How To Find A Remote Job The Easy Way

June 3, 2022

The expansion of remote work means amazing opportunities for job-seekers and companies looking to hire top talent. But without geography to help narrow down your choices, finding the right job or candidates can be challenging.

Remote job-seekers need to do their homework on what makes a remote job an awesome remote job. Here's our take on the easy way to find a fulfilling remote job wherever you are.

Are you tired of your 9-5 office job and looking to transition to a remote job? Well, the good news is that the world is your oyster now! You can work from anywhere and ditch those awful office chairs. But before you pack your bags, you need to make sure you're not jumping into shark-infested waters. Here are some tips to ensure you land the best remote job out there.

How To Identify The Best Remote Jobs

Here’s what to look for to ensure a great remote work experience.

#1 Make Sure You Are Able To Work From Your Desired Location

Wait! If it’s a remote job, then does it really matter where it is?

The short answer is yes, it does.

Read on for the long answer.

It's not hard to find remote jobs, but it's incredibly hard finding a remote job that works for you. If you're in the USA, it's much easier as most jobs are USA-only. Start by checking whether the job allows you to work from your location.

You don’t want to waste time with companies you can’t work for. So make sure the company in question is open to employing you in your home location.

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

And as a recruiter or HR professional, you must familiarize yourself with the legal ramifications of employing remote workers. You must have a solid understanding of permanent establishment risk and the classification laws in each country of any new employee or contractor. Hiring remote workers definitely expands your talent pool, but every country is different. Know where you can and can’t hire and start there.

#2 Assess The Current Distribution Of Your Target Employer's Team

Try to get an idea (e.g. by searching employees on Linkedin) of how the team is spread out. Finding a new role there might be difficult if you're the only person in a timezone far from the rest of the team.

Many companies transitioned to remote work after Covid, but that doesn’t mean they have a globally distributed team. The company's workers may all be in the same town and waiting for the all-clear to return to the office. Consider whether you want to be the one waking up at 4 in the morning for a team meeting. If you find no team members are in your timezone (or close to your region), you could reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager for the role and check with them before you commit to preparing an application.

Even if the company is open to remote workers from your region, you should check to see if they have existing remote-first work practices. This will help you determine the level of commitment you'll need for the role. Without a culture facilitating remote work, you could find yourself working some difficult hours of your clock.

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

Time zones matter to HR, too. You know that team communication is vital, which can be tricky with employees sleeping during your whole work day. You may find yourself staying up all night to accommodate your workers if you don't have established async work practices and a culture of remote-first communication and documentation.

Residency and citizenship can be critical factors determining your readiness for remote work. You may need special visas, permissions, or tax documents to stay legally compliant to work remotely (of course, this is especially important for anyone looking to work as a digital nomad).

“If you're planning to work from a different country than where you have citizenship, that can be a challenge. Make sure you understand whether you're allowed to do so – and if you need employer help, address that early on in the interview process.”

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

When hiring remote workers, HR managers and recruiters need to know the candidate’s right to work in their country of residency. Then you need to determine whether your company can support them. Be ready to answer questions in interviews if this question does come up. Often, the services of an employer of record (EOR) will simplify this process. An EOR provider that owns a legal entity in the relevant country can give you specific advice on the legal requirements you need to consider.

#4 Ask About Any Hybrid Work Requirements

“Lastly, make sure to understand what the office/meetup requirements are. Some companies ask you to come into some meetings at the company headquarters or attend off-sites once in a while. This can be really fun or a challenge based on your personal circumstances. Think time to travel and visas.”

The world is opening up and a lot of companies may ask you to travel to them from time to time. Make sure you’re willing and able to do that. Are you well enough to travel? Do you have proper travel documents? Where is the closest company office to your location? Can you manage whatever travel is required with your existing life commitments?

Conversely, if you’re into the idea of remote work because you like to travel, then you might want to seek out companies that bring the possibility of travel into the equation.

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

International travel can get expensive, so companies need to be ready for those costs. And HR managers need to make the expectations clear. On the bright side, you can use travel as a benefit to attract ambitious candidates who aspire to the digital nomad lifestyle. These candidates are specifically seeking these opportunities (and are often highly skilled and very experienced). This could give you access to a new pool of valuable and ambitious talent.

#5 Check The Job's Employment Agreement & Classification

Companies with a globally distributed workforce can handle employment in a few different ways, so make sure to find out how you’ll be employed. Whether you're engaged as a remote contractor or a remote employee, you should be aware of the risks and considerations specific to the employment legislation in your country.

It really depends on the company and the countries involved. An employer of record (EOR) will act as your legal employer and manage your payment. If your employer is not using an EOR, check to make sure the company has a fully owned legal entity in your country to make sure your employment contract is legally compliant.

Companies can classify workers as employees or independent contractors. Find out what your classification would be and gather an understanding of when you might need to be converted from contractor status to employee status.

“Being independent means you don't have a job, and are clearly treated as separate from other employees. In some countries you're required to have other customers as well, before you're a valid contractor/freelancer.”

Employees usually have far more benefits and legal protections than contractors under national employment law. Sometimes companies run into problems by misclassifying contractors when local laws would deem them to be employees, leading to taxation ramifications, potential fines, and other more significant penalties.

“Unless you are actually independent of the company, you're probably being misclassified as contractor, which is a risk to both you and your employer (with $$$ fines and losing your job as outcome).

Look For A Strong Remote-First Company Culture

Just because a company is willing and able to hire a remote worker does not necessarily mean you can expect the flexibility you might expect. Companies without a remote-first culture can unwittingly isolate and ostracise remote workers without adequate support (particularly those who operate with a predominantly on-premise or hybrid model). A remote culture works most effectively for any company with a component of remote workers, so try to look for indicators of this culture when you're scouting a fully remote role.

The best remote companies have a combination of the following factors:

#1 Company Handbook

“A company handbook to which everyone contributes can be so valuable for remote team members. This is where all important processes live, and values are written down.”

A company handbook shows the company’s commitment to transparency, fairness, and procedures. As an employee, you’ll always know where you stand. And a handbook that everyone contributes to shows a commitment to dialogue–and goes a long way towards ensuring that the handbook stays up to date.

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

HR managers should make the handbook available to employees and prospective employees. Don’t have one? That’s your first action item right there.

#2 Gobal Compensation Policy

Salary and compensation are obviously very important to job-seekers. We all need a stable and dependable source of income to cover our basic expenses at the very least. You want to ensure you’re getting a fair offer and that the offer will cover your lifestyle. Don’t feel like you need to take a position that won’t pay you enough. And if you want more, you can ask.

“How do you know whether the offer you've received is a fair one? A good way to start is by asking what the compensation band is for the position you're applying to. If the range is very large, and your offer turns out on the low end – you have a clear idea of where you are. If you live in a low-cost area, it's possible your prospective employer accounts for this. Generally, if the offer is below ~35k USD (yearly), it's too low to take seriously. If you are applying for a role that is in high demand, it can be worthwhile asking peers in other companies/countries what they earn.”

“The best way to get a higher offer is by asking for it. That can be really challenging, but it's a win-win: if the response is poor, the future you'd have with that company can't be very good either. If it's positive: you just got yourself some more money!”

“Look for some policy on global compensation. You can figure this out by asking directly. Younger companies might not have something super defined, which is OK, but the larger the company, the better the answer must be. It's up to you to decide what an acceptable answer sounds like.”

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

If you’re hiring and want to attract the best talent, you need to offer competitive compensation. Start with your compensation policy and then do your research.

Does your business have a global compensation policy? If you're considering hiring remote workers, it’s time to figure it out. And if you’re a smaller company, there’s no time like the present to develop one. It’s only going to make you more attractive to top talent.

#3 Effective Meeting Policy

Meetings can easily take over your calendar. And it’s certainly more fun to do the work you’re hired to do than sit in on countless virtual meetings.

Look for remote companies to have the following: “Internal expectations on what meetings are and aren't for. Be warned if you never hear the word async or asynchronous when you ask. An easy check is to ask some of the people interviewing you how many meetings they have a day.”

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

If you’re in HR and thinking of your own packed meeting schedule, then it’s time to create an effective meeting policy for your company. And now is also a good time to start investigating how async can drive productivity in your job and throughout the company.

#4 Clear Time-Off Policy

Unlimited time off is becoming a more and more common benefit. And it does sound wonderful, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to take off as much time as they can? But these policies can be culturally tricky for the employee to navigate, especially when team members in some countries have different levels of statutory annual leave. Unfortunately, when such policies aren’t combined with a minimum time-off requirement, people tend not to take time off, which leads to burnout. And that’s bad for both workers and companies.

“Unlimited time-off policies don't cut it anymore. There needs to be a minimum (which can just be the statutory minimum). How does your company deal with public holidays? The best remote employers document this clearly”

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

Be prepared for remote job-seekers to ask for the details about leave policies upfront. So many people are attracted to the flexibility that remote work offers and a more balanced relationship between work and life is often a key motivator. HR managers need to be ready with solid answers. Or course, the best remote companies will have that info clearly spelled out in their company handbook.

#5 Inclusion And Diversity Policies

“Organizations that work truly remotely have few to no excuses for not being diverse. You can hire from anywhere in the world, meaning your company should have some sort of reflection of what the world looks like.”

Luckily, this is easy to evaluate.

“Ask for the numbers and look at who is interviewing you. Ask about diversity and inclusion projects in the organizations. Also, here, you should expect larger organizations to do much more, not less than young companies.”

What Does This Mean For The Hiring Manager?

HR managers and recruiters can definitely help address diversity issues. Regularly monitor and report on key performance indicators to help you quantify your progress as an organization. Similarly, make sure you are conducting regular surveys across your team to give an opportunity for direct feedback. This will help you gauge satisfaction and pinpoint weaknesses more quickly.

Build a specific, measurable policy to work toward strengthening diversity in your organization. Start from the ground up and make sure your job descriptions are written to encourage candidates from all backgrounds and take practical steps to find a wider range of more diverse candidates.

The Bottom Line

Identifying the best remote jobs may seem like a no-brainer, but it's far from it. Don't assume that just because it's a remote job, you can work from anywhere. You don't want to end up in a situation where your company sends you an email saying, “Hey, we love your work, but could you relocate to Mars, please?” So, check if the job allows you to work from your location. Also, ensure you have all the necessary documents to legally work from wherever you are. We wouldn't want you to be an illegal alien, now would we?

Secondly, check if the company has a remote-first culture. You don't want to be the only person in your timezone on the team and end up missing all the important meetings because you're asleep. Trust me, I've been there and so have several members of our team. You should also find out if the company requires you to travel to their office from time to time. If you're someone who loves to travel, then this could be a great opportunity for you. But if the idea of travelling makes you nauseous, then you might want to steer clear of companies that require in-person meetings.

So, there you have it. If you follow these tips, you'll be on your way to finding the best remote job out there. And who knows, maybe you'll end up working from a beach in Bali! Just don't forget to send us a postcard.

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