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Looking to Hire Remote Employees?

By Doug Farrick

As communications technology advances (and the increasing costs of fuel), the ranks of remote (or virtual) workers continue to grow. Here are just a few factors you need to consider if you're thinking about employing remote workers.

1. You have a much bigger pool of candidates to pick from if you can provide a better work environment. Additionally you can select (or target) the exact skillset you are looking for to best suit your customers needs.

2. In order to have a successful virtual employee experience it is vital to set realistic, measurable, attainable goals and to have a protocol to review or update those goals regularly.

3. Make sure you have the necessary infrastructure in place to support remote or virtual users. The first requirement for the effective virtual worker is to have access to high-speed communications at the location where they will work the majority of their time.

4. Additionally, you also need to have reliable, accessible, and easy-to-use e-mail and calendaring capabilities (and most likely Instant Messaging (IM) and teleconferencing capabilities)

5. Consider your cost savings by not having a large office and being able to claim offices - in another state, city or even country.

6. Bob Daigle, VP of Marketing & Sales for Envira, observed that the flip side of being isolated from the team (i.e. being "virtual") is that isolation "fosters an attitude of independence, self-reliance and entrepreneurialism."

7. There is, however, often no substitute for face-to-face human interaction with members of your team. Consider company retreats or other meetings to strengthen team bonding and continuing to build (re-inforce) company culture.

Certainly, hiring remote is not for everyone but it IS becoming more and more prevalent due to the "perfect storm" of technological and communication advances.