Hiring a virtual employee from India can be exciting as well as a challenging task. The challenge of working with someone you have never met personally – and one who is separated from you by geographical and time barriers - can be big but can be easily overcome if this handy guide is followed. Be the best employer your virtual employee can have!
1.Honesty and transparency: If you have assured them that the project is a long-term one, then be sure you mean it because many times a virtual employee would have left another lucrative offer to work with you. Don't dangle the bait of a full-time position just to be able to net the best talent there is. It can be deeply distressing for an employee to discover that the full-term job was actually a short-term project.
2.Clarity in your instructions regarding deadlines, job requirements, point of contact etc: Since this is a long-distance working relationship, where written and oral communication is your only link, make sure that there is no ambiguity in any area. Let the virtual employee be aware of the 'chain of command' so to speak and who needs to be contacted if you are not available at that point of time.
3.Frequent interaction: A client-virtual employee relationship thrives on client involvement, and a regular one at that. It is not the same as working with a freelancer. With a freelancer, not much involvement is called for since the outsourced work is usually a short-term and a low-budget one. However, a virtual employee is like any other of your locally hired employees and requires the same quality of attention from you. This is particularly necessary in the initial period of joining where the employee is understanding the way you work and what is expected from them. This 'breaking-in' period is essential.
4.Regular feedback and motivation: Like any other employee, a virtual employee also needs regular feedback on their performance, work output and quality or any other work related issue. Those working on complex software application projects require a day-to-day communication to ensure that everything is moving on the right track. Such frequent feedback acts as both an motivation as well as a check and helps prevent mistakes from piling up and creating a huge bottleneck further down the road.
5.Opportunities for professional growth and career enhancement: Every employee wishes to add to their learning curve. An international client opens the window to a whole new work experience and adds to the repertoire of knowledge of the related domain. This could refer to onsite visits by the employee for a greater exposure to the work and to interact physically with the people with whom they have been working closely. It could also be in the form of short training modules, again depending on the nature of the work. Basically, a client needs to energize the working relationship with enough opportunities for the employee's professional growth.
6.Openness to the cultural difference between their two countries: India is obviously culturally different from the UK and the US. Clients from these two countries would do well to arm themselves with knowledge about India's customs, traditions, festivals and holidays. A mutual respect for each others' diversity is an important building block in any long-term association between a western client and their virtual employee.
So, keep these things in mind when you outsource to a virtual employee and enjoy the benefits of a cost-effective and rewarding work relationship.