Do you have your virtual team ready?

The virtual world gives businesses a greater choice of people to work with, don’t you agree?

‘You don’t have to pick someone just because they turned up.’

When I became an admin manager at the National Trust this is one of the learnings that stayed with me, ‘You don’t have to pick someone just because they turned up’, as I finished their in-house ‘recruiting for managers’ course. It’s one of those simple statements that made me think ‘oh really, of course’.

As much as the National Trust is ‘forever, for everyone’ they’re not quite at the sweary stage but it basically means the same as the phrase ‘It’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!’. This was either first said by Richard Branson or Apple’s Dan Jacobs (Google isn’t specific on that one and neither are replying to my tweets).

It gave me greater confidence in focusing on finding the right person for the job, so when vacancies came up in my team I’d say to myself ‘you don’t need to fill it straight away’. Sure it’s frustrating when you’ve spent time evaluating the role, liaising with colleagues, HR, recruitment agencies, reading CV’s, arranged interviews, cleared your diary to reflect and spent time doing the tasks that new recruit will do when they’re appointed only to find that none of them are suitable, but equally it’s a lot less hassle than appointing the wrong person, having to undo everything and start again – you know how hard it is to unemploy someone, right?

It’s easy to take second best or think ‘ah well I can train them up’ and that’s true, that’s also great because it gives people extra skills, but do we really have the time to have two holes – because who’s doing your work while you’re micro-managing and training? Employees don’t tend to invest in their employers so much these days, many have an Instagram image to uphold so they’re on to the next best job, the one that offers an extra 0.10 every hour or that allows them to work a little more flexibly.

That’s why having access to more people through the virtual freelance world is a huge huge benefit to us all, me included. We have more variety, more diversity, more choice and a better chance of finding the right people to work with.

And better still, you don’t need to spend time recruiting, interviewing or ‘onboarding’ as the buzzword goes, because freelance workers are adept at stepping in and out of businesses. Adjusting to different ways of working, bringing with them strong skills, confidence and the desire to work well because after all, we’re business owners too!

Add that to the fact you can find out almost anything about someone from a Google search, their LinkedIn profile or any of their other social media accounts and you’ve got their ‘CV’ without even having to ask.

Endorsements, testimonials, recommendations, evidence of their work, how they conduct themselves online, their interests – that’s important to finding the right person too I find – someone who shares the same or similar view on life as you.

That’s why I see virtual working as the current future, I think we’ll see fewer people working in closed, air conditioned offices and more people working remotely from each other – even big businesses.

I’m not ‘quite’ ready to outsource any of my business as I can still manage it all, at the moment, but I know who to pick when the time comes. Do you have your virtual team ready?

Catherine Gladwyn

As a Virtual Assistant I am here to take care of the jobs that need doing, but you just don't have the time for. catherine@delegatevirtualassistant.co.uk

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