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Remote Work at Working Solutions, Talent Mgmt

parent company

Working Solutions
Visit Working Solutions
95+
Employees
Plano, TX
Headquarters

VIRTUAL TEAM MEMBERS - Talent Mgmt

Talent Mgmt Team
100
% Remote
10+
Team Members
11+
% of All Employees
*All figures approximate as of December 2015
Kristin Kanger, VP, Talent Management
Interview with Remote.co

We provide business process outsourcing services to clients and their customers through our work anywhere workforce of home agents.

Ensures we attract the best talent and retain it through meaningful and effective company programs and a positive culture.

We have always had a remote model.

Critical – it is the foundation, the reason the company was created.

More productive and focused employees, less overhead expense, and the ability to search for talent in a borderless recruiting pool.

We have always worked remotely, to promote a healthy work/life balance and enable the best of the best to work with us from anywhere.

Prior remote work experience certainly helps, but it’s sometimes just the way a candidate describes what they’re looking for, or what they liked or disliked about a past experience that tips you off.

We interview by phone and have started introducing video interviewing in some cases.

We try to be as open and honest about the pros and cons of a remote workforce.  We have each candidate speak with several team members who share their own advice and experiences.

We use the same general process, though our candidate pool is much larger, and interviews include much discussion around compatibility with working remotely.

We use a third party behavioral assessment and background checking service in our process.

We do not.  There has not been a need in our environment.

Yes, we do, and the frequency varies between teams.  Some meet quarterly, others annually.  We try to bring the whole company together annually for a fun and energizing retreat and planning meeting.

First, hire people who fit the model.  Not everyone is cut out to work remotely.  Next, be very clear with your expectations and provide the information and tools needed to be successful.  Then trust your people to do what you’ve asked and instead of monitoring every action, use results to determine when course-correction is needed.

Learning how to effectively communicate remotely takes practice.  How much to share, how often, who to include, and how to ensure the intended message is received.  Knowing when to step in and when to let go is also a challenge.  In my experience, people work better when they are armed with goals and the tools they need to achieve them, they know you have their back, and they are given the space to do what’s been asked of them.

We currently provide company equipment to our employees.

I would say more fear a lack of productivity, lack of communication or engagement, even how to manage potential issues like workers comp claims.  In almost 20 years of business, I can’t say we’ve never had an employee who didn’t work well remotely, but the instances are very few.  Our team members value the benefits they receive working remotely, and are happier and more effective as a result.

Absolutely!  Our teams tend to focus on communication because we do have so many remote members. We hold Town Halls quarterly so everyone hears the same information from our leaders. That information is then discussed in more depth within the teams to ensure understanding and encourage feedback.  Technology is utilized to keep information readily available to everyone.  Individual teams, and the company as a whole, come together annually to reinforce relationships, celebrate accomplishments, and plan for the future.

Be selective up front.  Take the time to know your candidates.  Have them meet with several others who work remotely so they fully understand your culture and what it means to work remotely.  Hire people you trust and manage by results.

We utilize email, web-and-tele-conferencing, chat, and of course, telephones.  Group chats that can be archived for future reference are very effective in many cases.

As we’ve grown, we’ve incorporated technology more into our daily operations.  With more people involved in each process, it’s important to continually increase efficiencies.  We have more structured communication – from our performance management process, to quarterly “state of the union” type meetings – to ensure everyone is receiving the information they need.

My office is in an unused bedroom in my house.  It has a big window in front and great light during the day.  There is far too much equipment – 2 computers, printer, phone, headset, file cabinets, etc. – and a very large “nest” of power cords, but it’s very comfortable, quiet, and effective.

I maintain a “regular” work schedule as much as possible and go to my home office much like I would otherwise.  My family knows not to disturb me if they come home while I’m working, but they also know I have the flexibility to adjust my schedule and be there for them when needed.

Failure is not being wrong or making a mistake…it’s not doing what you set out to do.