You think you want to hire a Virtual Employee…
There are several options to hiring. We certainly have our opinion on how you should hire, but let’s go through the thought process and choices – then you can decide. Get your 3 magic questions to ask your virtual employee here.
Do you want to source the candidates yourself or hire someone to find candidates for you?
There are pros and cons to each, but assuming you are not an HR specialist – we recommend that you have someone pre-screen and evaluate the candidates for you. Here is why. For you to find the best talent, you have to know where to look for that talent. Unless you hire a lot of people, I can predict that you probably don’t know the best places to look/advertise for candidates, know how to write a compelling ad to attract the right type of candidates, nor know how to read between the lines of their resumes.
In addition, how long will it take you to review all the responses? From our previous experience when trying to hire directly – we would received 100+ resumes, quickly able to get rid of 80% based on poor grammar & formatting, but then we had to spend our time weeding out the remaining 20 resumes. Contacting those 20 would take another 1-2 hours, then setting up interviews with maybe 10 of them all to find the 1. This process took a ton of time – not to mention, the unsolicited calls/email that came from recruiters, insurance & other “ambulance chasers” who monitor posts as a way of increasing their business but have nothing to do with hiring for my employee. All & all we determined we spent about 10-15 hours of non-productive time just getting to the 3 finalists that our staffing agency presents to us.
The only real advantage you save by doing it yourself is you save some money. I don’t know about you, but it is well worth the money to have someone do all of that work for us.
Do you want to hire from the US or are you open to a global workforce?
For years we hired only US citizens. We now have a global workforce. There are 2 main reasons for the change. The first is that technology has developed enough that it is feasible to hire globally. The second is that the cost savings is tremendous.
One of myths that people have about having a global workforce that we want to dispel is people outside of the US have an accent that is difficult to understand. While that can be true – we are here to tell you that it is not always the case. You can hire a great virtual employee with excellent English speaking and writing skills. We have virtual employees who you would never know are not located here in the US.
Our virtual employees have high level degrees of education as well. They invest in their learning and personal development as a way to differentiate themselves in their market. It is amazing the level of professionalism that you can find globally for a fraction of the cost of an equivalent US based employee.
What are your technology requirements?
Regardless of how & where you select your virtual employee, they will be providing their own equipment. What minimum requirements do you want them to have? What kind of back-up, how will they communicate with you and others? Depending on the position you are hiring for- this may vary from employee to employee. What you don’t want to do is make assumptions. You want to have a clear expectation of what you need to ensure that your virtual employee has what he or she needs to do the job well.
How are you going to pay them?
If you take our advice and use a global staffing agency, this part is easy. You pay them as they require. If however you are going to go at it alone – then you have to work that out with your employee. Another challenge to consider when hiring direct is – could they be construed as an employee? The IRS has very specific rules and regulations about this, which we are not going to get into, but it is something to think about carefully.
When you are paying a staffing agency for management – it is never construed as if they are an employee, because we don’t pay them directly the staffing agency does. This is a bonus in and of itself – no payroll taxes, no insurance requirements, no IRS reporting. Simplifies the process tremendously.
How are you going to handle issues that will inevitably come up?
Now that you have selected and trained your virtual employee and made the investment. How are you going to resolve any future concerns or issues that come up? Untimely time off, tasks not up to par, communication breakdowns, etc. You need to have a protocol or you need to work with you staffing agency to resolve the issue. This is yet another good reason to have a staffing agency for your virtual employee. They can assist in the overall management of the virtual employee and make sure that everything is running smoothly.
In short, we suggest you evaluate a global staffing agency to assist you with the whole process. It is easier, costs a fraction of the price of a US based agency and the results are fabulous.