October 21st, 2021

How to find and build the best remote team

So you wanna find and hire remote people — and we have your back. Remote work is a huge trend, rising even more with the global pandemic, bringing crucial benefits to current society. Companies save on resources, and employees are less stressed (yeah, we're not talking about the ones that have two toddlers running around). If you're not entirely sure if a fully remote team is the right choice, you can explore all benefits and other options here.

However, there are a few things to consider before you start searching and building your remote team. Here are some tips to get you started:

What you need to know before searching for candidates



Optimize your hiring process

Make sure not to have too specific requirements but also don't make it too lenient either. When you make it too strict, you could be missing out on creative talent, and if you'd make it too vague, you risk mismatch. Focus on previous experiences more than on college degrees or ticking off all technologies from your list.

Decide on remoteness and time zones

When hiring fully remote teams, you get to pick from a wider pool of talent and skill, but if this is not something that you are looking for, you can choose either local teams or go with a hybrid solution – partially remote cooperation, where you meet face-to-face a few days in a week. Also, be mindful of timezones, as you should always strike for 4 hours of work hours overlay to ensure fluid communication and no waiting pauses.

Know your requirements and goals

Every job post should have clear requirements, but with remote positions, it pays double. Having a clear vision and idea of an expected result can make life easier for everybody. Your new team will also feel more involved with your project when they see that your vision is strong.

Don’t forget to mix in some first-class management



Onboarding process

Having a rock-solid onboarding for your new remote employees can significantly impact how well they start performing from the beginning. A proper greeting can make or break a spirit.

  • If you hire a remote team locally, consider making in-person welcoming instead of online.
  • Have all your onboarding materials and instructions accessible in digital format
  • Have a dedicated employee to help during the early days
  • Schedule online meeting with rest of the team
  • Consider preparing a special initial task that will show how well they are operating.

Communication

Excellent communication is the most important thing not just in remote teams but in the entire society. Without communicating skills, our talents and expertise would be half useless. Being a good team leader means knowing how and with what tools you'll be connecting with your team members. Videocalls with apps like Teams or Zoom should be your first choice as they allow you to mimic most of your in-person meetings. The rest of your needs for asynchronous conversation could be easily met with Slack or Discord. Just remember that not enough communication can be harmful, just as too much communication, so schedule your meetings carefully. Avoid constant chatting as this can create confusion and productivity in free fall.

Values and culture

Your company values should be manifesting throughout every little thing, from hiring and onboarding to work experience.

Even though your team is remote, good company culture is as crucial as with an in-house team. Promoting quality connections, as much as you can, will make employees happier and feel that they are part of a community. Have space for virtual water-cooler chats or organize regular one-to-one video meetings with your team members. Regular team check-ins are also a vital part to see hows everybody doing. And finally, you can't be joking together over table football, so why not have an online gaming afternoon?

Work effectivity

Managers often worry about team productivity because they can't control how much time employees spend working. In this case, it's much more appropriate to focus on concrete results rather than tracking when somebody connected and left.

Whether you use design sprints or kanban boards, tools like Jira, Monday.com, Asana, Trello, and Basecamp will help you visualize team effectivity and pinpoint problem areas. For design sprints, you monitor if the product iteration goals have been met, and in the case of kanban boards, you can track the number of tasks finished in any given week.

Best talent sources to tap into



personal referrals

Look for candidates in your business circle; there's a good chance you can find somebody through personal references. Sharing your interest in building a remote team on LinkedIn and Facebook can also work.

Forums and communities

Communities are a powerful source for advice and also finding people. Sites like Quora or reddit are teeming with ideas and talent. You can find here candidates also as they have dedicated topics just for jobs and hiring.

outsourcing companies and agencies

Your first choice could be reaching out to local outsourcing companies that you might already know or finding them online, depending on your needs. They usually have a network of candidates prepared, so the process can be quick, but usually the teams are built up from whoever is accessible at a time for a given project, so the team might not really be harmonized.

vetted pools

If you'd like to browse and pick from a large selection of pre-vetted candidates, you can use a site like Toptal, which aggregates and verifies talents. You just provide a list of requirements and go through the list of available workers and build your team from the ground up there.

b2b platforms

Another stream of workforce can be acquired via B2B cooperation with the help of platforms like Clutch.co, with the overview of suitable companies and their services.

remote job boards

In case you want to extend your search beyond the local area and find somebody outside the usual circles, you can use various remote job boards. Here you can specify your needs the same as you would on a regular job website, plus you can also select remoteness level or concrete countries and timezones that suit you best. There's plenty of websites specializing in remote hiring, such as:

Hire in bulk

Sometimes you don't have enough time to go through several hiring rounds and interviews and wait for people to grow accustomed to each other in a new team. And even if you do, saving resources is always beneficial so why not hire in bulk and fill those positions at once. Just like you go to the hypermarket for grocery shopping instead of running around the city the whole day and visiting different shops. The financial startup Stripe went this way and it paid off.

Many companies have realized the benefits of team hiring and implemented this technique—Silicon Valley startup Stripe noticed a disconnect in the typical hiring process; people work best in teams, yet companies hire individuals. With almost 100 positions to fill, the company came up with its "Bring Your Own Team" initiative, allowing a maximum of five colleagues to apply as a group. Group interviews and challenges determined if the group, as a whole, would be hired. The CEO claims this idea stemmed from "frustration with conventional hiring," and that the company will continue onboarding in this way until it no longer generates results.

It's helpful to know how to look for a remote team this way. By using our site Teamtroops, you can create one job post describing the shape, size and skills of your desired development team. You can interview every team as one unit and better comprehend how they act together.

Conclusion

Building and maintaining an effective remote team can be a real challenge. It is always a combination of your hiring experience and managing skills that gets you the best results. It can be even more complicated if you go remote for the first time. Still, if you'll follow our advice, there's a pretty good chance that your remote team will work like a well-oiled machine, exceed your expectation and even outperform the in-house team.