As a business owner experiencing a surge in business growth, you may have to hire more people for your company to keep up with the increased demand for your company’s products or services. However, since much of the new work may only require telecommunication-related skills, you may be thinking about the benefits of assembling a reliable, trustworthy, and highly productive remote workforce.
[pullquote]After people respond to your online ads, filter candidates based on the information they provided in their applications, then verify that they have the qualities you’re looking for through a Skype interview.[/pullquote] Since you will probably hire a few seasoned techies from different countries, you will need to figure out the best way to send money. It’s important to ensure that your payment system is as honest and dependable as you expect your employees to be, or else they will be less motivated to consistently do their best.
Now that you have the right technophiles on board — people like designers and developers, copywriters and graphic artists, virtual assistants and customer service reps — you will need to build a cohesive, motivated remote team. This endeavor does not have to be such a daunting task to achieve with a little bit of guidance. Just keep reading and we will tell you exactly how to build your business a first-class dream team that will take your company to a higher level of success.
IMAGE: SOUTH ASIA SUMMIT
Build Your Dream Team
Here are 2 ideas on how to create your outsourced dream team.
1. Include A Probationary Period Into The Contract
When you hire regular staff, it’s customary to have a probationary period of 30, 60, or 90 days. This benefits both parties because it gives either one a chance to gracefully back out of the relationship. Employers don’t get stuck with an employee who doesn’t live up to their resume and job interview profile; employees, too, may have misconceptions about the nature of the work or the benefits of working for the company. Trust for both parties has to be earned.
Although this idea has proved to be effective when hiring employees, it’s rarely used when hiring remote workers. The result is that one party sends an unexpected email to terminate the relationship much to the shock and dismay of the other party. The company will suffer from the unexpected setback to their project or the employee may suffer from the abrupt loss of income that they were counting on to meet their living expenses.
The reason it’s not used is because remote workers are autonomous and personal supervision isn’t part of the deal. However, it’s important for your company to hire someone who is self-motivated, uses initiative when necessary, and can do the work with a minimum of back-and-forth communication.
Instead of signing an open-ended contract, it makes sense to have a probationary period and to be transparent about expectations.
2. Communicate Through Collaboration Software And VOIP Conference Calls
Communication is fairly straightforward when working with people in the same office, but it can get tricky when working with remote workers due to the differences in time zones.
Usually, the best way to manage workflow and to maintain clear lines of communication between office staff and remote workers is through the use of collaboration software.
Besides the use of collaboration software, it’s still important to have live communications. One way to do this is to set up daily or weekly Skype or Zoom group calls to apprise the remote workers on the status of the project, discuss any problems, and provide brainstorming opportunities. For instance, your copywriter in New Zealand may want to discuss a few ideas about a sales letter they are working on with your graphics designer in Singapore.
The benefit of live group calls goes beyond business communication between various parties. It also creates a sense of shared purpose and builds team spirit. It can also be used to preempt any potential security-risks.
Troubleshooting Outsourcing Problems
Here are two problems that can arise when working with cross-cultural teams:
1. Time Differences
In some situations, it might be almost impossible to hold live conference calls because of the huge discrepancy in time zones. If remote workers have to get up in the early hours of the morning to attend a live call, they might decide the job is not worth it. In this type of situation, there are two possible solutions: One solution is to offer fair compensation for the inconvenience even if the talk is only a brief,15-minute check-in. The other is to simply drop the idea of a live conference call and to find an alternative way of communication.
2. Cultural Differences
Sometimes what is considered necessary communication in one culture is considered rude in another. For instance, in American corporate culture, “being upfront about issues” is considered highly valued because it makes decision-making easier. However, in some Asian cultures, respect for superiors is considered more valuable than confrontation. Consequently, an American manager who has misunderstood some technical detail of a project might not get corrected by a remote worker in Hong Kong—even if the error could result in financial losses down the road. The best way to avoid problems with cultural misunderstandings is to familiarize yourself with cultural basics.
While there are many advantages to hiring remote workers for your company’s telecommunications projects, there are also some disadvantages. If you do decide the benefits outweigh the challenges, then it’s important to identify the potential difficulties and work out ways to remove obstacles to smooth work-flow and mutually beneficial working arrangements.
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