Many business owners are recognizing the value of utilizing a remote workforce. This can be a particularly effective employment structure for those who want to put together a team of remote developers. To ensure this type of setup will work for your business, make sure you have all of your operational functions in order prior to interviewing candidates, hiring staff, or launching operations.
Handle liability and risk
If you haven’t already taken this critical step, it’s beneficial to form a limited liability company, or LLC, prior to business start-up. An LLC offers numerous tax advantages, reduces your liability, and eliminates a lot of time-consuming paperwork. You can save money on attorney’s fees by doing the legwork yourself or using a formation company. Educate yourself about your state’s particular requirements around LLC formation before moving ahead.
Outlining your needs
Before assembling a remote team of workers, create job descriptions for each position that align with the core operational functions of your business. This approach will help you narrow the scope when you’re recruiting prospects, reviewing resumes, and conducting interviews. You’ll also want to develop best practices for managing your remote workforce. It might be beneficial to concurrently hire a team leader or project manager who can coordinate efforts and track progress. Developing remote onboarding and training materials can also be an asset in getting everyone quickly up to speed.
Advertising the job
There are a number of different ways you can go about recruiting remote working candidates. You can utilize online job boards or employment sites. Or, if you’re looking for high-end developers, a corporate recruiting firm can be an asset. You might also look into agencies that specialize in placing developers with specific criteria for niche industries. If you utilize an outside party for hiring, give them specific details about not only the experience requirements you want but also, describe any type of pre-employment screening candidates will be subject to.
Conducting background checks
Many companies rely on background checks to help them weed out potential bad actors. You may want to check an individual’s credit and criminal history, particularly if they’ll be handling sensitive financial information for your company. It’s important to follow Fair Credit Reporting Act rules and be upfront with candidates about what your intentions are. Companies can gather information going back many years, but some states prohibit criminal background checks until after a conditional job offer is extended. Make sure you understand the requirements before moving forward.
Administering skills tests
In addition to ensuring developers have the experience and credentials you need, you may also opt to issue exams to ensure competency in key areas. Even though your developers will be working remotely, if they’re working with other teammates, you may find it beneficial to conduct personality assessments. Myers-Briggs tests can help you evaluate how different candidates will mesh with your existing team. In fact, involving a few key team members in your interview panels can provide you with additional insights about how well personalities will work together in real (remote) life.
Onboarding and training
According to We Work, for a remote workforce to operate together and be productive for your company, they need to know what you want them to do, and how you want them to do it. Make sure you have an onboarding and training program in place to get them up to speed, not only on the functions of your organization but on day-to-day responsibilities and productivity expectations. Once the workers are effectively remote, relax your control a little and let them lead improvement initiatives. Plan to have a check-in every few weeks to offer feedback, assess progress, and identify problem areas before they become an issue.
Remote workforces can be effective for small businesses and can substantially reduce overhead operating costs. However, to be productive and effective, everyone must be well-trained and on the same page about expectations. You should also make yourself, or a project manager, readily available to troubleshoot issues as they arise.
If your company is interested in learning more about the benefits of utilizing remote developers, check out the remote posts.
Guest author Tina Martin
Tina’s work comes from a very similar perspective to the Brownfield ideals related to self-improvement and practical application of next steps.