Why would ANYONE want to work for you? And why would they want to do it remotely? Too often companies think attracting, hiring and retaining quality associates who can work on their own is like finding Bigfoot. They have heard tales of their existence but so far they have not actually discovered the real creature. The answer to this seemingly impossible dilemma is actually not that complicated. But it does involve you as the hiring manager to do a little homework and answer a few questions.
The first question is WHO are you looking for? Are you looking for employees with a vast array of experience in a particular field? Are you looking for recent college graduates who show an aptitude for your work but who can be trained in your particular methods? Are you looking for a specific age, gender or social background? Working remotely is not for everyone. It requires skills that the typical office worker in the same field might not have or need. An office based programmer with 20 years of experience might be able to redesign your entire company employee payroll screen in a few hours. However, give that same programmer a laptop and put them at their dining room table with no managers or co-workers and they might just as easily become a kindergartner on the first day of school.
Another question that many hiring managers fail to ask is WHY does someone want to work for the company? And WHY do they want to do it remotely? In your quest for the perfect remote employee you need to identify who that person is and what is important to them. Do they like the freedom to work odd hours? Do they enjoy being and working alone without managers breathing down their backs? Do they love the type of work your company would have them do? Do they simply like the money ?
Not everyone is motivated by the same thing. It’s kind of like raising children. Your 7 year old son is not interested in or motivated by the same things as your 14 year old daughter. They value different things and you will probably speak to them and deal with them in slightly different ways. Here is where you as the hiring manager need to now transform into the marketing manager as well. There is a saying in advertising that people don’t buy features. They buy benefits. They don’t buy anti-lock brakes. They buy keeping the car right side up and out of the snowdrift on the frigid winter night when the deer jumps into the road from the shadows and dad slams on the binders with the kids sleeping in the backseat.
People don’t choose to work remotely. They choose to work at a job that let’s them wake up at 9 am to be “at the office” at 9:05. Or maybe they are buying into a position that pays enough money to allow them the freedom to tour with their band and pursue their life’s real passion. Or maybe they love this particular line of work but office politics is just not their thing. The position you are offering has a multitude of features that offer a multitude of benefits to a multitude of different people. Here is your opportunity to show the world just how working for your company can make the right candidate’s life amazing.
So now you’ve found the perfect fit. They’ve been an incredible hire. Life is prefect. Now comes the tricky part. How do you maintain this fabulous relationship? Of course there are the obvious choices like more money or more vacation time. Those certainly don’t hurt and with some folks maybe that’s all it takes. But what about those who may not be motivated by society’s conventional wisdom?
Let me ask you a question. Do you drive a rented car the same way you drive your own car? Probably not. Now I’m not saying you’re doing burnouts as you leave the lot. But I’ll bet you don’t handle that vehicle with the same love and respect you give to your own ride. The one you paid good money for. The one you OWN. The rental isn’t yours. At the end of the trip you’ll give it back and it becomes someone else’s responsibility.
You have no skin in that game. YOUR vehicle? That’s different. You’re responsible for that one. Yes, it’s very different when you own it. So why should it be any different with a job? When you find that perfect employee find a way to let them own that job.
I’m not saying you need to rush out and put their name on the building or redo your company letterhead. But find a way to tie their success to the success of the company or even the department they work in. It doesn’t need to be huge. You just need to get them out of the rental and into their own ride.