In this episode of The Agency Accelerator, Noel Andrews, founder of Job Rack, joins the podcast to discuss how to make remote workers feel like part of the team. The conversation covers topics such as setting clear expectations, providing feedback, and the differences between freelancers and core team members. The importance of regular check-ins and scorecards is emphasised, along with the use of communication tools such as Slack and Loom. The benefits and challenges of hiring offshore talent are also discussed. Business owners looking to grow a profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable agency will find valuable advice and experiences shared in this episode.
[00:00] Noel Andrews runs Jobrack EU, helping businesses hire remote team members from Eastern Europe
[02:55] Invest time and energy in onboarding to foster company culture, technical skills, and interpersonal connection.
[06:30] Team meetings should be fun and include personal questions; use Geekbot for automated stand ups; have 1-1s with scorecards to review performance.
[10:09] Communication and project management tools (Slack, MS Teams, Zoom, Around Co, Myro), Send Wish Online for birthday and work anniversary cards, Loom for check-ins.
[15:31] Hiring offshore can provide high-quality English speakers, but how and when do you introduce them to your clients?
[21:57] Set clear expectations, give permission to ask questions, give feedback and encourage ownership of changing.
[26:07] Focus on outputs, not hours, but don't expect freelancers to do multiple jobs.
“Investing in Onboarding is crucial so invest the time to explain how you want them to work and fit in with your team and your culture." - Noel Andrews
“We need to assess the performance of our staff on outcomes and outputs, not the hours that they're working." - Rob Da Costa
“The AID Model (Action, Impact, Do Differently): "When we give feedback, discussing the impact can help encourage ownership and change” - Noel Andrews
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Rob Da Costa [00:00:00]:
Hey, everybody, and welcome to the latest episode of the Agency Accelerator Podcast. Today's episode is kind of part two to a recent episode we did on hiring remote workers. And today we're going to talk about how to get make those remote workers feel part of your team, how to communicate, and how to manage them. And I'm really excited to be joined by Noel Andrews today. And Noel is the founder of Job Rack, a recruitment company that helps businesses recruit from Eastern Europe. I'm Rob da Costa, and this is the agency Accelerator Podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes, having started, grown, and sold my own agency, I know just how it feels in the ups and downs of agency life. So this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing mine and my guests’ experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable business. Welcome to the podcast, Noel, and I don't know if you want to do a better introduction about your business than that, or at least give us a bit of insight about how you got into what you currently do.
Noel Andrews [00:00:59]:
Hey, Rob. No worries. Great to be here. So, yes, I'm Noel Andrews. I run Jobrack EU, and our focus is really on helping kind of businesses all over the world to hire really great remote team members. So when you're growing a business, when you're trying to scale a business, I'm a big believer in having people with you that are kind of on that mission with you. Right. No matter whether they're your virtual assistant, your executive assistant, right up to your Ops Manager or a developer or any other role you might have, having people that are really invested in you, your clients, and your business as real team members. And that isn't often focused on, especially when hiring remotely. And that's what we do. So we help people hire for all kinds of roles, specifically from Eastern Europe. So great combination of great English, great kind of really great skills, and kind of really good cultural alignment as well. And yet a little bit kind of lower cost than hiring in the UK, US, kind of Canada, et cetera, for where kind of costs can be challenging.
Rob Da Costa [00:01:54]:
Yeah, sure. I mean, since I started this coaching business back in 2007, for different reasons, hiring agency staff has been a challenge, either because of the economy or because the economy is really strong and it's hard to find good people. So people have had to go further afield. And of course, the Pandemic taught us that we can make remote working work. And as I said in the previous podcast episode, we talked about some of the things to do to hire people and why people should look at remote workers. But let's just sort of move that conversation on. Let's assume now that you've helped us hire this fantastic candidate. I've got to onboard them. I've got to make them feel part of the team. I've got to create that kind of round-the-water cooler conversation which we're obviously not going to have when they are several hundred or even 1000 miles away. So just share with us, I guess some do's and don'ts about onboarding a team member, managing them, making them feel part of the team, keeping them motivated, and obviously making sure they're performing at their optimal level.
Noel Andrews [00:02:55]:
So with onboarding, the single biggest tip is really give it a lot of time. And it's actually really difficult because hiring is hard, right? No matter how you've hired, it's hard work, it's hard decision-making, right? And so for business owners, when we're making decisions, whether you're hiring someone, whether you're firing someone, whether you're launching a new service, decision-making takes a lot of energy. So you kind of hire the person and then you're like, oh phew, thank goodness that's done, right? But actually no, the hard work now starts because the onboarding is the bit where you really need to invest the time in them. And there's all the kind of conventional stuff about making sure they're clear on how to do the job and how to do the job in your way for your business. But actually what's so, so important is spending time to explain how you want them to work and fit in with your team and your culture. So what are the ways of working that are important to you? So here at Job Rack, we have a couple of things we do. We have a Ways of Working document and it's just a couple of pages, I think, the last check in a Google doc. But it's really specific. So it's things like, hey, when you start work, doesn't matter if it's in the morning or the afternoon, some of our part-timers just work in the afternoon. Just say hey on Slack and let us know what you're going to be focused on that day. If you are kind of collaborating on a Google document and we do that an awful lot. If you want to make changes, use the suggestions feature. If you want to make comments, use the Comments feature. And so these are the kinds of things that when people don't do it, it drives me absolutely bonkers and people often don't teach it. And so if someone comes from a Microsoft kind of shop or someone comes from a place where they haven't kind of collaborated live on documents, they might not know these things. So the really small, simple, technical things that just make day-to-day working so much easier. So for me, they're really, really important. And the little things like, hey, say good morning, say hey when you come in and start work, things like that. Then on top of that, I'm a really, really big fan. As part of the onboarding is give them a chance to speak to as many as possible of their teammates as they can now, depending on how many people you've got, maybe they can't see everyone individually. But we do. What are we here at Job rack? We're about 17 people right now and every new starter has a 15 minutes kind of intro chat with every other member of the team. And that's not insignificant in terms of time and interruption, things like that. But actually, the benefit is huge because they just know a little bit about each other, they know where they are and obviously, we've introduced them in team meetings, things like that, but just a little bit of one-to-one connection to start off with, we find that works really, really well. So they're just they're just kind of two key things that we do.
Rob Da Costa [00:05:29]:
Yeah, and I just wanted to pick up on a couple of those things. First of all, I wanted to reinforce the point that sometimes people think the problem is solved when they've recruited somebody, but really the challenge is just beginning. And I think the second thing is don't make any assumptions about what people will know and won't know. So I think those are two points that are well made and people should bear that in mind. What about like on an ongoing basis? So I've got my kind of this is how we work document. I've taken my new starter through that. I spent time introducing them to all the team members so they get a sense of what the wider business is doing, and what things I need to do on a day-to-day, a week-to-week, a month-to-month basis to manage that person. Both from a perspective of whether are they doing the job. But also a perspective, do they feel part of the team? And are they excited to be like you said, are they sharing my vision for the business? Are they excited to be here or are they just kind of taking a freelancer mentality?
Noel Andrews [00:06:30]:
Yeah, so a couple of things for me. So one is with team meetings and this tip is you're not going to find it in traction or anywhere else. Team meetings don't always have to be about work and they don't all have to be. 100% of the agenda does not need to be about work. We're really intentional about this. So at the end of each team meeting and we have a fortnightly team meeting, we do one, like 30 minutes one, and then a monthly one that's a little bit longer. And we have a fun bit at the end of it. And we'll have a question that we ask, and each member of the team will go around the room and answer it. And it might be something like, what's the most embarrassing accident you've ever had? What's your favourite season of the year? What are you excited about? What are you saving up for? Things like that. Things that help us to get to know the team member right. And actually it's often the favorite part of the team meeting. So anything and everything that you can do to help people get to know each other. We also use a tool called Geekbot in Slack and it also works in Microsoft Teams as well, and that automates daily stand ups or anything else that you kind of want to automate in Slack. So Geekbot actually prompts us each day at 07:30, a.m. Local time, so whenever people start, that's going to be the first thing they see and we just have different questions each day and so on. Motivation Monday will be kind of, hey, what did you get up to at the weekend? Share a picture if you've got one. What are your plans for this week? What are you looking to achieve? And is there any help that you can get from anyone? And again, it's automated, but then people do very human, very personal responses and then we get lots of engagement and we kind of can check those, we can look at them, everyone sees them. So there are lots of little things like geek bot, like asking fun personal questions in team meetings that just bring things to life rather than just being, hey, here are the KPIs, here's the rocks, here's the issues, the very important but purely business focused things in there. Then on an ongoing basis, as well as that, always make sure you're having one-to-ones right. It doesn't matter if it's weekly, fortnightly or monthly, but one-to-ones are super, super important. Both for getting to know your team member better, for understanding how they're doing in the role, but also for understanding what is it that they want, what direction do they want to be going in, and how can you be helping and supporting their development. Personally, I'm a big fan of scorecards. I don't like the name, but I like having some KPIs and some metrics that we can use to kind of objectively see how they're performing. And one of the things we've added to our scorecards is we have a series of about five or six questions that the team member answers in writing before the one-to-one and then the manager will review those answers. And again, it just prompts as a kind of or acts as a prompt for discussion points. So it might be how did you feel last month went? What were you pleased about? What areas do you need support on from your manager over the next month, for instance? And again, one-to-ones can be great, but they can also be terrible as well if just left a chance and sometimes it doesn't flow. So by having these kinds of few questions in a scorecard, which for us is a relatively very simple Google sheet, then that again just helps you to be having a better conversation with people both on that personal side and on the professional as well.
Rob Da Costa [00:09:38]:
Yeah, and I guess it helps you understand. Are they on the same page as you in terms of their performance, if they're scoring themselves really high against something and you thinking, well actually they're not doing so well, what tech? Now you mentioned Geekbot and I'll put a link in the show notes to that. But what tech is there available besides the obvious things like Slack and Google Drive and all that stuff? What tech do you recommend or do you know of that's available to help people manage, communicate and work with remote workers?
Noel Andrews [00:10:09]:
So, I mean there's all the obvious ones, kind of communication tools, Slack, Microsoft Teams, et cetera, the project management ones, et cetera. Then there's a few that we're trialling right now that are like kind of the next level above. So for instance, we use Zoom for most of our team meetings right now, but you can never quite see everyone at the same time when someone shares the screen, you lose the videos, things like that. And so we're trialing Around Co, which is now owned by the people behind Myro, and that is a really nice experience. Myro is also a great tool for collaborative meetings and so I've seen that used to really good effect. We're just about to trial that ourselves and it's like sharing a screen but it's like you're all the best example I can give. It's like you're in kind of a 2D theme park and you can move people around during the meeting to different places and that just acts an extra little bit of fun and kind of gets engagement during the meeting. People can put like sticky notes on the screen, things like that. So that combination of Around Co and Around Co is a Zoom replacement and I think it's free right now actually. And that has some games built in as well, which can be fun and just how can we kind of have a little bit of fun with it? Yeah, like I mentioned, Myro is great and then we do other things that we use. So we do birthday cards and work anniversary cards for team members and so we use a very simple tool called Send wishonline.com for that one. And they're just collaborative birthday cards. So my assistant will create the card in the first place. She has tasks in Asana, which that's one of our project management tools to kind of prompt when it's two weeks before someone's birthday, she creates the card and then the link gets shared to everyone in the team except the person whose birthday it is. And then we go in. You can choose a GIF, you can add an image, put a nice message and we really like this and all of us, when we receive them really it's just really deeply personal, really easy to do. Like I said, we do it for birthdays, we do it for work anniversaries, we do it when people start us and we do it when people leave with us. And that's a really great simple tool. So sending wishes online is good. And I think my final one, and this is a really obvious tool, but an unusual use of it. So loom.com, right? So super easy for just doing videos, whether you use them for your clients, what have you? One of the things that we've found with our team and with lots of businesses I've spoken to is that the team don't really know what the CEO or the owner or the founder does, right? They see us at the team meetings, right, and it's all friendly and lovely, but they don't really know what we do day to day. And so one of the things that I started doing was doing little Loom check-ins. I might be walking to a WeWork office, I might be, who knows, walking back from the gym even. And I'll just shoot them a couple of minute videos saying, hey, this is what I'm up to this week. This is what's going on? I'll try and celebrate some wins and kind of do some praise for things that have been going well, share some successes. Or the flip side, if things aren't going so well for any reason, share that too. And just giving them a little bit of an insight and slightly more kind of insight into me and what I'm doing. And the business owners that I've recommended this to that have done it, have seen similar kind of great feedback on it because otherwise people just don't really know what we do.
Rob Da Costa [00:13:19]:
Yeah, such a great insight and something that we completely take for granted. I love Loom and I use it in two key ways or three key ways. I use it to give feedback to my clients because I feel like a from my perspective, it's much quicker for me to give feedback on a video with the screen that I'm reviewing in front of me than it is to write an email. But two, I think it just adds that human element to it. And I know my clients really like that. And I also use it, interestingly enough, for my standard operating procedures. So if I have a remote VA team in the Philippines and I realized after making many mistakes using virtual assistants that I needed to document the key things that I needed them to do to make sure that whoever did it was doing it consistently. And I use Loom to show people how to do that because it's so much easier than especially for someone who English isn't necessarily their first language than it is reading something. So there's another really great implementation of Loom, which is to use it to update your team. I think that's such a great idea. So there are some links that I'll put into the show notes of those tech tools that you mentioned, and I'm going to go and look at around Co afterwards to see if it's a good replacement for Zoom. So just thinking, are there any roles that you feel are not good for remote worker roles? Now, let me just give you a bit of context for that. So in the marketing agency world, I think people are very used to outsourcing technical roles like web developers or SEO specialists and so on. But what they're more reluctant to outsource or hire remote workers for would be more client-facing roles like account management or project management roles. And they might be fearful that English might not be their first language, and therefore their written or spoken English might not be good enough, or the time zones might be difficult. So what would you say to somebody who was talking to you and said I get the idea of remote working or remote hiring, but I'm very reluctant to put these client-facing roles as remote workers? Yeah, I still can't find them locally.
Noel Andrews [00:15:31]:
Yeah, and we do this a lot, and that's exactly the conversation I have, an awful lot. There's a couple of things with it. So first of all when hiring offshore, particularly whether it's Eastern Europe, whether it's the Philippines, South Africa, wherever, it might be less so South Africa, obviously. But oftentimes if you're hiring people that English isn't their first language, they might have a little bit of an accent, right? But generally, certainly, for Eastern Europe, the quality of English is extremely, extremely high. So we can find people that are really, really good. There is often a concern, especially with some of our US. Clients, that they're like, oh, well, what will our clients feel if they hear like, a really kind of strong accent or an accent of any kind? Will they feel like we've outsourced and got just cheaper labour and the quality is not going to be as high? And the best tip that I've ever had around this that works amazingly well, is it's all about how you introduce your account manager. So if you think about when you go to see a comedian, if you go to a comedy club or to a big comedian on stage, or even any kind of act, they will generally get introduced on stage. And so it might be something along the lines of, hey, I've got an amazing podcast host coming up for you right now. This guy is absolutely brilliant. He's got an amazing audience, and he asks some really insightful questions. I just want to introduce give a big hand, give a big hand to Rob. And that's kind of a stage kind of example. But with that, even if someone doesn't know you at that point, then they're kind of, oh, okay, well, there's a bit of kind of almost credibility been lent to it, and so I do the same thing. So my hiring advisor, Vanya, so he handles all of our consultation calls. So by any other kind of label, you might call Vanya a salesperson. However, actually, when I hired Vanya, I went out to find a non salesy salesperson. Because everything that we do is about having a consultation call, because we want to understand, well, what do you really need? Are we the right fit? And I had that same concern, right? So I'm the founder of the business and I have business owners business owner conversations. I'm like, right, how am I going to delegate this? And I talk to lots of agency owners and business owners about this exact thing. How can I get myself out of all of the things I'm doing? And so, when someone books a hiring clarity call with us, that's our consultation call, the first thing they see is a video from me. And it's like saying, hey, thanks so much for booking a call. Want to introduce you to Vanya, he's my senior hiring advisor. He's got a ton of experience helping and advising business owners on the right roles and the right approach to remote hiring. So you're in really, really great hands and I'm here to support you in the background as well, really looking forward to seeing if we can help you. And that kind of removes a huge, huge amount kind of concern in that regard, because we've said, look, this isn't just any old random person that I've hired for $5 an hour. This is someone that is really, really good. So a lot of it is how you choose to handle it and believe in it. That being said, you have got to hire the skills and the quality that you need. So if you are having an account manager, they've got to be skilled in account management. They've got to have good enough English, doesn't mean they won't have an accent. I mean, half of the UK, we all have different accents. That in itself isn't a problem, but it can be a fear. And so finding people that come across really, really well, that really care about your clients, particularly for account management, that's super, super important. So, in answer to your question, do I think there are any roles that aren't suited to remote or specifically being kind of offshore further away? The only ones I'd say is if they need to be face to face in real life with the clients on a regular basis, right, and all of your clients are, let's say, in a particular geography, that's going to be harder. Obviously, these days there are not many roles like that. So much business is now done kind of remotely, et cetera. For most agencies, almost all roles can be remote, but the choice is about how you want to run your business. So there are lots of agency owners that want to have the team in the office altogether collaborating, and that can be great, but it's hard because then you are limited to the talent pool that you can find within a commuting distance from your office. So the agency owners that are really kind of getting the big benefit from hiring remotely, both the quality and the affordability of it are the ones that kind of have been a bit more flexible about that.
Rob Da Costa [00:19:45]:
Yeah, good point. It's another sort of one of my favourite expressions of slowing down to speed up. Like, make sure that you are considering this role carefully. You're getting the positioning of this person with your clients in the right way. So you're kind of saying I've got complete confidence in this person, so you should have as well. Mr and Mrs Client, let's move on to talk about sort of underperformance. I've got this remote team, and I've got someone that's underperforming, I guess two questions for this really. What are the things I should be checking on a weekly, daily basis to make sure my team members performing and then when I find they're not performing, what should I do? And I think one of the reasons for asking this question is because a lot of agency owners are kind of control freaks and micromanagers and so they've obviously got to change that mindset if they're going to hire people who are in different time zones and all the rest of it.
Noel Andrews [00:20:44]:
Yeah, it's a super interesting one and we often feel, and business owners really, really often have this fear that well, if I can't see them, how do I know they're working? And yet if you were to actually look at the screens of your average person in an office, right, they're not working for 8 hours a day. There's a good amount of Facebook, there's a good amount of Instagram, the news, whatever it might be, but there is this feeling that if I can see them, they must be working and if I can't see them, then what if they're not? So I think there are tools you can use. You can use time tracking tools, you can even use time tracking tools that take screenshots from time to time. Now personally I'm not a fan of those because I think it just shows mistrust from the start. You'd be very unlikely to do that in the office, right?
Rob Da Costa [00:21:31]:
Yeah, sorry, I just wanted to interrupt you on that because I was with a client yesterday and he's working with someone remotely via Upwork and this person's not performing and it was really interesting to look into. I don't use Upwork much, but it did exactly that. It showed you how many clicks, it showed you the time he was logging and then how many clicks he was making in that time. But that doesn't really tell you anything, does it? So it's kind of looking at the wrong metric. In a way it does.
Noel Andrews [00:21:57]:
And it sets things off to the wrong, like kind of the wrong level straight away for me. So you can use tools like that. Ultimately it's about setting clear expectations about what you expect and then checking in with them and having a conversation with them just as you would with anyone in the office is no different. So are they communicating in a way that you'd expect? Are you seeing the work deliverable that you'd expect? If it's based on output, are you seeing the outputs? And I'm a big fan of just let's check in, let's hey, how's it going? How's it going? Let's see how you're progressing with something. Depending on what they're doing, scorecards are super helpful for this as well. Having clear KPIs in place, is what we expect and just having those good conversations. In our experience, the vast, vast majority of kind of remote workers and workers in general, team members want to do a good job. And one of the things we do find is that often as business owners, we're not always great at setting clear expectations or taking the time to explain what it is that we really want. We think, well, because we know how to do it, they should know how to do it. So checking in and giving people permission to ask questions so setting that up front and being like, hey, look, when I explain how to do something, if it's not clear, please ask me and what questions. And at the end if you do find an instance where something's not done well kind of going hey, how could I have explained that better? So that this was clearer. So that can be really helpful if you do get into this situation. And we should all be giving way more feedback than we generally do, both positive praise and constructive. One model that I use a lot is called the aid model. So it's aid and it stands for action, Impact, Do. Now generally when we give them feedback, we will tell them what they did. So I don't know, let's say you've got someone that didn't submit a document that went to a client that had spelling errors in it and what you typically say is like hey, look, that kind of document went to the client, it had typos in it. The client kind of mentioned it to me. It just didn't make us look very professional. Like just didn't look very good. What I want you to do is make sure you spell-check your documents before anything goes out. And when you give feedback like that, most people will be kind of like, yeah, of course I will, yeah. They don't really take it on board. And what the aid model does is it adds the impact into the middle of it. So if instead of what you say is, hey, that document went out to the client and it had typos in it and they contacted me. And the impact of that is that the client feels that we don't care about them and the quality of our work. Another impact of that is that I don't feel that I'm concerned that you don't care about the quality of the work that you're doing. And then that makes me hesitant to give you important work for important clients. What I'd really like you to do is take every possible step to avoid that happening again. So spell checks, getting a colleague to check it, I'd just like you to own making sure it doesn't happen again. And so the impact, especially when you're saying hey, look, I'm not sure I can give you more work or the client was disappointed, things of that change the tone of that feedback conversation completely and generally in my experience, helps to really encourage ownership of them changing and doing the thing that you want them to do instead.
Rob Da Costa [00:25:04]:
Yeah, that's great. I haven't heard of that Aid acronym before, but it is really good. I think sharing the impact of a mistake is super important because otherwise, people don't learn from it. And I just want to say the other thing to consider when you're giving feedback is where the other person is. Because if the other person is in denial, it's like talking to a brick wall whereas if the other person is kind of going yes, I've screwed up, I know I should have checked that, I was in a rush. They're much more likely to take that feedback on board. And I think the other thing that I wanted to add to what you said or reinforce what you said is that actually what we need to focus on with our staff is outcomes and outputs and outcomes and not the hours that they're working. And yes, of course, they need to be available if they've got to take client calls. But we can get too hung up on you started at 09:05 instead of 09:00 as opposed to actually the outputs of you're hitting your scorecard numbers, you're hitting your KPIs, you're hitting the project plans for the client and that's what really matters and you're doing it to a good level, definitely.
Noel Andrews [00:26:07]:
And it's all about expectations. So if you have a role where all you want is the outputs, right, and you don't mind and you're paying per output or it doesn't almost matter how much you're paying, but if the thing you want is the outputs and you don't care how long they spend on it, great. Really focus on that. There are some roles where you want their hours, but I agree completely, it doesn't matter if they start at 09:05 or 09:00 if they didn't have a call. But there is a tendency in some areas for freelancers particularly, to kind of basically try and run multiple jobs, right? And to be like, well, I did the job in 4 hours, but I should still be paid for 8 hours. If I'm efficient, then I should get the benefit of that. And I don't agree with that personally because there's a number of if someone's a team member and they finish their work, great, what else can they be doing? How can they be developing themselves? How can they help us push forwards? So it's a really interesting balance and that for me is the big difference between, let's say, a freelancer that you've tasked them or paid them to do a project or a task and a team member who is there to help you and push your business forwards. And there is room for both and I have both. We use freelancers from time to time. I've got some amazing freelancers, but my core team are team members that when they finish the things they're working on, they're working on improvements or development plans or training, things like that.
Rob Da Costa [00:27:20]:
Yeah, I mean there's a whole bunch of other topics there that we won't have time to go into. You sort of emphasized why paying or charging at an hourly rate is a bad idea. I'm not a fan of that at all, so I don't think that's how we price or how we should pay people. And also there's a whole other conversation in there about building a business on freelancers and can you do it? And I've always felt you can't. But I'm willing to have that view change because I've spoken to people who believe you can. And I think the success of having freelancers is that they are team players and they understand the vision of your business and you're not one of 20 clients that they're working on and they are just very task-oriented and not ever going to use any initiative beyond that. So I don't know if you agree with that.
Noel Andrews [00:28:10]:
Yeah, I think it's not black and white. I think that's the key thing. So, you know, I've got friends that have got businesses run on top of freelancers, but from time to time they have a really sleepless night when a freelancer that's worked with them for months or years suddenly ghosts them because there isn't generally that level of commitment. Finding freelancers and then working with them and then sometimes they do become team members then absolutely. And again, a lot of it's down to expectations and treating people in a very, very human way and setting expectations, saying, hey look, I want to work with you, I don't want you to be a conventional freelancer. Or some of the conventions that we expect where they ghost us or they disappear, let's have commitments. But always bear in mind that if someone is freelancing, they're generally freelancing because they want to have multiple clients. They want freedom, they want flexibility. And so trying to align, as you said earlier, do we all want the same things? And again, for me, it's like I want to be able to sleep peacefully at night.
Rob Da Costa [00:29:05]:
Yeah, and that's kind of why I always felt you can't build a business for freelancers. But there are things you can do like getting to sign contracts so that you've got the commitment for a long term and not just on a little piecemeal project. I'm conscious of time. Noel so let me wrap this up now by asking you the question I ask all of my guests, which is if you could go back in time and give your younger self a piece of advice, just starting out in business, what would that be?
Noel Andrews [00:29:30]:
Focused time. Take focused time and become an expert at blocking distractions and just having focused time, like even just an hour or a few hours a day, it is at the point I'm at now, and it’s my biggest challenge. And yet when I do get focused time and take focused time, it doesn't need to be huge. And that's the things that really move the business forward. So blinkers on, Do Not Disturb on close all the apps, et cetera, go in a dark room, whatever it takes. Focus time is the number one thing that I think makes a big, big difference, and it's something that so many of us struggle with every day.
Rob Da Costa [00:30:09]:
Totally gets worse as time goes on. With all these apps competing for our attention, do you think your younger self would listen to that piece of advice?
Noel Andrews [00:30:20]:
I'd probably have to gamify it and give an incentive, I think something like that. I think it's well, even my current self thinks that I'm impervious to it and can just push on. But I do recognize that you come out of I actually have a Power hour every morning first thing, so I get up and actually I do an hour pretty much straight away before I do anything else. I've recently implemented that and it just gets a little win at the start of the day and gets us on a winning streak and just it's uninterrupted and I really, really like it. So I'm not sure I would have had the humility to kind of listen to that, but I might have given it a try. And there's definitely just a sensation of getting stuff done.
Rob Da Costa [00:30:56]:
And if people want to find out more about you and Job rack, where would they go?
Noel Andrews [00:31:02]:
Yeah, the best thing to do is head to Jobrack EU hiring and all the contact details are there. Always happy to help people out. Or if anyone wants to, just email me Direct at Noel. That's no E L at Jobrack EU, whether questions about kind of team, culture, hiring, Eastern Europe, or anything. So always happy to help out.
Rob Da Costa [00:31:19]:
Great. Okay. I will include both of those links in the show notes together with the apps and the software that you mentioned and just want to say a big thank you for joining us today and sharing your insights on having a successful remote team.
Noel Andrews [00:31:33]:
No worries, Rob, great chat, love. Really enjoyed it.