It’s an increasingly global world, as we’re sure you may have noticed. Like no other point in history, it’s possible for you to A. be location independent, meaning you can run your business from anywhere that has a stable internet connection, and B. hire staff from all over the world. Whereas beforehand you would have been limited to hiring locally, now you can bring in players to your team from across the globe. A social media expert from London? No worries. An online sales member from California? No problem. Here’s the ins and outs and some of the benefits of creating an international workforce.
Of course, there has to be a reason why you’d choose to look further afield for your staff. They can help keep costs down, but that shouldn’t be the primary motivation. Instead, you should see as an opportunity to get the best people on board with your company. Your catchment area for talent will be significantly larger than what it is at the moment. Before hiring, draw up a list of attributes that the ideal candidate would possess. You can aim high, because there’s every chance that there’s someone, somewhere in the world, who has those skills and would like to work remotely!
You won’t be using your local newspaper for this recruitment drive, oh no! Of course, as you might expect, it’ll be the internet that is your biggest friend here. Start by posting the job on your website. If you already have a decent following, then it’ll get seen – and talking to the people who take the initiative to see what jobs are out there and then apply are most likely the type of candidates you want to be interviewing. You can also use platforms such as LinkedIn to headhunt your next employee. There are many job boards out there, some of which will be dedicated entirely to the type of role you’re trying to fill, but be prepared for this to be a more complicated process. Job board postings receive many replies, and only a fraction of these will be qualified to do the job, let alone be the best in their field.
Once you’ve found and successfully interview your employee, you’ll have to work extra hard to “set up the rules”, as it were. Due to international time zones, it can be difficult all be online at the same time, but you can still create a general working pattern, tailored to the employee’s time zone. For example, you might make it such that a worker needs to have their work complete by a set time that works with your own working routine.
The biggest issues you’ll face it how to create a unified, functioning workforce when you’re scattered all over the world. This is where you can use the latest technologies and software. For example, you can get Sharepoint help for any business; this will allow you to collaborate on projects and documents, which can then be accessed by anyone in your team. You may also set up a weekly video call conference between all your staff members; getting the timing right for everyone might be difficult, but create a set time for each week and it’ll naturally become part of the working week. Finally, if trust is your concern, then there is software available that enables you to track the amount of time your worker spends actually working.
For all your best intentions, you’ll still run into the occasional problems that naturally arise from having distant workers. Country specific holidays, when the whole workforce of a country shuts down, might come in the middle of your busiest period. How you handle that will be up to you, but it might cause resentment if you don’t allow them to have the time off. Similarly, illness can be difficult to determine, as there might not be the same protocol of doctor’s notes and the like where your remote worker is based.
Hiring a remote worker is different to having a regular employee, and you’ll have to fill in different paperwork for these workers. Depending on where they’re based, you might have to automatically deduct taxes from their wage, or they may be responsible for it themselves. National insurance contributions and other financial concerns might also be an issue, so make sure you take a good read of the .gov employees page to make sure you stay on the right side of the law.
After you’ve hired your staff, you’ll benefit from the windfall of fresh enthusiasm and a new employee’s eagerness to please. However, once the initial honeymoon period has cooled off, you’ll have to work extra hard to create a motivating, can-do workforce, because they’ll be “work environment”, as such, to speak of. When you hit a busy period in an office, everyone steps up their game as they can see everyone else working hard. There may even be benefits, such as lunchtime treats and so on. When a worker is working alone, from home, many miles away from the base of the company, it can be more difficult to keep them motivated when times get tough.
While there are many clear advantages to hiring remote workers both domestic and abroad, it isn’t for every company, so make sure you sit down and determine the pros and cons of taking your company down that line. Like most other things in life, it’s best to have a balance between remote and local workers. An onsite team allows you to take advantage of their local knowledge, helps to establish a company culture, and, on another angle, helds to burden the pressure of running a company – remote work can seem isolating, and you might think you never really “know” your employees. But used properly, they can be a real addition to your team, so give it a go and see how it works out!