In the last year, the number of startups in the United States grew by 77.45% according to Bloomberg. Start-up culture is booming right now, and it’s a culture that promotes flexible and remote working. However, it’s not as easy as you might think to hire remote workers.
Many businesses fail to get the remote hiring process right on their first try.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to grow a remote team so that you can hire the right employees and get your business off the ground — without the need for the added expense of an office building.
The benefits of hiring remote workers
It’s true what they say: Remote work can be more productive than office work, and there are many reasons why.
First, to manage remote teams requires minimal effort on your part. If you get your hiring right, your team will have the intuition of an entrepreneur and will be able to get going without much hand-holding.
Second, there’s no geographic limit to who you can bring on your team. You can hire remote workers without much thought into the logistical implications of finding office space, acquiring equipment, and so on.
Source the best candidates from around the globe, interview them (using these handy interview questions for remote workers), and find the best skills and expertise match for the position.
When to hire remote employees
Deciding when to hire your first remote employee can be tricky. It’s often less about the status of doing so, and more because it makes logical sense for your business.
Sure, hiring remote teams might seem like a trend right now (as many business owners opt to run 100% remote companies) but that doesn’t mean you necessarily need to follow suit.
It might be more beneficial for your company to introduce a flexible working policy instead to give employees the choice. For many, remote hiring doesn’t have to be an all or nothing decision.
On that topic, it’s worth reading about some of the annoyances of working remotely from the employee perspective before you make your first remote hire.
How to hire remote employees
Hiring a remote worker differs in many ways from hiring an office employee. For example:
- Interviews will likely be conducted over video conferencing.
- Candidates might require specific needs like working during the evenings instead of during the day.
- You need to consider what policies you have in place for remote workers.
To hire a remote team, you need to prepare yourself before you start interviewing so you can set expectations from the beginning.
1. Create a job description tailored to remote workers
Your job description needs to emphasize that the job is remote, and must reflect the specific needs of the role.
Emphasize things like flexibility and the fact that work is about delivering results, not getting in facetime.
2. Run video interviews
Face-to-face interviews might be difficult if you’re speaking with candidates on different continents. While voice calls are great, you can’t get a good idea of a person over the phone.
Face-to-face interviews over video chat, then, are your answer. Run video interviews so that you can hire more accurately. You’ll be able to hear their responses better with the visual aid, and will be able to see their reactions just like you would in person.
3. Be sure to define your company culture
Lots of people are searching for the top paying remote jobs, which means that the remote part of your job description is no longer your USP.
What is, however, is your company culture.
Be sure to identify parts of your business that are unique and explain how you intend to encourage collaboration and teamwork and motivate remote teams, even if your staff is working from multiple places around the world.
4. Remain competitive
Perhaps the most important point to remember when hiring remote employees is that you’re competing with organizations across the globe, not just in your city.
Besides your unique culture, be sure to identify individual aspects of your business that will attract only the top talent. Perks and other benefits are important to note here.
Remote employee laws: What you need to know
It’s worth mentioning that there are some labor laws for remote employees that you need to consider. If you’re looking to hire remotely, it’s not as simple as following the same processes you have in place for your office workers.
Note: This post is intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. Information is current as of the date published; changes may have been made since this article was created.
State income tax
State income tax for remote workers might differ depending on where you’re hiring people. If you’re a company based in Michigan and you hire someone in Texas, for example, your remote employee will be paying tax in their resident state, not in the state where your business operates.
Payroll taxes for employees working out of state
Payroll taxes work the same as state income taxes. If your employee resides in Dallas but works in Oklahoma City, for example, you’ll be paying taxes for them where the work is actually being completed.
Remote employee unemployment benefits
Much like state income tax, do your employees claim unemployment benefits in the state different to your business?
This topic is a grey area. Because your employees are paying income tax in their home state, they’d also claim unemployment benefits in their home state, too. (It’s worth exploring this page about unemployment from the U.S. government.)
Remote workers: The bottom line
Hiring employees remotely can offer plentiful benefits that you just can’t get with office workers. Plus, your business can save on expensive overhead like space, desks, and regular team outings.
The challenge of hiring remote employees isn’t always in the hiring process itself, but in the managing of remote employees once they’re hired. You need to work harder to build and retain company culture. You need to spend time encouraging collaborative teamwork, and you need to work out how to track an employee’s time and workload.
Think you’re ready? Use this free contract example to help you make your first remote hire.
Free contract example
Note: This free example of a remote working contract is a brief outline of what you need to consider when producing something more comprehensive. This is not intended to be legal advice. Use these guidelines to build a contract tailored to your business.
This is a contract for remote employment at _________, and this contract exists between the manager/supervisor and the employee. This agreement begins on ______ and continues until ______ and must be renewed at least (monthly/annually).
The remote work agreement may be discontinued at any time by either party with reasonable advance written notice of (set timeframe).
Terms of remote work
The remote worker agrees to be available during the assigned business hours of ____ to ____ for communication through such methods as online chat, email, video, and phone and agrees to respond in a prompt manner as they would at an onsite location.
The remote worker will clock in and clock out daily, as well as for meal periods, through the Hubstaff employee time tracking software. This time tracking software will be used to calculate payments based on the agreed-upon hourly rate.
In addition to the meal period, employees should take regular rest periods.
The duties, obligations, responsibilities, and conditions of the remote worker’s employment at _______ remain unchanged. The employee’s salary, retirement, vacation, and sick leave (or Paid Time Off (PTO) and Extended Sick Time (EST)) benefits and insurance coverage shall remain the same.
The remote worker agrees to seek advance approval by the supervisor to change the terms of the work schedule or for use of sick leave/EST, vacation/PTO, compensatory time off, or any other leave of absence.
The remote worker agrees to remain up to date on all safety-related training including online ergonomic training available to employees. The remote worker agrees to maintain a safe and ergonomically sound work environment.
If a remote worker incurs an injury arising out of the course and scope of the assigned job duties while working at home/alternate site, the workers’ compensation provisions in place for the state or country in which the remote worker is working will apply as applicable.
The remote worker is responsible for maintaining and repairing employee-owned remote work equipment at personal expense and on personal time.
The remote worker agrees to use electronic equipment that has been encrypted and meets all company security requirements.
The remote worker will implement good information security practices in the home-office or alternative worksite setting and will check with his/her supervisor when security matters arise.
______ retains the right to modify, suspend, or end the agreement for any reason including, but not limited to, an employee request supported by the supervisor, as a result of business necessity, a change in operational need, or if the employee fails to fulfill job expectations to a satisfactory level.
The remote worker agrees to the following additional specific expectations if any.
I have read this remote work agreement and agree to its terms.
|Remote worker’s signature & date|
|Supervisor’s signature & date|
|Department manager’s signature & date|
About the author
Callum Sharp is a Copywriter and SEO Specialist at Articulate Marketing. Articulate helps ambitious B2B technology companies grow faster with modern marketing, remarkable content and growth-driven website design.