Administrative tasks, marketing, accounting, customer service, and sales are some of the most common business functions that savvy entrepreneurs are outsourcing – allowing them to save costs on hiring in-house staff. Outsourcing is especially valuable for business owners who run their companies remotely. One of the best aspects of outsourcing is the ability to work with talent from anywhere in the world. As you don’t need to limit your search for the best employee to a local talent pool, you can find the right person with the experience and attitude for your company.
Unfortunately, hiring someone from another state or country can also present some challenges, such as miscommunication, time differences, and loss of control.
Meet over video for your first introduction
We advise making your first meeting a video call because it’s the most engaging and memorable way to meet when you’re working remotely. It also helps you establish that the person you will be working with will be the one performing the tasks and not later outsourcing the work to someone else. A video call is better for establishing trust, which is important to both you and your outsourced employee.
Not everyone is comfortable about showing their face, explaining why some people thrive doing remote work that doesn’t require them to meet other people in person. If you can respect that preference, assure the employee that only the first meeting will be conducted via video conferencing, but all future communications will be on non-video platforms.
Establish the best channel to communicate
Email, messaging app, social media, or mobile phone – there are countless ways and platforms for remote teams to stay connected. Establish from the start which application or tool you will use. You may even use different channels depending on the message that needs to be communicated. An urgent request or concern may be sent via messaging apps, while regular updates and non-critical questions can be sent via email.
If you live in different time zones, it may help to agree on a window of time during which you are both online – especially if they do work that requires more direct input from you or your final decision-making.
You may be so impressed by your outsourced employee’s work that you feel you never have to check in on them. They produce output as scheduled, so you never have to follow up. Your CRM may track their activities, so you know they’re working. And you see that they’re online on the messaging app, so you know you can reach them whenever needed.
However, not reaching out regularly can create a silo mentality. Remote employees may start to rely less and less on you and others and begin to make decisions on their own. Or worse, they stop asking for help when they need it. A company will suffer when it no longer communicates, cooperates, and collaborates.
So even if your outsourced employee is doing their job well, don’t forget to connect with them regularly. It can be as simple as asking them about their day or letting them know you’re available if they have any questions.
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