Having spent the better part of this year working remotely, even employees of large companies have begun to see the benefits of untethering from their cubicles. Others, such as solopreneurs and entrepreneurs, are ready for a change, too -- from the costly office spaces they were renting or the noisy coffee shops and libraries they had to vacate when the pandemic of 2020 hit.
There's a solution in sight for all: coworking. And now that economic activity has started to pick back up, many small businesses may be looking to hire. But given how adept people have become at remote work, there's no need for these employers to limit themselves geographically.
Below, we give our top three tips for hiring and managing a distributed workforce.
Use Your Networks
As a business owner, you're bound to have made more than a few connections along your journey. Rather than go immediately to a general jobs site, head toward a few resources already better tailored to you and your industry: your business friends and acquaintances, your LinkedIn account, and even Facebook. These can hold a wealth of intel regarding potential hires.
"Why Facebook, you ask?" Peter Kazanjy, co-founder of the Monster.com-acquired TalentBin, writes in a piece about hiring. "Aren't LinkedIn connections the "professional" connections you're looking for? Yeah, kinda. But people suck at documenting their full social graphs on LinkedIn. Only people in sales and recruiting are good about that. Most of your employees will not be. Trust me. Think of all the great people your staffers have met and worked with in college and at previous jobs. These people are more likely to be their Facebook friends. When you forego these prospective candidates, you do so at your peril."
To that end, expand your own network to include the networks -- social media and otherwise -- of current employees and/or associates. If you can swing it, offer a referral bonus. It will ramp up the incentive to find you someone who may be a truly excellent fit for your company.
Keep the Face-to-Face Interviews
Just because you may not be in the same city (or state) as a good candidate doesn't mean you should forego a face-to-face interview. Instead, plan to ask and discuss via video call everything you would have asked and discussed in-person. If the individual declines to be interviewed in this way, you can probably rule him or her out as a good fit for your distributed workforce. After all, video calls and other collaboration technologies are vital tools in the toolbox of any remote employee. If your potential hire isn't comfortable with them, he or she won't be comfortable working remotely.
Consider Task-Management Software
Working outside a central office requires a certain amount of self-discipline and focus. But these traits can be aided tremendously by the use of task management software. Project management platforms - such as the well-known Asana, Trello, and Monday - all allow managers to assign and monitor tasks so there's never any question about what someone is working on (or whether they're working). Another plus? Collaboration tools have been shown to save organizations time and money.
Don't waste money on expensive office leases -- especially if you're taking your workforce remote. Check out affordable, flexible coworking space at Metro Offices instead. Click here to compare what it costs to run your own office with simply letting Metro Offices do the work for you.
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