Photo by Austin Distel
As you may know by now, here at Standups we are all about distributed and remote work. Our platform is one on which you can stay in touch with your employees distributed around different countries and time zones: Standups is a platform that allows you to create that connection that no other platform is currently offering, we help you connect your team using video and voice, in an asynchronous way — with all the benefits that brings to the table. The days of trying to sync a whole distributed team into a real-time live call, or directly sending emails and shorts texts are now over. Having said this, this implies that you have a team of employees to communicate with, which you may not have at the moment. Worried about this? Don't be. Today's blog article is about finding remote employees. I will be guiding you through the different websites you can visit to find the best match for the remote role you’ll be offering.
First, let's take a look at three websites that tend to be the best to find remote employees that can do just about anything. From offering graphic design to voice-overs and content writing, these websites are the most used by both employees and employers.
As we have been discussing on our last articles about remote work, and how we believe it’s the future of work. We have already seen quite a bit of change in the way work is automated, and now, there is more change to come. Employees are beginning to work from home a lot more, and this has created an entirely new market! Gone are the days of having to find someone in your city or country, with the websites we are about to discuss, you can find the right person for the job efficiently.
Fiverr has been growing exponentially in the past years because of the swift change in the labor market. It works as a catalog of services: you search the service you are looking for and can find it easily. The website gives you information such as the employee's country of origin, their spoken languages, and more. Ultimately, the site also takes the employee 20% of their revenue, so if you prefer reaching out to them directly, try to find other social media accounts, such as on LinkedIn.
Upwork, unlike Fiverr, is a website on which you can hire someone directly by posting a job opening or a specific contract. This will invite many different remote employees from all around the world, and most will see your job post. However, be aware that many workers will try to work with you outside of UpWork because of the fee, and you need to be careful about the work that they hand in! Make sure that you have contracts and Non-Disclosure Agreements before you begin any work with them, and be aware that this also applies to Fiverr.
Indeed is another website that is widely known to recruiters. As it offers you the possibility of ticking 'remote' in the job opening, it gives you the chance to find employees that are located all around the world. This way, you're expanding the pool of applicants and helping you find the most qualified one.
Bonus: LinkedIn, Yes!
Going back to the roots and using Linkedin is a great way to find new remote employees. This being said, you may have to do some heavy triaging as just about anyone can see job offers. LinkedIn is often used by many different job-seekers– it is one of the most popular platforms, thus will undoubtedly attract many applicants.
You can also find remote employees through recommendations. Sometimes, you will find someone outstanding by merely speaking to them, or by asking someone in your field about a specific job you have to fill. Are you looking for a web designer? You may know someone who knows someone who can create the exact product you are looking for.
Something emerges from discussing these: you need to find someone qualified, and as they work remotely, this may be difficult to do. So, let's go on and discuss what you should look for in applicants' CVs and while interviewing them.
Many co-working spaces are offline hubs for finding remote employees. Places like Bali or Berlin, are real co-working and digital nomads hubs. Connecting with people in coworking spaces is a great way to network and find employees and jobs, due to the flexibility and openness fostered at those places, and many distributed and remote companies with employees based in those places, which makes it easier to find and match people interested in the remote work style.
The interview with the candidate
It’s important that once you have decided to invite a candidate into an interview, you ask the right questions to help you figure out if they would fit into the remote role, apart from the technical questions intimately related to the job, which you’d ask anyway if you’d be looking for an on-site employee. It’s key to hire someone who’s willing to make it work remotely. Here’s a few aspects you should consider when interviewing your remote candidate:
Basic remote employee skills
It’s not the case that everybody is ready to jump into a remote role. There are a few things that need to be in place —or at least— there needs to be a willingness to improve and/or incorporate a few important skills that make it easier to be part of a remote organization.
- Knowing how to prioritize tasks within the team while other people are still away — or not online for the next hours
- Communication skills — you have to overcommunicate across your organization and be good at asynchronous communication, which is something that platforms like Standups does well for distributed teams
- Trust — the relationship needs to be based in trust since the beginning with your new employee, you can’t be micromanaging or making him/her track every little hour, or report themselves when they’re doing way for lunch, etc.
- Action-driven people — if there are no more tasks on the queue, these people will find work to do anyway, and won’t wait for a manager, and will keep helping the organization move forward.
These points above are well-proven areas to dive into when interviewing. Many successful distributed companies like Buffer or Zapier have implemented them in their hiring process. I’ll try to ask as many questions possible and try to guide the interview into figuring out how well the person will be matching those basic remote skills.
How much work have they done so far — remotely?
This may seem obvious, but it is an important one. Many employees and freelancers are starting to work online because they have heard that it is easy money. Yet, many of them also tremendously lack experience. When you look at their CVs, make sure to check for a portfolio of their work, or previous clients. Only seeing "working online as a freelancer" for four or five years on their CV should not be enough, you need some proof!
Why do they work remotely (or online)?
When interviewing them, ask them why they think they can work well remotely. This is something your potential employee will most likely have learned through experience. For example, one of my employees has worked online for three years and has been working from places such as Greece, Morocco, England, and even Uganda. Needless to say, this life experience and remote work experience is something that teaches one a lot; thus, she has experience in this field. Make sure to ask why they wish to work remotely and ask about their routine. You can also ask about the environment they work best in, and other similar questions to try and get to know them better.
What do their past bosses and colleagues have to say?
If you have access to their CV (which you hopefully do!), what can you find out about their work ethic? Perhaps you can ask for recommendation letters or for snippets of their colleagues' thoughts about them or their work? The point is that the remote work market is booming, and all kinds of workers are out there looking for a job, something which can both be a blessing and which can fill up your inbox with hundreds of unqualified job applicants. So, make sure to ask the right questions and to go with your gut– usually, our intuition is correct! A quick general hiring tip: if you’re doing background checks, as soon as people don’t state a clear “YES!, you should hire him/her!” that’s an indication that the person was probably not fulfilling the expectations of their previous employer.
Could you give them a test run?
If you think you have found the right employee, why not give them a shot and see how they work? You can include them on your Standups account and check on their progress easily within your team set up. On our platform, you can also check if they communicate well and if they are fast learners. You can also make sure that everything is going well on their side, and give them a lot of flexibility through our platform, timezone feature, wherever they are located.
It’s important for your new remote hires to be able to adapt quickly to your team. Getting them and the team to know each other in different aspects is key. If you’re on-boarding a new employee and only use live calls + chat platforms like Teams or Slack, you’re going to be doing it poorly — you need to offer your new teammate and the rest of the team a better platform to get to see and listen to each other more flexibly. Only getting to know the chat/text personas of your teammates will be detrimental for successful onboarding, but now a thing of the past thanks to Standups, where you can get your team together and have async discussions, using our stories and voice message updates.