The unprecedented growth of the COVID-19 outbreak has forced millions of employees worldwide to work from home. What was once unthinkable has now become the ‘new norm.’ Think about it. Millions of us – who were used to 9 to 6 schedules, working at a feverish pace from our office workstations – are now working remotely. Companies that never had to manage a single remote employee are now managing entirely remote workforces. Brick and mortar offices are transitioning to digital avenues to stay afloat in the pandemic (and possibly the post-pandemic) era.
Job growth is also feeling the pain, with a growing number of companies pulling the shutters down or clamping their budgets and overall growth plans. However, not every company can afford to halt its hiring goals. With social distancing becoming our new reality amid the coronavirus outbreak, having a reliable remote workforce seems to be the new way forward.
Let’s see how businesses can adapt to virtual recruiting and onboarding for globally distributed and remote teams.
Benefits of Hiring Remote Employees
More employees than ever are working remotely now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, some businesses are still on the fence about adopting or continuing with this remote work post-pandemic. Here are some advantages of hiring remote employees that can help you make a decision:
• Wider Talent Pool
Hiring remote employees allows you to transcend all geographical boundaries and establish your presence across the globe. You get instant access to a pool of human resources belonging to diverse cultures and races. This gives your company extended exposure to tap into opportunities not possible otherwise. You can expand your horizons without having to set up shop at multiple locations.
• Reduced Business Costs
Hiring remote employees means you don’t have to invest in office spaces, parking spaces, rent, security systems, utilities, and other such overhead costs. According to a Global Workplace Analytics report, if businesses allow employees to work from home for even half the time, they can save up to $11,000 in expenses per employee every year.
• Increased Employment Retention
The cost of replacing an employee can be huge. But with a good onboarding strategy, retaining employees becomes easy. According to research, 95% of the companies report that employee retention is improved with remote working. That does not come as a surprise, considering two-thirds of the workers say they would take up another job to prevent commuting.
• Enhanced Productivity
Research suggests that remote workers are considerably more productive than employees working in a traditional office setup. As per a study by Global Workplace Analytics, teleworkers were 20%-25% more productive than office-based employees. The reasons for this increased production include lesser distractions, a flexible schedule, and feeling valued and in control while working remotely.
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How to Onboard Remote Employees
Typically, when you think of recruiting and onboarding a new hire, you envision a whirlwind of introductions or meet-and-greet, filling forms, setting up of work stations, and so on. But, none of that can happen when it’s for remote hiring. Things become more complicated when your employees are working from different corners of the world.
Here’s how you can onboard remote employees and make them feel empowered even though they are physically distant from their team.
• Make New Employees Feel Welcomed
For an employee who has been accustomed to a traditional shared workspace, switching to remote working can pose some challenges. It is pivotal that you make the new hires feel connected with your company and motivate them to share their thoughts. As part of the internal HR practice, you must focus on nurturing relationships for a well-rounded performance and overall job satisfaction.
• Set Clear Expectations and Working Norms
You must communicate your expectations to the new hire before onboarding. This gives them a proper understanding of what’s expected of them and establishes a solid foundation. You could also work out a schedule for various training, discussing upcoming projects, reviews, and so on.
• Refine Your Onboarding Strategy
When you cannot meet your new hires face to face, developing an effective onboarding strategy plays a key role. According to studies, 69% of employees are likely to stick around with a company for three years that deploys a solid onboarding strategy. Organizations with a structured onboarding process are likely to experience 50% more productivity.
• Promote Your Company Culture Using Digital Tools
It is relatively easier to maintain employee engagement and company culture when everyone is working from home temporarily. But, it’s not as easy to ‘grow’ such a culture by adding new hires who have never met before. Digital platforms can be an excellent tool to promote company culture while acclimating new hires to how things work. The main goal should be to let them resonate with their team members in a virtual environment.
• Schedule Regular One-on-One Meetings
When your onboarding process is being conducted virtually, it becomes even more critical to get the experience right. By leveraging virtual meeting tools, you can schedule one-on-one meetings between the employee and the manager. Engaging in regular conversation with new remote employees helps build trust and leads to a smooth transition into the new job.
Factors to Keep in Mind While Hiring Remote Employees
Although hiring remote employees is beneficial when done right, it’s not without its challenges. Here are some hiccups that your HR may face while building a remote team for your company:
• Time Zones
The lifestyle and work flexibility possible by remote working also spotlight a critical aspect – working across different time zones. In the absence of a remote work etiquette, it can be pretty complex and result in work-home interference or a more intense work pace.
Some multiple local laws and regulations must be complied with for the smooth functioning of a remote-based job. Depending on the remote employee’s profile and characteristics, many factors need consideration throughout the employment tenure.
Depending on where your remote employee is, there could be additional tax burdens in store for you or the employee. Moreover, some countries have numerous tax authorities with different rates that don’t align with your tax system.
Payrolls can get tricky when you have a remote workforce spread across the globe. It can be quite cumbersome to navigate through the complexities to ensure every employee gets paid on time.
If the idea of recruiting remote employees suddenly seems less appealing to you, don’t worry. This is where Skuad comes in. You can leave all your HR worries and People Ops on our shoulders. We hire deeply-vetted professionals based on your business needs and manage them as per your standard through our Employee of Record service.
We allow you to focus on the core areas of your business while we take care of the time-consuming administration tasks such as payroll, taxation, compliances, and more. You can continue to elevate your business to higher levels while we do the heavy lifting for you.