How To Build Remote Teams in 2021: 6 Questions to Consider
Though they’ve grown in popularity by more than 91% over the last 10 years, remote teams are far from new. Throw in a global pandemic that forced most office-based professionals into fully remote work environments, and it’s clear that remote work is more than a passing trend.
A 2019 report from Upwork predicted that 73% of teams would have at least some remote workers by 2028. A similar report by coworking pioneer Regus predicted that the U.S. economy could see a boost of up to $4.5 trillion from the rise of remote work by 2030. And 54% of workers say they want to continue working remotely even after pandemic restrictions are lifted, according to Pew Research Center.
While remote work isn’t ideal for every person or every role, more companies are finding it necessary to offer partial or fully remote roles to remain competitive. How you approach remote work depends on your specific situation and needs. You can do it all yourself, from sourcing and vetting to hiring and onboarding; you can hire a recruiter to help; or, you can outsource the entire business process through a BPO model.
How do you know which approach is best for you? The first step is to assess your situation and define what you’re looking to do, when, and with what results.
6 Questions to Consider
Whether you’re testing out remote work models or you’ve been rocking remote for years, finding a way to quickly build or augment a remote team can be tough. Before defaulting to an outsourcing or placement model because it’s just “what’s done,” you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions to determine your ideal approach.
Question 1. How many remote workers does my business need?
While some organizations need to build or scale entire remote teams, others may only need one or two people. Depending on your situation, you can explore a number of options. For example, if you only need one or two remote team members, direct hire or a recruiter could be the way to go. But if you are looking to add an entire team and time is of the essence, you might want to explore business process outsourcing or new models that allow you to quickly assemble in-house teams by tapping into custom-built and diverse talent pipelines.
Question 2: What internal resources are available to manage and train my remote team(s)?
Many companies don’t have the additional resources to onboard, train, and manage a remote team. If this describes your situation, business process outsourcing might be a good fit. There are also companies that operate similarly to BPOs that can build on-demand remote teams -- sometimes in as few as seven days. These types of partners can take on the most time-consuming portions of hiring and managing, leaving you to enjoy the results from your new team or team members.
Question 3: Is it essential that our company culture extend to remote workers?
One of the biggest pain points about remote work, in general, is company culture -- how can you make it work when you’re not all in the same building? If your company has a strong culture and it’s critical that everyone feels a sense of purpose and connection to the culture, then hiring your remote workers directly may make the most sense. However, if your specific work culture isn’t as important as simply having engaged, plugged-in remote team members, there are partners who can help you build on-demand, outsourced teams -- without sacrificing culture. Look for partners that keep team members engaged and communicative, which can help foster a sense of teamwork on a distributed team and ensure your KPIs - e.g., CSAT scores for customer support teams -- thrive.
Question 4: How quickly do I need to assemble and train my remote team?
A new project comes up, and you need to hire and train new team members immediately. The average time to fill just a single position is 42 days through a traditional direct hire process, making it difficult to find, vet, hire, and train a large team in a short amount of time. If you need a remote team composed of qualified workers quickly, search for an on-demand partner that can source and vet a team in as little time as possible.
Question 5: How would building a remote team affect my budget?
SHRM also reports the average cost to fill a direct-hire position is $4,139: this is a high cost, even for large or enterprise businesses, and especially if you multiply it across roles when building or scaling teams. Costs can also vary between BPOs and staffing agencies. Review pricing and multiple options to find your ideal fit helps maintain your bottom line.
Question 6: Where do my team members need to be located?
Outsourcing may be a non-starter for some companies if the model relies on offshoring for access to a broad talent pool and lower costs. Particularly if your company is in the fintech, insurtech, medtech, or cyberspace, privacy and security regulations and laws could prohibit those not authorized to work in the United States from accessing specific data or systems. If location or work authorization/citizenship is a concern for your company, you can find remote team outsourcing partners who focus on onshore talent pools. For example, Instant Teams’ remote talent pool is composed primarily of military-connected individuals (spouses, veterans, caregivers, and survivors), making it an attractive alternative to offshore BPOs that focus entire talent pools in a specific country with which your business or industry policies may preclude you from working.
When staffing up for remote teams, you have a lot of options to consider - direct-hire, staffing agencies or recruiters, BPOs, or newer models that are emerging. Knowing what you need can help you hone in on the right approach and ensure success throughout the process -- and beyond!