What is virtual staffing, and should my firm consider it?

shutterstock_typelaptopVirtual staffing, which provides remote workers to employers, has become increasingly popular as the concept of the flexible workforce has gained ground. Seventy-three percent of working adults say flexibility is one of the most important factors they consider when seeking a new job, according to a recent Mom Corps survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

 

Employers have responded to this trend with more flexible work opportunities as they’ve realized the benefits, which include:

 

  • A happier workforce that is more productive due to a greater work/life balance
  • A larger talent pool
  • Decreased overhead costs, such as office energy and resource usage

 

Virtual staffing responds to the new workplace dynamic by offering temporary remote workers for a variety of positions. Because these workers may be in different geographic locations or time zones, virtual staffing lends itself only to certain industries. For example, industrial positions typically cannot work remotely, while creative ones can. Your firm may want to consider virtual staffing if you specialize in:

 

  • Administrative
  • Clerical
  • Creative
  • Information technology

 

Keep in mind that virtual staffing necessitates a different screening process, and you need to thoroughly examine the employee’s history and conduct a background check. You also need to have the technology available to conduct a video interview as you would an in-person interview.

 

In addition, with a virtual staffing arrangement, you must outline clear responsibilities and expectations for both the employee and the client, as communication is critical for virtual staffing to work. Finally, check in with both clients and virtual employees often to ensure the arrangement is succeeding.