The Internet and other advances in communication have created a world that’s more connected than ever before. This allows an increasing number of employees to become remote workers and do their job from home and potentially any location in the world. Telecommuting in the U.S. is growing at a rate of around 20 percent per year across a range of industries. This is reducing the need to commute to a job and increasing productivity in a multitude of ways.
As more businesses transition into this employee model, considerations about how to recruit and onboard remote workers are becoming more important.
The following are some key steps for making these new remote workers an effective part of the workforce:
Have At Least One Face-to-Face Meeting
Having at least one in-person meeting with remote workers can help to make the worker feel more integrated within the staff even if they’ll be working off-site all of the time. If an in-person meeting isn’t possible, the video and at least a portion of the orientation should be conducted by video. This allows the new hire to “meet” the members of their team and other relevant parties.
Create Clear Expectations
Because remote workers will have far less supervision, the expectations for their role should be made crystal clear. From responsibilities and deadlines to project goals to required skill sets, the worker should be informed of all key parameters for the job. Communication is key to the effectiveness of this type of worker both during the hiring process and throughout their time as an employee.
If in-person training is not possible, online training that workers can use and interface with should be created to ensure they get up to speed effectively. These modules can be purely informational or interactive depending upon what is required for their role.
Include Them in the Workplace Culture
Take steps to help make remote workers feel like a part of the company’s culture even if they will never work at the brick and mortar location. Being clear about company mission, values and all the things that set the business apart from other organizations will foster a stronger connection and loyalty.
Companies that hire remote workers should ensure these individuals always stay connected with individuals and departments relevant to their role. Audio and visual communication will be important as well as access to relevant files and data throughout the work week. Cybersecurity within these processes should also be a priority to avoid a data breach.
Professional Employment Screening
Outsource criminal background check services, credit checks and related aspects of employment screening to a trusted professional.
Refine the Process
Employers should ask remote workers for feedback about the onboarding process so that methods can be improved and refined over time. Performance and productivity can also be assessed to determine if the process is effective for the company.
Off-site workers are increasing in number in many industries, and ensuring their effectiveness is key. Employers can use these approaches to optimize the success of every remote worker.