Basics of Building a Remote Team and Startup

Basics of Building a Remote Team and Startup

Basics of Building a Remote Team and Startup

This is the era when reality turns digital.

From ordering online to have robots to clean the house. Remote work is taking over the workforce panorama, and entrepreneurs aim building companies in the 100% remote fashion.

Building a startup can intimidate at the beginning. Although you believe in what you do, the investment of time and energy to make goals happen is immense. However, achieving goals is impossible when you lack the right people on your side to share and support your beliefs. 

That’s why I share a handful of steps to building a remote team for a startup. So, where do you start?

1) Setup the Hiring Process 

Don’t expect that because you’ll be offering people the opportunity to work remotely, offers will come raining down at you. And even if it was the case, you need to be selective and seek candidates with the know-how of remote work and why you should not work from bed.

If you want to hire the right people for your team, you need to dive deep and look for the right candidates. The best thing you can do as a startup is to have a solid hiring process, keeping in mind that hiring a remote employee differs completely from hiring an on-site employee. Why? Because they need a distinct set of skills for the remote work environment.

The hiring process has three basic but fundamental pillars:

Know Exactly Which Type of Candidate You Want

Never conform yourself with the first candidate that tells you they want to work remotely. Make a list with the abilities you seek and prioritise skills you think candidates should have. For both hard skills and soft skills. Consult a skilful marketer to help you target your recruitment activities tight and precise. The alternative is trusting an HR agency. 

Write an Appropriate Job Description

When you are building a remote team for your startup, it’s important to create a hiring process. And this goes for writing job descriptions. 

Many companies and startups like adding a fun element to their job titles, adding words like Ninja, Guru, Rockstar, that even though might show a laid back culture, it also scares away potential candidates. Keep in mind that job descriptions aim to make candidates understand what the job is about, the requirements, and a bit about the company. 

Look in the Right Places

Another common mistake some startups make is that they think of outsourcing as an effective method to hire cheap candidates to do the work for them. 

However, most of the time, those candidates, although they charge cheap salaries, also deliver cheap results and don't understand how you build company culture

So, it's better to seek candidates that do understand your processes and culture. LinkedIn and even job boards have proven effective for finding talent. 


2) Make Interviews Great 

In interviews, you’ll get to see beyond a CV, and prove if a candidate is prepared and knows how to communicate properly, have the abilities they state they have, etc.

For this step of the hiring process, it's also important not to improvise interviews. And for making this easier, the best way is to structure a process for all candidates to follow autonomously. For example, after vetting CVs and choosing the ones that caught your eye more:

  • Study their CV: What seemed important, and what doesn't? What would you feel is important to ask them regarding their CV?
  • Write the questions: At this part, it is important to write the questions that will help you to identify if a candidate knows how remote office works, knows how to communicate virtually, etc. Plan the questions regarding their hard skills, and in some cases, for example, when hiring developers, you need to test them and see if they do what they preach. This step is to take care of what you want to learn from each candidate.
  • Have everything set up before interviews: Your camera, microphone, and all the technical aspects that make remote interviews successful. Make sure you let the candidate know what they should set up and, obviously, the interview date and time.
  • Take notes: It can be during the interview or before it, you can even set up a scoring system based on what you're prioritizing, and when you finish interviewing all candidates, it will be easy to see who you liked the most. You might even use an online interview form to automatically score every interview based on your notes.

3) Set up a Fun Onboarding Process

According to research, a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

But what makes onboarding so special? 

Most new hires will not understand the workflow in your company. They enter the company with what you do but don't fully understand why you do it. Onboarding helps employees understand why their role will be valuable at the company, how the culture, brand promise, and the processes work.

Best onboardings can make people fall in love with the company. And in a remote setting, onboarding can be fun. 

Some protocol aspects that most remote onboardings cover are:

  • Virtual office setup: This means showing employees around the tools you use to communicate, manage projects, etc.
  • Communication guidelines: Employees need to understand what tools to use and for what, especially in this remote context where communication is the foundation of everything.
  • About the company: They will learn more about the company and its beliefs. When building a remote startup, you might not have everything figured out, and that’s okay. Onboardings are a perfect way for you to make the new employees understand that you have a powerful vision about what the company will transform into, although you are just starting.

Besides these aspects, you could switch things a bit. Have a virtual happy hour at the end of the onboarding, get to know more deeply with the new employee, and introduce them to their new colleagues. 

Many activities can help you relax and make the new employee lose tension and nerves during the first few weeks. 

4) Prioritize Meetings

As stated above, communication is the foundation for remote teams. It works the same way gasoline works on cars. However, having a strong remote help desk tool and strategies is a must when building remote teams. Besides knowing what tools to use, it's vital to schedule dates and days when you and your team will meet and discuss how things are moving.

Here are some ideas on how to structure your virtual meetings:

  • Daily standups (Agile methodology): Every day, meet for 15 minutes with all the team, and each member has to share what they did yesterday and what’s their plan for today.
  • Once a week planning meeting: Instead of meeting every day set up one day, most teams choose Monday and discuss how the project is moving and the tasks each team member has to do.
  • 1:1 or feedback meetings: This is important! 1:1, besides giving you the space to connect with an employee, it also lets you understand how they feel about the company and how their workflow is. Some of them might experience burnout or stress, and these feedback meetings are the perfect spot to re-organize work (if that’s the case) or provide feedback to someone. It also gives you the space to mentor your employees and help them improve.

One advice regarding meetings is that it’s better to do fewer meetings, but with better quality. This means, instead of going all crazy and scheduling meetings every day for many hours, separate meetings throughout the week and have clear objectives to accomplish for each of them. 

5) Drill Down on Culture 

According to customer culture, Live Agent is the most crucial aspect of a company and teamwork it's not something you build overnight. It takes time and investment. Investment in your energy and passion for making your team share the same beliefs you do regarding your startup. To build and modify a custom app dashboard zero code and based on unique team tasks, goals, sessions, work policy and results can help you stay agile and convey the team spirit.

Further reads

For me, culture means connecting with each member of the team. Making relationships, bonding with them, and not seeing them as resources that will give me the results I want. From the moment you hire your first employees and build your remote team, transmit that passion that you have for what you do, and make them understand that you care about them and who they are as persons.

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  • Emma Fraser

    I work in a remote startup. It's a fun experience. We are a small PR firm hungry for success. What I like the most about our culture is that we have no boundaries and that we accept all ideas.

  • Tony Hird

    We conduct all our interviews online. It's a hit and miss to expand a team.

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Dimitar Karamarinov

Digital Marketing Expert

Dimitar Karamarinov is an award-winning digital multi-instrumentalist coming into practice as early as 2006. Over a decade of audio, graphic, visual design, along with versatile know-how of business, marketing and communication. Dimitar grows experience with Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Inc 5000 and multi-continent brands under his belt. 

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