Hiring remote staff can be an efficient and cost-effective way to solve problems for small businesses. However, there are some issues to consider when hiring employees that work in a different location.
Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of hiring remote staff:
Not having a full team in your primary location means saving money on expenses like office space, supplies, heating and more. Plus, operations that have remote staff usually have lower turnover. This means you’ll likely save time and money on training and hiring in the long run.
A larger recruiting pool
With remote hires, you won’t be limited to just the talent pool in your geographic area. If possible, it’s a good idea to offer benefits aimed at enticing remote staff to want to work for you. This could include reimbursements for home-office expenses. These will give you even more hiring power, and the ability to grab the talent you want.
In the past, you may have had a frustrating experience with remote staff. It’s hard to organise meetings that work for everyone. However, keep in mind that technology for conference calls, meetings and day-to-day communication has improved dramatically. Tools like Slack and Hipchat are options you might consider for increasing daily conversations and workflow management for team members across various locations. Of course, you’ll want to spend some time investigating which will work best for your team.
Although there are cost savings associated with a remote workforce, there are also costs associated with having remote staff. These can include travel expenses to bring your remote employees on-site at least a couple of times per year. You may also need to pay for benefits catered to appeal to remote staff.
Required investment in needed technology
If you’re bringing remote workers into your business, you’ll need to give them access to what they need in order to get the job done. This could require remote access to databases or other technology. The good news is that advances like cloud technology mean it’s much easier to store your data and other information in safe, cost-effective ways, with few barriers to access for remote staff.
Camaraderie and a cohesive business culture are major parts of what keep a small business thriving. Those can be tougher to maintain when your employees are in different physical locations. You may need to budget in functions like a company retreat to help everyone bond and strengthen ties.
Keeping a good line of communication with remote employees will take some extra effort. Hiring skilled, motivated people, giving them the tools they need to succeed, and implementing communication and workflow tools like the ones mentioned above, will help. A regularly scheduled phone or video meeting can be valuable to help you stay in touch with remote workers.
When you’re not restricted by your geographic location, there are lots of opportunities to find great employees that might otherwise be out of reach. If you’re looking to hire new employees or expand your workforce, an OnDeck small business loan could help you unlock the opportunity. For more information about what OnDeck has to offer, visit our business loans page.