For a long time now, doomsayers have shouted themselves hoarse saying that outsourcing is all about corporates cutting costs and saving money, never mind if it's ruining the economy of their country of residence. Doomsayers have also said many times that apocalypse was just around the corner and thankfully, they were wrong even then.
Studies have shown that organizations that hire virtual employees have shown an 8—15 percent growth in productivity. There is another side of the tale too, but it goes without saying that the pros of outsourcing outweigh the cons by far, or else this whole concept of virtual employees wouldn't have survived for so long.
One of the toughest jobs in outsourcing your processes is finding the right people to hire. Judging a VE over the phone, through chat or video-conference is definitely tougher that hiring someone who's been interviewed across a table. Here are a few pointers – to keep you safe – you should keep in mind.
1. Make sure your VE has good communication skills. The person you hire will have to communicate with his reporting boss on a daily basis. And just to make sure there are no communication gaps, which can be lethal for your project, a VE has to be good over mail and the telephone. Also, the VE should be good in initiating communications. Someone who waits to be asked even when he sees a red-flag can make your life really tough.
2. You need a VE with good problem solving/firefighting skills. Your VE should not wait to be spoon-fed when he comes across a problem that he can solve himself. Of course there will be issues he'll need to escalate, but he should keep that option as the last resort.
3. Your VE should see eye-to-eye with you on the organization's goals and values. With your VE working out of a remote location, it could be that he doesn't identify with the organization's goals and values. This can lead to higher attrition rates and low productivity. You therefore need give his resume a very close look just to make sure that he's not a job-hopper and will stick to your organization.
4. Hire a VE with strong work ethics. Make sure the candidate you hire is well disciplined and goal oriented. Your VE should also be able to understand what's expected of him and should deliver results, not excuses.
5. VEs should have confidence in their skills and abilities. When you have someone working alone in a remote location, make sure that person is confident he can do a good job. Isolation almost always is bad for an employee's morale and your VEs should be asked to make a telephone call whenever they feel things have gone wrong.
6. Hire VEs with a good sense of humor. Laughter IS the best medicine for frustration, anger, low self-esteem, and is guaranteed to increase your productivity. Hire people who can laugh and you won't ever have to micromanage.
7. VEs should be tech-savvy. Technology is the very foundation on which virtual offices are set up. Workers in a virtual office should be at ease with technology (laptops, printers, fax machines, etc. ) if they want to deliver. Technophobics, no matter how skilled, can never make a virtual office in a remote location successful.
These are a few pointers that can help when you outsource the right virtual employee. This, most certainly, is not an exhaustive list, but is good enough to make sure you don't start on the wrong foot.
About Author:- Daya is an experienced former journalist who has written extensively for the UK gift industry till recently. Now, she brings her considerable creative writing experience to the exciting world Outsourcing , offshoring and in particular, Ruby on Rails application development.