How to Build a Distributed Team that Grows with Your Company
We live in a digital world, and more and more companies are putting together distributed teams. Some of the primary reasons are:
- It can save companies money.
- There are more qualified candidates to choose from.
- Most remote workers are happier workers.
- It can bring more diversity to companies.
If you’re a small business owner who is looking to hire new talent, consider going the route of remote workers. This article will outline how to develop your distributed team in a way that sets your company up to flourish and succeed.
Choosing the Right Kind of Remote Workers
One of the first things you will need to do when you start building your distributed team is to determine whether you want freelancers or full-time employees. Freelancers will keep you from having to offer benefits (e.g., health insurance, paid sick leave, etc.), and you can hire them for specific projects where you know they have expertise. Employees, however, can assure you consistency, and they may be more devoted to the success of the company.
Whether you decide to comprise your team of freelancers or employees, you will need to study up on employment law. Having a decent comprehension of worker’s compensation, employment tax, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other business laws is critical to keeping your company above board.
Finding and Hiring
Once you determine what kind of remote workers you need, you want to find the most qualified candidates. Ask for referrals from friends in the industry (this is especially handy for finding freelancers), and explore LinkedIn and any other networking sites you’re a part of. Job boards are another helpful way to narrow your search to specific job requirements and find workers with the skills and knowledge you’re looking for.
For each candidate you’re interested in, be sure to conduct one or two thorough interviews where you cover everything from work history to expectations to company culture. Also, assign each candidate a trial project before you commit to bringing them on. The trial project should be an overall picture of what they can expect in the future; that way, both you and the candidate can get a real-life feel for whether you will work well together.
Keeping your workers connected to one another can be challenging when you have a distributed team. You can’t simply call for a meeting down the hall when you want to go over strategy or discuss a certain project. Consider scheduling a daily or weekly video conference with the whole team to catch everyone up to speed and answer any questions the workers may have. Also, set guidelines for when each worker should be available through email, and stay accessible for anytime a team member needs a one-on-one phone call.
Enacting Company Culture
Maintaining your company’s culture can also be difficult when your team is distributed across time zones. Nonetheless, every company needs a culture. In essence, your company’s culture is its personality. It involves everything from work environment to core values to ethics. Along with discussing these elements during all your interviews with candidates, regularly remind your team of them. Another thing that can help you enact company culture is to use a collaboration app like Slack or World Time Buddy that allows team members to work on projects together.
Many companies are finding that remote workers help their businesses reach new heights. Remember to figure out whether you need freelancers or employees, and learn the ropes of employment law. Look in the right places to find workers, and give detailed interviews and trial projects before hiring them. Finally, take steps to keep team members connected and maintain company culture. Then, your company will be in a good position to grow like it needs to.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
By: Tina Martin