How to successfully recruit and run a virtual team

Virtual teams are not something new. Startups and small businesses prefer this setup because it involves less overhead costs and they get to explore talent outside their area and across different time zones.

However, if you’re new to virtual teams, how can you make a virtual setup work for you and your business? We discuss some tactics which can help you make the most of the digital platform to create a high-performing virtual team.

The Hiring Stage

Recruiting people without actually meeting them is not that different from the traditional interview process. You can still gauge a person’s skills by requiring a trial task. You can still do a one-on-one interview through a video call. In the process, you also get to see how proficient the interviewee is in using a computer, software, or app. To successfully hire the right talents:

  • Ask candidates about their home office setup, computer specs, and internet type and speed. This helps you determine if they would be able to perform their target position.
  • Create a promo video that lets job candidates experience a tour of the office and an informative glimpse of your company, the team, and the product or service you offer. Videos make your job post more credible and interesting, increasing the number of applications you receive and give you a bigger pool of talent to choose from. Videos will also help applicants check and evaluate if they are fully interested early on in the hiring process.

The Onboarding Process

Once you choose suitable candidates and start building your team, make sure that the transition to your organization is smooth and organized. Video marketing comes in handy to help new employees settle in comfortably. Create standard onboarding training videos that show them how to get started, the tools or apps they need to download or install, the shared digital workspaces where team members can collaborate, and more.

Pre-made videos are more effective than live video call training because new employees get to adjust at their own pace. Recordings are more engaging and they won’t eat up an employer’s time and energy.

Managing the Virtual Team

So the hiring stage was a success and everyone transitioned into the company pretty well. Now what?

Maintaining the interest and productivity of your remote employees is more challenging than getting them to work for you in the first place. Because you don’t regularly bump into each other and have water cooler conversations, new (and old) employees may get lonely and bored.

Here are some tips to help you manage your virtual team:

  • Choose the right tools

    Technology is crucial in making sure that every employee’s work is facilitated. If the work schedule is very important to you, integrate a time tracking tool to monitor shift schedules for payroll. You should also use tools for communication, be it work-related or informal banter, file sharing and storage, task delegation, and more.

  • Implement a reliable system

    Having a unified work system helps each employee be on the same page as everyone else in the team. Since each member is working remotely, there is a possibility for that person to create his own process or procedure. Having a documented and standardized system helps prevent chaos and misunderstanding in the virtual workspace.

  • Keep the conversations flowing

    It can get pretty lonely not being able to visit other cubicles or look over your shoulder to chat with colleagues. So, aside from creating channels for managers to talk to their direct reports, it would also be nice to have a space for fun non-work-related conversations.

  • Schedule regular team and one-on-one meetings

    Make it a point to meet up with your team at least once a week to check on them. Video calls are highly encouraged to put faces to those names you only just see on trackers and spreadsheets. This would also be a good time to track their output, resolve issues, and share exciting news or updates and introduce new hires.

    Regular one-on-one meetings are also encouraged so that each employee gets the opportunity to connect with the manager. This will make each one feel like a valuable part of the team.

Make the Most Out of a Digital Platform

Technology should not be a threat to small businesses. Now is the best time to take full advantage of what the virtual world can offer. It may take extra effort in the beginning but once everyone is settled in, your group of employees will turn into a strong and cohesive virtual team. It may not be all smooth and silky at the onset but you can keep refining as you go, finding the tools and systems that work best for your team.

Recruiting and running a virtual team will succeed if you give your employees all the support they need.  Remember, when remote workers feel like they belong, they are 3.5 times more likely to contribute and perform more efficiently.

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