media, design your next logo, or generate new leads? I have spaces available! Contact me today for a discovery call, and let’s get started on improving your business together.

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