So you’re finally convinced you need to hire a virtual employee. Now what? Finding the best people for the job can be narrowed down to two factors: skills and attitude. In this blog, we share the top skills and behaviors your virtual employee needs based on research published in Frontiers of Psychology.
What Matters in the Remote Environment
Not everyone can adapt to the virtual setup. Differences in attitudes and skills can make or break your virtual team.
Researchers Jonn Henke, Samantha Jones, and Thomas O’Neill at the University of Calgary explored the lives of numerous remote workers and how they powered through working from home to achieve success in their fields.
The study entitled Skills and abilities to thrive in remote work: What have we learned included interviews with numerous leaders and employees. The respondents shared that they still needed to hone their professional skills in their field of choice. Whether you’re in IT support or in customer service, this means that you would still need to be competent in whatever role you are in.
However, time and time again, leaders who were interviewed added three other important skills for virtual employees to thrive: technology literacy, communication, and work ethic. Furthermore, behaviors such as consistency and choosing the appropriate workstation to accomplish tasks promptly.
Skills to Look for in a Virtual Employee
It goes without saying that whatever role you’re hiring for— that should be one of the most important factors when recruiting a virtual employee. If they’re on your business team they need to know their way around the industry and if they’re in accounting they should be adept at recording and interpreting financial documents. This fact resonates with several observations made by respondents in the study above.
However, some of these skills can be easily faked on a resume or job interview, especially when you’re working online. It might be best to give trial tasks for your potential remote workers, or better yet— get an outsourcing partner as trustworthy as Managed Outsourced Virtual Employees (MOVE) to do the dirty work for you.
When people aren’t right in front of you it can be challenging to get collaborative tasks done. You can’t just head over to the next cubicle and say, “Hey, I’m done with my part, can you get started on the next one?”
So, you’re going to want communicative team members who can consistently update their project management platforms and get stuff done!
Virtual employees must thrive online and that takes a lot of know-how in the digital department. You’re going to want people who already know what tools you’re using, how AI works, and how to troubleshoot when they see technical problems.
The obstacle here is that technology evolves every day. You’re going to need virtual employees who are willing to keep learning and adapting to these changes. At MOVE, we do all the nitty-gritty for our clients, producing training materials and doing the training itself. This way, they can have time to focus on what they need to do to generate revenue.
According to the respondents in the study by Henke, and others, there are many distractions in online work. What does that mean for you and your business? You need to hire people who can focus and stay determined to accomplish their tasks. This is one of the main reasons MOVE works with Filipino virtual employees. They are known for their excellent work ethic— saving you time and money.
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
A report by the Foundation for Critical Thinking states that this is one of the must-have skills for the future. In 2024, your employees will need to deal with the continuous rise of AI. This means you’re going to need them to be able to identify when AI platforms are producing correct content or not. Additionally, they will need problem-solving skills to know what to do next.
Behaviors to Look for in a Virtual Employee
Behaviors can be extremely crucial in determining whether someone will be a successful member of your team. Simple habits such as waking up and sleeping at the same time every day affect productivity. These consistent behaviors must be maintained for your employees to stay on track. Lastly, those who have a specific area to work in are also cited as more successful according to Henke and his fellow researchers. You can include questions about these behaviors in your survey or job interview before recruiting an employee.
The Bottom Line
Whether you like it or not the remote workplace has numerous differences from the office setup. Select the best fit for your company and your virtual operations with the skills and behaviors above. MOVE can help you do just that. Get in touch and we can recruit, manage, and train the best talent for your remote endeavors. For more insights on how virtual employees can work for you and your business, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.