Seasonal demand is quickly approaching and as you ramp up for your holiday campaigns – you may need to consider how you can scale our digital agency by hiring the right remote team. It seems like remote work might be the new normal for us and finding prospects that thrive in a remote environment will be key in your success. Joel Gascoigne and the team at Buffer have found that people who have the skillset to be in this type of work environment often come from freelance, contracting, or startup backgrounds.
We were able to connect with Titan Web Agency’s Founder, Tyson Downs, who shared some great insights on how to hire the right remote team.
Titan Web Agency is a boutique digital marketing agency based in the Salt Lake City area. We primarily work with dentists and other healthcare professionals to get them online, and bring them incoming leads through SEO and Pay Per Click.
Titan Web Agency offers most services that a business would need in order to create a solid online presence, and build a reputation online. Their services include website design and development, logo design, search engine optimization, pay per click, social media management, content marketing, Hubspot inbound marketing, and pay per click management.
Let’s dive into some of the insights they provided us on how to hire the right remote team.
How do you define characteristics of a top-notch remote employee?
Not everyone is cut out for remote work, so before you begin hiring people for a remote position, you’ll need to consider the skills it takes to be successful in this type of environment. The best remote employees to Titan Web Agency are those that:
Accurately portray who they are and their capabilities: If you get a sense that you can’t trust the interviewee, then this is a red flag. Build your all-star team with people that you can rely on.
Meet deadlines: Often, important tasks can be unclear when working remotely (especially at an agency). An individual who can focus on the right tasks and knows to ignore less impactful ones will do well.
Are proactive in communicating: Most communication in a remote work environment happens via text—email, team chat, or one-on-one private messages. It can be difficult to get the hang of an agency that runs off of services like Slack or any instant messaging service for that matter. It’s all too easy to come off as curt via text. Liberal use of emoji can go a long way.
How do you write a remote job post?
When it comes to defining the position, the best way to do this is to take the time to understand the work the role is responsible for performing. At Titan Web Agency, we have a pretty thorough process in writing our remote job postings. We make sure we describe the job in detail and the capabilities needed for the position so that we can eliminate unqualified candidates off the bat. That said, in our experience, it is much better for us to qualify out early in the process than late in the process. Our clients expect the best quality work possible, and we do everything to overdeliver on that.
What are some interview questions to ask a potential remote hire?
Utilizing hiring tools can help create a cohesive recruiting experience. It’s important to be transparent throughout the duration of a search, and ensure that candidates are receiving timely check-ins.
At Titan Web Agency we generally will ask them the normal:
- What is your experience?
- Why should we hire you?
- How many other campaigns have you worked that are similar in nature?
Then, depending on the job, we will often ask them to show us some of their portfolios, or we will hire them for a test task and give them some basic tasks to see how their communication is, and the quality of their work.
How can you help a candidate self-decide if they are a good fit for a remote setup?
Because remote working isn’t for everyone, you can help your future candidates self-decide and rule themselves out if they feel so. The best way to go about this is to give your potential candidates an insider look into how you work remotely. Asking them some basic questions to help them decide such as:
- What is your internet speed?
- What is your home office set up?
- Is there anything that would potentially limit your ability to perform this job at home?
- Do you have experience working remotely?
- What times of the day are you available to work?
By asking those questions, we can get a good sense if they are capable of working remotely.
Does previous remote experience matter when hiring?
Typically it does. It matters more for some positions than others. For example, I can’t imagine hiring an administrative assistant for a remote position if they don’t have that experience. Our social media manager didn’t have experience working from home. It just depends on the position, the demands of the position, and their current situation and responsibilities.
How do you effectively manage remote employees?
This is something I struggle with. My awesome assistant and Client Success Manager handle most of the interactions with the team. She will make sure that everybody understands their role and the role that others play on the team. She will follow up on past due tasks and work with the contractor to make sure they have what they need to complete the tasks. Effective and frequent communication is key, as well as setting the expectations of what you need from your team. Having internal documents for your standard operating procedures is also important.
A giant thank you to Tyson Downs and the rest of the Titan Web Agency team that shared their insights for our #FeatureFriday post.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about #FeatureFriday and the topics discussed above. If you work at an agency and are interested in being a guest on our #FeatureFriday please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.