At the moment, we are living through a major shift in the way we define the workplace and behave in the work ecosystem. New technological advances and the various changes that they have brought in the way people see their careers have created a new kind of workplace.
One very noticeable aspect of this new workplace is that more and more companies operate almost exclusively remotely, with employees putting in their work from cities, counties and even continents away.
The recruiting industry was actually very quick to adopt the concept of recruiters doing their jobs remotely.
That being said, there are still quite a few challenges for people who manage these remote recruiters, but fortunately, there are also ways to overcome them.
It is no surprise that communication will be the most prominent challenge to overcome when managing a team of remote recruiters.
There is no doubt that the advancements in communication technology have revolutionised the ways managers can get in touch with their remote team members. You just have to think about what Skype has done for this kind of relationship.
While that is true, there is still no way in which any kind of communication software can compare to sharing the same office and being able to turn around in your chair and ask your colleague or your superior a quick question.
This is actually the biggest communication issue with remote teams – the little issues that are usually handled by a quick few-sentence interaction.
In a remote team, these do not find their way into daily or weekly meetings and they often get neglected over the course of day-to-day operation. The problem is that these quick interactions prevent tiny oversights and issues that can snowball into large problems that require serious damage control.
In order to try and cultivate an environment where questions and clarifications do not slip through the cracks, everyone involved needs to understand that all channels of communication are considered valid and their use is encouraged.
Your team members should understand they can reach you via email, via Skype, via your project management software’s chat option, wherever. They should also understand that they should communicate with each other in the same way.
No question or interaction is too unimportant.
Another good idea is to employ audio and especially video communication as much as possible without it becoming intrusive and distracting. This will take some time to balance out, but once you do, it will do wonders for team communication.
Another serious challenge for every manager whose recruiters are working remotely is providing them with the appropriate training they will need to handle their responsibilities in the best way possible.
Training recruiters remotely often comes down to sending them training material of some kind in the hopes they will check it out. If you are lucky, they will give it more than a glance. Believe it or not, there are companies that still do it this way, only to discover later that this way of training their remote recruiters is not yielding the results they have hoped for.
The good news is that there are some solutions for this particular challenge. Namely, companies like Recruitment Juice exist with this purpose in mind – to provide recruitment agencies with ways of providing engaging and effective training to their remote recruiters.
With a platform like Recruitment Juice’s, remote training is turned into a more sociable process where no one feels they are alone, reading a boring booklet on the latest recruitment trends.
Something that could have been a massive challenge is thus overcome in a fun way.
The job of every manager (besides ensuring results) will be to keep the best recruiters on board and providing value for the company. In the modern world, one of the ways to do this is to build and promote a certain culture within the team and the company as a whole.
When doing almost all of your business remotely, this can be somewhat difficult.
The reason for this is that a huge deal of company culture happens organically as people work on projects together, get together after work and engage in small talk. These can be somewhat difficult to replicate for remote teams, but there are still a number of things you can do.
For one, you need to build a certain business-related culture. Namely, all company culture is built on a certain approach the company adopts towards doing their business (after all, these are businesses). It should always be focused around doing smart business and doing it the right way.
For instance, if your recruiters are unhappy with the project management tool you are using, TeamWork for example, you can start employing a TeamWork alternative like Active Collab, showing them that their input is valued and that you are serious about getting the job done.
Once you have built a solid business-related foundation, you can start building a culture that will have to do with appreciating your employees and making sure their voices are heard. This will once again involve a lot of communication and diplomacy. If someone is feeling a team member is not pulling their weight or being disrespecting in some other way, you need to resolve this.
Of course, you will also want to enhance interpersonal relationships within your team and one of the best ways to do this is to organize unofficial online meetings where no one will talk about business. In addition to this, you can have a few days every month where two recruiters will be in constant audio contact for the duration of the workday. This way they will get to know each other and you will start building a culture.
If it is in any way possible, you should also try and set up a real-life, in-person meetup where your recruiters will get together and be able to meet each other face to face. If you plan on doing this, you need to understand that it has to be either everyone comes or no one comes. Otherwise you are only creating cliques and they are never welcome in a company, remote or not.
It can be somewhat difficult managing a remote team of recruiters, but it also allows you to have a more diverse and proficient team. Also, thanks to a few smart practices you will adopt and some useful software, you can overcome the majority of the challenges that plague such a recruiting team.