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Drupal VM 4 Is Here! With PHP 7.1 And Easy PHP Switching
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Victory Comes Sweet For Capital Numbers At Deloitte Technology Fast 500 APAC 2016
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Top 10 Questions About Hiring Remote Employees
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How to Communicate Effectively with Your Virtual Team
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Why Your Best Remote Hire is the Next One
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How Remote Hires can Maintain Productivity Levels
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How to Tell When You Need to Hire a Remote Employee
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Why Remote Employees Perform Better?
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Four Different Ways to Hire Your Remote Employees
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How to Motivate Your Virtual Employees

Drupal VM 4 Is Here! With PHP 7.1 And Easy PHP Switching

Drupal is the open-source software popular for use in sites which contain blogs, portals, forums, e-commerce sites, information about individual and corporate entities, intranets, resource directories, social networking sites, etc. Written in  PHP, it is available in a ready-to-use format upon being downloaded. This software supports content management, podcasts, collaborative authoring, image galleries, newsletters and much more. Now, the newest and latest version of it is available on the net, seven whole months after PHP 7.0 and Ubuntu 16.04 were introduced by the VM 3 version of this Drupal software.  

Some of you might not be familiar with the concept of the Drupal VM. It is an instrument, or tool, built with the help of Vagrant and Ansible, that helps in the development of  Drupal environments.With the 4th installment in the series the Drupal tool is enhanced in terms of flexibility. You get a plethora of choices to pick from.  A few of the binaries are MySQL or PostgreSQL, Nginx or Apache, Redis or Memcached, and CentOS or Ubuntu.  Also, Drupal VM 4 is empowered with a seamless mode-switching power which allows the web developer to change the PHP mode in a fluid, no-hassle manner. The modes available are 5.6, 7.0 7.1. The best thing is that you can do this without having to recreate the whole development environment.

Here is a comprehensive list of the benefits that Drupal VM 4 would empower you with:

  • A really great aspect is that Drush is completely optional. You can choose to either use the version attached to the project or not use it at all. This is undoubtedly good news for web developers around the world.
  • As already mentioned before, Drupal VM 4 supports all three versions of the programming language PHP: 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1. All you need to do in order to activate the ‘smooth switch’ system is to do an update of the PHP version and run the Vagrant Provision. This easy PHP mode switching is apparently the real reason people are extremely excited about the recent update.
  • Another benefit is that you would now require the use of Vagrant 1.8.6 or later, VirtualBox 5.1.10 or later, and Ansible 2.2.0 or later. Of these, the latter is important only if it is installed on the host.
  • Although PHP 7.0 remains as the default, you’d be able to install the PHP 7.1 or 5.6 in a smooth movement (details mentioned in another point and also in the introduction).
  • You can work these changes on any Operating System, whether on a laptop or mobile.
  • Among other improvements, you can avail of the PHP upload_progress support, the optional DRUPALVM_ANSIBLE_ARGS support for the Ansible CLI options, and use the shallow Drush cones for the sake of building up environments faster. Drupal VM 4 has also added the GitHub ISSUE_TEMPLATE, fixed the Solr versioning error and set the composer.json to “VM” over “Project”.  A few bugs have been fixed; such as the #981, #1014, #1020, #1004 and #1037.

Awesome, isn’t it? And we have the exemplary efforts of Oskar Scholstrom and Thom Toogood to thank for it all!

Victory Comes Sweet For Capital Numbers At Deloitte Technology Fast 500 APAC 2016

Capital Numbers very proudly announces their win at the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 APAC 2016. The award follows a string of accolades for Capital Numbers which reported a significant growth rate in the past four years.

The original program, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 North America, was founded in 1995. Since 2002, Deloitte has worked to celebrate the fastest growing industry sectors, from software to biotech, across the Asia-Pacific region. The AP TechFast 500 program spans over nine countries: Australia, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Here at Capital Numbers, we provide our clients with sustainable competitive advantage in their business. Thus, we focus on creating a collaborative environment that fosters creative solutions and growth, ensuring effortless growth of startups, businesses, and organizations, focusing on the core while we act as their backend delivery center.

The fundamental idea behind this program is to honor emerging high-growth companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Capital Numbers scored high in all the criteria outlined for companies qualifying for The Technology Fast 500. As per the eligibility requirements, Capital Numbers matches the guidelines by showcasing base-year operating revenues of at least US $50,000, by being in business for a minimum of three years, and by being headquartered within Asia Pacific.

“We are really happy to be among the Top 500 fastest growing companies in APAC. All our hard work has been channelized to build a strong company and at the end of the day this award is a testament to our continued success and growth,” said Mukul Gupta, Managing Director, Capital Numbers. “Our ongoing drive and ambition to create a global presence remain undiminished and this is just the beginning.”

 

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!

How to Communicate Effectively with Your Virtual Team

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One of the crucial elements for the efficient working of your business is certainly communication. You need to convey instructions and feedback to your team and in turn, you’ll need to receive regular updates on the tasks they are working on and have completed. Communicating with in-house workers is not an issue since they are located within your office complex. However, when you’re working with remote hires you need to ensure that you have some kind of system in place so you’re able to touch base with them from time to time. This factor can present something of a challenge when you’re working with freelancers based in different time zones across the world. However, technology can help you overcome this challenge. Here are some useful tools to implement.

Set up Fixed Times for Interaction

Work out a fixed time of the day when it is convenient for you and the remote hire. Use chat features for discussions on the tasks for the next day and the projects under progress. You could also use direct calls and emails. While they may have different working hours, you can always designate a specific hour when they’re working and can coordinate with other members of the team. If you need to issue instructions outside of the designated hours, you always have the option of sending emails. You might also want to set up a system by which you know that the emails have been received. For instance, insist on acknowledgements and replies within a time frame of say, 6 hours.

Choose a Single Portal for Communication

Of the many communication and collaboration tools out there, you could choose one that works best for you can and ask your team members to use it. Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive are only a few of the many tools out there. Team members can share files and coordinate their efforts by working together on projects. As the employer, you have the option of constantly monitoring tasks and adding your comments and directions as you deem necessary. This strategy can also help you assess the efficiency of your team. Keep in mind that it always advisable to choose a single app to eliminate confusion and miscommunication.

Team Interaction

While it is important for you to supervise the functioning of operations, it can sometimes become difficult for you to coordinate communication if it is constantly routed through your desk. A great alternative is to put the remote hires in touch with one another on a single platform. This practice can help them stay informed about the activities of each other. You can avoid overlapping of tasks and maintain the correct sequence of events. Such platforms are also necessary when you need to hold meetings. Get your team together on a single page for brainstorming sessions and assigning tasks, preferably at the end of the business week. Accordingly, they can plan their work hours for the next week and deliver assignments on time.

Encourage Team Bonds

Help your team members see each other as people and not just as a name on the messaging portal. Encourage friendships and get people to talk about their families once in awhile. Creating a rapport can help remove tensions arising from miscommunication. Allow your team to sort out any issues that can sometimes arise without the need for you to intervene. On your part, you can make sure you have an open work culture in your company. This strategy can help you build trust and loyalty among your remoter hires.

Face-to-face interaction is no doubt essential for effective communication, but with a few smart moves, you can coordinate virtual communication among your remote hires and build an efficient team.  

Why Your Best Remote Hire is the Next One

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Having created a new business or startup, it is understandable that entrepreneurs prefer to hire virtual employees as compared to an in-house regular employee base. Having virtual workers or remote hires as they are also called can present a host of benefits for your business. To begin with, you can avoid having to incur administrative overheads, nor will you have to lease office space to accommodate them. In addition, you’ll only have to pay salaries according to the hours they spend on your tasks. If you are at a loss about how to find and hire the best remote talent out there, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Match Remote Hires to the Tasks at Hand

Instead of creating an entire team right away, it is advisable to hire skills as and when you need them. For instance, should you need to develop a smart marketing strategy, you could hire the necessary experts that can search out and find the perfect markets and guide you. Ready to take your business online? Go ahead and look for remote hires like web designers, developers, link builders, writers, SEO specialists and other skilled people to assist you. When your business grows large enough for the need for expert accountants, hire them. In this way, you’ll be able to create a diverse team of resources and highly efficient people that are able to deliver on the requirements of your company.

Look for a Great Online Portal

Take the time to look for great online portals and social media networks where you can find the remote hires or freelancers you need. There are many sites where prospective employers can connect with talented people that work on a part-time or as-needed basis. Check details of past jobs along with references, reviews, and feedback from clients they have worked with in the past. You could also post the details of the task you have in mind and make your choice from the applicants that contact you. Take care, though, that you provide the maximum amount of information you can about the job. By doing this, you’ll ensure that only the people with the perfectly matched skills reach out to you.

Consider Hiring on a Trial Basis

An effective hiring strategy is to sign on two to three candidates and assign the same task to all of them. Depending on the work they do for you and their performance, you’ll be able to pick out the best employee for your enterprise. Letting them know that there are other candidates in the running is another smart idea. You’ll find that the dedicated people stay on and strive to do better while others are not willing to take on the challenge. This strategy can help you choose the workers that can help you take your company to greater heights.

Factors to Consider – Dynamism

When choosing the perfect candidate, look for personality traits that indicate a dynamic, go-getting attitude. For instance, the candidate should be proactive and interested in the products, services and general operations of your company. Such people are willing to take initiatives and look for solutions to issues they see without being asked. They are capable of problem solving and focus on getting the job done, even if it means taking unconventional approaches. Such personnel can prove invaluable for your startup.

Factors to Consider – Communication

Since you’re working with remote hires, the most important factor to consider is communication. You’ll need to issue instructions and discuss projects and tasks over the internet by way of emails. This is why; candidates need to be proficient at understanding what you say and capable of relaying information of tasks they have completed. You’ll also need them to interact and work efficiently with the rest of your team, if needed, without your constant supervision. This form of synchronization is very essential for the smooth operations of your company.

Once you’ve created the perfect remote hire team, make sure you maintain it. Pay them well and offer bonuses from time to time in appreciation for the work they do for you. Be open to giving referrals and feedback when they need it. These strategies will ensure employee retention and the continued success of your company over a long time.

How Remote Hires can Maintain Productivity Levels

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Working from home as a remote hire or a freelancer has many advantages. These include and are not limited to choosing projects of one’s own choice, working at one’s convenience, savings on commuting costs, and many more. However, you might have noticed that working from home often results in lower productivity levels. Many factors can interfere with your working hours such as household chores, social commitments, and lack of the impetus and discipline of a proper working atmosphere. Here are a few tips you can use to ensure that you maintain productivity levels despite being a remote hire.

Begin Your Day Well

Disciplining oneself and setting a proper routine is very essential for freelancers. Make it a point to wake up at the right time each morning and make sure you groom and dress yourself for the part. Many remote hires are tempted to lounge around the house in casual clothes, but you’ll find that dressing right lets you instantly step into the role of a professional. You’ll find that you’re motivated to turn on your computer and begin working. Have a nutritious breakfast because you need the energy to get the creative juices flowing.

Create a Work Schedule

Draw up fixed working hours and follow them by ignoring all distractions. Turn off the social media updates on your phone and use a different email ID for work. Doing this will segregate your professional and personal communications. In addition, you can ignore unimportant emails until it’s break time. Inform all your friends and family members of your routine and request them to support you and refrain from disturbing you during work hours. It’s perfectly okay to turn down an invitation to catch a movie when you have to work. Say, “No!” politely, but firmly.

Create Time Slots

When working with multiple clients or on different projects at a time, you need to create fixed time slots for each task. According to the time needed to complete each project, assign hours all through the week. Make a note of each task in your time scheduler. Also, set aside time slots for checking mails, contacting new clients, fresh job applications, and so on. Take care that you don’t let one task get in the way of another. For instance, if you have to work on a particular project and you chance upon a job opportunity, wait for the right time slot to draft your application.

Make up for Delays

All workers, whether in-house or remote hires must deal with situations like health issues or family emergencies that just cannot be avoided. If you find yourself falling behind work, inform your client and make up for lost time by working as and when you can. Sacrifice weekends if you need to or put in longer hours until you catch up.

Take Short Breaks

Working nonstop without breaks for long hours can only result in mental fatigue, and eventually, a burnout. Keep such situations at bay by taking frequent breaks every couple of hours. Have cup of tea or coffee and eat a small snack. Simply getting up from your desk and walking around not only has health benefits, but also refreshes you to work better. If you feel lethargic, take a power nap.

Eliminate Multitasking Completely

You might think that working on multiple projects or checking messages and emails as they come in helps you save time. The fact is that, instead of getting more done, the constant disturbance breaks your concentration levels and you end up getting a lesser amount of work done. A better option is to take up one task and focus on it completely until you complete it. Unless you work with a client who needs to constantly update you with fresh instructions, using this strategy can help you raise your productivity levels.  

Take on Only What You can Deliver

Many remote hires make the mistake of taking on too many projects even when they know that they cannot find the time to manage them. By doing this, you’ll only feel stressed when you cannot meet deadlines. A wiser option is to take up only so many projects that you know you can deliver. Eliminate the stress and you can have a better output. Sign up for new projects as you complete the old ones.

Using these tips, as a remote hire or freelancer, you should be able to maximize productivity levels and build a great career.

How to Tell When You Need to Hire a Remote Employee

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Having started your new business, you’ll want to remain in control of every aspect of it to ensure smooth running and efficient supervision. However, most entrepreneurs are not skilled in managing every task and need to consult or hire experts to assist them. For instance, you might need advice on how to handle the marketing side of your enterprise. Further, you’ll need assistance from capable lawyers who can guide you on the legal issues.

Since your startup is still in its fledgling state, you may not have the necessary resources and office space to accommodate a large in-house team. The best solution in this situation is to look for remote hires that are not only economical, but give you the freedom to work with them as and when you choose. So, how can you know that hiring freelancers is a more viable business strategy? Here are the signs to look out for.

Identify Your Own Talents

To begin with, ask yourself what are the tasks you’re especially good at and the ones you wouldn’t want to do. For instance, being an intensely creative person, you might want to focus your energies on creating the goods and services you want to sell. You might find that you’re not very good at assessing candidates and you don’t want to spend time looking for the people you need to staff your business. A good plan would be to hire a freelancer-recruiting agency. Explain your requirements to them and let them send the perfect talent base to assist you.

Small, Routine Tasks

As long as your enterprise is still small, you’ll have the time to manage every task, but as it grows, you’ll realize that you’re spending too many hours managing small, routine activities. For instance, checking and sorting through emails and daily communications. If you feel, you need to free up valuable time so you can take care of tasks that are more important, delegate the unimportant ones to a remote hire. Experts advise you to create a list of activities you spent your day doing for a week. At the end of that time, check through it and identify the hours you spent taking care of issues that you can easily delegate. This exercise can guide you on the freelance talent you need to hire.

Seasonal Tasks

Certain activities are such that you need to spend time on them only during certain months of the year. For instance, when it’s time to do your taxes or when you need to work out holiday bonuses. If these tasks take away valuable time during especially busy months, it’s preferable to look for remote hires. Not only are they experts in the specialized services they provide, but they’re also much more economical, by way of cost and time. You might also find that the tasks they accomplish are done more efficiently than you might have yourself.

Freeing Up Valuable Resources

On the onset of enterprise, many entrepreneurs hire workers that they think they’ll absolutely need to run their business. Chances are that you hired an in-house accountant when you set up your business. But, if you feel that he cannot manage any other tasks aside from seasonal work, you might want to save on the cost of the regular hire. You might also have hired a customer service person to interact with clients and handle queries and other such tasks. But, if you decide to move your business online, a freelance customer service executive can easily manage these activities. You’ll find that you’re freeing up valuable resources that you can divert towards the growth of your start-up.

Specialized Tasks

While on the topic of digital marketing, this is an advanced form of selling your goods and products. To guide you on how to manage it, you’ll need a team of experts who have credentials and many years of experience in the field. Since it is not practical to hire an in-house team to help you, you’ll need to look for remote hires. Similarly, there are many other aspects of your business that must be managed by other experts. When you feel the need for them, it’s time to look for freelance workers.

Working with freelance or remote hires can prove to be a very advantageous strategy. Be flexible and open to the idea and you’ll be able to make use of this very valuable operational tool.

 

Why Remote Employees Perform Better?

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Traditionally, employers have always had in-house teams working for them. Having the workers inside the office premises made it easier to supervise them, offer feedback and instructions and monitor the progress of the tasks. This is why; many employers are unsure about working with remote hires. It is understandable that you’re not confident about the freelancers delivering as per your requirements and perhaps, not completing tasks on time.

On the flip side, many professionals feel that they can achieve higher levels of productivity when they’re working from home. In fact, many of them have opted out of full-time careers in favour of working out of home and availing of the many benefits that a freelancing career provides. Ultimately, remote hires might just work better than in-house teams. Here’s how.

Use Technology

If you’re concerned about supervision, you can make use of the many apps out there. Use Skype, GitHub, or Google Chat for issuing instructions and time trackers for checking for the number of hours the remote hire has devoted to your tasks. Use the sharing features of Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox to share files and monitor progress. These tools can keep you in constant touch with the activities of your virtual team without your having to be physically present. You can also use tools like Asana, Peak, Flow, and Basecamp to connect all the remote hires on a single platform. In this way, they can keep interacting with each other without the need for having to route communications through you. You’re going to need this facility as your enterprise grows and employs more workers.

Eliminating Office Distractions

Many remote hires feel that they can concentrate better in the secluded environment of their homes. Offices can be busy places with people walking in and out and frequent disturbances. Freelancers working in the privacy of their homes can concentrate better and have higher productivity levels. They also have the option of switching between projects to relieve boredom and have flexible hours to complete tasks. You would definitely prefer to have employees that delivered the required eight hours’ worth of work rather than employees that spent time in the office without really getting anything done.

Saving on Commuting Time

Should you choose to hire in-house employees, you’ll have to make do with a talent base from a restricted geographical base. You’ll have to pick from candidates who don’t live too far away from their place of work. If they do live in distant locations, you might have to pay for relocation costs to hire them. But, if you work with remote hires, you’ll have a larger talent base to choose from that could even be international. In addition, remote hires can deliver higher volumes of work since they don’t waste time commuting to and from the workplace.

Assessing Performances

When hiring in-house workers, you could interview them thoroughly, look for references and reviews from past employers. However, until you actually hire the candidate and he begins working for you full-time, you have no idea whether or not he can deliver on your requirements. Many workers also seem to get complacent once they are hired. But, with remote workers you can hire them on trial basis and finalize the one that performs the best. If at some point, you feel she is slacking off on work, choosing and hiring a replacement is not all that difficult. And, since freelancers are aware of this factor, they are likely to be consistent in their performance levels.

Perhaps, the most important positive of working with remote hires is that you’re not responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary degrees, licenses, and work permits. Acquiring these certifications is solely up to the freelancers. All these factors together clearly demonstrate that remote employees are likely to be better for your business as compared to regular workers.

Four Different Ways to Hire Your Remote Employees

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Making the decision to take on more remote hires to work for your company is the easy part. The more difficult part is setting your newfound strategy into motion. You’ll need to make sure that you have an efficient team that works well and your company continues to progress. In addition, you’ll need to seamlessly integrate the freelancers into your existing setup and maybe, phase out the in-house workers to save on the costs and resources. Accordingly, it is essential to follow a systematic process to make sure that the changes you intend to integrate don’t hamper the company operations. Here’s how to go about it.

Work out Your Requirements

The first step to work out is what you expect to gain from this organizational makeover. You also need to make sure you have a plan in place on how to go about it. No doubt, you’ll be saving on expenses and office overheads, but you also need to work out the new team details carefully, such as:

  • Plan how you will communicate with your freelancers. Chances are that you’ll be hiring talent from all over the world. Thus, you need to have the necessary apps, equipment, and communication schedules.
  • Consider how you’ll maintain quality standards and ensure that your remote hires understand your company workings and its culture.
  • You might have to inform your stakeholders about the changes you’re implementing. Work out the business proposal you’ll present to them.
  • In case, your clients are likely to be affected by the new hires, inform them in advance what to expect. You might need to reassure them that business will continue as usual.

Find the Remote Hires

You can find the remote talent you need from many sources. Of course, the best way is to look for referrals from other people in your line of business. You could also consider hiring through agencies or looking for recruitment companies that can find you the personnel you need. Many online portals put you in touch with freelancers from all around the world. Check for reviews for past clients when making your choice.

Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates, conduct interviews via chat apps. By interacting with them and asking questions, you should be able to find the remote hires that are capable of delivering what you need. Since you’ll be working with them over the internet, they should be capable of working with computers and other necessary tools. Ask yourself if you would hire the candidate for an in-house job and you’ll know if he is right for the post.

Find Out Everything You Can

Just as you would conduct background checks for in-house employees, do the same with your remote hires. Ask for samples, portfolios, and verbal and written referrals from past employers. You could also conduct trials. Assign a task to two or more candidates and assess them by way of the work they deliver and their performances. Pick the one with the best quality. Aside from performances, you’ll also need to evaluate their personalities. Look for people who are willing to learn and contribute outside of the job scope. Proactive and dynamic people can always prove to be asset for your company.

Evaluate Business Conditions After a Time

Having changed the model of how you run your operations, you might need to conduct a performance review after a fixed time. Assess and evaluate if the changes are advantageous and your company is performing better. If you find that this model is not working for you, it’s perfectly reasonable to go back to working as you used to.

Working with remote hires is a great strategy, but there are many companies out there that operate better with in-house employees. Choose the business model that matches your company best and go with it. The success of your enterprise depends on it.

How to Motivate Your Virtual Employees

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Working with an in-house team and keeping operations running smoothly is easy since you’re interacting with your people all the time. You offer encouragement and support when they need. At the same time, you provide feedback on the work they’re producing. In case they’re dealing with personal issues, like any good employer, you probably let them take time off and make up for lost hours in other ways. Like, for instance, working from home or working over the weekends. However, when you’re working with remote hires, the office dynamics change completely. Your interactions with your team are only over mechanical devices like the computer and telephone.

You need to keep in mind that all employees, whether in-house or remote, need to be dealt with in exactly the same way. If you can encourage and keep them motivated, they are likely to work well for you. Ultimately, an efficient working team is vital to the success of your business. Here’s how you can continue to motivate your remote hires even if they are based in different locations around the world.

Infuse the Human Factor

Take care to remember that your remote hires are more than just a voice on the phone or a name on the email and message list. They need appreciation for the work they do for you and the kudos that you give them is worth more than the generous salaries. Recognize and acknowledge the efforts they put in outside of their job scope and offer bonuses for work done exceptionally well. Make sure you let the other team members also know that you reward hard work.

Stay in Touch

Keep in regular touch with your freelance workers. Ask for updates on the work they’re doing and keep issuing fresh instructions as and when they’re needed. In this way, you’ll turn yourself into a real boss who’s interested in them as people and not just a faceless entity. You must also conduct team meetings from time to time. This strategy will help you coordinate the efforts of your team and iron out any snags and miscommunications. You’ll find that your company operations run smoothly like a well-oiled piece of machinery. Your remote workers will work better since they’re not dealing with chaos all the time.

Be Reasonable with Workloads

When you assign tasks and assignments, be mindful of the fact that your remote hires might be working in different time zones that yours. It may not be possible for them to deliver as per your business hours. Also, be aware that freelancers often work with more than one company and might be juggling multiple projects at a time. For this reason, it is advisable that you are clear at the time of hiring about the workload you’ll be assigning and the deadlines within which you need it completed. In case, the remote hires face personal issues like family or health problems, allow them the leeway and be flexible with deadlines. Having an understanding employer encourages workers to perform well.

Encourage Team Interaction

Your business is likely to progress efficiently only so long as your team works in careful coordination with each other. No matter how well you forward communications, the possibility of missed messages is very real. To counter this problem, encourage your team to interact with each other. The best way to make this happen is to have a single common platform where everyone can upload messages, queries, and updates. In this way, each employee is aware of what the other is doing. They will build bonds with one another and the feeling of being a part of a team is a great motivational factor.

To keep your team of remote hires motivated and achieving high levels of productivity, you only need to keep a few points in mind. Remember to interact with them like you would with your in-house workers. Communicate well and show your appreciation to motivate them. You will find that retaining talent and running your business becomes a lot more easier.

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