What DistantJob Learned From 10 Years Hiring Remote for Small Businesses

hiring remote for small businesses

Hiring remote workers, before the pandemic, wasn’t a possibility for many small businesses or large corporations. Remote work itself seemed too daunting for companies who thought the only way to thrive was by keeping the old and rusty on-site model. A pandemic had to take over the world for people to realize that adapting to remote work isn’t as hard as it seems.

Now, with vaccination programs all over the U.S., employees have gradually started returning to the office. Yet, thousands of companies are not going back to the pre-pandemic work model. Most of them have decided to shift towards a hybrid model that allows employees to work from home and the office. And despite the challenges of remote work, employers realize that productivity and overall flexibility aren’t the only benefits. Having access to a larger pool of talent is undoubtedly one of the greatest advantages of global recruitment.

According to Indeed, remote work listings have doubled during the pandemic. In January 2020, remote job postings were 2.9%, while in February of 2021, that percentage increased up to 6.9%.

And while remote job ads keep increasing, this doesn’t mean that all companies are up for it. Small businesses, in particular, give a second thought to the idea of hiring a remote employee. They have too much at stake, but should they continue limiting themselves to hire local candidates only

At DistantJob, as an IT outstaffing agency, we’ve helped from large organizations to small businesses hire the best remote IT talent worldwide. The results? Let’s just say that there’s a reason why we’ve been succeeding at this for more than a decade. 

In this article, we will explore why as a small business, you should consider hiring global remote developers now more than ever.  

Pros and Cons of Hiring Global Remote Workers for Small Businesses

Before we start exploring the pros and cons of hiring remote workers for small businesses, we want to tell you a small story.

Years ago, there was this guy named Sharon Koifman. He was stressed out for one reason: Hiring IT talent was difficult and expensive. At that time, the cheaper option was to outsource candidates, but that felt like having a stranger at the company.

‘’Why was getting remote talent so hard?’’ He wondered. Until one day, baam! A light bulb drew above his head: he had to create a remote recruitment agency. Not an outsourcing agency, but an agency that helped businesses hire full-time remote employees!

And that’s the story of how DistantJob was born. Hiring remotely is not just a possibility for rich big companies but also for small companies that want to have la crème de la crème in their teams.

If you’re a small business interested in global recruitment, we want to give you the whole panorama. So let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of hiring remotely: 

Pros of Hiring Remote Workers for Small Businesses: 

1.  Think About the Talent!

Think about your favorite cookies, maybe red velvet or double chocolate ones. Now, think of the places you can go and buy those cookies. Perhaps a few blocks away from home, you get the ones you like, or maybe, you need to drive for 15 minutes to get to your favorite bakery. Now just imagine for a moment that you could have all the red velvet/double chocolate cookies in the world. With chocolate from Belgium, Brazil, France, The Netherlands, and the list goes on! All those amazing flavors just for you.

That’s exactly what happens when you hire remote workers. You can get great talent locally, but when you expand your horizons, your talent pool doubles. You can hire a candidate that ticks all the boxes of your skills and requirements. 

2.  You Save Money

Raise your hand if you, as a small business, want to save money? 

According to The Global Workplace Analytics, if a company allowed an employee to work remotely just half of the time, it would save them an average of $11,000 per employee annually. And that’s not all; each employee would save between $2,000 and $7000.

No office space, gadgets, snacks, and other small but significant costs! But that’s not only why remote hiring for small businesses is a good idea. Also, consider the costs of living. Just in the U.S., living in a small town in Missouri is not the same as living in New York; living costs drastically change. Now, imagine other parts of the world! Hiring a developer in San Francisco can be twice as expensive as hiring a developer from eastern European countries.

3.  The World is Going Remote

This is no longer the news of the moment; it’s a fact that the world is going remote. 2020 was called by many ‘’the remote work year’’ because companies had no other option than to work from home. But now that things are getting back to normal, companies continue to embrace flexible arrangements for the long term.

According to Upwork, an estimated of 26.7% Americans will continue working from home through this year. And 36.2 million (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025: That’s an 87% increase of remote workers before the pandemic.

4.  One of the Best Recruitment Strategies

As the world is going remote, employees’ priorities have changed as well. Years ago, when recruiters wanted to attract candidates, the perfect bait was to sell the idea of great company culture, high salary, and amazing benefits such as the gym or snacks.

Now the perfect bait has two letters: distant work. Employees are willing to take cut salaries just for the opportunity of continuing with flexible arrangements.  A FlexJobs survey revealed that 27% of employees are willing to take a 10 to 20% pay cut to work remotely.

5.   Productive and Engaged Employees

Productivity and engagement are two key ingredients for a business to be successful. And without a doubt, one of the best strategies to encourage both aspects is by hiring remote workers.

When employees work remotely, this means they have the flexibility to work in the environment that works out best for them. It can be their home, a quiet coworking space, a café, or at a restaurant! Everyone is different, and everyone has their own process, so forcing employees to work from 9 to 5 at a cubicle is not the best idea.

According to a ConnectSolutions survey, 30% of the respondents revealed that working away from a cubicle allowed them to achieve more in less time. And overall, 77% of remote workers reported higher productivity.  And a Gallup survey found out that employees who spend 60% to 80% working remotely are more likely to be engaged. The less time they spend in the office, the more progress they make. 

Cons of Hiring Remote Workers for Small Businesses 

1.   Communication Problems

Communication is the soul of distant work. If you don’t have the necessary tools and strategies, hiring a remote worker can become a nightmare. Zoom, Slack, Gmail, Skype, among others, are great tools but having them doesn’t instantly make your team communicate efficiently. You need to put a lot of effort on your end as the leader to set clear expectations.

If your remote employee is on the other side of the world, you need to be aware of the different time zones and set specific hours to meet for meetings. Also, keep in mind that not every business has the same workflow. Zoom might be the best remote tool for some companies, but others work better via Slack, so find out what tool works best for your team. Make research on the best collaboration tools that will make your team more productive.

2.   Not Everyone is Remote-Ready

One would assume that after a global pandemic, and thousands of companies working remotely, everyone is ready for it. But the reality is different. Working remotely requires employees to have a separate set of skills than onsite employees. For instance, remote workers need to work independently, manage their time effectively, and be organized when it comes to due dates. Of course, onsite employees require such skills too, but they have the pressure of having a manager that sees them every day while remote workers have a bit more freedom.

And the tricky part here is identifying which candidates will be up for the task and which ones aren’t. As a small business, hiring remotely requires you to carefully go over your recruitment process, ensuring the employees you hire want to work remotely for different reasons than working on PJs.

3.   Invest in the Right Technology

While hiring remote workers saves you thousands of dollars, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be spending money at all.  Imagine hiring a kick-ass writer with a lot of experience but unfortunately has a laptop that’s tearing apart. They can manage to write, but if they had a new laptop, a second monitor, and other home office gadgets, their productivity would boost significantly.

And hardware isn’t the only thing to keep in mind. You need to consider that most of the tools and applications that remote teams need don’t come for free. Project management tools, video call apps, HR management tools all come with a price because of what they offer. At the end of the day, it’s an investment, but you need to consider what your possibilities are as a small business.  

4.   Constantly Work in Your Culture

As we mentioned, communication is the soul of remote work. But communication goes hand in hand with building a culture. And while culture has more definitions than the sky has stars, one thing is for sure: people seek companies with a culture that revolves around employees. Everyone wants to work at a company that values employees and that makes them feel like a part of a big family.

And in an onsite setting building, a culture normally translates into hitting the bar Friday nights or celebrating birthdays with a Target-bought cake. In a remote setting, you need to get creative to create that sense of belonging. The good thing is that it’s possible. Take us as an example, at DistantJob we gather to celebrate birthdays by Zoom, we have Halloween virtual parties where we even dance ‘Macarena’, and we have random gaming sessions as well.

5.  Say No to Micromanagement

One of the most challenging aspects of hiring remote workers is that you need to redefine what being a manager is. Having onsite employees means you get to control them just by looking at what they are doing. But when this is taken away from you, how will you make sure they’re working?

A good manager is a good manager regardless of where they are or if they manage an onsite team or a remote team. If you trust your employees and their capabilities, this won’t be a challenge for you. But if you want to keep control over them constantly, then hiring remote employees might not be the best idea for your business. 

The Future of Remote Global Recruiting for Small Businesses 

When you have a small business, it seems as if every decision you make is life or death. Especially when it comes to hiring, where you put lots of effort, time, and money. However, when hiring remote workers becomes a long-term strategy to grow and succeed, it can be one of the best decisions you make, especially after the world of work is changing.

The future of recruiting has drastically changed, as most employers aim to continue working and hiring remote employees. About 80% of employees say they expect to continue working from home even after the pandemic is under control. And it’s estimated that 25-30% of jobs will be remote by the end of this year.

International hiring trends are already starting to show up in the marketplace. These are some of them that you should be aware of:

1. Employees Have Different Priorities

Remote hiring revolves around what employees want. No recruiter will offer gym benefits to someone who is not interested in them. The key is to attract talented candidates with exactly what they want. And because of the pandemic, a new trend that has emerged is that employees are moving outside big cities. They want a more relaxed lifestyle, especially now that working remotely is a possibility. According to a Reuters survey, up to 23 million people in the U.S. could move because of remote work.

2. Wanted: Remote-Friendly Companies

Because of the pandemic and the fact that many companies are not sure how to proceed in a post-covid19 world, many of them offer temporary remote jobs. And the issue with these jobs is that people no longer want to work remotely just for a few months. They want full-time permanent remote jobs, or at least under the hybrid model where they get to work both in the office and at home. 

One of the emerging remote hiring trends is for businesses to offer candidates remote positions.  Or at least specify clearly in the job description if the position is for a fully remote or temporarily remote; this will impact the number of candidates that apply.

3. Virtual Onboarding

Remote hiring goes hand in hand with virtual onboarding. And as remote work is still new for many companies, so is onboarding.

The onboarding process is fundamental in how an employee will perform in the company. If they engage with the company, understand the processes and the workflow, the odds are that the results will be good. And virtual onboarding requires companies to build new processes to make it effective. Introducing them to the team, teaching them how to use the tools, how things work around the virtual office, etc. 

Are You Joining the Remote Hiring Gang? DistantJob Can Help! 

Hiring remotely, like everything in life, has its pros and cons. Depending on your business model, some may weigh more than others. Yet, if you’ve set your mind on building a successful team by hiring remote workers, we can help you with that. As a leading remote recruitment agency, we have it all to help you scale your team with the best IT talent available out there. Our skilled team of IT recruiters work day and night (literally, because of the different time zones) to find our clients the best candidates. Contact us! 

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Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman believes every company, from the biggest enterprise to the newly-launched garage startup, should have access to world’s top talent. That’s why he used over 10 years of experience in tech industry recruitment & HR to create DistantJob. His unique recruitment model allows DistantJob’s clients to get high quality IT experts working remotely at a fraction of the usual cost - with no red tape and within two weeks.