Working with Freelances Across the Seas: A Guide for Employers

I often write about tips for becoming a remote worker. But what if you are considering hiring a remote worker instead? It can be a great decision for any business. Not only will you be able to hire the best people for the job irrespective of where they live, but you may also be able to take advantage of better rates at the same time. Here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of hiring remote workers.

Try to Be Flexible

Remote workers often work in different time zones. If this is going to be a huge problem, make sure you only hire people in the same time zone as yourself, or at least one with only a few hours difference. Otherwise, prepare to be slightly more flexible.

When you start working with a remote worker, ask them when they will be available to respond to emails or talk on the phone. Make a note of the times that they will be available so you will know when you can expect to speak to them.


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Conduct a Video Interview

You may not be able to meet remote workers in person before you hire them, but you should still have a good idea about who you are hiring. One way to do this is to conduct a video interview over Skype. This way you can get to ‘meet’ them before you hire them, and a video conversation can be a good indicator of whether they will be suitable or not.

Money Issues

One of the most important things to consider is how you will pay remote workers, so make sure you agree on this before you begin working on a project. Don’t wait until the moment they invoice you because you may find out too late that they want you to wire the money over to their foreign account, which you may not be happy doing.

PayPal is an easy solution, but many remote workers will still have bank accounts in the UK so you should be able to pay them directly. If you can only pay by cheque, make this clear from the start.

Invest in the Right Tools

If you have never hired a remote worker before, you may be new to some of the tools that they use. If so, ask them how they work and what they use to make it easier. They may use Skype, Google Drive, or specific meeting software like YetAnotherMeeting. Spending a bit of time getting to grips with these can make the process smoother for both of you.

Alternatively, if you already use a few tools yourself, encourage your remote workers to get set up on them as well. Many remote workers are used to working with a whole range of tools to simplify the process of working abroad, so they may be happy to use the same tools as you if it means getting more work.

Clarify Details Early On

If there are any issues that you are unsure about, talk about them with your remote worker at the start. For example, if you usually require a contract to be signed and returned, discuss alternatives and try to come up with a solution. Could you use an electronic contract service instead, for example? Don’t waste your time and their time by starting up a project and then finding that there is an insurmountable issue preventing you from hiring them.

Work Better with Remote Workers

Hiring remote workers is simple, and in many ways it can be a great decision for your business. Keep the above tips in mind to make the process of hiring a remote worker easier and to avoid any potential issues that could arise when you hire them, and enjoy all the benefits of hiring freelancers or employees wherever they are based.

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