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In the age of COVID-19 more and more employers are starting to switch from traditional office employees to remote employees.

According to some recent remote work statistics in the United States alone, 5 million employees work from home at least half the week.

There has been a 173% increase in the number of people who work remotely since 2005 and it starting to accelerate even faster in 2020. It’s estimated that 75 million people or 56% of the workforce could work from home.

What are some benefits of hiring remote employees?

71% of employees say that remote working has a high impact on their retention with their company.

Employers should take advantage of this growing number of employees who may be happier working remotely than in an office environment.

A study by Stanford University stated some of the benefits of remote work include an increased sense of Autonomy, higher productivity, and increased job satisfaction. 

1. Reduces Overhead Costs

Office lease rent payments can be a huge cost, especially during economic downturns. There are also other overhead costs that add to the expenses such as workers’ compensation insurance, furniture, cleaners, and office supplies.

Compensating the employees for their working space is not necessary when they’re working remotely.

A survey by glassdoor showed the 30% would trade pay raises for the option to work remotely. 

2. Remote Employees Are More Productive

They can focus on their work without being sidetracked by their coworkers. A lot of employees also love working remotely. They cited that the flexible schedule and the ability to work from any location as the biggest benefit.

They are also less likely to call in with sudden absences such as being sick when they’re not really sick.

These sudden absences according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cost employers in the United States around $225.8 billion annually, or $1,685 per employee due to lost productivity.

3. You can hire employees from anywhere

Hiring remote employees gives you a chance to hire more talented individuals even if they’re from the other side of the United States.

Meanwhile, office employees are limited to the talent you can source within the local area where the office is located or you have to pay relocation expenses.

For companies who are not located in big cities, this means the number of talented individuals you can hire is much lower and you have a hard time competing for those candidates that enjoy the big city life. 

4. Reduces costs and saves time for employees

While you’re getting a huge benefit and savings in remote working, the same goes for your employees. They save on gas, car maintenance, and have a higher quality of life cutting out the long commutes to and from work.

That is why 14% of Americans actually moved just to live closer to their jobs. However, it’s not always the best decision as there are many factors to consider, such as higher rent costs the closer they are to a larger city.

This makes remote work appealing to a lot of potential employees. 

Some working from home productivity statistics state the average remote worker saves between 2 and 5.5 hours a day from not commuting to work or having weekly onsite meetings.

Challenges Of Hiring Remote Workers

There are certainly a lot of benefits to hiring remote employees but there are also a few challenges.

Other companies are willing to hire remote employees regardless of these perceived disadvantages but there are some companies that will not be able to function because of this.

Before hiring remotely, you should see if your company can tolerate a few challenges from remote employees.

1. Lack of team cohesiveness

Due to the nature of remote working, it is more difficult to establish a culture, camaraderie, and a sense of togetherness with remote employees. For a team, it is important to build trust with each other.

Communicating solely through video chats and email can hinder that.

2. Increased distractions

While remote employees relax in the comfort of their own homes, they may get a little bit too relaxed and face distractions while working.

Since no manager is around to check them, they are free to do other things in their homes. This is not a problem with employees that stay focused but can be an issue with remote workers.

3. Time zone management

Dealing with time zone challenges is usually one of the first things you deal with when having remote employees. Especially if you have remote employees across the world.

Waiting 4 to 12 hours for an answer on time-sensitive projects can be frustrating. Additional procedures would need to be in place to deal with this issue.

Qualities of a good remote worker

  1. Self-motivation
  2. Ability to troubleshoot issues on their own
  3. Excellent communication skills
  4. Highly organized with effective time management skills
  5. Tech-savvy
  6. Adaptable to situations that may pop up
  7. Reliable judgment
  8. The ability to focus and dial in to the task at hand

Remote Hiring Tips & Processes

1. Have a strong online presence

Having a strong online presence is extremely beneficial when you’re hiring remotely. A lot of potential employees will search for your online presence to check your legitimacy on places such as glassdoor.com.

Strong brand recognition makes more people trust your company and apply for open positions more readily.

Meanwhile, they’re less likely to apply if they can’t find a trustworthy presence online or if they see a lot of negative reviews about your company.

2. Let the world know your seeking remote workers

A job posting on job boards such as Linkedin, Dice, or Monster is one of the easiest ways to attract remote workers to your job openings. If you are looking for talented individuals, highlight the skills needed for the job.

You should be direct to the point and make sure to avoid long job descriptions that are more like a book than a job ad. Additionally, you can add visuals to increase engagement in your job postings.

Social media posts and announcements on your company’s website can also bring in employees. This is a great method if you want to hire people who are already familiar with your brand.

They can also be easily shared by your existing employees to widen the reach. 

If you don’t have time to recruit yourself you can always reach out to an IT staffing agency to handle it for you.

3. Write engaging job descriptions

There are lots of candidates looking to work remotely, make sure and create clearly defined job descriptions with plenty of keywords that let them know remote work is available for the role.

Specify the traits and characteristics you are looking for in a remote worker.

4. Filter Applicants

After receiving submissions, you can filter through the applicants to see who passes the requirements for the job.

Since job postings are usually public, expect a lot of unqualified applicants that are applying to every job posting they come across with.

A glance at their resume and cover letter can give you an idea if the applicant is serious about applying.

5. Technical Skills Test

After filtering through the people who responded to your job posting, it’s time to test their skills. It is easy to lie on a resume about certain software skills, so create a skills test that thoroughly checks their knowledge about the field.

There are a lot of platforms online wherein you can conduct a technical test for your applicants such as Interview mocha.

6. Conduct a remote video interview

Phone calls can be used in certain cases but a video call is more formal and preferable. A video call also often reveals if the applicant has a strong internet connection which is vital to remote jobs.

The most popular platforms to use are Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, and Webex.

If your company is not already using a remote interview software you should consider investing in one immediately. If you’re not sure how to go about conducting a remote interview check out our article on remote interview best practices for employers.

7. Consider administering a personality test

A face-to-face interview is always the best as the hiring manager can pick-up on the applicant’s nonverbal communication.

However, if that is not possible a personality test may be administered to see if they have the personality traits that would make an effective remote employee.

8. A standardized on boarding process

Close to an average of 20% of new hires leave employers within the first 45 days. Having a process for getting all the paperwork completed quickly and efficiently is important.

You can use software tools such as BambooHR to help with this process.

Make sure direct supervisors are checking in with new remote employees daily and set some short term goals at the start which will help boost confidence.

9. Reference your company’s values

Candidates want to know that they will be in good hands when applying for the job. Knowing the company’s values shows exactly what kind of company they’re getting into.

Ask the candidate if they would like to talk to a team member that they could potentially be working with.

Interested in hiring remote workers to your team but lack the time or resources to do so? reach out to our engineering staffing agency for help.

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