Have you heard about virtual employees and wondered what they are?
Virtual employees are similar to freelancers, who operate remotely, whether at home, in an office of their own or in a collaborative space that is becoming increasingly popular. However, even then, they still differ.
Hiring an employee virtually can be an excellent alternative to hiring someone in-house for several reasons, especially for small businesses or those hiring their first employees.
Virtual employees are not directly hired but through a third-party company. Who would have thought you could hire someone who works in an office to work for your office? Mindboggling, but surprisingly effective and efficient.
As virtual employees are hired through third parties, there are a lot of benefits for businesses, including avoiding the whole recruitment process. For most jobs these days, all you need is someone whose computer literate with an internet connection, and they can work from anywhere.
Benefits of Virtual Employees
It isn’t possible to directly hire employees virtually, only through companies that are similar to recruitment agencies. So, you would be paying the company for their services rather than paying the employee. There is more to working with employees virtually than just the perks of technology.
Some of the key benefits include:
- They help with repetitive tasks such as responding to email and telephone enquiries and creating spreadsheets, so you have more time to focus on the work required to grow your business.
- Hiring a virtual employee does not cost as much as hiring a traditional employee. There are no salaries, hiring and onboarding costs, or office/equipment fees.
- Virtual working is highly valued by millennials, one of the largest generations in the workforce today.
- Hiring virtual employees is more sustainable, saving things like fuel from commuting.
- The virtual agency will manage the entire hiring process on your behalf, including any legal issues.
- It is faster and more convenient than hiring yourself.
- Trust and continuity, as a virtual employee is from a third-party agency, you can trust they will get the work done and not disappear.
- There is no need to worry about payroll, taxes, etc.
Despite the many benefits of hiring an employee through a third-party company, it is important to be aware of the cons. It isn’t always ideal for companies where collaboration and social interaction are the main focuses.
It’s also worth thinking about the possibility of inaccessibility and issues surfacing when you least expect them that are difficult to handle remotely.
Managing a Virtual Employee
Managing a new employee from a third-party agency will require a lot of communication. This will begin with running through what they need to do, how to use the programmes you use in-house (if they are unsure how), training them on the exact tasks for completion, and setting goals and deadlines. You must be clear about your expectations.
It is like managing employees in-house. Whether you are communicating with one another daily or not, your virtual employees should be treated as a member of your team. They should be offered the same support and guidance as everyone else. After all, they are there to help you.
How to Hire Virtual Employees
There are companies where you can hire employees virtually. However, they haven’t taken the world by storm yet.
The best thing to do is work out what your business’s needs are. Whether it is finding someone to manage your customer services or social media scheduling.
Some of the top virtual staffing companies include:
- Virtual Employee, whose motto states that CEOs save 70%.
- Smart PA Virtual Assistants, offering flexible support for admin tasks.
- Multiplier, a way to hire employees fast with transparent pricing.
- Hire Smart Virtual Employees, offering remote, full-time members of staff in several fields.
With the likes of remote working and the rise of businesses hiring virtual employees, we are seeing a drastic change in the landscape of the typical office working setting.
At Bigwave Marketing, our employees take the hybrid working approach, with three days at home and two in the office. To find out about our marketing services, please get in touch.