Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How Do I Video Interview…Virtual Workers?

Every candidate comes with their own set of unique interviewing challenges. That’s why we’re tackling how to video interview different types of candidates with this how-to series. Today, we’ll be talking about how to use video interviews to connect with virtual workers. A video interview is a great way to connect with workers who might not sit in the office across from you every day but will nonetheless have a huge impact on your company.

Virtual workers and telecommuting are becoming a more readily accepted part of working life. In fact, currently there are 34 million Americans who work at home at least occasionally. This could be a full-time telecommuter or an employee who works from home for a day or two each week or month. 

This is a huge number and reflects the increasing comfort level with new technology and social tools, as well as companies’ ability to trust workers. And the telecommuting tide is certainly not receding. By 2016, projections say virtual workers will number nearly twice the current amount at 63 million.

Obviously, many companies are considering making the leap to telecommuting because it can often be much cheaper to hire workers who don’t need to sit in the office all day. By working from home, virtual workers are helping companies to remove overhead and save a lot of cash.

In fact, a recent Stanford study showed companies could save as much as $2,000 per employee just by allowing them to work remotely. In this economy, every little bit helps!

Of course, it’s tough to connect with employees you can’t see on a daily basis, but it’s even harder to connect during the interview process. The great thing about hiring virtual workers is the ability to open your company up to top-tier talent from all over the globe. The tough part about this, however, is losing that personal touch in the interview process. If your talent is located in London and you’re in New York, a phone interview might previously have been the best you could hope for when it came to connecting personally.

The video interview is a great solution for finding and hiring the best virtual workers. But just how do you use the video interview to find your next telecommuting superstar? Here are some video interview tips:

Use the technology to find self-motivated candidates:
Perhaps the most important attribute of your telecommuting employee is a strong sense of self-motivation. Because your worker won’t be in the office every day, you need to find an employee who thrives under this sort of self-direction. You can’t hire someone who only works well with the boss peering over their shoulder.

The common misconception of work from home employees is the idea these workers are spending all day watching TV and folding laundry instead of working. This is usually the farthest thing from the truth, but it all comes down to hiring the right people.

The video interview is the perfect time to find the self-motivated job seekers you need. Use this opportunity to ask job seekers about how they’ve worked independently in the past. Don’t just take their word for it, but really dig deep into their former work experiences to make sure they’re self-motivated and will get work accomplished without a lot of oversight.

Perhaps they’ve run a charity organization by themselves or they have a job on the side they need to manage. Ask for examples of how they work and listen closely for examples of a worker who will be dedicated and motivated without fearing the boss around the corner.

Use the video interview to personally connect:
Unlike a phone interview, a video interview allows employers and talented candidates to connect on a more personal level. Just because you’re hiring a candidate you won’t see in the office every day doesn’t mean it isn’t important that they fit into the overall company culture. Just like any other employee, you’re also hiring a brand ambassador for your company and it’s essential they will enjoy the workplace, even if it’s only virtual.

While you may start by using one-way virtual interviews to screen candidates, before making a final hiring decision, you should talk to talent using a live video interview. This technology allows employers and job seekers to connect in a more personal fashion.

A live video interview is just like having a face-to-face meeting with talented job seekers, only instead of sitting across the desk your top candidate is sitting on the other side of the webcam. Use this opportunity to make sure you’re hiring someone who will fit into the company culture, enjoy working remotely, and can bring real value to your company.

Make sure job seekers are extremely qualified:
Depending on your company, it’s likely a work from home employee might not end up with as much interaction as a standard office-dweller. This is fine for your self-motivated superstar who is excited about being in charge of their own destiny (and workload). But this makes it even more essential to ensure your candidate is 100 percent qualified and ready to jump in with both feet.

Because of the work from home nature of this employee, it might take longer or be harder to train a virtual worker. Use the video interview to be sure the candidate has all the necessary skills for the position with little training required.

This isn’t to say it’s impossible to help telecommuting workers gain job skills, but at least initially they should have the right qualifications to jump right in and add value.

Hiring virtual workers can be a great way to save money, embrace new technology, and gain the self-motivated employees your company needs to move forward. You just need to be sure you’re using video interviewing technology to find workers who will be a good fit for the work from home lifestyle.

How can you use video interviewing to find the best virtual workers? Share in the comments!

Hire Better Remote Workers

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).