Building a Kickass Startup Remote Team: A To Z Tips

Finding the right people for your organisation, ensuring they follow your company culture & staying productive
Building a Kickass Startup Remote Team: A To Z Tips
Mohammed Farooq

Remote working is not just another fad but the future of the workforce.

51% of employees believe remote working helps improve their work-life balance, while 77% are more productive than in the office.

Besides, 72% of employers say remote work has a high impact on employee retention.

However, building a kickass startup remote team is easier said than done. Finding the right people for your organisation, ensuring they follow your company culture, and stay productive throughout the day can be challenging.

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To make things easier for you, we have created this comprehensive guide where we talk about our experience of how we built an effective startup remote team.

Finding the Right People for Your Organisation

1. Decide On Your Hiring Process

When hiring remotely, you need to plan every step to ensure you choose the right candidates for your organisation. Here’s how you can do that.

  • Define what type of candidates you want: Just because someone is willing to work (or has been working) remotely doesn’t mean they’re perfect for your company. Make a list of abilities (hard and soft skills) you think a candidate should have. Since you’re building a remote team, you would want someone who doesn’t need guidance at every step of their work.
  • Write an appropriate job description: Many startups add fun elements in the job description (ninja, rockstar, guru, etc.). However, this doesn’t highlight what the employee is supposed to do. Therefore, create a job description that is easy to understand and has some information about the company.
  • Search in the right places: To get the best possible candidate for your organisation, you need to search in the right places. One of the best platforms to find remote talent is LinkedIn. All you need to do is create a hiring post and encourage your connections to comment/share for better reach. You can even look at job boards to find potential candidates.

2. Make the Interview Memorable

Once you’ve shortlisted a few candidates using the first step, it’s time to make the interview process as great as possible. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Write the questions: As an entrepreneur, you will be looking for employees who are great at communications and might stay longer in your startup. Therefore, write the questions that help you identify how skilled they are, how dedicated they will be, and if they are good at communication (virtually).
  • Do your homework: It is crucial to study their resume and highlight what you feel is important or worth asking about. This will make the interview shorter as you’ll be prepared to ask about what’s in and not in the application.
  • Prepare for the interview: Ensure that you’re in a noise-free environment (when interviewing from home, background noise can affect it). Also, your camera, microphone, and all the technical aspects should be set up appropriately.
  • Take notes during the interview: When you talk to multiple candidates in a day, it could be challenging to determine who’s better, especially if you don’t have notes to go back to. Therefore, take notes and set up a scoring system based on what you prioritise to easily identify the best candidates at the end of the day.

3. Structure Your Onboarding Process

Research by Glassdoor shows that a great onboarding process can improve employee retention by 82%. Unfortunately, 88% of organisations don’t onboard well.

In a remote setting, you need to pay special attention to onboarding to offer a memorable experience. Begin with minimising the steps required in the onboarding process. For instance, send documents for online signature (and which tool the candidate can use to sign them).

Other aspects you can excel at include:

  • Virtual office tour: This means introducing new candidates to the rest of the team, showing them the tools you use to manage projects, communicate, etc.
  • Communication guidelines: Employees should know who and how to communicate in case of any queries.
  • About the company: This would include who you are, why you started the company, what your vision is, the company culture, and its beliefs.

4. Establish Clear Guidelines and Expectations

Lastly, establish guidelines and expectations related to performance. This will help enhance your team’s productivity and enable you to hold them accountable.

Some guidelines you can set for your remote team include:

  • Work hours (could be specific times they should be online or work-based).
  • Process documentation for tasks.
  • Whether they should be tracking time.
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly goals for teams and individual employees.
  • Their point of contact for project issues.

Managing Your Remote Team Effectively

1. Assign a Mentor

Once you complete the onboarding process and have established working guidelines, it’s time to assign a mentor to help them sail the first few days at the organisation efficiently.

The mentor could be someone who has been in the company for a long time (could be you as well). The primary role of the mentor is to regularly check on the mentee, answer their queries, make them feel comfortable in the company, and help them understand the organisation’s culture.

2. Communicate With Your Team Regularly

Since in the remote setting, employees can’t just get up from their chairs to clear their doubts from their colleagues, a smooth flow of communication online is all they need.

By eliminating any barriers in communication, you can create an atmosphere that enhances your team’s productivity and minimises last-minute hassles.

This means you need to invest in the right communication tools (phone and internal chat).

3. Provide the Tools Employees Need to Be Successful

The right tools can significantly enhance your team’s performance. These tools can be divided into two categories: company-wide and departmental.

For instance, internal messenger and phone systems will be helpful to your entire team. But your marketing team will need access to a SEO tool, social media management tool, or an email marketing tool.

Make sure every employee has access to the necessary tools that they need to do their job efficiently.

Wrapping Up

Building a remote team requires an effective plan and patience. Take time to find the right candidate for your organisation — someone who meets the skills required and is a good communicator. Also, don’t forget to give them the tools they need to do their job effectively.

About the author

In a nutshell, Mohammed Farooq is the Marketing Manager at iTeleCenter with 11+ years of experience in SEO SEM, SMM and PPC. During his time off he watches edgy comedy on Netflix or explores the newest restaurants in town.