How to Get Started Building Your Remote Support Team. Once you’ve decided that it’s time to go remote with your customer support team, you’ll want to put some thought into creating a plan for what you want your team to look like, how you want it to operate, and what types of work and support channels you need covered. Here are some steps to get you started down the path to building a great remote team. To create a great work description, make sure you: Include specifics about what the work entails. You’re likely to get some decent candidates initially, and maybe even some with great potential, but you should also take the initiative to seek out potential hires that might be in the market for this kind of position. Spend some time researching potential candidates who have the right expertise for the gig and the right remote working experience, then approach them directly to see if they might be interested. Having a detailed list of the top qualities you’re looking for in a candidate will help during this process and make it easier to quickly identify your prime applicants. Because excellent communication skills are so vital to a successful remote team dynamic, it’s helpful to see how candidates respond when setting up a video interview. During the interview itself, aim to get a feel for how a candidate will work with your company’s brand identity, how well they’re attuned to the specific work you’re hiring for, and any additional skills that might make them a good fit as a remote team member. Setting your remote team up for success Regardless of your specific on-boarding process for new hires, you’ll want to consider covering some very important bases to help set your remote team up for maximum success.
Once you’ve decided that it’s time to go remote with your customer support team, you’ll want to put some thought into creating a plan for what you want your team to look like, how you want it to operate, and what types of work and support channels you need covered. Wrapping your head around the bigger picture will help you out later on in the process.
Here are some steps to get you started down the path to building a great remote team.
1. Identify the qualities you want in a remote team member.
The ability to work remotely is a skill in and of itself, and the most successful remote workers typically come from freelance, startup, or related contract worker backgrounds. Beyond any necessary role-specific traits you need, you’ll also want to look for potential hires who are self-starters, independent workers, able to prioritize the most important tasks, and eager to work.
Top qualities to look for:
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to use the latest technology
- Results-driven attitude
- Self-motivation and ability to stay focused while working independently
- Relevant background (i.e., prior self-employment, entrepreneurial projects, etc.)
2. Walk a mile in your team’s shoes.
Basecamp co-founder Jason Fried suggests taking the time to actually do the job you intend to hire someone for. This gives you intimate hands-on knowledge of the ins and outs of the type of work you need done, and it makes it a lot easier to evaluate a potential hire’s abilities and see how they’ll fit. While he handled customer service for his company for two years before hiring someone for that work, you could get by with just a week or two of hands-on time. This also helps out tremendously in the next step.
3. Craft a work description.
An ideal work description has a few key components, but to make yours truly shine, it’s important to craft it in a way that showcases your company, brings your underlying mission to the fore, and attracts the right professionals to promote your brand. Beyond simply attracting candidates, you want to help them quickly identify that your company is the kind they want to work for.
To create a great work description, make sure you:
- Include specifics about what the work entails. The more detail you can add, the better.
- Provide more detail about your company—the culture, the vibe, what it is that you do and what you’re all about as a business.
- Specify the must-have requirements for candidates, such as experience level and skills you’re looking for.
4. Cast a wide net while recruiting directly.
Posting your job listing with a great description and hoping for the best isn’t enough. You’re likely to get some decent candidates initially, and maybe even some with great potential, but you should also take the initiative to seek out potential hires…