How to manage IT remote teams – 5 key aspects

The era of fully in-person work is going through a transition towards another working model. There are plenty of ways of making up, maintaining and leading teams without having to meet face to face in a physical space, but this is not exempt from risks, which we must be ready to face.

Taking into account the changes that are taking place in the current world and, mainly, in the labor market, new demands and new stages appear, where it is possible to develop projects at a faster pace and at other spatial levels. These projects are interconnected from different places of the world and it is also feasible thanks to other team dynamics.

Asynchronous work, technological agility and the chance of identifying the geographical location of talents in any part of the world have become really interesting considering that, at this moment, there are other ways of designing, achieving and sharing projects.

Nowadays, there are many digital tools which let us use agile and flexible methodologies in order to assign the roles and tasks among the members of each team, organize the schedule of every activity and establish assessment and revision methods. At the same time, it is possible to come to common agreements related to each project.

 

 

Regarding the IT area, the necessity of finding skilled personnel leads to the search of new talents by outsourcing and, at the same time, to the constant training that the new employees are offered in order to undergo daily challenges.

There are more and more companies that decide to work remotely but they do not know how to do it or fear failing during that process. In spite of that, it is completely profitable. Beyond the economic benefits that are obtained after that decision, it is also true that leading teams remotely means putting faith in new working methodologies and internal and external strategies of communication. The result of these changes can be seen in better working conditions and greater creativity, productivity and efficiency. So, when workers feel more at ease in the enterprise, they are likely to remain there.

The key is to generate a good work environment by creating mutual support conditions, where challenges can be seen as an opportunity to move forward and grow as professionals and not as an obstacle that prevents them from improving their performance.

The IT talents that are part of the teams feel the necessity of incorporating technical competencies and soft skills so as to fulfill their tasks properly and, in many cases, employers must invest in training to achieve that.

Therefore, it is logical that many companies feel that when modifying their work structure, they lose control on the process and the implementation of the planning. However, at this point, it is also essential a supervision strategy and the chance of a fluent communication, where everyone’s position is appreciated, so both of them know they are going on the same track.  

 

Now, let’s speak about 5 key aspects when leading IT teams remotely:

  1.   Set out the working time: every planning requires to set the goals to fulfill, the way of measuring results and, at the same time, it is necessary to fix the deadlines that must be met by the team and the personal time of every worker. It is essential that this planning makes it possible to organize the personal schedule and the quantity of hours assigned to work, because if there is a balance between both of them, performance and productivity in the execution of projects are likely to improve. The way of solving difficulties must also be identified in a responsible way.
  2.   Make a constant follow up: as they are not in the same physical space, both employers and employees need to get in touch to move forward in each stage. Although it is true that when working remotely those distances seem to be longer, the leader of the team must get together with the other members not only through video conferences or video calls but also through common documents where they share the improvements, so as to evaluate the development of the project, revise the KPIs and make the necessary modifications.
  3.   Strengthen the communication: it is key to set out communication channels by means of which notifications, announcements, updates related to the team and relevant information will be sent and shared. It is also essential to coordinate online meetings between the leaders and the people involved in the project, so they can speak about their ideas, suggestions and contributions. Taking into account their needs and answering their questions lead to a fluent exchange that makes the improvement feasible in a fast and clever way.
  4.   Promote and develop confidence: it is important to appreciate empathy, offer attentive listening and promote respect among workers. This makes it possible to develop a confidence environment where everyone feels accompanied by the rest of the workers in order to achieve the common goals. They should also be helped by their leaders to overcome any obstacle and learn from every experience. The fact of having the chance to express their feelings, expectations and aspirations in front of others causes a better understanding, willingness and commitment towards the job they are performing.
  5.   Appreciate the achievements at an internal and external level: this is an effective way to encourage the employees to continue developing their tasks and being part of the team. The appreciation can be within the enterprise or in a public way. This will boost their self-esteem, raise their desire for growth and success and, therefore, they will feel totally encouraged.

In this sense, considering some trends, such as the Gig economy, which leads the way to the future of the business market, it is clear that the leadership of IT teams remotely is completely beneficial, as it is a tool that enables to offer greater temporary job opportunities to skilled personnel (by objectives or being part of certain projects). At the same time, it makes possible a coordinated job that balances the need of keeping certain flexibility and independence and the need of producing in a current context of high competence and hyper-specialization.

7 Essential Steps in IT Talent Recruitment

The digitalization of the labor market started some years ago but nowadays and after the boom of virtuality during the pandemic, worldwide enterprises are facing the new challenges of this modality, not as an option but as a necessity of continuity and growth in the business world. 

In order to be competitive within the market, an organization must bring up to date with the digital world, as it is a reality that different areas of work are experiencing because no matter the specialization, companies rely on any kind of technological solutions. Far from causing problems in the functioning, employees’ productivity, and goal fulfillment, this supplies new tools with which it is possible to create different and more enriching working experiences. The range of possibilities that is provided by the online work is something that an enterprise can not ignore in order to be updated. 

Rather than being an obstacle to development, digitalization of work gives solutions to some issues related to the worldwide economic situation, which makes companies face some difficulties when hiring new talents. Budget cuts reveal the urgent necessity of optimizing the resources. This forces them to revise the way of recruitment and the working modality that promotes a decent, genuine, and high-quality workplace. However, this becomes a difficulty due to the lack of time and the long traditional recruitment processes. 

According to TechUK, around 58% of people want to develop and expand their abilities by working in a digital way. And regarding IT employment, as claimed by ManpowerGroup, every year it is increasing about 20% and it is expected that this figure doubles and triples as more agile and effective recruitment strategies are invested.

By virtue of the increase in the use of digital channels, the technological industry makes it possible to maintain new ways of working between employers and employees, to go into new projects of greater significance and, at the same time, to generate more technical skills and abilities. 

The incorporation of talents to work for teams in companies strengthens internal communication and promotes theoretical and practical skills and competencies in order to design customized solutions for each project.

The chance of offering unique, new, and efficient proposals to the client portfolio as well as the possibility of planning every step more quickly depends on the performance, commitment, and decision that an enterprise can make so as to invest in other options of talent recruitment. Working together with professionals specialized in recruiting skilled staff enables them to increase their outreach and visibility in the market. When the exact talent is chosen for meeting specific goals, the success of the project is a fact. 

In this context, IT talent outsourcing recruitment becomes a challenging task for companies. It is essential to mention some keys related to it:

  1.   Search process design: understand the goals, know which is the available budget, and the technical necessities of the project to give the best option for that organization.
  2.   The specific knowledge of those who are in charge of the search. In relation to the technical specifications, it is important that the recruiter is aware of the tech trends so as to understand what is needed. 
  3.   Validate IT talent: through a series of questions and tests as a kind of exam, it is possible to recognize the best-qualified candidates, those who have the abilities and technical and soft skills that are required in order to be part of the projects of the company.
  4.   Strengthen the integration processes: it promotes experiences that make it easier to incorporate new people and the makeup of working dynamics among them and with the previous members of the team. The idea is to provide resources and opportunities to obtain a better adjustment. 
  5.   Generate high-quality employment: the chance of getting a new job position improves the employees’ self-esteem and attitude. It is also beneficial for goal and project fulfillment through great common achievements.
  6.   Create a database of the available talents according to the required profiles: no matter if they are temporary or long-term jobs, the idea is to make a register of the specialized people in each area of the scientific-technological industry.
  7.   Offer a training and professional growth space for the selected talents: the organization intends to train and accompany their new employees so they can make available their training and past experience. The training and growth stage is motivating for each member and for the whole team.

The IT talent recruitment makes reference to a necessity that has been coming on by leaps and bounds and, many times shows the obstacle that this causes in the development of an enterprise. Therefore, IT recruitment service is undergoing a full consolidation moment and has become a crucial tool for companies, as it enables them to reduce costs and optimize time.

Having adequate personnel and the most appropriate talent is a plus when meeting the working objectives.

Gig economy: A Revolutionary Trend for the Labor Market

Digital transformation of workplaces has generated new trends that revolutionize the labor market. Nowadays, on-demand and independent jobs have caused an increase in worldwide employment options, which has become a feasible and sustainable option for many people.

Digital natives look for new ways of working and prioritize the chance of incorporating their jobs into their personal life. Spending 9 hours in a crowded office is no longer an option for those who have experienced management by objectives and without the pressure of time. This new model is the demonstration of “life-work balance” on which new generations are based and they put it into practice in every opportunity that the labor market has for them.

So, within this context of freelancers seeking professional growth and labor diversity rather than one job for their whole life, arose a concept in America that has become popular during the last years: the Gig economy. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the Gig Economy is a way of working that is based on people having temporary jobs or doing separate pieces of work, each paid separately, rather than working for an employer. In general, these temporary services set by objectives are offered on digital platforms that establish a connection between workers and users who are asking for a specific service. As stated by the Gig Economy Index, almost 40% of the American labor force generates at least 40% of their incomes within this model. Besides, as claimed by the research From Workforce to Workfit, carried out by Kelly Services, a company specializing in external consulting, the demand for this kind of workers in that country is 47%. Independent freelancers’ microbusinesses in America represent 17% of the gross domestic product, which generates US$2.4 trillion.

 

 

The worldwide figures indicate the growth of this trend: the demand in Asia is 84%, in Europe it is equivalent to 80% and finally, in South America it reaches 54%. Taking into account these figures, many experts claim that the gig economy is the future of work, due to its outreach, facilities and working benefits both for employees and employers.

Among the most remarkable gig economy benefits and advantages for a freelancer, we can mention that:

Independent workers improve their quality of life: reaching a balance between personal life and work is one of the most valuable advantages. Remote jobs enable them to sleep better and even eat better, as they are not under the pressure of time.

They can have a flexible schedule: as they are hired for a certain project or objective, this type of worker is able to manage their time in the most convenient way.

They feel motivated: a freelancer is highly motivated since they have the chance of working in a field they love. Management by objectives makes tasks become more specific, so they feel more at ease.

They can save money: independent workers save on daily expenses, such as commuting or having lunch on the go.

It is also important to note that remote jobs give the possibility of generating incomes to people who are usually excluded from the traditional way of working, for example, those who are in charge of caring for others or are unable to commute due to a lack of mobility.

This methodology is also beneficial for enterprises, as they acquire the necessary resources and talents at the appropriate time and place. Freelancers really value independent work and they are constantly getting qualified, which makes it possible for the enterprise to create a highly competitive work team. However, this represents new challenges for the companies that must incorporate their traditional teams into the remote ones. According to Kelly Services’ research, the enterprises that succeeded in this in an innovative way it is because they passed on the business culture early, implemented a comprehensive onboarding process and used adequate digital tools.

Some data that show this trend worldwide are:

      The number of digital platforms that facilitate online work or that hire workers directly to offer their services increased fivefold around the world in a decade. 

      Only 13% of people who worked remotely by the end of 2021 have fully come back to the face-to-face model, as stated by Infojobs’ research.

      A McKinsey report shows that more than 150 million people from Western Europe and North America have decided to become independent workers during the last decade.

      Lately, it has been known that more than 4 million American people have quit their permanent jobs willingly in order to set up their own businesses or work on their own.

 

As technology improves and the labor force evolves, the gig economy emerges as an original way of working which is based on independent development and without any geographical limits. Some of its advantages are easier access to opportunities, more efficient use of resources and comfort for workers and clients.

In this model marked by a versatile and disruptive economy, specialization and knowledge are not limited by recruitment methods or borders. More than ever, there is huge competition in the business world and digitalization has become a need rather than an option in order to be at the forefront of the current market.

4 Essential Challenges for Talent Outsourcing Companies

The Covid19 pandemic accelerated the setting of a new model that is focused on the digitalization of work. This places us in a full training and developing reality which is being taken on increasingly with its ups and downs.

Nowadays there are around 1.100 million freelancers working around the world. In many countries, the supply and demand for remote workers have risen significantly during the last few years. The search for job advertisements making reference to this modality is placed in a more and more important position. For example, 41% of the American labor force is freelancers.

The independent work methodology is accepted worldwide and the demand will increase because the concept of work itself has also changed. Productivity is not related to the number of hours spent in an office by an employee. Moreover, strict compliance with schedules is a thing of the past. New generations will not want to come back to their workplace as they knew it and remote job positions will become more powerful in contrast to the traditional way of working.

 

 

The future of work, in which the digital world is more and more predominant, comes together with an increasing demand for freelancers. According to this model, not only the enterprises but also the employees are facing new challenges. Although this situation is profitable for many companies as general expenses are reduced, there are some questions that arise:

How to achieve effective communication

Internal communication is essential for the success of an organization since it makes possible the synergy of the work team. Having a virtual place for dialogue will keep the connection among employees and between them and their employers, it also enables them to overcome any obstacle on time. Arranging weekly meetings with clear goals represents a must for a remote team.

 

How to recruit talents

It is hard for those who have worked following the traditional model to think of a recruitment process for freelancers for the organization. However, there are many websites that function as platforms of talents, in which the geographic location is not taken into account.

 

How to build the company culture

It is not easy to imagine a business culture when facing this work fragmentation where one person belongs to several enterprises at the same time. In spite of this, the desire of a person to have a remote job position has to do more with being able to manage their own schedule rather than with belonging to an organization or not. Therefore, the freelancer can be part of a company but without being employed in a dependent way. This is a challenge for the managers, who must use different strategies to strengthen the much-needed culture of work. The first step is great leadership, as employees will respond by recognizing them and themselves as an active part of the company.

 

How to follow up the fulfilling of working goals

his new methodology is showing a positive impact on productivity since employees no longer work under pressure but they pursue an objective. Keeping updates and improvements in tasks is a good way of providing a follow-up without bothering someone. Establishing short-term goals makes it possible for the talents to organize their timetables according to their preferences without hinder productivity nor their approval of the enterprise.

 

 

It is clear that organizations must be adapted, but people who took on this new culture are also facing new challenges, such as:

Time management

One of the advantages of this modality is the lack of a manager giving orders. However, this can be negative if time is not well managed. One of the most valuable aspects of being a freelancer is having available time to enjoy the freedom that this involves. Therefore, it is important to fix a work schedule and priorities, provide a follow up of the working hours and know how to delegate.

How to get new jobs

According to a survey carried out by the financial services company Payoneer, 36% of the clients are in North America, while the European customers represent 27%. Using social media is a useful tool when trying to contact them, as it is free. Another way of acquiring clients is by word of mouth, that is taking advantage of the company’s acquaintances who may need their services. Networking and collaborating with other freelancers are other ways of getting new customers later.

Setting fees

Although remote job positions eliminate the geographical borders, freelancers must take into account that remuneration levels are set according to the cost of living in the customer’s country and not in their own one. It is a good idea to get in touch with other freelancers and revise tariff charts in order to estimate costs. Making an estimate of the hours that will take to fulfill the goals, evaluating the money that is needed and considering a profit margin are different ways of calculating figures. It is not a bad strategy to ask the client which is the budget that is considering investing in that project.

There are many challenges that both employers and employees must undergo, but being able to give answers to them and understand the future of work is essential if we want to be part of the new working model of the digital era.

Asynchronous: The Key to Remote Work

The last years pace has been set by the new challenges that arise in the companies.

 

Beyond the development of virtual strategies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new work conditions and new necessities for business people and collaborators are considered, as well as new possibilities of satisfying them in order to obtain greater working comfort.

One of the most innovative decisions that enterprises have been making is moving from a 100% face-to-face or synchronic modality to a virtual or asynchronous one, although it is in a partial and graduated way.

The home-office modality does not require doing tasks in real-time nor attending face-to-face meetings (or not fully). This allows the distribution of responsibilities among the members of the company. Therefore, projects move forward together with more independence and autonomy from the people involved in them.

Asynchronous work brings greater efficiency and better team performance, with the help of optimized communication, fewer distractions, and more transparency in the decisions and choices that are made.

Through labor dynamics, there are more and more businesses that aim at decentralizing employees’ working times and spaces.

In order to attract qualified talent, it is essential to understand that, thanks to the asynchronous participation, productivity can rise, objectives can be met in the shortest time possible and the autonomy level of performance in an organization can increase. This enables enterprises to take a leap toward projects that require more intensity and depth in their realization. And this means including larger amounts of people involved in them, as well as being articulated with other worldwide ones.

The advantage of applying greater flexible working strategies is the elasticity of the relationships of the companies, both internal and external. Moreover, it brings creative, new, and customized contributions and proposals, which enables a much more efficient way of working.

As this is a new modality that will stay, the benefits of the asynchronous work for the IT talent will be mentioned below.

  1. Independence related to datesschedules, and location: in worldwide projects, every person is in a different place, so the time zone also varies, which has an impact on their time availability. Working in an asynchronous way allows using time and location properly in search of the implementation of a plan, without depending on others.
  2. An in-depth look at tasks within the project: it is possible to deal with every project with a deeper approach, paying attention to its distinctive features and details. The greater productivity moment of every talent can be chosen to achieve that task.
  3. Focus on objectives and deadlines: by implementing the asynchronous work, the main aspect is meeting the objectives. Thus, it is more possible to ensure the compliance of the project within the scheduled time.
  4. Autonomy: every member of the team works when they decide to. Under this modality, it is understood that each person has different necessities, which permits true flexibility and freedom.
  5. Performance within the team of the enterprise: by learning to work in this way, the members increase their individual and team performance, as time is more efficient.

 

It is known that this kind of labor organization is a way of working and, contrary to predictions, it is a format that promises to stay definitely.
The fact of not executing it could be risky for companies by calling into question the possibility of hiring new talents who work in this way without exception.

 

 

Let’s mention some requirements to take into account for its greater use:

 

  • Train the employees in the digital tools that are needed to put the asynchronous mode into effect. There are more and more specific digital tools and platforms for every area of the labor market. They can be used according to the special features of each project. Knowing and using them is essential if you want to implement this way of working.
  • Choose the most adequate means of communication, either to make consultations, give notices, or to reach an agreement with the team. In the asynchronous work, communication decreases but, at the same time, it is optimized, as what is communicated represents what is truly important and the project cannot go forward without it.
  • Establish a joint work plan, in which the steps, roles, and tasks of every employee are specified. Before starting with a certain project, it is convenient to plan what it will be about and how it will be developed.
  • Define objectives to meet, deadlines and considerations to take into account for its normal development: it is not possible to work without setting deadlines and objectives to meet. This must be the starting point for all the projects.
  • Create a meeting agenda for the asynchronous meetings, which makes it possible to share, revise and assess the execution of projects and the asynchronous experiences of the members of the team.

 

This new work scheme needs new requirements, so all the members of the company must keep themselves up to date.