Hiring an in-house employee is never an easy task. Apart from all the tedious aspects associated with scanning dozens of resumes, short-listing the likely candidates, doing endless rounds of interviews, before finally hiring just one or two candidates.
Is there an alternative to this? Yes, in the form of a virtual employee. As the name suggests, a virtual employee is someone who works remotely for you from the outsourcing vendor's office but exactly in the manner of a locally hired employee.
A virtual employee can be an excellent alternative to an in-house employee for the following reasons:
- Less expensive. On the face of it, a VE may be more expensive on a per hour basis but if a breakdown of the overall expenses incurred on an in-house employee and a virtual employee is compared, the VE comes out much more affordable. This is because you don't have to bother about additional costs such as overhead expenses, benefits, sick time, office space and paid vacations.
- Specialized skills. Local talent may lack the specialised skills that you are looking for, and even if it is available, they probably come at exorbitant salaries which may be out of your reach (particularly if you are a SME or an individual business owner.) A remote employee, on the other, hand offers you all the advantages of expert skills and at a fraction of the cost. A remote employee, therefore, transcends geographical boundaries and is valuable because a company can tap into the experience and specialised expertise and skills that may not be available locally.
- A remote employee does not require you to be compliant with all the stringent laws associated with employee benefits, downsizing and retention, fair hiring and firing practices, neither do you have to fear getting drawn into a lawsuit for wrongful termination of services.
- The virtual employee may have been hired by you but they are legally employed by the remote staffing company. As a result, issues like infrastructure, HR, IT help and support, benefits etc are all taken care of by the outsourcing vendor and not you. Infact, you get a ready-made offshore office from which your virtual employee works for you.
- A virtual employee offers you all the security of a physically present office, with the vendor's HR and IT staff providing all the back-up and support your remote employee needs; the benefits of offshore outsourcing without the uncertainties and risks associated with a freelancer.
- The add-ons with a virtual employee are that you get to retain the same control and authority over them like you do over any other physically present local worker. Remember, this is not possible with a freelancer but only with a virtual employee.
- You get to set the deadlines, define the targets and how to meet them – in other words, nothing's really changed except the fact that your remote employee sits halfway across the globe, costs you a fraction of what it would have otherwise cost you at home and offers specialised skills to complement your own local talent pool.
By saving on these costs, you get more time to work on your business and focus on core issues like growth and making profits.
Daya Mukherjee is a Senior Content Writer and Editor working for a Remote Staffing Outsourcing company in India. You can find out more information by visiting our Outsource, freelancers, php developers Websites.
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