Look for the best and keep the best. What does this mean to you?

Unique abilities aside, search out those with interesting quirks. These may not be obvious at first glance (or interview) but will slowly but certainly show up over time. Your first clue? Not your run of the mill resume – look for lots of variety.

Excellent grammar and word skills. First contact may be a phone interview…if their responses tend toward cliches, buzz words and slang, it may be best to keep looking. Those that follow the crowd rarely if ever do well in a virtual or entrepreneurial position.

Overqualified? This can be a yes or no. If you are looking for more mature workers, overqualified can mean several things and isn’t a concern. Many older workers have put in their time in offices and as remote employees or partners can make an excellent fit. They tend to have an excellent work ethic without demonstrating the drama and pretentiousness that younger workers tend to exhibit.

Once you’ve picked your team, how do you keep them interested in your business?

First of all, yes, you do owe a certain amount of responsibility to your original core workers. As your business expands and you bring on others, keep your main team members informed and don’t allow them to think they’re being replaced or not good enough for your newer clients. A major downfall of remote team work is when long time members no longer feel appreciated and start to look around for other options. One misstep and your most valuable team members may no longer be with you but will have moved on to where their qualities are more appreciated.

Don’t play favourites. This should seem obvious but just as managers in the corporate world let some employees get away with what others would be fired for, in the virtual world everything needs to be above board and equal for all. Transparency in business doesn’t mean giving away your secrets but it doesn’t mean keeping secrets either.

Keep meetings brief and only involve those who are concerned with the subject. Meetings can be a huge waste of energy and time, especially if you are working virtually. Most remote workers hate to be interrupted when they are in the middle of something important. Topics that are of an announcement type can be done through email so bring the remote clan together only when absolutely necessary.

Which of your workers are key to keeping your business up and running in a slow economy?

Variety is the spice of life and also gives life to your business. During slower times of the year for your company, your key workers are the ones who are able to do a bit of everything and show interest in doing more. Reliability is a necessity and if some of your remote workers tend to take a lot of time off, give them the option of taking it when there isn’t as much work available.

Your remote team: a mixture of personalities, talents and interests.


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