When we say that something is “virtual” in modern terms, we are always talking about something to do with the Internet. So virtual dating is dating using the internet. The word “virtual” does not mean something that does not exist. But this means that you are replacing a normal physical entity with a real but mostly invisible one that lives on the internet.
The trend in business strategic planning is to integrate a robust “virtual marketing” plan with your traditional plans. So it stands to reason that the move to virtual resources will eventually reach human resources with virtual employees available.
In the past two or three years, virtual labor has taken off and become a very real resource for companies that want to benefit from valuable expertise and subject matter expertise that cannot be found locally. Agencies like Team Double Click and Rent-A-Coder provide an army of job-ready professionals who can step in and get the job done quickly and efficiently for the employer.
The obvious first application of virtual workers is to subcontract with an online recruitment agency for specific projects for a given task that has a short beginning, middle, and end. Creating a new job in a web page is a good example of a project that can be bundled into a concept project, signed to a virtual consultant to perform the work and returned to the employer online. Handling agencies raise funds by way of guarantee so that neither the business owner nor the consultant is at risk and the handling company demands a percentage of the fee as part of its fee to facilitate the partnership. Everyone wins.
But the concept of virtual recruitment goes beyond just offering another type of outsourcing to the consultant. Many virtual recruitment agencies provide administrative assistants, sales support, and many other jobs typically associated with a full-time employee but these services are done “virtually”. The virtual office manager can route calls to his remote phone, forward emails and conduct office meetings and negotiations with vendors via email or instant messaging. With these modern tools, a virtual assistant can provide almost every job that an on-site assistant might be able to do but at a lower cost to the employer.
The trend of virtual business recruitment has clear benefits for companies that need qualified assistance. It opens the door to sources of recruitment that can complement the local talent pool. Often times, virtual staffing agencies may have people with “employee roles” who have a specialized background or skill. The agency is skilled at figuring out exactly what their client companies need and matching the right hypothetical employee to the job so that the company has the right skill set where they need it, when they need it, and only for as long as they need it.
In addition to the benefits that virtual recruitment provides to companies to fill the needs of skilled workers, it is an excellent resource for talented workers who wish to contribute to the business world on their own terms. Virtual workers almost all over the world work at home or where they choose to work. Work is often based on a task with a deadline so that the worker can determine the hours that best suit his family and personal schedules. And just like working for a temporary agency, an employee can build a resume with the agency that improves the quality of the work they get over time.
Virtual recruitment is a trend that has been a success for all involved as it has matured in the past few years. We can look for a twenty-first century approach to bringing in talented workers to continue to grow as more and more companies become comfortable with hiring their employee ranks ‘virtually’.