In yesterday’s Advisor, we started a list of 10 tips for hiring telecommuting employees. Let’s continue that list now!
Here are the final 5:
- Remember to assess whether the rest of the team is prepared to handle adding a telecommuter to the group. Having one or more telecommuters on a team comes with unique challenges and will require effort on everyone’s part to be successful. Even employees in the home office will need to make adjustments, such as ensuring that all colleagues—even those not on-site— are included in teambuilding activities. Everyone will need to work together to find ways to ensure the team is cohesive.
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- Research the best places to broaden the reach of your job posting. For example, if you typically advertise in local newspapers and job boards, it may make sense to include national job boards for this type of posting. Or, if the job posting tools you utilize allow it, consider changing the location requirement to “any” or to a specific state or region instead of a local city. Look into other places to post the job that do not have geographic constraints, or consider posting the job with multiple city options.
- Be clear during the job posting and during the interview process about what types of flexibility are (and are not) offered. For example, some jobs can be completed from anywhere, at any time. Other jobs will require the individual to be “at work” during very specific hours. Others will require occasional in-person visits. Whatever your unique situation, be sure to be clear on expectations to avoid misunderstandings.
- Also explain how the individual will be assessed. While telecommuting employees are often found to be highly productive and have a high level of job satisfaction, this still requires the individual and the organization to be on the same page when it comes to expectations. How will the individual be assessed? Will there be annual performance reviews? Will the output be the key performance indicator? Are specific hours required? Communication about all of these types of things can begin as early as the interview process.
- Be sure the organization is set up to follow through on the last point (employee assessment). If the managers have a bias that results in only rewarding people who are clocking long hours (visibly, in the same office), rather than assessing employee productivity based on outcomes, that will not be beneficial for the remote workers. Work with the rest of the team to help newly recruited telecommuting employees have long-term success. Ensure the managers have processes in place to allow remote employees to give status updates, and ensure that everyone is being assessed on the same type of metrics—ones that are fair to all.