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How To Build A Remote Workforce For Your Small Business

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 3:17pm | by jennaleesmith1

You’re a small business owner, and you want to abandon the shackles of a certain location.

But you have limited capital and resources, and you can’t just open an overseas office when you need to tap into a new market.

Not expanding your operations isn’t an option, either – you want to reach new customers, and you need to do it before your competitors.

Luckily, you can achieve this by recruiting individuals operating out of their homes, spaces and hubs, in any desired market/location.

Hiring a remote workforce is an ideal option to get over that ‘expansion’ barrier. And beyond the potential cost savings, hiring remote workers may also give you access to skills that aren’t available in your home country.

According to telecommuting stats published by Global Workplace Analytics, the remote workforce increased by a staggering 80% from 2005 from 2012. The simple reason behind the increase is that remote hiring is an increasingly successful paradigm and a growing trend.

And another research from IRIS Accounting & Business Solutions informs that ¾ businesses offer a remote working option, with 76% deeming it as more profitable for their organization and 1 out of 10 saying it gives them a competitive edge.

At the same time, hiring the right individuals can be a challenge, particularly when you’re aiming for exposure across borders.  The newly hired team will make your company’s first impression, so it’s extremely important to get every recruiting decision right. Here are some measures to take when looking into building a remote workforce:

 Leverage technology to explore skills & control costs

Remote tools can be used to conduct face-to-face, virtual interviews without incurring any travel expenses. Use remote tools to narrow down the candidate pool to a smaller group.

Affordable and free remote support software will also allow you to test a candidate’s business acumen. For instance, candidates can be asked to perform specific tasks using the company’s default software and applications; this will give an insight on their adaptive skills and eye for detail.

Logmein had been a great free option for this in the past but has since switched to only providing paid options. Now customers searching for a free option are turning to new providers like SimpleHelp where you can use their software on a trail basis until you decide it is what you need.

Evaluate competitor operations

While building a remote workforce, measuring operations of competing firms can result in valuable clues. You can even reach out to ex-employees of your competitors for advice (social media platforms such as LinkedIn can help with identification of individuals with the knowledge you need).

Also, people with experience of working in the overseas market you’re targeting can provide relevant information on the local candidate pool. Seek out expats on blogs, forums and social media outlets to gain access to information on the local work culture from those who have firsthand experience.

Recognize different work personalities

You would want to tailor different tasks to individual work preferences, so your recruiting practices must be able to respond to individual wants and needs.

Because in today’s world of overall compliance, the more you’re able to spot and engage different work personalities, the more productive will be your remote team. Flexible hours, commission and holidays are just some of the factors to enhance your proposition.

Building a remote workforce to tap new markets is quickly becoming an accepted business practice. And even workers not actively engaged in sales can add value perspective to your firm. They help you understand consumer preferences and other patterns that could impact your initiatives.

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