Staffing your new online company isn’t the same as hiring from a local pool of talent to work in an office. Not only do the employees need to be good at the job for which you are hiring them, they also need to fit the profile of a good work from home employee.
Not every office denizen can work from home. Many successful office employees have tried to work from home full-time and floundered. The mentality needed is different. Work from home employees not only need to be talented in the roles for which you are hiring them, they also need to be self-motivated, independent thinkers who are driven to meet deadlines and goals and not just work when they think someone is watching.
Hire experienced remote workers first, even if you have to hire from time zones further away than you had wanted or across multiple borders. Great remote workers don’t care much about 8 to 5 working hours. If your company keeps 8 to 5 hours in Pacific Time, then they’ll be there for you when you need them. When you must hire special talent who have never worked from home before, make sure they fit the self-managing, independent mold. The best remote workers have an entrepreneurial mentality that will resonate with you. Snap them up as soon as you find them.
I also advise that you don’t hold employees to standard working hours or require that they be online during your entire workday. Holding team members to the yardstick of deadlines and quantifiable goals means that they are working to reach an end result not punch a clock. The same employee who was off and on all day Monday will probably put in 12 hours on Thursday. It’s a good idea to have remote employees log time, especially for projects but judge results before judging daily hour totals.
This leads me to hiring managers. When you get to this point, keep in mind that work from home managers not only need to be solid and reliable remote employees just like the talent placed underneath them, they also need to have experience managing a distributed workforce.
Throwing an career office manager into a role managing a team of work from home professionals is a sure-fire recipe for mutiny and disaster. Great work from home managers are almost unicorns and when you find a good one, don’t let them go. They will allow you to scale your remote company beyond the level where others have failed.
Along with advising companies on remote workforce and work from home success strategies, I also run regular webinars to help aspiring remote workers land the best work from home jobs from anywhere without previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.