If you have a business which has made remote hires, then you have made the first steps to creating a business which will thrive in this busy industry.
Allowing remote hires to take the reins gives you more time to focus on responsibilities to make your company grow and succeed a lot faster than it would if you were doing it alone.
Now for the fun part. You have a great opportunity to onboard these new people into your world by sharing your ideals and visions. This allows a more effective workforce and will go a long way to creating a successful workflow which will be both productive and successful in the future. Here are five actions you should be taking with new remote hires in order to onboard them correctly.
#1 – Determine what communication channels to use
From the beginning of your onboarding process you must make an imperative statement which will allow remote hires to understand you want to stay in contact with them. Ask them which communication channels they like to use and determine if any of these are the ones you want them to use.
It is also a good idea to already have a platform in place for each one to be added to when you perform the onboarding process. Once you learn their preferred platform of communication, get their usernames and information for these platforms and log it with the remote hires information.
After this, explain to them where you all will primarily be communicating and point out the importance for them to also create an account on this platform if they don’t already have one.
Some great communication platforms are:
- Pie (works great for mobile)
- eXo Platform
- Microsoft Lync
Each of these platforms will keep everyone on the communication trail and allow you to keep track at the same time. For more attributes, some of these have a payment option which will unlock a lot of different features such as file sharing.
For keeping up with remote hires on a personal level, have them create accounts for WhatsApp and Viber. You will also need their personal contact information in case of emergencies as well.
#2 – Discuss working times
Having a game plan in place for remote hires should be your top priority. Do you want them to work together at the same time, or do you feel it would be better if you staggered their work throughout the day or into the night?
In doing the latter, an already onboarded freelancer who lives across the world could just be starting their day while you’re ending yours. This allows your business to stay productive around the clock. The downside of this is, if you don’t have standards set in place to help this freelancer when they need it you may be working out a problem at 3 o’clock in the morning.
Determine which schedules will work for each hire and set their work hours accordingly. For example, if they are writing content for your business, you will probably want them working the same hours as you. This way you can see real time results and edits as they go along and have a say in the process.
Working hours can be negotiated and you must determine the best options for your business and hiring freelancers who can work at these times.
#3 – Explain expectations for checking in and providing reports
As the boss, you will want to be in control of what’s going on around you. Having said that, you also want to be able to trust the freelancer to do the work completely without you standing over them full time.
Knowing this, you won’t be nitpicking every little thing they do as they do it, however, you will still want to see and hear from them every week or so to get new projects and orders.
This part is imperative to communicate with freelancers. They need to understand that on a given day at a certain time you will be expecting an update, a check-in, or a report based on the work and projects you have given them. Usually a freelancer will check-in every other day or so to let you know how it’s going or to ask any questions they have on the tasks you have given them.
It is always a good idea to sit down at least once a week to go over goals for the month, projects, and future tasks so they can understand the vision of your company.
#4 – Communicate how to take time off and tell about emergencies
One of the worst things remote hires can do to your business is to drop off the face of the earth without giving you a notice of any kind. When they do this, they put your entire company at risk.
Think about it this way. Imagine that remote hires are handling a half dozen clients of yours and these clients are expecting work to be completed. Then all of a sudden no one can get in touch with them, so clients begin to get anxious. They have paid you their hard earned money to complete a task for them and this absence falls not on the remote hires, but on you.
It’s important to tell remote hires your communication standards for time off and emergency situations. Ask yourself how much advanced notice you would need for remote hires to tell you about a vacation they want to take. Is a month enough? If so, make sure they understand that.
Emergencies can happen. Everybody understands that. God forbid their son fell off his bike and they had to unexpectedly take him to the emergency room that day.
While this is a terrible situation for them to be in, in this digital age we live in (and the WhatsApp/Viber app you had them upload to their phone during onboarding) there should be no problem to send you a quick message updating you on their situation.
Make this clear from the beginning. You understand problems can arise, but they need to understand you are still running a business and need to know where they are if they can’t get their work done for the day.
#5 – Give remote hires an idea of how their work will help company grow
This is one of my favorite parts about the onboarding of remote hires. Once you have hired them, you have accepted them into your family. It means you have given them an opportunity to show you how well they can work with your brand.
It really is an honor for them and a time they can show you what they’re made of. It’s important you communicate this idea with them. You’re looking forward to what they can do. Another exciting aspect of this point is the fact at how you hired them because you need their expertise to get your business to the next goal.
This part is ownership of your company. While they might not be a fiscal owner per se, you are handing them the keys to your business and saying “take me there”. It’s here you will discuss your visions of growth within your company, where you would like to see your business in the next year, and how the two of you can get there with the new hire’s help.
Together you can map out a plan to create an effective strategy of how their work can bring your business to the goals you have specified. It’s here you can listen to their opinions and gather more information into their views of your company and what they understand about it. Make sure you share as much information as possible with remote hires and don’t hold anything back.
Sharing visions and goals, and also discussing strategy with new remote hires can give them this sense of ownership within your company. You will possess them with the idea of success and a strong viewpoint of how they can help you grow. Ownership is nine-tenths of the law in this country and when they can possess it themselves, they can begin to see the roadmap to the goals and will begin working feverishly towards those goals without prodding or persuasion from you.
Creating a company that will thrive and grow is what you have always wanted. Using remote hires can help you do that quickly. If this is your first time hiring a freelancer, learn from your past mistakes and keep plowing ahead because using these online finds can build your business effectively.
Don’t forget these five steps you need to take once you finally onboard remote hires into your company. They will help you see continuous growth and productivity and will allow you to start focusing on the bigger picture of your business.
Wade Harman is a content writing wizard with an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology. He shares social media psychology and other marketing tips online related to cognitive trigger response. He loves to fish and read comic books for fun, to get the creative juices flowing.