Choosing remote drafters

Whether you work for an architectural firm, ad agency, manufacturer or other type of business, there’s always a need to find reputable and reliable remote workers. Use a single contractor to temporarily fill a staff vacancy or medical leave, or secure a complete production team to knock out high-volume project spikes.

No matter who you need, it can be a challenge to distinguish between different candidates and choose the right one. After years of working with the remote team of MG Shlachter, we know a thing or two about securing talent. Here are five signs you know you’ve found reputable remote talent.

  1. They’ve Built a Strong Client Base

You can learn quite a bit by browsing a candidate’s online portfolio. Starting with their client work tells you who they’ve already worked with (and who’s trusted them), plus the type of businesses they can capably render services to. In a sense, their client base measures their success rate. If you don’t see a wide variety of work, it may not be wise to pursue them.

  1. They Bring Plenty of Industry Experience

Hiring start-ups might be more cost effective but not if they lack the necessary experience to fulfill your request. Candidates can tell you they are experienced at anything, but unless you have proof that they can execute in your field, it probably isn’t wise to hire them. At least not for specialized work.

While you wouldn’t risk the accuracy of your 3D drawings on a novice designer, you may allow them to work under the guidance of a more skilled draftsman without handling clients directly. Consider the urgency and expertise level for each project you hire for. Some projects that are strictly behind-the-scenes and require lots of hands to complete on-time may warrant less experienced contractors.

Use your gut and get the work samples you need to make an educated decision for each project’s unique specifications.

  1. They Offer Detailed Testimonials and/or References

Reviews matter. If you’ve never met your candidate and aren’t sure how they’ll perform, client testimonials and/or reference checks will help clarify any uncertainties. There’s always the risk of fake or manufactured testimonials, so if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Just like with regular in-person interviews, ask plenty of questions and try to get your candidate to talk about applying his/her skill set to your team’s needs.

  1. Communication is Easy Despite Geographical Distance

The remote talent pool spans the globe, so it’s possible your recruit works in a different time zone. That aspect could limit or influence communication on both sides, so make sure you understand how your candidate or production team works before engaging in projects.

For MG Shlachter, we’ve managed to use different time zones to our advantage. Our main office is in Ohio and we have individuals working around the US, but many members of our MGS Graphics team are located in the Philippines. This means we can develop concepts in the US, send them to production, and get a mock up or 3D model back before we return to the office the next day. This keeps projects moving, and gives employees with more strategic skill sets more time to focus on concepting or other high-level work.

With so many communication platforms readily available, find out how your contractor stays connected to clients. Agree which platforms you’ll use for different project types and levels of urgency:

  • Team accountability (Trello or Slack)
  • Video conferencing (Zoom or Google Hangouts)
  • Quick messaging or chat (Skype or Whatsapp)

  1. They Have a US Representative

We’ve had some clients who are hesitant to hire remote production artists. That’s why we connect them to a US-based project coordinator who oversees timelines and serves as their main contact.

Having a US representative can ease the paperwork side of the business, too. There are different compliance considerations for remote workers, so having a US representative can save you from potential permit hassles and make it easier to deal with payroll requirements and worker’s compensation. The US representative should be directly responsible for compliance considerations should your provisional remote team set-up become a long-term engagement.

Securing the privacy of your company data is another important part of engaging with a global remote workforce. Should there be any breach resulting from a foreign contract worker, you can at least go after their domestic office.

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with Sara Kolata

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