4/13/2022

Hiring the Right Remote Employees for Your Startup

You’ve been working your side hustle for a while now and you’ve decided to make the leap and launch your own startup. The proposition is both thrilling and terrifying. Fortunately, though, there are ways to mitigate the risks while maximizing the potential rewards. That is if you play your cards right.

Launching your startup wholly online can be a terrific way to manage costs while securing the best talent and reaching the widest target market. Finding the right remote workers isn’t always easy, however. When you’re building your virtual business, you need to know exactly what attributes to look for when hiring your remote team.

First Things First: Assessment and Planning

While hiring the right remote employees is essential to the success of your virtual startup, there are some preliminary steps that you need to attend to first. For example, you need to be clear about your goals and your readiness when you’re transitioning from a side hustle to a full-fledged business. 

When you’re turning a gig into a company, you need to have a detailed business plan and the financial nest egg to get the business up and running and to sustain it through the lean first months.

When it comes to your hiring practices at this time, you must be hiring at scale. That means that you don’t want to waste time and money recruiting employees that you can’t afford and don’t need. Be mercenary when it comes to staffing your startup. Be realistic about your current needs and short-term growth projects and tailor your recruiting strategies accordingly.

As you’re formulating your business plan and finding the right people to implement it, you should also consider how you will present your operations to the world in general and your target market in particular. 

Even if your startup is going to be wholly remote, for instance, it is still a good idea to secure a virtual office space. This will give your company a physical address from which to send and receive correspondence. This can also enhance the credibility of your brand, as your target customers are more likely to trust a new company that provides full contact information and has an established brick-and-mortar presence. 

Additionally, most virtual offices also provide access to meeting rooms and workspaces, which can be invaluable for occasions when you need to get your team together in person.

Screening Candidates

Once you’ve defined your business plan, staffing needs, and center of operations, it’s time to begin building your ideal remote team. This will likely require a different skill set than what you might use in hiring traditional, on-campus workers. 

A virtual worker is a unique breed, one who can remain productive, engaged, and content even without the daily face-to-face interactions of the physical workplace. Thus, when you’re screening candidates, one of the first and more important things you can do is look for applicants who have remote work experience. 

Prioritizing candidates who have a strong background in hybrid or fully remote work environments isn’t just going to help you confirm that they have the right temperament for the work, but that they’re also likely to have some degree of access to and familiarity with the required technologies, such as VPNs, video conferencing platforms, cloud-based systems, and secure communication and project management apps. 

This can save valuable time and money when it comes to setting up the employee’s virtual office and onboarding them.  

Engaging Candidates and New Hires

In addition to screening for candidates who have virtual work experience, it’s also important to deeply engage with your most promising applicants before you seal the deal. Specifically, your top candidates need to fully understand your business, its mission, and the remote work processes and expectations by which it will operate. 

Without this clarity, new hires may feel anxious and unsupported. Their performance may suffer and you may even lose them to other employers offering a more traditional, familiar, and comfortable work environment. 

In other words, when you are recruiting and onboarding your remote employees, it is incumbent upon you to exercise and showcase your leadership skills in the digital domain. This will include deploying your talents in motivating, directing, developing, and engaging what will be, ideally, a diverse and inclusive remote workforce, one that represents an array of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences that might not have been feasible were you recruiting only local candidates for a physical office space or storefront

The Takeaway

Your side hustle isn’t just a way to make a bit of extra cash. It’s also a labor of love, so much so that you’ve decided to turn it into a full-time business. Remote operations can be a great way to launch a successful startup, but your virtual enterprise may well rise or fall on the strength of the team you put together. The good news is that it’s possible to hire top-level remote employees if you know what to look for!

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