Rolebot’s Top 5 & 5: Managing & Hiring Remote Teams

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March 16, 2021

2020 was a year of new realities, a lot of uncertainty, and change. One of the biggest realities that we had to face was learning how to operate our companies from home.

With lockdowns restricting our ability to go to the office, day-to-day normalities became day-to-day challenges for most of us (eg. managing our teams, hiring and onboarding new team members). While this has certainly been a huge adjustment, there’s nothing preventing us from continuing our professional growth journeys, if anything, we are now prepared to handle a higher volume of challenges and/or change all at once with more ease.

While remote teams are a relatively new phenomenon for many of us, there are still ways to increase productivity and make it succinct in harmony.

Avoidances / Suggestions

1. It’s important to note that not every person is ideal in a remote environment

  • Avoid the inclination that every team member will be productive in a remote environment and be expected to perform without a learning curve. There will be an adjustment period.

  • Suggest supporting your talent pool and share ways to excel in this environment, honing in on individual qualities that may help transition into the ‘new normal’.

2. Not every team member has the same motivations or work ethic

  • Avoid any one-size-fits-all plans for your team.

  • Suggest developing a plan that encompasses different work styles.

3. The ability to target talent anywhere is a huge competitive advantage

  • Avoid rushing the transition period from fully remote to an in-office environment. This will have a negative impact on productivity and morale.

  • Suggest developing a plan and if onsite is a must, gradually transition back to onsite. If the company can support remote teams in the long-term, hiring will become faster, easier, and less costly.

4. Interview and Onboarding a Remote Team

  • Avoid relying solely on video interviews to get the full scope of a candidate’s abilities.

  • Suggest leveraging tools like online assessments and writing samples to take advantage of the digital medium rather than using it solely as a replacement for in-person interviews. When conducting interviews, focusing on a candidates’ written skills is often a great indicator of how well they are able to articulate and communicate amongst peers and customers. Have them provide sample emails, platform messaging, and/or texts to assess compatibility.

5. Encouraging flexible workflows to support team members requiring more/less structure to perform their jobs.

  • Avoid having similar work schedules and/or expectations of those in an in-office setting.

  • Suggest taking into account certain queues and nuances that a physical office provides for, that do not mirror a remote environment (eg. Taking lunch, getting up to walk around, meeting with others in the same space, break rooms, etc.) It’s our responsibility to assimilate our workforce to the ‘home’ environment in similar ways we’ve done in a physical office.

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