How to Find Qualified Virtual Employees for Your Business

By on June 14, 2013

Thanks to the advent of internet and mobile technologies over the last couple of decades, the world is experiencing an era of unparalleled connectivity. For the average Joe this means the ability to stay in touch with family and friends across the globe, to access information at the tap of a keyboard, tablet, or smartphone, and to order goods and services without having to leave the couch. For those who run a business, on the other hand, these technologies can offer myriad money-saving solutions that bolster efficiency, productivity, and the bottom line. And this can definitely pertain to the workforce. Now, instead of having to pay for office space to house employees (including the lease, utilities, security, and so on), not to mention the staff to fill it (including salaries, benefits, and more), you can simply hire a virtual workforce and save yourself a lot of expense. Plus, many workers prefer to skip traffic and telecommute instead. The only trouble may be finding the virtual employees that are right for your business. So here are a few ways to go about it.


The best place to start is probably with online services. Depending on the type of employees you’re looking for, you might want to try freelance sites like ODesk and Elance. These platforms help to connect businesses with contract workers that offer services such as virtual assistance, writing, graphic design, marketing, accounting, and a slew of other options. This is a great way to select from a wide variety of business disciplines and find workers that are qualified, as well as those that conform to your price range. Most require resumes and samples to be posted so you can peruse their work before you ever contact them. Of course, you might be looking for something a little more specific, in which case you’d want to look into networks or job boards specific to your industry.

In truth, you could probably post your job on any number of generic boards like Monster, Career Builder, or even LinkedIn and get tons of replies. But if you’re looking to narrow the list of potential candidates, it could benefit you greatly to use a service that is industry-specific, and especially one that requires users to pay for membership. This should help you to avoid a lot of applicants that simply aren’t qualified for the jobs you’re offering. However, if you’d like to make it even easier on yourself you might instead hire a headhunting service. Most recruiters of this sort will charge a pretty penny, and they often fill only top-level positions (of the executive nature, for example). But they’ll hand you a list of candidates that is small and targeted, helping to deliver just the right person for the virtual job you’re offering.

Heck, you could even look into using a temp service to find the virtual employees you seek. At least you’ll know they can type, which is a definite requirement for working remotely. While you can certainly rent out temporary office space in NYC or LA to see if you’d like to give the brick-and-mortar office a go, you’ll probably find that hiring virtual employees is a far more cost-effective means of running your business, provided the work you need can be done remotely. And the internet offers you not only a means of employing virtual workers, but also the platforms needed to find them.

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About the Author: Ilena Sanchez.