Does hiring for a virtual worker feel like a blind date? If you’re wondering what are the skills needed in your next hire, you have come to the right place!
As seen in recent months, companies that transition into fully online operations have the best chances to survive. Yet it can be difficult to hire virtual workers, considering you might never meet them in person!
Hiring remote workers doesn’t have to be a blind date if you know the skills of a rockstar candidate. Here are top virtual worker skills to watch out for when you start recruiting:
Since remote work is largely made up of online correspondences, one of the top virtual worker skills is communication.
It’s important to have awesome English verbal and written communications. But beyond that, a remote employee needs to be good at reading comprehension, listening, and speaking up! Understanding instructions correctly and addressing issues effectively goes deeper than just grammar.
Especially for Asian remote workers who tend to be non-confrontational, asking for help is also part of good communication skills. This saves you from explaining instructions repeatedly or making mistakes due to miscommunication.
M-Ocean tip: Look out for communication cues that are not based on written or oral skills. Did the candidate answer your email requests completely or are some details lacking? How quickly does the candidate verbally respond to your questions and correctly understand what you say?
Having a significant time zone difference between you and your virtual worker can be challenging. Chances are, you can only give minimal supervision. You won’t be around 24/7 to check on the smallest details! Virtual workers need to have sound decision-making skills and confidence to make those calls. Here’s also how you can deal with the time differences between you and your virtual workers.
A virtual worker who is extremely reluctant in making minor calls can cause delays in task completion. You need someone who intuitively understands the process and is willing to make simple calls instead of just waiting on your response.
M-Ocean tip: Clarify your decision-making preferences during the onboarding process. Define which decisions will require your input and which ones they are empowered to make on their own.
Hiring a remote worker frees you up to focus on growing your business, instead of micromanaging employees. You may feel the need to implement daily log-ins or regular check-ins. But self-discipline is one of the top virtual workers’ skills that allow you to truly have peace of mind.
Discipline can mean many things, like delivering outputs on time or meeting quality standards. Disciplined workers are professional enough to do their jobs well even if you’re not breathing down their necks. We also listed some common mistakes in hiring virtual workers and how to avoid them, you should also check that out.
M-Ocean tip: Try getting comfortable with having output-based expectations. Give instructions and then invite questions or clarifications before leaving them to the task. Measure performance based on the quality of outputs turned in, not the amount of time clocked in!
Willingness to Learn
Many companies and virtual workers are still learning to move from traditional offices to remote work arrangements. This includes working with new software that allows digital collaborations and building teams online.
Some candidates may not have enough experience with WFH set-ups. Still, choose someone willing to learn new virtual worker skills. This shows they are less resistant to the expansion of roles or developmental tasks later on. As any good HR practitioner would say… you can train for skills later, but attitude is important now!
M-Ocean tip: On their résumé and during interviews, look for initiatives to learn new skills such as additional training, advanced education, or volunteer work. This shows that they are proactive and eager to learn new skills on the job.
In a digital world where physical presence is lacking, relationships define a company’s success. It might be easy to find individuals to accomplish several tasks for you. But if you’re looking for long-term employees, choose someone who genuinely cares for your business, team, and customers.
A virtual worker must have the emotional intelligence to handle relationships. Accepting feedback well and being a team player are indicators of good relationship management skills. This shows that they put the business’ interests first before their individual tasks, thus improving the workflow.
M-Ocean tip: During interviews, ask for real-life scenarios where a candidate was able to solve a problem while working with others. Ask about how they were able to collaborate with the team or the client and the result of their efforts.
Once you see these top virtual worker skills, hiring a virtual worker will no longer feel like a blind date. The future of your business and team will be a lot clearer!
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