Hiring Remote Staff - 12 Keys To Choosing The Right Agency
A lot of accounting firms see hiring remote workers as a way to save overhead costs and maintain a healthy bottom line. Working from somewhere with relatively higher wages, compliance issues, benefits, HR hassles and several many factors lead the small and mid-sized accounting firms to move towards hiring remote workers, as it allows them to find equally experienced and qualified employees with much lower salaries.
To remain competitive, however, you need a recruitment partner who knows your industry as well as your practice and can back your needs as you grow with time. Here we are bringing to you how to identify and choose the right Remote Staffing Company that fulfills your requirements to optimum.
Asking a few questions might help.
Is the firm able to meet the exact staff requirement? The top thing to consider while contacting a remote staffing agency is to analyze what kind of staff they can provide you. Do they have just one level of staff, say a bookkeeper, staff accountant, etc. or are they capable of sourcing for all levels for your firm. More they have the levels, better they are to meet your requirements.
From where they manage and operate? A very important factor is to determine the place of their business. It is always easier to work with an agency that is locally present and has a credible footprint in the industry. This ensures that they are well under the jurisdiction of the local laws if things turn south. Puts your bet in the least risk.
From how long have they been into this business? Everyone would want to work with someone who is experienced in the domain they are into. An experienced agency is more reliable and more likely to understand your requirements clearly and provide according to the specifications. An experienced agency will also have a greater depth of reach and references from their past clients. This is beneficial when you are trying to read someone’s reviews before shortlisting any agency to work with.
How transparent is their sourcing and selection procedure? The reason why outsourcing is somewhat risky to the quality of work delivered is that you never know who is exactly working for you. So it becomes all the more important to clearly know whom to hire. A remote staffing agency will always allow you to interview and test the candidates before introducing them. There is another notable question, whether they have been able to shortlist candidates only as per your requirements or just randomly selected resumes to choose from.
A carefully handpicked pool of candidates is not easy to find at a snap of fingers, but is non-negotiable and must be fulfilled at the earliest. Even before you get to interview, you must also be made sure about their clean and legitimate background and relevant experience. So a better agency will have all these things up their sleeves. Accuracy and swiftness at the same time.
How does the agency manage unmatched or poor placements? This is where an expert and transparent sourcing helps. There are very rare chances to land up having a poor staff as you get to choose one for yourself after due interview and tests. Still, there may be certain chances that somehow you are not very happy with the performance. So a good agency will see that this issue is resolved at the quickest. There could be a provision to provide replacement and no such bonds of long-term commitment with the same staff.
How strong or large is the talent pool of the agency? A credible agency must have a large talent pool and that is evident with the fact about how many similar firms have they worked with. If you are looking at an agency that claims to have a large candidate pool, that doesn’t just mean a large employee strength but in more precise terms it means to determine what is an average time for which an employee stays associated with the company. Higher the numbers, better the results.
How well do they manage the time-zone difference? A remote staff will most likely be working from overseas locations that are under a different time zone. So there is always a requirement to have a certain overlap in order to have efficient communication. Usually, 3-4 hours of overlap is necessary to keep things working well in order. However, there are agencies that can provide a full overlap with your firm’s timings.
Do they understand or have knowledge about the nature of your practice/clients? Accounting, tax, etc. are not just data entry work or back office tasks that any person can do for you. It needs knowledge and common sense which only comes from the experience that is earned while working in a particular domain. If your firm is handling a certain nature of clients, then it may require a different set of skills. Although it is not too difficult for people to adapt, would you mind if you just get the right fit on the first go?
Are they readily accessible? Who holds the driving seat that controls it? Most important things that people want in their employees is that they must stay fully under their control. It is not at all an extra demand if you want the same from your remote staffing agency. It needs to be on their offering that your remote staff must directly report to you, work exclusively for you and follow the protocols of your firm. Not just that, he must be easily accessible to you by communication means. Of course, different time zones won’t help much but must be seamlessly connected during the overlap hours.
How easy is to train and onboard the new recruit? Training is very much important for any new employee for the required performance. A lot of things, however, are gained with the learning curve. For an experienced staff, their experience is their advantage. They are capable of switching the platforms relatively quicker. So it may be very much dependant upon the staffing agency that provides you the staff you want. Yet, the minimum time a staff takes to set in the groove, the better it is for your firm. While giving them your requirement statement, you must insist upon having someone with the knowledge and experience of the software your firm uses.
How secure is your data with them? Data security is a matter of trust as even a slight breach could lead to a disaster. Always find out what measures and policies does an agency has to mitigate such risks and how do they act upon it if there is a failure in protecting the integrity of your data. It should not just be verbal trivia but a well-documented agreement to have complied legally.
What is the agency's fee structure or the rates? An agency does have their own set of fees and charges, but the best is the one which discloses everything transparently. A remote staff is usually an employee who works under the agencies payroll, so the hourly wages must be flat working rates and no compliances or benefits issues arise. In any case, you must insist upon having a well draft agreement before signing up that must mention the regular as well as overtime charges. As far as the sourcing fee of the agency is concerned, please insist upon finding the agency that has the least fees. There are agencies (like Entigrity) that do not have any sourcing fees for sourcing candidates for the accounting firms.
Role of Entigrity The Internet is now a much resourceful tool to find a worthy agency, search once and you will find plenty. Entigrity is one such company, however, that ticks every box in the matrix. Right from having a transparent procedure of proving the right candidate according to a requirement to a commitment of 100% security to data, Entigrity ensures all. Hence Entigrity is a trusted name for over 300+ small and mid-sized accounting firms have an impeccable 96% client retention rate.
Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 500+ accountants, CPAs and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.