virtual employeesThe internet has revolutionized the concept of work. Millions of people are working from home instead of commuting to work.

Need a graphic designer or a developer? There’s no need for you to provide an office anymore. Actually, there’s even no need for them to be in your country.

But as with every technological advancement, certain fears come up. Employers should watch out for some warning signs when they’re thinking about hiring virtual employees.

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What happens if your employees are not in a traditional office?

What is your biggest fear about hiring virtual employees? A lot of employers fear that they might end up with inefficient employees. Others don’t know how to even find virtual employees.

You can’t really know whether a certain worker is more efficient working at home or in an office. So you’re basically taking a risk. But you’re also getting an opportunity to save money by cutting various costs.

The key to seeing whether virtual employees have self-discipline, organization and good working habits is diligent testing.

Hard-core testing helps you see how determined and capable they really are. It’s a lot better to conduct that testing by a video conference call. No one will take you seriously if you communicate only by email.

What to look for in virtual employees

Your best bet is to hire employees who already have a history of virtual employment. It’s too risky to hire someone who’s a newbie in the virtual employment world. Some people just aren’t fit for working outside the traditional office.

Previous virtual working experience or references aren’t a guarantee that your contractor will be a good employee. They are, however, the closest thing to a guarantee.

You could even go further than that and consider calling those references. You can ask them to tell you about your potential employee’s productivity. It’s the best way to know whether to hire or not.

Start small with regards to responsibility

You don’t want to give your virtual employees too much responsibility in the beginning. Start small so that you see how they cope with small tasks. Any task that you give to your employee must have a deadline.

If they prove to be good workers, you can give them more work. You should clearly outline and specify the tasks that they need to accomplish. If you don’t give them clear instructions, you cannot expect them to do the job right.

Where to hire virtual employees

This is toughest part really – is it better to hire virtual employees from your region or be open to the international market?

Hiring someone from your own region would be ideal, especially if they were located near you. But often, this is not possible. Chances are that you’ll hire someone who doesn’t live anywhere near you.

I am talking about the importance of location since it’s best if you can actually meet your potential employee. A live interview is always better than a video conference.

Social media

There are various groups on Facebook and LinkedIn filled with contractors looking for jobs. Join groups that fit your niche and let people know that you’re looking for a virtual employee. But before you do that, offer some value first.

Let’s say that you join a graphic design group on Linkedin. It’s good to offer value before you start asking for something in return. You could, for example, provide some interesting info on your topic or answer certain questions about graphic design.

Freelance websites

Freelance websites are a good option if you’re looking to save money. This does not, however, mean that you cannot find excellent employees there. You can, but they will charge you for their expertise.

It will take a lot of time to find good virtual employees on freelance websites because of the nature of those websites. You have millions of contractors from all over the world applying for jobs. And a lot of low-skilled contractors pretend that they’re highly qualified.

To know who’s good and who isn’t, you’re going to need a rigorous testing system. The most important thing is to filter out all that cheap labor from the third world when you have high level work. Demand a lot and you will usually get a lot. The cheap labor does have its place however, and can be good for lower level tasks.

Why Hubstaff’s matching program can help you end the frustration

Social media and freelance websites have one thing in common. You never really know anything about your employee until you test them. In other words, contractors on freelance websites and social media outlets aren’t pre-screened.

Why waste so much time and effort on freelance websites and social media outlets when we provide contractors that have already been pre-screened? Yes, you heard that right. Our matching program only offers pre-screened and verified contractors.

You don’t even have to worry about price negotiations. We have already done that for you, which means that you’re getting the best possible deal.

We already did the hard work for you by filtering out low-skilled contractors. Most of our current freelancers are referrals. We’re often the first ones to test our new freelancers by having them work on our projects.

Just tell us what your project is about and we’ll start looking for a match…

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