The 4 Keys to Hiring the Best Remote Talent

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Next week I will be presenting at the Taking Your Firm Virtual Summit about finding the best remote talent. My approach to talent is different and I would like to share the highlights of the ideas I will be presenting and elaborating on next week.

Culture

Every firm has a unique culture and it influences whether or not people will thrive remotely. Consider if you have to change the fundamentals of your culture to adapt to a remote environment. For example, if you are a stickler for having “butts in seats” from 9am to 5pm – you may need to adapt the norms inside your organization to allow for more flexibility.

Additionally, the key to attracting the rock stars that will join your team from the far reaches of the [Earth? Continent? Country? State?] is showcasing your culture. What does your firm focus on? How does your team work together? Do you like automated technology or prefer to do literally everything in Excel? These parts of how the company functions work to attract the right talent to build your team. BE BOLD. BE YOU.

Humans 

If you are hiring people, you should make sure you are prepared for it. Do you have a written remote work policy? No? Write one (or email us and we will help). Are you going to give your remote team members an allowance for equipment? Or mail them a monitor? These decisions should be made before you start interviewing for the remote position.

If you have people, you need to manage them. Managing in a remote environment is not the easiest thing in the world. However, technology certainly helps! Putting in place a solid practice management/project management system before bringing on remote team members will give them a tool to succeed. Don’t just create a free Trello account and call it good, actually outline standard operating procedures, checklists, client information, access information (check out 1Password for a solid team-oriented password manager) and implement the system fully so you can just assign out projects.

Career postings 

Crafting career postings is an art. Encapsulating your culture, the role requirements, and who you would like to attract takes some effort. Showcase the firm’s niche, uniqueness, and culture. Make the career posting detailed enough that people that would not be a great fit are turned off.

Interviewing 

Before getting to the interview part – write down a list of questions. Interviewing for a remote position requires you to ask open-ended questions where the candidate can showcase their traits and skills. To be a functional remote team member, people truly need to come with some specific skillsets. They need to be able to time manage, self-manage, and continue working through projects even if they do not have all of the information or answers. If you hire someone who stops every-time they hit a roadblock and they can’t just ask a quick question – they will be extraordinarily unproductive in a remote environment. Never just ask if they would be a good remote team member; make them prove it through the structure of your interview questions.

I will be discussing these four keys and much more, adding in personal experiences and anecdotes during the Taking Your Firm Virtual Summit. Please join me!

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Liz Mason
Liz Mason is a serial entrepreneur, a giant nerd, and an involved accounting vanguard. She is CEO and Founder of High Rock Accounting, TheDepartment.Tax, and a few other related brands. Liz speaks on a national stage, guests stars on podcasts, publishes a YouTube show (The Hot Accounts), and writes frequently. To further her passion for the advancement of the accounting profession, Liz currently serves as a Xero National Ambassador and as the Content Strategist for Tax Practice News. Liz started her career in tax at Grant Thornton (at 20) and automated a portion of her job landing her in the national tax practice. She spent a decade in large public accounting firms working on highly technical tax consulting before branching off on her own. Liz utilizes her creativity and passion at her company to uproot traditional practices and replace them with innovative concepts. She finds joy in efficient technology and her core belief is that everyone and everything can continuously improve (she says "be better" too often). When Liz isn't planning world domination in accounting, she is a die-hard skier, down for any adventure, plays the ukulele, reads everything, and has a good sense of humor. If you're looking for her, you can find her traveling the world and enjoying new food and cultures with her husband and young son. Follow Liz and High Rock Accounting on Twitter at @LizzyNorMa and @HighRockCPAs.

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