Over the last decade, leaps in communication and technology development have made the world a smaller place.  For tech companies, recruiting a team is no longer bound by geographical distance and time zone.  A remote and distanced workforce is no longer the exception.  Add COVID into the equation, and distributed working is fast becoming the rule.

Across the globe, companies are seeking ways to increase employee productivity and reduce costs while having their projects delivered on time.

The advantages of a remote contract workforce.

Having a remote contractor team, especially in the IT industry has many advantages.

  1. Lower costs – the expense of looking for, interviewing, and hiring new permanent employees is reduced.
  2. Less Infrastructure Management – Remote contract employees use systems and resources at their own locations so there are fewer overhead maintenance costs.
  3. Unrestricted access to top talent – Distance, location, office space, and updated Visa regulations are not obstacles to securing the best talented and creative workers for your project.
  4. Scalable solutions – The number of workers you need for a particular project can be increased/reduced as necessary.
  5. Increased Diversity – The IT industry is not acclaimed for its inclusivity. Remote contractors mean that a wide variety of individuals can make up your team from across the globe.

The emergence of remote contractors has been steadily increasing in popularity, but its relative infancy means that many tech companies are still finding their feet when it comes to best practice.

These are our tips on ensuring the seamless recruitment of remote contractors.

Pick the right team.

Advertising a remote contracting role will ensure you a plethora of applications. It’s recommended that you hire people who are associated with a proven tech company. Have a look at the websites associated with the work of each applicant. Take time to look through their client list. Have a look at any reviews or endorsements of their work offered by their LinkedIn profile.

Remote working requires you to be certain about the credentials of those you hire.  Ensure you set up a series of meetings in which you can ascertain the skills, knowledge, and integrity of those you will be paying.

Set clear expectations early.

Your legally binding remote contract should ensure that clear and concise expectations be set.  Make sure that your contract sets out the project clearly.  The project scope, duration, number of work hours, cost agreed upon and other provisions must be unequivocal.

The goals and objectives of the project must be made clear to the remote contract worker. The contract should give them a clear indication of their roles and responsibilities, and specific expectations with respect to the project.

Keep communication lines open.

One of the main challenges when managing a remote team is ensuring that lines of communication are open, and everyone is reading from the same script.

Regular emails, calls, and meetings might be time-consuming, but they are essential in this case.  Should your teams be in different time zones, you will need to factor this into your scheduling.  It is also good practice to let your remote team know that you are always available and maintain consistent email communication throughout the duration of the project.

Insist on process adherence.

Your permanent and onsite employees will be clear on the nuances of your workflow, such as how you like each file to be named, for instance.  Remote teams will not be aware of the processes they need to follow.  Your induction should be detailed to make sure they are up to speed when they start.

Documentation is especially important when working remotely. It is not so easy to clear up small miscommunications when teams are geographically distant.  You should let remote contractors know the details of what needs to be documented and at which stage of the project at the onset. If possible, an established worker should be buddied with them to coordinate requirements until the workflow is on track.

A man takes part in a remote interview at his laptop. He has on a headset and is holding some notes.

Provide adequate feedback.

Feedback, good and bad, is essential to ensure your remote team grows with your business.  Be quick to reward and praise when your expectations are exceeded or when high-priority tasks are promptly tackled.

Equally, if work does not meet the needs of the project or your expectation you must communicate this.  Any criticism must be constructive should be done verbally if possible.  An email is easily misinterpreted, so in cases of negative feedback a conversation will avoid any misunderstanding.

Remote contract workers are more at risk of feeling isolated and cut off from the rest of the team. Praising them and including them in all communications is critical in making them feel accepted and keeping their motivation high.

A lady wears earphones and smart clothes while on skype. She is waving at the camera greeting colleagues.

Takeaways.

  • Remote contractors are an efficient way to grow a team without the costs associated with permanent interviews and hires.
  • There are many advantages within the IT industry for companies considering using a remote contract team.
  • Filtering through applications is essential to make sure you hire individuals with the right credentials and professional history to complete the requirements of your project.
  • Expectations and project requirements should be spelled out early to ensure a healthy and productive working partnership.
  • Through effective communication and collaboration, both parties will grow to establish a working partnership despite geographical distance.

Are you an IT decision-maker and considering using remote contract professionals?  Let us help.  We can use our extensive network to ensure the top contract talent. We build digital careers; the talent needed to propel your business.

Reach out to us today.

About the author: As Client Relationship Director, I am responsible for helping grow the new and existing client base of Ignite Digital. I work as a “trusted connection” with my clients and candidates aiming to deliver the best service I can to connect talent to opportunity.

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