Finding the right candidate for any open position in a team or organization is a challenging task and hiring a virtual employee becomes an even more complex and tedious process. In the absence of a physical meeting or the probability of having only one or two meetings, it is hard to make a decision and recruit employees who will be working for you remotely from different corners of the world/country. There are a number of aspects that need to be kept in mind while choosing a virtual employee and despite engaging the best practices and methods, one can only be absolutely certain of a candidate’s performance and deliverance once they are on-board. However, here’s a list of few things that need to considered while hiring a virtual employee or team.
- Evaluate your organization’s remote work set up – We have several tools and software available today that helps remote teams communicate, share files, host meetings and keep all administrative functions in check. This along with a swift on-boarding/hiring process can boost effective and successful hiring of remote employees and handing over of work in a seamless way. As a recruiter, you should make sure that you have a set of remote work policies, an evaluation system and a reporting system in place. The benefits of having a virtual employee can only be optimized once certain provisions and a work system is set up for the new joinee where they can show their productivity and efficiency.
- Attracting the right candidates for remote work – Targeting websites and platforms meant specifically for remote and hybrid work models can help in narrowing down the search. Candidates with prior work experience of working virtually will require no training and will come with references that can aide in the final decision-making process. It also saves time and helps the employer meet the right set of prospects to make a dynamic and successful virtual team.
- Assessing candidates’ remote skills and experience – One has to bear in mind while considering applications that a remote working position will require certain specific skills and experience that is deemed fit for the role. The work skills must include time management, an ability to work independently, organizational skills, clarity of communication, openness to technology, an urge to be proactive and above all sincerity and dedication to finish the day’s work without physical supervision. Prior experience of working as a virtual employee is a plus but it should not be a deciding parameter.
- Using a targeted interview approach while hiring – While interviewing, a list of specific questions relating to a remote work environment can be extremely helpful in discerning the candidate’s interest and ability to work as a virtual employee. For example: You can include a set of questions probing into why they want to work virtually, what are the benefits of a virtual employee according to them, how they feel about your remote work policies, etc.
- Use of several interview formats – Email interactions, telephonic interviews, video interviews – they all help in gathering information about the different skill sets of a person. Through these modes of communication, a recruiter will learn how timely and clearly they write back to emails. They will know of the candidate’s speaking skills and confidence based on how they conduct themselves during the telephonic and video interviews.
- Test a remote candidate – It has been a common practice for recruiters to give tests/sample presentations, write-ups or projects to candidates as a way of testing their abilities in a certain field. This becomes even more helpful while hiring a virtual employee. Their performance can be an indicator of how well they perform when given similar tasks on the job.
- Watch for red flags – Red flags can vary from situation to situation. Some generic traits that should tell an employer about a candidate’s inability to take on a role are – poor time management, inability to work on different communication apps/file sharing apps and lack of motivation. Employers can also look out for the candidates who are opting for remote work only because of the comfort it provides.
- Introspect before hiring- Well, this might seem irrelevant but after going through all the necessary interview stages and communication, a moment with yourself and listening to that intuitive voice will help your decision. If a prospect feels like a good fit for your team and matches most of the interview and test criteria, he/she is probably the one.
There are many similar things to consider while hiring a virtual employee. However, the best way to build a successful virtual employee-employer relationship is through trust. It builds a strong sense of accountability for both parties and fosters sincerity that is required in a virtual employee to produce the desired results. When you hire an employee from India, you can get a dedicated resource who is available round the clock and has the skills and experience to fulfil the responsibilities given to him/her. Hire a dedicated virtual employee from a vast pool of resources at a reasonable cost through a seamless and quick hiring process. It is not only cost effective to hire from India but it also gives you an edge over your competitors because you can hire some of the most versatile and well qualified virtual employees.