As a business owner, it matters not whether you hire online or offline there are certain traits/qualities that should always be considered before you hire your skilled worker. These can include…but are not exclusive to…
Intelligence: You want a creative thinker and problem solver
Integrity/honesty: These two go hand in hand.
Curiosity: Someone with a thirst to know and understand
Complimentary skills: Eliminate individual effort by hiring complimentary skill sets.
Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm…it is contagious…need I say more?
The above traits are all essential to the success of any business, but the explosion of online business owners as well as personal bloggers using outsourced online workers has presented us with new hiring challenges.
As an online blogger and business owner myself I’ve outsourced many projects as well as hiring permanent outsourced workers. Each time I learned something valuable about the online hiring process…(many of them hard learned lessons) and what you need to pay attention to if you choose to hire online.
The traits/qualities I look for when hiring an online worker:
- Availability: If you are hiring offshore you need to pay attention to the availability of your outsourced online worker. For example: I live in SW Florida and I’ve hired my outsourced workers from EasyOutsource and they all live in the Philippines. I am exactly 12 hours in time behind them so when it is daylight there…it is turning night here. This is a double edged sword as it can be more difficult to connect because of the time differences…on the other hand, it allows your business to operate and move forward while you are sleeping. Since everyone is in a different time zone, you must make the determination for yourself if this works for your business.
- Communication: This is extremely important to your business. If you cannot communicate properly with your online worker because of language differences you will move forward very slowly and waste a lot of valuable time. If you are paying by the hour…this obviously will impact how quickly your project gets completed and the cost to you.Communication can be in the form of written or spoken communication via channels such as Skype. I always interview my prospective candidates via Skype as it quickly reveals how easily it will be to communicate with this person. Some Filipino workers are a bit shy about their English language skills and prefer to type only. This can be acceptable if they are quick and accurate typists. Once again you must make the determination for your own business.Keep in mind that your online worker must have a microphone available if you are to verbally communicate. Not all of them do.
- Experience: Nothing replaces experience in the workplace. I try to avoid fresh college graduates…not that they are not qualified, but I prefer someone who has experience working online. You must also ask them for examples of any work that they have performed for others that may help you to determine their skill level in regards to the tasks you are hiring for. If they cannot supply you with any examples…then most likely they have no experience.There are so many valuable tools, scripts and software packages online that can help with your business. Finding someone who has been previously trained on an application you want to use can save time…which always equates to money.If you have a lot of time…you can hire fresh college graduates…but be aware that you will have to do more training if you do. The plus side to this is that generally those without much experience come cheaper.Most freelancers online keep a portfolio of their work so that potential clients can see firsthand what they have accomplished in the past.
- Promptness/Punctuality: How quickly have your online prospects returned your inquiry? Do they pay attention to their email and are they articulate when they respond? This can quickly reveal to you how serious they will be about your projects.
- Accuracy: If you have assigned them a project to test their skills, how accurately do they use the details you have provided for them? Details are the heart of any project, but in order to avoid wasting valuable time, it is imperative that your online worker is detail oriented and gets the details right the first time around. I believe this also reveals a lot about a person’s attention span.
- Age: I prefer hiring in the age group of 26 and above. There are many reasons for this, but the younger they are, the more uncertain they are about where they are headed. On the other hand, most people 26 and above have experienced enough of life situations to be emotionally mature and they are much more settled into their home lives.That’s not to imply that you cannot find quality workers under that age…if you are willing to risk the uncertainty and indecisiveness of the young.
- Self Motivation/Assertiveness…Since your virtual worker essentially works alone they must be self starters and self motivators. There will be no one around to push them to get their work done. The best VA’s and outsourced workers are self-motivated go-getters.
- Organizational Skills…Your virtual worker must be willing to take the time and effort needed to stay extremely organized. Disorganization can cause major problems…leading to costly mistakes that could affect your business.
- Resourcefulness…Learning to be a vast resource of information (we are, after all working online…the information highway,) your online worker must be able to research and come up with information and any stats as needed.
- Work Station: It is imperative that you inquire about their tools. Do they have their own computer or do they have to share with family members? Do they have a quiet place in their home that they can work from? Is their Internet connection fast and strong? All of these need to be considered.
- Personality…Last but not least is personality. This may not be important to all business owners, but I find success comes easier if you enjoy the people you are working with. If you are an outsourced worker, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. This is what will get you personally connected to those who have hired you.
As well as looking for the qualities listed above, use your innate intuition and read between the lines. Search for people with lots of energy…energy that will be funneled into their work. Seek to understand what motivates them as well.
The Internet has changed the way we do business in the 21st Century and with the ready availability of websites such as EasyOutsource, hiring outsourced online help is here to stay. Not only does this benefit the business owner, but it benefits the outsourced/home worker as well. It truly is a win-win situation.
We are very fortunate to be living in this day and age and have business advantages that were not available just a few short years ago. For those of you ready to take advantage of hiring online, understanding some of the complications that may arise ahead of time will help make your hiring process go smoother and be more productive.