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Most Employers, Workers Believe Workplace Will Be Freelance-Based By 2025
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2016 Trends: How Remote Team Hiring Has Increased Revenue For Small Businesses
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Top 10 Places to Hire Remote Employees
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Remote Full Stack Developers: Who They are, What they do, and How to Hire Them
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Throwback to the Top 5 Programming Trends of 2016
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The Dangers of Working with Freelancers
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5 Minute Guide to Working Remotely
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Top 10 Questions About Hiring Remote Employees
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Reach your project deadlines faster by Hiring Remotely
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Question to ask while remote hiring a content writer

Most Employers, Workers Believe Workplace Will Be Freelance-Based By 2025

If you have been bored by traditional ways of working and you are not a perfect fit for the typical 9 to 5 job, don’t worry, things are going to change in the next decade. According to a study conducted by the Randstad US, workplaces will be agiler by the year 2025. Out of all the employers and workers who participated in the study, 68% of employers and 70% workers agreed that there is a change in the way of working. They also agreed that by the end of the next decade a majority of the workforce will be employed on a contractual, temporary or freelance basis.

Some Highlights of the Study:

  • The study, in which 1500 HR and C-suite company executives participated with 3,100 employees, also revealed that half of the workforce is looking forward to becoming a part of an agile capable workforce within the next three years.
  • The Randstad study also revealed that employers are already preparing themselves for the shift that might occur. They are already accommodating both regular and agile employees to fulfill their current staffing needs. Employers also believe that having a freelance model workforce will allow them to take advantage of global forces and innovation.
  • This study also affirms that employees are thinking independently, which has fuelled their desire to go solo into the job market.
  • One of the important highlights of the study is that the agile workforce may also include involuntary part-time workers who want full-time employment. Another aspect to consider is that the low-skilled workers might not find the agile employment system or gig economy to be a suitable condition.

The job market, like any other field, is subject to predictions made by experts. While there might have been many forecasts, like the possibility of robots taking away your job, a freelance-based workplace is nothing that has appeared out of blue.

Reasons Behind Such Change

If you analyze the data of the past few years, you will see that the change has already started. Many have termed it to be the fourth industrial revolution. Factors like the use of machines, mass manufacturing requirements, globalization, the digital revolution, and automation have led to this revolution.

Employers are becoming more committed to building an agile workforce. On the other hand, the study was done by Randstad US also indicated that staff and working professionals are also considering working in a more flexible manner rather than the fixed 9 to 5 routine. Advancements in technology have helped in fast-pacing the change and given support to the freelance workplace concept.

The employees feel that the freelance workforce fits better with their lifestyle. Thus, motivating them to change the way they work. Many employees also pointed out that being in an agile workplace will benefit them in their financial growth as well as giving them better control over the growth of their career.

Advantages to Employers

The agile workforce model will be very beneficial for employers. According to the study, these are some advantages that employers will enjoy.

  • This model will help employers to reach the highly skilled and talented professionals needed for their projects.  
  • Another aspect employers will benefit by is that they will have access to and the advantages of a global talent.
  • The agile workplace will bring innovation and creativity to the workplace.
  • The operation of a company or enterprise will improve. Being able to hire the best of talent from a pool of global talent will give businesses an edge over their competitors.
  • Being agile will help in reducing cost. The company may not even have to maintain a physical workplace or other expenses like refreshments, etc., will be reduced. In other words, employers will get better value for the salary they will pay.

Advantages to Employees

As an employee, there is a wide range of benefits that comes with the freelance working model. The most crucial advantage that employees get through this model is freedom from rigidity. Employees will not be encumbered by a regular and robotic nine-to-five job within one place. With the help of the latest technologies, they can work from anywhere. Working on a contractual basis or working as a freelancer will require an employee to connect and work with many companies and professionals. This will generate overall growth and skill development.  According to the study, employees feel that the experience they gain will be very valuable.

In conclusion, this survey reveals that the agile workplace will be useful in building a world-class talent base. It will help companies find the highly skilled workers and professionals needed for their projects. Employees, in turn, will flourish in this flexible environment.

2016 Trends: How Remote Team Hiring Has Increased Revenue For Small Businesses

Recruiting new members is not a decision that small business owners can choose to make lightly.

Forget about recruiting, if you are a ‘lean start-up’ just taking off, you think twice thrice even before buying news office supplies. Also, as a start-up with a potential to branch out and grow in unlimited directions, hiring permanent in-house employees can significantly add weight to the list of considerations that you have to make while taking the most minimal of risks.

Most small businesses, thus often end up with an inadequate number of resources to manage everything on their plate. But that’s not the right for businesses who really are looking to expand and reach their full potential.

So how do we address this problem?

Cue: Remote Hiring of Dedicated Team Members

Hiring of remote & distributed yet dedicated teams gives businesses all the benefits of an in-house team without forcing them into monetary or other commitments that they may later come to regret.

Let’s explore how that works.

Talent pool from around the globe

Your brilliant business idea might be in need of some serious talent for execution. If you restrict yourself to your backyard, chances are that you are compromising on your needs. Hiring a dedicated remote team where you pick and choose the exact talent that you need for your business will do the job for you.

Saving Money

To hire say 5 more people working for you, you do not have to incur costs of providing them additional workstations, office supplies, utilities etc. Plus operations that have remote staff usually have less turnover, meaning that you save time and money on training and hiring in the long run.

According to a Forbes magazine report, American Express reported annual savings of $10 million to $15 million thanks to its remote worker options.

Agility & Scalability

No project is same, and you cannot expect every person to be good at everything – but guess what – it doesn’t really matter when you have a dedicated remote team. When you need certain skills for a particular project, you can list those skills and hire a team accordingly. For the next project, you can move on to a different team comprising of a different set of people. This kind of agility is gold for small businesses as they like exposure in diverse work.

The agility can also be a source of scalability and can help businesses figure out what they do best. A dedicated team gives you space and encourage taking minimal risks once a while without the fear of large-scale effect.

Stability

You know the only difference between hiring freelancers and a remote team? With a remote team, you are not only getting the right skills for your project, you are also getting people to lead that team and optimize that team as per your requirements and goals. So you essentially do not need to worry about different time zones, unavailability, erratic reporting, divided attention in projects etc.

Two-thirds of managers say employees who work remotely increase their overall productivity.

All these advantages and benefits said and discussed, if you are that kind of a leader who likes having his team close and likes keeping an eye on her/his team to help them reach their full potential – you might still be shying away from a remote team despite all benefits – technology comes to your rescue.

The collaboration tools available in the market these days are so sophisticated that we wouldn’t be exaggerating if we say that you’d almost feel no difference between a team right under your nose and one 10000 miles away. You can easily optimize your team’s performance with these tools and a few effective communication practices

“By telecommuting, 83 percent of employees said their ability to communicate and collaborate with co-workers was the same as, if not better than, it was when working on-site.”

It’s not easy to build a winning small business team. You won’t instantly find the perfect team members. However, if you take the right approach and you look for people with similar core values, you will be able to build a winning team and grow your company.

Top 10 Places to Hire Remote Employees

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Working remotely continues to gain popularity year after year. Great workers can now work wherever they are in the world without the need to be in the same office. Here are just a few of the many great websites dedicated to connecting interested businesses with willing remote employees.

1. Freelancer.com

This is the hub for freelancers looking for work and the companies that want to hire them. Employers can even search for local workers if they want them to come into the office to complete their tasks. The services offered from freelancers cover a wide variety of professions, ranging from design work like editing videos and creating web banners to basic coding and even translation. With almost 20 million users and over 9 million job postings, businesses are often able to find someone with the skills they need. Pricing varies based on what kind of job needs to be done; website development starts from $99, for example.

2. Upwork.com

Upwork has a broad spectrum of skillsets and price points. Animators, writers, illustrators, programmers specializing in every programming language, and even administrators and finance professionals are just a few clicks away. There are three models for hiring, beginning with basic access to all of the potential employees within their network. The next tier gives businesses the added benefit of pre-screenings conducted by Upwork. They will select the workers most qualified for the job at hand. The Upwork staff works with the client every step of the way in the final tier. In addition to finding the best freelancers, they will train them for the client as well. One issue is that once the job listing has been posted, the company will be bombarded with responses and it can be difficult to know what choice is the right one. The typical writing project costs about $30 / hour and paying for work on an iOS app will be in the ballpark of $40 / hour.

3. Outsource Development Centers – Capital Numbers, Virtual Employee

In addition to hiring freelancers within the country, there are plenty of companies based overseas that will help complete projects. Rather than a large group of individual freelancers from all around the world, outsource development centers have a centralized staff within their facility available for hire. These teams have the added benefit of being backed by an entire company as opposed to freelancers, who are completely on their own. Businesses can hire entire scalable staff, so the right number of people with the right skill sets are working on the project at hand. Starting at just $10 per hour, Capital Numbers provides one or more of over 275 in-house employees. They pride themselves on being cohesive and synergistic, coming together to complete any task that comes their way. Each staff is supervised and works within typical business hours and is completely committed to finishing the client’s job until they are satisfied with the result. Despite the distance, Clients can maintain direct contact with their team at all times to guarantee that their project is made exactly how they want it.

4. Guru.com

With over a million and a half people ready to begin working, Guru is a great option for finding remote employees. Interested businesses will be able to view any freelancers previous work, ensuring that they have a great track record and have worked on plenty of other projects. Additionally, they can post their job listings as well as choose which applicant best fits the position. Collaboration is easy with Guru’s Work Room. Companies will be able to set deadlines and share files with their freelancers, all within Guru’s website. The freelancer is paid only when the client is completely satisfied with the work. As for pricing, programming jobs begin at $65 / hour, $25 / hour for big data work, and web programming will be $18 / hour. Businesses should keep in mind that freelance work can be inconsistent and their results may vary.

5. Flexjobs

Flexjobs appeals to their workers with the allure of working without the nuisance of having to commute. People from all professions come to the site looking for part-time and freelance work. Over 4,000 different companies come to Flexjobs in search of available remote workers. Each job request will be personally screened by a Flexjobs employee to ensure that each project is matched with the best person for the job.

6. Toptal.com

The main draw of Toptal is the high standard they use for selecting their freelancers. Only the top 3% of their applicants are accepted to be a part of their program, making sure that interested companies hire the best possible people for the job. Toptal is proud to showcase their members right from their website. After providing Toptal with their specific needs, they will let them know when they find freelancers who can start working immediately, when they begin screening candidates, or if they were unable to find anyone that fit the qualifications. Even if this does happen, Toptal promises to search tirelessly for someone who will fit the bill. Toptal is a little on the spendy side, but a two week free trial is sure to draw in plenty of interested companies.

7. Craigslist

Although not as professional as the other sites on this list, it’s still possible to find good workers through their service. Craigslist merely provides a way for workers to post their services and is not liable for any possible incursions. Companies looking to hire will need to be careful about hiring freelancers without doing so through an agency. They will need to do all of the typical tasks involved with interviewing on their time to ensure they’re bringing on the most trustworthy person for the job. Hiring from Craigslist is hit or miss; the quality of the work could be outstanding, but it could just as easily be less than ideal.On a positive note, by not going through a freelance website, there won’t be any overhead fees.

8. Project4Hire.com

Similar to Guru, Projects4Hire allows freelancers and businesses to post their requests for work or jobs they need to have completed, respectively. Posting is completely free for both parties and Projects4Hire only needs to be paid if a job is accepted. Freelancers give bids for how much their services will cost, so it’s up to the company to decide how much they’re willing to pay for what they need to have completed. It’s a straight-forward, no-nonsense approach to connecting clients with freelancers looking to flesh out their resumes. Because every job is based on a bid, there is no consistent price for each job posted.

9. Workmarket

Workmarket allows businesses to build their freelancer team by creating dedicated talent pools. The automated screening process will show the most qualified workers and will even include a background check and a drug test in some cases. Workmarket lets businesses manage all of their remote workers from a single dashboard. The freelancer can be rated based on their work so other companies will know their level of skill.

10. Distant Job

This site will evaluate what kind of worker a business needs based on the description of the job provided. From there, they will determine who within their team is best suited for the job at hand and then proactively hand the reins over to the company, who will then interview all of the best candidates. Distant Job also boasts that it is not bound by boundaries; there are people all around the world within their company, providing a cheaper endeavor than hiring locally.

There are no shortage of places to hire remote employees nowadays. Hiring someone from outside the company can be a daunting task, but these websites are sure to make it easier for everyone involved.

Remote Full Stack Developers: Who They are, What they do, and How to Hire Them

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It’s any employer’s dream to be able to hire someone who can handle every part of web development. If a problem arises, they’ll know exactly how to fix it or find a workaround. They are real and they are known as Full Stack Web Developers. Here we’ll talk about what these developers do, how to get in touch with one, and what questions you ought to ask during the interviewing process.

What is a full stack web developer?

So, what is a full stack web developer? Simply put, they know how to work with every facet of web development, from the user interface to the API to the business behind the server and its network. They are more than just someone who handles code; they have excellent knowledge of what makes for a great web experience and more importantly how to implement it. Administration, both frontend and backend, design, and how it all works on the OS of choice.

Being a full stack web developer doesn’t necessarily mean that they excel at every single aspect of development, but it does mean that they have the knowledge necessary to make all of the intricacies work together, even when working with a part that they don’t like as much.

“Full stack” refers to the different layers involved with development. These layers include things like the operating system, server side code, the web server itself, and the browser. All of these components are “stacked” together in order to create functional web service or application. A full stack developer can make all of the parts work in harmony to produce a smooth and enjoyable browsing experience for their users.

As the platforms these developers continue to change and evolve, it forces them to stay up-to- date with what programming languages work best with operating systems. Using an outdated method of app development could result in a dysfunctional and buggy application.

Full-stack web developers are challenged to stay up-to- date on all of the latest trends within their fields. If Apple updates iOS and changes the overall look, the dev’s app is in jeopardy of appearing outdated compared to the look and feel of other apps. It’s now up to them to learn about the current trend Apple has created. This includes researching how to make their app look congruent with Apple’s new design, how to successfully connect the back-end to the front-end, and making sure that the programming language they’re using is compatible with Apple’s new system.

Where to hire remote full stack developers

Okay, knowing what a full stack developer does is great and all, but how can you get someone with that level of talent on your team? Toptal and Upwork are very proud of their full stack developers. Toptal displays profiles for all of their remote full stack devs so everyone can see how accomplished they are. Outsource development sites like Capital Numbers also have a number of full stack developers available for hire.

Choosing the best place to hire a remote full stack developer can be difficult. You may have to interview potential candidates from multiple sites in order to determine who will be the best fit for the position.

Important interview questions to ask

Even though full stack developers claim to be proficient in every aspect of web development, they can’t realistically be experts with every part of the development process. As you interview, there are some things that you should keep in mind:

Ask about their work history to find out what kind of projects they’ve been involved in and what they had to do. Have them give links to their past work and have them explain how they made each project work so you can get a good feel for how they would approach your project.

Find out the areas of development that they enjoy working on the most. While they might have a wide knowledge from many different facets of web development, it doesn’t mean they enjoy every aspect of it. If they feel like they are especially proficient at data modeling or designing a user interface, allow them to primarily express themselves with what they enjoy doing the most.

Keeping track of all the different iterations of an app is crucial, so ask them how they control their versions. Do they use a source-management model or do they go for a distributed revision approach?

Try to find out how they typically work with back-end services. Are they most proficient in PHP, Ruby, or another language? Is there a particular strategy they use or does it depend on the what the job is?

Do they specialize with one particular os? It’s important to find out what they are most comfortable working with or you may end up with a less than stellar product.

Full stack web developers are an invaluable addition to any development team. Their understanding of the stacks and experience working with them will help you reach your goals. So what are you waiting for? Get searching for a full stack web developer now!

Throwback to the Top 5 Programming Trends of 2016

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2016 is shaping up to be a very exciting year in the world of programming. New programs and design choices abound as developers are experimenting with all of the possibilities this year has brought with it. Now is the perfect opportunity to learn about what’s “in” this year.

Single-page web apps

Website developers are continuing to ditch the traditional web page to web page design of the past in favor of a more streamlined browsing experience. The main difference between a single page web app and a typical web page is that all of the necessary information for the entire website is retrieved at the same time; no additional pages need to be accessed.

There are many advantages to designing a single page web page. For starters, your information is organized, simple, and understandable for all of your visitors. Putting all of your pertinent info on a single scrollable page divided into sections based on the subject is much easier on the eyes and users can tell what you’re talking about with just a glance.

GitHub

Github is the latest and greatest for coding projects. Whether you want to work on something alone, with a small team, or with your entire staff, Github can let you experiment and work together on all your most important coding endeavors.

The open source nature of the service allows programmers to observe other projects and even offer up their services to help it along. GitHub acts as a repository of code that can be accessed at any time. It works as a source control tool, making sure to keep track of every version of an app as well as who on the team implemented it.

It can also be a great learning tool for budding programmers to watch experts build apps right in front of them. Those same experts can review the amateur’s work and give them helpful advice to improve their coding skills. You can pick up valuable skills just by watching the experts at work. Working on any of the millions of projects available from other Github users will help you gain experience for your projects.

Material design

This modern philosophy combines flat colors with simulated shadows and flashy animations, of which Google been the biggest proponent. Not to mention they even coined the term. Fluid animations help in-app actions flow together and provide a more vibrant experience. 2015 introduced us to the new mobile designs of Google’s main line of services like YouTube, Gmail, and Google Maps featuring their new layout. It’s apparent that they are quite proud of what they have come up with, judging from their widespread implementation.

Developers are taking notice of this new trend, too. Now that it has become the standard in the latest Android operating system Marshmallow, devs want to create apps that look congruent with the new design. Thankfully Google has published their entire design document with all of the dos and don’ts on how to make the best looking and feeling app with their design philosophy in mind.

Backend as a service

App developers are adopting BaaS faster than ever, and that trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year. The olden days of coding demanded that if you wanted a server for storing user data, you would have to craft the infrastructure from scratch. Thanks to the vast improvements brought by the internet and cloud storage in particular, devs no longer have to trouble themselves with that mess.

The backend is composed of three interconnected parts: the application itself, a database on which the information is stored, and a server that houses the database. Connecting to the backend isn’t always the easiest process, but the cloud has made it infinitely easier for developers to focus on making outstanding applications without spending so much time tweaking the nitty-gritty parts of their apps.

Cloud Computing

More and more applications are relying on internet-based systems to function. Cloud computing is the future of web development. Rather than buying or renting rows upon rows of dedicated servers that you may or may not use, you can simply use the power of the ecloud through services like Amazon Web Services to pay only for the computing power you need.

One of the main draws of cloud computing is its scalability. If you notice that you’ve gained an influx of users to your site or app, you can easily get more capacity so your app stays stable and all of your visitors will have a smooth experience. No one likes a slow web page and cloud computing can bring some much needed speed to your service.

 

The Dangers of Working with Freelancers

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Freelancers have become a great option for companies that need to outsource their work temporarily when their in-house staff lacks the specific skills for the job. There are a few precautions to keep in mind, though. This is not meant to antagonize freelancers or put them in a negative light; it’s to share some of the possible adverse situations that could arise while working with them.

Freelancers should not be the lifeblood of your company

Before you even consider bringing in a freelancer to help, you need to understand the purpose of freelancing. Freelancers are not employees: they are not tied to any company and are merely offering their services on a project-by-project basis. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely on them to complete the bulk of work on your projects.

For example, if you want to create a website that displays user submitted artwork, find local employees who can do everything you need to do to achieve your initial goals. Freelancers should only need to be brought on when A) no one on your team has the required skills to finish a task or B) when everyone is too swamped with other things to work on that they can’t fit it into their schedule. By outsourcing all the integral parts of your project to people that may live in a variety of time zones, you are putting the fate of your website into the hands of the freelancers. Try to keep as much work as possible in-house to avoid complicated situations like the one aforementioned.

Multiple projects at once

The most common issue that comes with hiring freelancers is that your project most likely won’t be the only one they’re working on. Steady income for a freelancer requires them to have a constant stream of projects to work on, so keep that in mind. They may have 2 or 3 other jobs before they can give yours the proper attention it needs. With so many other things for them to work on, this can also mean that they may not finish your project by the established deadline, forcing you to either take what they have done or wait for them to finally complete it fully. Time is money and the more time you have to wait for them to finish what you ordered, you’re losing valuable customers.

Sharing your intellectual property with a stranger

Hiring remote employees requires a lot of trust on your end. You are putting your faith in someone who you’ve barely met before and hoping that they will follow the guidelines you set for them. The aspect that makes employers most nervous, though, is sharing their intellectual property with these people. Most freelancing sites have pre-screenings to make sure the people they are promoting are in good standing and reliable, but the fear that they may not handle your ideas with care can still be a deterring factor.

Inconsistent quality

Something to keep in mind while outsourcing to a freelancer is that their work is not guaranteed to be consistent from one project to another. Because they may be working on more than one project, there is a chance they may put more of their effort into another company’s job than yours. This is one of the unfortunate realities of hiring freelancers. You can’t just tell them that they need to prioritize your project because they already have enough on their plate as it is. Giving them a tight deadline won’t help you either, because even though your task immediately becomes their first priority, the quality of the work will be subpar since they didn’t have enough time to put substantial effort into it.

Could drop contact

The worst nightmare of any employer is when an employee spontaneously drops all contact. None of their calls are being answered and any frantic attempt to get in touch is returned with radio silence. Anxiety begins to set in about the uncertainty of the situation. “What happened to them and are they okay? Will I have to find someone else to complete my project? Is my IP safe?” You don’t have any need for alarm, at least not right away. Start by trying to get in contact with them and putting the pieces together before getting worked up over nothing.

The best case for this type of scenario is getting in touch with one of the freelancer’s emergency contacts. Have them give you one or more of their emergency contacts so you’ll be able to sort everything out in a timely fashion before hiring them. Hopefully you’ll be able to trace their activity and figure out what happened to them, but it’s no guarantee that you will.

Freelancing has been a valuable asset for many companies, but understand the risks before you start hiring them. Just be aware that there are some troubling possibilities when you decide to bring a freelancer in to work on your project.

5 Minute Guide to Working Remotely

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Working as a remote hire, no doubt, has many advantages. More and more professionals are opting to work from home to avail of the many perks of working at their own pace, in their own comfort zone and at flexible working hours. However, to build a successful career as a freelancer, there are certain rules you must lay down for yourself. Without a set work pattern, you’ll soon face issues like lowered levels of productivity, miscommunication with teammates, and at some point, you could lose sight of your goals. To ensure that you stay clear of the typical pitfalls of freelancing, use this five-minute guide. It has a list of do’s and don’ts that you absolutely must follow.

Step into the Role

If you choose to work full time in an office, you’ll have fixed hours of waking up, dressing, having breakfast, and leaving the house. But, as a remote hire, chances are, you’ll give in to the temptation of oversleeping, having erratic mealtimes, and perhaps, lounging around the house in track pants. Avoid this pitfall and set up a routine for yourself. Follow it no matter what and you’ll soon find your productivity levels improving. Assign hours for work. Like say, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Then, 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and, finally 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Unless you’re dealing with an emergency, don’t let any issue make you deviate from that routine. Allow yourself the weekends off. But, work if you need to make up for missed hours.

Create a Work Environment

As a freelancer, you have the option of choosing the working space that is conducive to your output levels, but one that matches your personality. If you’re a loner who needs a quiet place to concentrate, work from home. But, if you need the stimulation of interaction with like-minded professionals, choose a coworking space, cafeteria, cyber hub, or any such location. Many remote hires are single parents or caring for elderly relatives. Whatever may be your life situation, pick out your space accordingly.

Acquire the Necessary Equipment

Depending on the work you do, make sure you have all the necessary equipment in place. If you need to constantly communicate with your teammates, get the devices. If you find yourself switching between and monitoring multiple projects at a time, invest in multiple screens. Make sure you have a printer if you need hard copies for delivery. Having all the tools and gadgets you need, can ensure that you’re not stuck every time a work situation arises.

Regular Communication

Since you’re working out of home, you’ll need to frequently receive instructions from your employers and relay completed assignments and updates. You might also find that you’re working on projects for employers in different time zones. In that case, it becomes absolutely essential that you have not just the necessary apps for video conferencing and audio calls, but that you work out timings that are convenient to everyone. By following this rule, you’ll find that it becomes easy to coordinate your activities with those of your teammates and there are no delays in the projects because of lack of communication.

Take Regular Breaks

Yet another pitfall many remote hires face is working too hard and putting in unreasonable hours. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to forget to eat and exercise, and soon, you could be heading for a burnout. Make sure you avoid that. Some freelancers also find that boredom gets in the way of productivity levels. To deal with this situation, switch between tasks and take 10 minutes off for tea, coffee, and snack breaks and you’ll soon get the creative juices flowing. If you need it, take a power nap.

Using these strategies, you’re sure to make a success out of your career as a remote hire.

Top 10 Questions About Hiring Remote Employees

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There can be a lot of confusion when hiring a remote employee. It’s such an unconventional position, so knowing how to approach hiring someone like that can be difficult. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject:

1. How much freedom should a remote employee have?

The key is to let the employee know that you trust them. The goal is to let them work their hours and complete the task under the guidelines you have established with them. They shouldn’t have to feel like you’re hovering over them every step of the way. Treat them like you would any other employee; ask about their personal life and show genuine interest in what they do.

2. What questions should I ask during the interview?

For the most part, treat it like any other face-to-face interview, asking the typical questions you would when hiring someone locally. Some important topics to ask concern the person’s motivation (are they a self-motivated worker), if they already have the necessary equipment for the job, what hours they plan to work, and how quickly they usually answer emails or other important messages. You may want to see their portfolio of their last successful projects. One particularly pertinent question to ask would concern how they would handle a sudden problem; have they ever had to come up with a solution to an issue on the fly and if they did, what did they do? Knowing how well they work under pressure can give you some peace of mind if something like what they described happens when they’re on the job. If you’re hiring a remote developer, ask about their experience in standard coding languages like JavaScript. Are they better with developing for the frontend or the backend? Ask them about what kind of projects they enjoy working on and what you as a client can do to help them succeed.

3. How can I keep track of their work?

While it’s alright to check in and see the progress you’re employee is making, you don’t want them to feel like they’re constantly under your prying eyes every waking hour. Ultimately, you want to maintain a set of trust between you and the employee; you expect that they will complete the task and they should be able to trust you to let them do the job within the guidelines you gave them.

This line of trust is broken with programs that monitor their activity and take periodic screenshots of their computer. It creates a sense of fear of the client, and this is unhealthy for the relationship between business and employee. Remote workers should have the freedom to work without the constant threat of being under heavy surveillance every second of the day.

With Google Drive or other programs that let everyone within a group see each others work, you can quickly see how much or little progress they are making on their task at a glance. At the very least, check in with them via phone call or other means of communication that both of you have agreed upon. You can also have them email you at regular intervals with updates on how their project is coming along. Additionally, there are some great time-tracking apps your remote employee can use to accurately tell you how long they’re working on your project.

4. What’s the best way of contacting a remote employee?

Because you don’t have the luxury of being in the same building for 8 hours of the day, you’ll need some way of communicating quickly if there’s a catastrophic development that requires their immediate attention. It all comes down to what is most convenient for you as the client. If you’ve already found a system of communication that you regularly use, teach the employee how you use it so everyone in your company will be on the same page.

Texting and IMing are fine, but can easily be read and forgotten about until it’s too late. A phone or Skype call requires them to act instantly, ensuring that you’ll get their attention right away. Knowing what situations call for which form of communication is the key to getting the responses you need when you need them.

5. What do I do if my remote employee suddenly drops contact?

First off: keep calm! Don’t assume the worst right away. There are an infinite number of reasons why they aren’t responding to emails or any other messages. Maybe they just lost a loved one and had to leave on short notice or it could be that they lost their phone at the airport. During the interviewing phase, ask them to provide you with multiple ways to contact them. At least three different modes of communication should be enough. If they don’t get back to you in a week, then you should start trying to find out if everything is okay on their end. Before they even begin work, you should ask for an emergency contact, so if something like this does happen, you’ll have some way of contacting someone who may know what the problem is.

Keep in mind that they might be dealing with something completely out of their control, as was the case in 2012 with Hurricane Sandy. Thousands of freelancers were unable to contact their employers because of the lack of internet access. For many, this unfortunately resulted in them losing their position just because they couldn’t contact their clients to let them know what was happening.

6. How can I make them care about my brand?

It can be difficult to influence remote employees to care genuinely about your company and its image. If you want someone to gain the same appreciation and passion that you have for your brand, you’re going to need to put in the time to treat your employees as more than just the people that keep the lights on; build relationships with them and ask for their opinion about day-to-day operations. Do they see any areas that need improvement? What would make their job easier? Let them know about what kind of values you have established within your company so they know what’s important to you.

7. Should I seek out a freelancer or go through an agency?

There are definite pros and cons to both options. An agency is a whole company that hires out their staff to other companies, whereas a freelancer is on their with no company behind them. The teams working under agency tend to turn out consistent work, so if you end up liking the work they produce, you’ll get the same results when you hire them again. Hiring a freelancer is a bit like playing a slot machine: you might win big, but there’s a larger chance you’ll hit bust. Finding a freelancer that shares your passion is hard. More likely than not, they’ll be approaching your task with the mindset of it being just another job.

8. What’s the best way I can let my remote employee know my expectations?

You don’t want to feel like your remote employees are walking all over you, so be sure to let them know what you expect of them right from the get-go. You can’t exactly control when in the day they get the work done, but you can decide how it needs to be completed. Be firm about how and possibly why their job needs to be done in the way you want it to be.

For offshore-based employees, it helps to be clear and concise. Use bullet points to quickly get the point across without making them read through walls of text explaining why this task is so important. Just give them the basics so that they know what you want and how it needs to be done.

9. How do I know I need a remote employee?

Before looking for outside help, focus on your in-house team first. Build a group that has strength in everything your company needs. If your business is beginning to expand and its needs change over time, that’s when you should start to consider hiring remote employees.

Examine the strengths of your team and find out where the weak spots are. Do you lack the expertise of a seasoned graphic designer? You might want to look into hiring someone for that. Do you have trouble writing coherent sentences for content? A remote employee can help you with that.

Another definite sign of the need for a remote employee is determining how much everyone can get done. If everyone is stretched too thin across multiple projects or you have a long backlog of projects, you might want to have someone from outside the team come in and work on it for you.

A problem arises when remote employees become the backbone of your company. Say you have an idea for a revolutionary new app, but don’t have any of the experience to make it yourself. You decide to hire some remote developers to build your dream app. Herein lies the problem: you are now relying on a handful of people spread across the world to build an app from scratch while you are in charge of managing all these people at once.

10. Is there a surefire way of telling if a remote employee is trustworthy?

There’s no guaranteed way of knowing whether someone is completely reliable or not. There are some steps you can take to find out if the person you’re looking to hire is reputable, though. Ask them to provide you with work references so that you can get in contact with the people they’ve previously worked with. Find out from their previous bosses what their work ethic was, the quality of their work, and the overall impression they made on the employer.

Hopefully these answers will resolve any uncertainties you may have had regarding remote employees. More and more companies are embracing the exciting possibilities that come with hiring great workers from all around the world. Now that you know the  facts, it’s time to get hiring!

Reach your project deadlines faster by Hiring Remotely

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Deadlines, yes, that dreaded 9-letter word and we are finally dedicating a piece on deadlines. We will discuss in the next 3 and a half minutes how deadlines can be met faster (and efficiently) when you start working with remote teams (read us).

Here we go!

#1: Longer commutes = stressed out employees = deadlines out of the window!

Imagine a phone under maximum stress; the user would immediately run out of battery sooner than expected. Not the ideal metaphor though, but replace your phone as your employee, and imagine heavy traffic as the extreme conditions. Result? A jaded employee, leading to a potential efficiency loss.

Also, note these down:

– A Swedish study says long commutes increase the chance of divorce by 40%.

– The study also holds long commutes for obesity, neck pain, loneliness, stress and insomnia.

– Finally, long commutes bring in high blood pressure, oversized waistline, and other health problems.

Thus,

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But then, deadlines don’t wait for people to be awesome and fresh; deadlines don’t wait for the traffic to stay all smooth till your best employees reach office.

So what’s the way out?

You can go remote!

Looking at the other side of the coin, a remote team brings in the much needed efficiency and swiftness that may otherwise have not been possible. Lengthy commutes, early morning jostles will give way to far more spirited people and fewer efficiency problems. A satisfied and contented team member is what one would require to happily meet the deadlines.

So,

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Is it time to bid a goodbye to long hours on the road, disgruntled employee pool and traditional method of working? We would say aye to that!

#2: Deadline? This cat-video comes first!

This is a genuine concern that we face day in and out. More and better connectivity within an office often results in extra indulgence in non-official jobs, that finally affects the deadline related scenarios. Think about all those non-productive hours named water cooler gossip, impromptu meetings, loud colleagues, cat videos, baby dances, dog posts etc. and think how these all add up to hinder a person from working peacefully and undistracted. US-based SurePayRoll study showcases how productivity loses happen within an office setup, even if things stay unintentional. Time to switch to remote hiring mode! Why? Here you go.

Remote Hiring brings in added responsibility given that you have a distributed team with you. You have access to collaboration tools, timesheets, video conferences, Google Drive, and host of other monitoring services that would lead to a better deadline-driven process.

Meanwhile, let us address another significant concern too. Remote hiring means more slacking during the day and snail’s pace of getting things done, right? Wrong!

Business.com mentions 11 such tools that will only help a brand grow by working closely with the distributed team, without the feel of suspicion creeping in at any point.

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Can we bury this concern and move ahead then towards meeting proper deadlines?  

#3: Limited resource = Deadline day pressure? Here’s a larger talent pool, people!

The top of your talent pool refusing to move from Dallas office to Madagascar office causing a deadline crunch? You must be (slightly) on the wrong-foot here then. While employees often seek convenience and comfort in terms of their office space, the same may not be the option for an organization when they try and get new employees for a new job, or a new office.

Also, with the pressure of deadline looming above our heads, it is tough to lose precious man-hours in search of effective and efficient team members who would immediately get the point and start working on the delivery.

When you hire people who are bounded by geographical proximity, you’re restricting the accessible talent pool to your immediate geographical boundaries. That said, there is a world of super talented people outside of your commuting radius. Own a start-up in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Well, by hiring remote workers, you’ll be able to hire software developers in Adelaide and Chennai. Also, if you want high quality talent but can’t afford a big hole in your pocket, you may find a great full-time engineer in Kolkata willing to work for a fraction of the cost.

Last, bringing in new people leads to on-boarding, training, orientation processes, and all of these leads to more cost. Also, training does not ensure in an efficient delivery, given the fact skill-sets play a big role in successful completion of projects. Remote teams have that necessary range of various skilled employees, who can join or move away as per the requirement of the project. Also, with remote hiring, the cost of training goes down by considerable notches, thus saving time and energy at both ends. Both the parties can straight cut to the chase without much ado.

Deadlines? Bring ‘em on!

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#4: Employee efficiency on the rise = deadlines met!

Isn’t that a nice little linear deduction? Correct. But do not start reacting as if linear deductions have not helped its proponents win any war.

Fewer distractions (for the disciplined remote worker) can lead to higher efficiency, a report from ConnectSolutions last year had concluded. The numbers: some 30 percent said that remote hiring allows them to accomplish more in less time, while 24 percent of those surveyed said they were able to accomplish more in about the same amount of time. Imagine how such a switch would affect the deadlines then.

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Smooth criminals!

If you are still in two minds regarding how to use remote hiring regarding meeting deadlines, now is the right time to know more on this. At Capital Numbers, we understand the pangs of missing deadlines. We work as a structured unit, carefully monitored by a HR, administration and operations team so that the best of the projects get the best of remote workers to meet deadlines faster and better.

Contact us to know more on how remote hiring can efficiently and easily allow your brand to meet deadlines and walk tightrope situations with much ease and élan.

Question to ask while remote hiring a content writer

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“Content Marketing is the only Marketing left”
– Seth Godin

What the great Seth Godin actually meant is that you should be creating content that the audience cares about and not just targeted advertisements.

To be frank, in today’s day and age almost everyone understands the gravity of the above statement, and anyone who is serious with marketing their brand understands the value of quality content and incorporates content marketing in their day to day marketing strategies.

Sometimes despite having a robust content strategy in place, businesses do not have the time or talent to consistent create good content in order to edge out their competitors. It is then when they hire remote writers, ones that quickly adjust to current staffing and business needs.

There are many advantages of hiring remote writers of course, you can potentially save some money by hiring remotely and they are best at what they do, do it faster and you can work with them as per requirement.

But then sometime business owners get frustrated with writers who are unresponsive, deliver bad quality content and disappear when they get busy with other projects. So it’s important that you get it right.

We’ve prepared a list of questions that might help you get the best talent to execute your content strategies. Have a look:

What is your research method?

90% of writing is about research. No matter how prolific writer, they can’t claim that they can start writing anything without doing proper research. It is very much possible that while working with you they have to write on topics that are challenging and outside their immediate knowledge. So start a conversation with them about how they gather information about their piece, what kind of sources they depend on for writing stuff. Someone who is not used to extensive research before writing will definitely flounder through these questions.

Which would you say is your best work? Talk about it.

Writers are barely satisfied with their own work. But then there are always one or two pieces of work that they hold close to their heart. Probe them about it, ask them to elaborate on the entire creative process of how they came up with it. Listening to the experience will give you a fair idea of how they feel about their work and also about things that trigger their creative juices. You will need them while you supervise on them remotely.

Are you aware of the basics of marketing?

Well written content is a must, that’s true. But then these days content needs to adhere to requirements of basic marketing fundamentals as well. Ask your writer about the steps they take to make the content robust for marketing. Ask them about concepts like product positioning, market segmentation variables etc. It’s important that your writer knows about marketing fundamentals for your brand to reach your target audience.

What would you say is your ideal writing environment?

The writer won’t be working under your nose, you can’t keep walking up to them to get an idea of the progress they have made or if they are facing any difficulties getting into the mood to write. So it’s important that you know if there’s an ideal environment that triggers the creative juices in them, or if there’s a particular time of the day when they particularly enjoy writing. All this information will help you bring the best out of them when you start working together.

Are you small business looking for writers who will drive a steady flow of excellent content your way? From blogs to robust social media schedules we provide them all. We have a diverse set of writers who can be an excellent fit to your business strategy and can shape a good content marketing bouquet for you. To hire them, contact us at http://www.capitalnumbers.com/contact_us.php  

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