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What To Look Out For When Recruiting A Virtual Employee

Written by: Sandra Lewis

i love my jobIn the past few years, working and hiring practices have changed dramatically, with a growing emphasis on telecommuting and working from home. With this in mind, how do you recruit someone who will often be working out of sight, potentially many miles away and probably by himself or herself?

A firm handshake and a winning smile no longer cut it when it comes to creating a good impression, especially when that job interview may be conducted over Skype; for the employee who works from home, a different skillset is essential for the working relationship to be successful.

Firstly, the employer needs to be able to place full trust in the employee from the very beginning of the working relationship. People have always said that punctuality and reliability are important, but these become of paramount importance when there is no office to share and communication is through emails and instant messaging. Often, it’s hard to pick up certain meanings and insinuations from email and flat text so the quality of communication must be clear, concise and impossible to interpret the wrong way.

Communication is only a part of the skillset though. When working from home, when there is nobody on hand to motivate you beside yourself, you have to be a self-starter. Being in an office environment can help fuel the working attitude, while working by yourself at home makes it easier to get side tracked. It’s a fact that not all people are going to be able to motivate themselves to be productive for a full working day from the comfort of their home; it takes a certain type of person.

These are some of the key traits recruiters need to test for with behavioral interview questions:

  • Is the candidate a clear communicator?
  • Are they self motivated?
  • Are they proactive, and do they take responsibility for their work?
  • Are they punctual and reliable?
  • Are they detail oriented, and concerned about quality standards?
  • Are they results oriented?

An example of an interview question that a recruiter might pose would be, “describe what you do to ensure your work is of top quality?”

The world of virtual assistants creates a workforce of people who are often working individually across the world. When a virtual assistant company recruits employees, they must take on board the different working style required and interview applicants accordingly. Past experience of working from home is often a good place to start, as well as clear communication throughout the interview process. At Boldly, we have years of experience hiring people under these circumstances and have adapted our recruitment process to reflect the unique needs of our clients.

Updated on December 12th, 2022

About the author: Sandra Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Boldly. She's passionate about helping founders move their business forward with the right skills and resources. Setting an example of the efficiencies gained working virtually, she manages her entire team on a virtual basis.