We’ve all heard employers and recruiters talking about how hard it is to find the right people for jobs. Discussions of a “talent shortage” are rampant.
Startups especially need the right people to help making their visions blossom into something amazing. Many of them are wise enough to be open to hiring remote workers in order to increase the possibility of finding the right people for their teams.
In other words, they will look for talent almost anywhere.
Once they find that talent, they won’t require the person possessing that talent to relocate and allow them to work from home, giving them more of a incentive to join the company. It sounds ideal, doesn’t it? How can it possibly be difficult to find the right person if you’re allowing them to work from home?
You may have already experienced this, I certainly have – it’s just as hard to find the right person to work remotely as it is to find someone for a “traditional” job. In this article, we’re going to be covering why that is – and what problems employers run into when trying to find talented people to work remotely. We’ll also discuss what can be done to make it easier.
The Most Common Difficulties Companies Run Into When Searching For Remote Workers
1 – Promotion
Or the lack thereof.
Your company may have a great opportunity available but what are you doing to attract the right person? Where you have you announced it? How many people know about the opportunity? Countless employers big and small think that a job ad is a solution to this problem.
Newsflash – most high quality talent isn’t sitting on a job platform waiting for the next job ad to be published so that they can scramble and apply.
I can’t tell you how many jobs ads I see on LinkedIn – even from major corporations – that get little to no engagement.
Talented people are typically not dying to respond to job ads like employers sometime like to imagine. So just like you expect the next person you hire to captivate your attention with a stand-out presentation, you should do the same thing to captivate theirs. It can be by video, it be an amazingly helpful website to educate your potential future hires, it can be through your wonderful customer service or products, or even by hiring a headhunter that specializes in your industry to go out, find, and talk to those people on your behalf.
However you chose to do it, you need to promote your opportunity to grab the right people’s attention.
2 – Budget
A lot of startups believe that people will sacrifice a large part of their salary in order to be able to work from anywhere. In some cases, that may be true, but 9 times out of 10 if you go too cheap you will lose out on the quality of the people willing to work for you.
I totally understand having budget constraints as a normal part of running a startup or small business, but let’s be real. Life is expensive for your employees, too. And if they’ve spent a lot on education, training, or technology to be able to work remotely, they’ll need an enticing salary just as a non-remote worker would.
Think about what you really want for your business. Is it growth? Is it excellence?
If so, you’ll need to invest in the people that are going to make these things possible. And don’t be discouraged. If you search long enough in the right places you can find a talented, ambitious person that you can afford and likely save on market value.
Offer them incentives or the ability to take on more responsibility in the future, and you may even get them to stick around for a while.
3 – Language
When it comes to hiring remotely, some people you want to hire may not share the same first language as you. Especially for administrative and support talent, you may run into a challenge with workers that are difficult to communicate with.
This can lead to misunderstandings and inefficiency that affect productivity.
Resolving this issue is up to the employer and employee but on an individual level. To move past language barriers, each side must be:
- Culturally open minded
- Good at listening
Since most business conducted internationally today is done in English, working on English skills on a regular basis, whether you invest in training or use free resources online, will greatly increase your ability to communicate with many people.
4 – Monitoring
Micro-managers everywhere deny the power of remote work because they think that it’s impossible for employees to be productive unless they’re watching their every move.
This is a poor excuse to not consider remote teamwork because so many tools are in place to monitor productivity now that you can tell exactly what your teams do from all day.
In no way do I agree with micromanaging but there are times you’ll have a team member that says they can’t get their work done “even though they’re on task all day”; or that have suspicious patterns occurring in their workflow or metrics.
I once discovered that an employee was hanging up on customers or placing them on hold so they wouldn’t have to help them. I didn’t have to watch them all day to figure it out but discovered it by analyzing call stat reports. When asked about the issue, the employee said they had no idea what I was talking about. This person was once of the friendliest of our group and it was hard to believe, but with recordings and quality assurance tools our company had in place, it was easy to confirm my suspicions.
Again, I’d rather measure success on results but if you must watch productivity there are many tools created for remote teams such as time trackers with screenshot taking abilities that you can use.
5 – Payment
A challenge that both remote workers and hiring parties face when it comes to remote work is having the ability to receive and send international payments.
Besides the cost involved with international transactions, some freelancers may be limited by local laws and banking restrictions, especially in countries where there are issues with currency values or criminal activities being conducted online.
Freelancers or remote workers may need letters or other documentation from the companies that hire them to prove that funds deposited into their accounts internationally are from legally acceptable sources.
Last of all, there may be challenges that need to be worked out with invoicing according to both parties’ needs, again this is usually related to business or tax law in each of their jurisdictions.
A few services that you can use to send and receive payments almost anywhere in the world are:
Skrill – I really like this one. It has very little restrictions on where it can be used and no holds on payments are imposed. Fees are also very reasonable.
PayPal – Extremely convenient in most cases, a downside is that holds can be placed on deposits to your account for months if you live in a high-risk country.
Payoneer – I learned about this service while working with a company that used this service as their only payment option. It allows you to use your account as a US checking account so that you can set up direct deposits. Making ATM international withdrawals is inexpensive. But Payoneer charges cardholders for incoming deposits AND all transactions in addition to an annual fee that’s around $30, so it becomes quite expensive overall. The customer service is not the best and their processes are also inconvenient. I recommend this service as a last resort.
My best advice is that if you’re going to become a remote freelancer or digital nomad, DO NOT CLOSE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT in your home country prior to traveling. I learned this the hard way when I figured out that opening a bank account in a country where I’m non-citizen (even with residency) is highly regulated and unsecured. When all was said and done, I had to fly halfway around the world to reopen mine.
All in all, not letting geography limit who you can partner with to make money is a great part of remote working. Prepare yourself to go international with the things we’ve discussed today in mind and take full advantage!