In today’s work environment, onboarding and managing remote teams is an essential skill.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in massive changes to the overall structure and functionality of companies. At a time like this, leaders need to proactively pave a new way forward, not only to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their companies, but also to think about revival.

According to the Future of Work in Europe report by McKinsey & Company, the pandemic resulted in a paradigm shift when roughly one-third of the European workforce began working from home.

So, what is the new challenge for business leaders who want to build an engaged modern workforce as remote work becomes the norm? It is now essential to hire, onboard, and build trusted teams – virtually. And since there is a wealth of skilled talent located around the world, looking beyond borders to accomplish this makes good business sense.

Kathryn Barnes, Employment Counsel at Globalization Partners had a detailed conversation on “How to successfully hire and onboard teams virtually while expanding internationally” with Carolyn Betts Fleming CEO of Betts Recruiting; Andreas Glänzer, CCO of Adverity; Helen Farr, Employment Partner at Taylor Wessing; and Amrit Kang of London & Partners.

They summarized five tips on hiring, onboarding, and managing remote teams while expanding internationally.

1. Use video conferencing – not just calls – for candidate interviews

The traditional office setup to conduct in-person interviews has been replaced with videoconferencing software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Businesses should use this opportunity to conduct a few different interviews to get to know the candidate much better. Body language and facial expressions can help hiring managers connect better with candidates. Video interviews to virtually onboard new talent eliminate the need for travel and can help greatly reduce the overall screening duration.

2.  Managing remote teams starts with the onboarding experience

Physical in-office presence posed an advantage by allowing subconscious learning and knowledge osmosis from peers. Replicating this virtually has presented challenges, but it can be tackled effectively by enhancing the onboarding experience for new candidates and keeping the interaction as positive and frequent as possible. When onboarding a new person, especially remotely, check in on them regularly and allow them to ask questions and talk about how they are doing. If you are not able to do this, perhaps assign them a “buddy” within the company, who can act as a sole point of contact for the new candidate.

3. Be even more thorough with background checks

From a legal standpoint, it is imperative to do your homework before hiring new candidates. Be even more thorough with background checks and referencing. According to Harvard Business Review, when it comes to soft skills, third-party opinions are much more accurate than individuals’ own views of themselves. Protect yourself against frauds by being clear on processes, how to handle confidential material, and if possible, withhold important access codes/logins until you establish a certain level of trust.

4. Figure out the best team dynamics possible

When physically disconnected teams are working in tandem, one cannot avoid hiccups in communication. Figuring out the perfect team dynamic becomes imperative for team efficiency in the long run. Giving time to new candidates to make them understand what is exactly expected out of them is crucial, especially in a virtual setup. The most efficient teams function with a high level of autonomy, which can only be achieved when asynchronous virtual teams focus on strong team dynamics.

5. Try to reduce “Zoom fatigue”

When the workforce entered lockdown, there was a sudden rush to host regular check-ins and virtual gatherings, until employees were hit by the “Zoom fatigue.” It’s apparent that when the office setup comes home, it brings with it a challenge to balance both work and personal life effectively. Virtual employees often find themselves tangled between the constant notifications, emails, and video calls, and setting the right boundaries for interaction and deep work time can become even more difficult. According to our 2020 Global Employee Survey Results, if employees are engaged, they are more likely to report a sense of belonging. Businesses must ensure that virtual employees have a dedicated support system for all levels – right from senior managers to interns. Find what works best for your company by listening to your team.


Managing remote teams – find a trusted partner to support your company

The global pandemic may have given rise to a workroom experiment, where businesses must leverage innovative technologies and strategies to remain resilient and emerge stronger in the post-pandemic world. Focusing on short-term crisis management will not help businesses in the longer run – it’s essential to build for the future.

[bctt tweet=”Focusing on short-term crisis management will not help businesses in the longer run – it’s essential to build for the future.” username=”globalpeo”]

As you look to add global talent to your team, the process of figuring out how to do so may be a challenge, especially if your company does not have an established presence in the location you wish to hire. Fortunately, you have options.

Ready to learn more about the different ways to add global talent to your team? Watch our webinar “Hiring Internationally 101” for a look at the most important factors to consider when deciding when and where to hire.


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