Many accounting firms are currently looking for innovative alternative methods of working, with social distancing norms in mind. Hiring virtual staff is one option that will allow you to function efficiently without compromising the efficient working of your accounting practice.
We have here for you a step-by-step process for hiring virtual staff for the smooth functioning of your accounting practice.
A well-defined job description(JD) is essential to convey your requirement to the applicants through various recruitment sites and your website. Your JD needs to be unique to your firm’s needs and not copied from other companies that will misguide the applicants. It should include the responsibilities, duties, and the list of skills and abilities that must be met. Reading your JD, the applicant can decide if he/she fulfills your expectations. This will also be the standard document used by the recruiting team to select or reject the applications.
Once you’ve selected the applications for your virtual staff, the next hiring step involves setting up an online technical test. For this online test, you will need to choose a reliable test system that can be administered efficiently and quickly. It can be a written exam or MCQs test that can be scored by the computer itself. This virtual environment requires some checks and controls, for example, verifying the candidate’s identity. It is crucial for you to select an advanced test environment that is less susceptible to fraudulent activity, considering the test’s online nature
Now that a few candidates have cleared the technical test, the next step is to schedule an online interview. For arranging the meeting, you must decide on a convenient schedule for the candidate and interviewers. The candidate will require a certain basic interview set up for this meeting, such as a laptop, a functional camera & mic, broadband, a private place, and security for the meeting. The candidate may also need to download software which will support the conference. These essential requirements must be conveyed to the shortlisted candidates for them to plan ahead for the interview. Last but not least, you will need to plan a session to collate the information from the interview panel and arrive at a consensus choice.
In this stage, you can set up a meeting between the selected candidates and HR to convey company culture, long-term organisation goals, leadership, and technical competencies. This will allow (potential) new employees to understand the company and its work environment. This will help in finding the best fit for your company. Effective and transparent communication will enable you to retain great people once they have been hired.
A very important hiring consideration today is a potential employee’s compatibility with the work from home (WFH) mentality. Are they comfortable working for long stretches on their own? What kind of support and events will be needed to keep them involved, engaged, and productive? You will also need to create and develop an employee onboarding strategy, a virtual training environment to bring them up to speed, a network for resolution of their preliminary and continuing queries, regular meetings for integrating them into the company, and for mental health support.
After the candidate has passed all the stages of your recruitment process and is selected for the role, you should send a detailed offer letter. The offer letter must consist of job information, compensation & benefits, insurance, incentives, rules & regulations, and the termination policy.
Once the selected candidate has completed the documentation process, we move to the final step in the virtual hiring process – employee onboarding. The onboarding process communicates what you expect from all of your employees. You can achieve this objective through an event, live webinar, online meeting, or a series of emails and newsletters. This is also an opportunity to convey the work culture, ethics, grievance and safety procedures, and general expected performance standards.
As we have seen, virtual staff will allow you to function without compromising your client services. You may be able to make greater use of automation for smooth functioning. Using the correct approach and effective technology tools, you can hire the right talent and serve your business needs.
If you need more information about hiring and working with virtual staff, why not reach out to Corient for consulting and updating your operating processes that will help you sail through? We also have highly trained, experienced, and qualified employees and state-of-the-art infrastructure in place to function as your virtual team.