As technology rapidly advances, the workforce is changing just as quickly. Rather than hiring employees to work nine-to-fives on-site, more businesses are opting to explore the freelance market and hire remote workers. This is helping companies of all kinds enjoy more flexibility, acquire greater talent, and boost efficiency and productivity.
If you’re thinking about building a team of distributed workers, it’s important to learn about the process. That way, you will be better equipped to assemble and manage a solid team that helps your company excel. Here are some tips to get you going in the right direction:
Find freelancers on job boards.
One advantage to building a distributed team is that you can hire freelancers by the project. Rather than keeping a full-time employee on-site to handle a variety of tasks they may or may not be qualified for, you can hire a freelancer to handle one project or a certain amount of projects that relate only to their specialty.
You can find freelancers for almost every type of business task out there, such as marketing and data entry. The best way to find reliable and capable freelancers is to look on job boards like Upwork. For instance, if you’re looking for a professional to handle databases, you can browse the Upwork data entry specialists pool and read reviews from past clients before reaching out to potential candidates. And if you like working with a candidate, there may be an opportunity to work with them continually or even bring them on as a permanent employee.
Evaluate each candidate.
When you find candidates that seem like they could provide what you’re looking for, it’s important to interview them. If they’re local, conduct an in-person interview. If they’re long-distance, hold a virtual meeting. During the interview, be sure to address the scope and quality of work you expect, and cover factors like your business’s communication policy, values, vision and so on.
It’s also a good idea to test each candidate by giving them a paid project to work on before you agree to hire them. For instance, if you’re looking for someone to write articles for your blog, assign them a prompt for an article and give them a deadline. Then, you can see whether they have the knowledge and skills you need, as well as whether or not they can meet a deadline.
Use an appointment management system.
If your business is appointment-based and your team is scattered across cities, states or countries, consider getting an appointment management system. Not only can this type of system help you to schedule and change appointments, but the right apps will also allow you to see everyone’s schedule, as well as provide different levels of access to employees to help keep your team up to speed.
Hold effective meetings.
Nothing is more important than communication when it comes to managing your distributed team. A big part of this is conducting effective virtual meetings that keep everyone on the same page. Hold a meeting with the entire team at least once a month (many companies prefer weekly), where you discuss projects, policy, and any other essential topics.
The key is to be concise with your direction during each meeting while also leaving some room for friendly conversation. Make sure you have a good video conference tool in place and that each team member can access it. Also, encourage team members to stay connected and build relationships through team messaging apps and phone calls, and consider planning an annual in-person event where all the team members have an opportunity to meet “in real life.”
There’s an art to building and managing a good distributed team. Remember to look on job boards for qualified candidates. Interview each candidate, and test them with a paid project. Finally, consider an appointment management system, and work hard to make your regular team meetings a success. It’s not easy, but developing a good distributed team can make the difference between your business falling behind and lunging forward.
Article by Tina Martin of Ideaspired.
Tina stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Photo Credit: Burst