Many emerging companies are less centralized than in the past. Some are made up wholly of remote teams, some of which are spread all across the globe. As long as everyone has a solid internet connection, the team can use a virtual workspace that is, in some cases, more effective than a physical space. Such an environment is still a relatively new experiment in the business world, and as such it creates some unique HR problems. In fact, many of these nebulous companies forgo having a full-time HR staff and outsource that department entirely.
Why outsourcing HR makes sense
When everyone from CEO to the intern is in a different location, why stick with a traditional HR department? In the early days of a budding company, the founders may take on the responsibilities of an HR staff – but as time goes on and the business expands, upper management will have too much on its plate to handle the minutiae of the hiring process. At that time, it makes the most sense to use an outside firm. This frees up time for management to run the business and improve revenue.
Hiring remote teams
Onboarding a remote team comes with a unique set of problems. Unlike a traditional office setting, there won't be anyone around to constantly check that new hires are always on task. Workers hired for freelance or remote work are expected to manage themselves on day-to-day tasks. So what happens if a company hires a worker who can't stay on task? One solution is to hire new staff on a trial basis. Entrepreneur magazine suggested using a 60-day time frame to test new hires before making the final decision. As long as the employees are aware of this policy, it's can be a great way to ensure that the job meets employee expectations and that the employee can self-manage after a two-month window. It's easier to let go of mismatched employees if they're already aware of this policy.
Finding remote workers takes time
The process of finding remote team members is a little different. It might seem easier because the pool of possible candidates isn't defined by geography, but often having such a wide swath of options can actually make things more difficult. As Zapier pointed out, job postings have to go out on many different networks, and the culling process can be time consuming. Outsourcing HR responsibilities can take this burden off management staffers so they are only involved in the final interviewing process, after the unfit candidates have already been removed.
Remote teams are most cost efficient and they can provide a company with a wider skill set. But getting the most out of these advantages requires a lot of time spent finding and vetting employees. Outsourcing HR streamlines the process and makes finding a great hire easier. When management has more time to devote to strategic planning, business improves and the company grows.