We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t EVERYONE a virtual employee these days? Well, yes, in a lot of cases. But specifically choosing someone that you may never meet in person (outsourcing overseas or hiring across the country, for example) requires being very specific on the qualities you need to ensure your project or long-term work is done well.
Check out these eight attributes when considering a 100% virtual employee, as shared by the pros at 032 Outsourcing.
Self-motivation is perhaps the most crucial attribute virtual workers should have. When staff are working from home with potential distractions like kids and pets, it may be easy for them to become sidetracked and lose motivation. Because you won’t have the same level of oversight on a virtual employee’s performance as you would with someone who works down the hall, it’s critical that these employees have autonomy.
This is why finding someone with a strong sense of self-motivation is critical while looking for the best virtual candidate. Don’t be scared to inquire about this part of the candidate’s personality when reviewing references. While the interview might give you a sense of the candidate’s personality, prior employers can also provide useful information.
- Ability to Work Well Under Pressure
You don’t want clients to see what’s going on behind the scenes, especially if things are a little unstable on your end. This is also something your virtual employee should be aware of. They should make each client feel as if they are the most important person in the world, regardless of how busy the workload is.
There may be times when you have a tight deadline or a heavier workload than usual, and your virtual employee should be able to not just handle the strain but also avoid passing on any tension or negativity to your client.
Working remotely with a technology-illiterate virtual employee would be difficult. This is where your recruitment tools for finding fantastic virtual prospects may help you establish tech-savvy credentials.
Look for smart virtual candidates who are promoting their candidacy or sharing thought leadership through social media. Connect with applicants via social media and video interviews to see if they’re comfortable with social and collaborative technology.
- Good Time-Management Skills
You can limit Internet access in the office, monitor what colleagues are doing in the cubicle next to yours, and hold weekly progress meetings. But you won’t know if your virtual employee is working on a huge project or watching the Real Housewives when they’re at home.
This is why you need to hire people that have excellent time-management abilities and can juggle and prioritize things effectively. You must trust virtual workers to be good stewards of their own time and to manage it wisely in order to complete assignments.
- Ability to Collaborate
You would believe that virtual workers are lone wolves by nature, yet this is far from the case. Because virtual work can be alienating, finding people that can collaborate and work as fully functional members of your team is more crucial than ever.
With Gallup reporting that 70% of Americans are disengaged at work, it’s critical that your virtual employees feel like valued members of the corporate culture, understand why their contributions matter, and collaborate closely with coworkers to achieve essential company goals.
Adaptability is a desirable trait in any employee, but it is even more important for virtual workers. If your company needs to pivot or the job description needs to be adjusted, you won’t be there to hold your virtual employee’s hand and ensure they can roll with the punches.
You’ll need folks who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done without a lot of supervision. The greatest virtual workers will be adaptable to shifting roles and procedures within your firm, not only in terms of time.
- Able to Multitask
Multitasking would undoubtedly be one of the top five skills a virtual employee must possess. After all, they’ll almost certainly be juggling many projects or jobs, and they’ll need to stay organized, keep things moving forward, and juggle multiple clients without breaking a sweat.
A great virtual employee must maintain a decent schedule, understand what to prioritize, and work efficiently.
- Contributing to Business Growth
A virtual employee that is actually good at their work can ultimately aid in the growth of your company. When virtual employees have the correct skill sets, they should add to your profitability, whether it’s because they freed up your time to seek new prospects or because their excellent work resulted in an upsell or client reference.