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Claire Snook

Designing a Job for Remote Working

Dec 4, 2020 3:09:47 PM hiring remotely

Designing a job, especially a remote working role, requires consideration and time to make sure it answers the needs of the team and the wider company. At the same time, creating a job that is interesting and even inspires an employee will increase productivity and loyalty, reducing employee churn. Recruiting tech talent remotely opens up the globe and offers you the chance to hire people at the top of their game, so make sure you design a job that will keep them with you for years to come.

In this article, we will delve in how to design a job effectively.  


Reduce remote employee churn

Why design a job? It’s part of best hiring practice to make sure you create a job that works for the company and for the future employee. A global survey by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated of nearly 3,000 employees across eight nations, found that nearly nine out of 10 employees (86 percent) say they lose time each day on work-specific tasks unrelated to their core job.

This is an enormous amount of wasted time that your company pays for and often means unhappy employees doing tasks not listed in their original job description.

Designing the right remote working job

Designing a job is an art form. It requires balancing the needs of the team with the goals of the business with motivating and rewarding the employee. You are creating a job because you need to replace someone or a gap has been identified, and so you will need to work out what exactly it requires. Design a job that solves a gap in your team, provides a manageable workload and has variety to keep the employee interested. The central parts of designing a job are:

  • deciding the primary tasks and responsibilities of the job
  • deciding what is required to carry out the job – languages, programme knowledge and experience
  • optimize the job’s tasks and responsibilities so they are manageable and they waste no time
  • ensure that all the tasks are needed. Can they be automated?
  • ensuring the job fits neatly into the team and it will create no conflict
  • decide where the job will fit in the company’s employee structure.

Overlay the essential core parts of the job with essentials for the employee. Hackman and Oldham developed a job characteristics model that centres tasks as key to employee motivation, and identified five factors that can help predict job satisfaction:

1. Skill variety

  • How many skills and talents does the job require?
  • Does the job have variety or is it monotonous/repetitive role?
  • Will the job stretch the employee?

2. Task identity

  • Are the tasks clearly defined with a start, middle and end?
  • Does the employee know their role in the task?
  • Do they know when the task is complete?     

    3. Task significance
  • What impact will the job have on the business?
  • Will the job matter to people within the organisation?
  • Is the job meaningful?

4. Autonomy

  • How much ownership of a task does the employee have?
  • Does the employee have freedom to schedule their work and decide how the task will be done?

5. Job feedback

  • Does the employee know what their performance is like?
  • Do you let them know when they’re doing well and when they’re not?

This may require some work within your company to ensure you can tick off each of the items, but will pay in dividends once the employee is working in the role. Meet the needs of the employee and the business. Employee churn has a big impact on business and revenue because of the time taken to find an employee and get them up to speed, often taking six months to a year.

Creating your next tech talent role

A remote working role has challenges that in-house roles just don’t face. Nixa.io’s Izabela Budzyńska, Recruiter and Community Hero, offers advice on the additional factors to consider. Ensure you have:

  • good communication tools with formal and informal channels
  • good reporting and data collection patterns, work effects, work culture with the calendar
  • clear working time rules
  • taking care of the integration of team members, celebrating successes and experiencing failures together - take care of team spirit
  • transparency - regular updates of the situation in the company/department
  • replace unnecessary meetings with chat message or email let it be!
  • be open to conversations to help with issues and queries, even ten-minute ones.

Check out our previous article on the challenges of remote hiring and how to address them for more information.

Talk to us

There’s more to designing a job than meets the eye. To go through this and remote hiring, join us in the spring when we’re launching our webinar series, exploring the challenges that face companies with global teams.