Want to Hire dedicated virtual IT employees: 10 things to know before hiring them
Hiring virtual employee in 2019 is not how you used to hire in the 2000s. It is a completely different thing. Employee assessment has become more transparent and finding the right employees and tracking them is even easier than before. You can easily track the progress of your dedicated virtual IT employees even if they are working remotely especially with all the tools we have at WoodBows.
In an article on Inc, FlexJobs CEO, Sara Sutton, has even recommended companies to pay heed to how they work with employees in the 21st century. Employees work for money and companies work to get productivity. Since we have now enough tools available to monitor their progress even if they are working offline, we can easily get work done.
Here is an excerpt from her article on how to hire virtual employees:
“Remote work options can benefit the bottom line, recruiting efforts, company culture, productivity rates, ability to be agile, and much more.”
She encourages companies to embrace the remote culture if they haven’t started embracing it yet. Her articles usually involve the strategies that company should have to add remote workers to their teams. This way they can easily make policies that work best for both.
However, if you are not sure that you are ready to get your work done remotely, then this guide will be a great help to you. We have listed all the necessary checks you want to get done before you hire virtual workers for your company.
1. Hire Dedicated Virtual IT Employee: Skill Assessment Program
Working with remote staff can be challenging in the beginning. If you are hiring staff for the first time, it is better to prepare a skill assessment program on how to hire virtual employees.
You can get help from Fiverr, Freelancer, and other freelancing services that offer skill assessment tests. If your company works on complex projects, you can develop your assessment routine.
Let’s say your dedicated virtual IT employees will have to manage emails, social media, and blog posting on the website. Not every worker will be trained in all of these tasks and you won’t find one that fits your job description. So, why not prepare three test assessments for dedicated virtual it employees in the form of MCQs?
You can also get a small test of 400 words article that the workers will have to pass before you can recruit them.
Workable, a remote workers platform, that specializes in dedicated virtual it employees says:
“After you’ve attracted and evaluated a pool of candidates successfully, you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant.”
They use different tools like HelloSign or DocuSign to manage employment documents and to train the new remote workers about the norms of the company.
2. Test, Test, and Test
In my personal opinion, you need to draft multiple tests just to find the best candidate for the job. If your organization is in the industry for quite some time, you will have a fairly decent idea about the employee churn rate.
You remote workers have a similar churn rate. So, draft the tests accordingly and set a budget from the very start that you will be willing to provide to the workers.
If you need help in creating the assigned tests, get help from recruiters in your industry. Many recruiters will be willing to help you create the best assignment for a small fee. You can also work with your previous employees and get information about the relevant tasks that will be added to the tests.
You can even get companies like Hundred5 to prepare interview questions for dedicated virtual IT employees. Here is what they say on their blog:
“The best way to assess the capabilities of a remote employee is to test the communication skills by setting up a small written test having specific questions, or a technical test that relates to their job.”
Woodbows.com, has drafted a sophisticated test system for hiring remote employees. If you don’t have a middleman, you can hire Woodbows virtual employee services to get you a remote worker for the team for affordable price. This is one of the best methods I have come across so far because it is low-cost, effective, and efficient.
3. Know where to look
Don’t worry it isn’t as difficult as finding a needle in the haystack. Before I started WoodBows when I started a hunting spree for my cloud hosting business, I was concerned about how will I find the best writers for cloud-computing articles.
I had already interviewed 40 candidates before I found the best article writer for my business, which made me found WoodBows, so you can just hire virtual employees from us who would be working from our well-supervised environment.
This was challenging. But since the industry is changing, more and more people now know about cloud hosting on their fingertips. Obviously, they won’t know about the platform or how the process works.
That’s why I have created a small booklet that gives them an intro about how the processes work. If they are a good writer, they will grasp the processes. You can do something similar for your SaaS or PaaS business.
4. Pay like a freelancer
This might be the best part of hiring remote workers. These workers are not your regular employees. They are just contractual employees that you can part ways with easily. However, you can give them the status of permanent employees if that’s fine with you.
Most companies prefer to keep them as temporary employees because of many reasons including taxes, employee benefits programs, and more. Since freelancers don’t have the same perks they charge more amounts to compensate for their efforts. Both ways work.
You will also have to create a payment plan. For example, in the start, the remote workers would want to be paid through the escrow system. This can be a middleman, a reference that knows either parties or a freelancing platform.
However, later, when trusts develop, employees can work on a set schedule. For example, I pay my employees for the work done every month. We have a fixed deadline for payment. It gets done between the 1st and 5th of each month unless communicated otherwise.
5. Work on Per Project Bases
Another great idea, where most SaaS-based companies are now transitioning to, is to work on a per-project basis. This way, you will set a contract period with the employee for the duration of the project and hire him for the lump sum amount.
The amount will be paid in milestones.
For example, your project requires 500 articles. And, your total budget for the articles is $5000. You will pay the remote worker in milestones, i.e. after every 50 articles, you will pay $500. Or, you can pay after every 25 articles – whatever suits both parties.
This ensures transparency, faster work, and a flawless flow of communication between both parties.
6. Get references
While many new platforms now exist where you can find trusted and skilled remote workers, it is always better to go old school and find remote workers through references. I have personally benefited from references because this way I don’t have to pay the remote workers in advance and the terms are set through that middleman.
References also help build initial trust through two-way verification, one from you, and one from the middleman.
One company, WeWorkRemotely, who has had help from references for hiring remote workers said,
“You need people who will work without someone looking over their shoulder or harassing them to get things done.” The company puts emphasis on work culture with remote employees. It asks others to prepare policies that keeps the remote workers safe and allow them to work comfortably.
7. Set Defined Communication Methods
It is always better to prepare a checklist for new remote workers so that they know what are the dos and don’ts of the company. This will include the defined communication methods, rules for working with the company, payment procedure, and payment plans.
The communication methods are the most essential point in the checklist because these remote workers won’t be working with you in your office. In case of an emergency, how will you reach out to them? Let’s say you need a file urgently and it is with the remote worker. How will you find that file?
Or, if you want the worker to switch to another project urgently, how will you communicate that to the worker? You must set different methods for communication. All of these messages should be recorded so that they can limit future brawls between the two parties.
I use Skype or Whatsapp to interact with the remote worker regularly. Both of these programs record messages. However, I use Google Docs for documents and all these documents are saved on my drive.
Apart from that when I have to schedule a team meeting, I use Slack. For document editing, comments on the document will suffice. If I need further announcements regarding that document, I again use Slack as it allows thread creation.
There are many other communication platforms that one can use depending on their nature of work.
PS: If employees have to switch off their mobile, or if they will be without the internet, they have to tell the employers to avoid delays in work.
8. Set Defined Deadlines
Deadlines are the most effective ways to keep a check on your employee’s work. Since you will not be watching your employees, it is better to create strict deadlines.
These deadlines should be at least 1 day before the actual delivery deadline. Many employees will not work on the deadline and you are welcome to be ruthless in firing them if they do it consistently. This will keep you from incurring losses in the future and allow you to keep strict checks on your employees.
Defined deadlines also help you to keep your projects working effectively and therefore help you meet your yearly targets.
9. Set a Contract Period
Since remote workers are uncertain about how long they will get the projects, you should set a contract for them so that they can work according to it.
For example, if you are hiring a developer to develop your business platform, ask him to deliver it within three months. Also, the contract will expire after three months and if the project is not completed within time, you will not renew his contract.
Since you will be paying him the amount in milestones, if he is not able to complete the project, you can easily handover it to another developer on the same terms and for a shorter project period.
10. Set Violation Penalties
This is a blurred area and an unethical one. But since there are penalties in most organizations, I will be discussing it here. Let’s say, what if the employee doesn’t complete the work on a deadline?
What will be their penalty? Some organizations set it as a deduction in the payment of the completed work. Let’s say he will get $500 for the work if it was completed within time. As it wasn’t, the company can deduct 10% of the amount. If the deadline exceeds one day, it can deduct 20% and so on.
11. Define Promotion Steps
While remote workers working on a contract period are not entitled to promotions, some companies will make them permanent based on their positions and their working nature.
But defining the promotion steps of remote workers is complex. If you have a team, you can create a hierarchy that these workers will follow. Your oldest worker will be the most senior member on the team and therefore the lead. You can ask the remote workers to report to the team lead.
There are benefits and flaws in this process. You may get more free time to work on other projects, but at the same time, you won’t know the grievances of remote workers or if they are working on time.
Woodbows says using the right type of communication tools that keep a record of each thread provides more transparency between remote workers and the employer and keeps conflict to the minimum. Also, it encourages employers to directly interact with their remote workers every week to know how the work progresses.
Just like regular employees, remote workers also want encouragement that they are making a difference through their work.
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