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Rise of the Freelance Economy: How to Hire The Best Temporary Virtual Workers

virtual workerWhat do you get when you pair the temporary workforce — an employment sector that’s estimated to grow over the next year — with virtual manpower — a group that consists of about 43 million Americans? The rise of the freelance economy.

Research indicates that approximately 11.5 million temporary workers are hired each year. In addition, 43 percent of the workforce will work remotely at least occasionally by the end of 2016. Should your hiring strategy change to accommodate the new modern worker?

Virtual temporary workers aren’t like typical employees. By nature, these workers have different agendas, may possess alternative schedules, and may not have a presence on traditional sourcing platforms. However, when you put yourself in the mind of the best virtual workers, particularly if they are temporary, your hiring strategy will be a little easier.

Check out these four ways to hire workers who may not make it to your office but can still impact your company:

Source through social media

Social media is clearly one of the top ways to find great hires. After all, most job seekers have an active presence on them and use tools like LinkedIn or Twitter to look for work. However, I encourage you to go a step further. Check out design portfolios, discussions in social media forums, or even use special keywords or hashtags to search for the ideal temporary worker.

For example, you can craft a tweet resembling the following: “Looking for a #freelance project manager! Must have 3-5 yrs exp with Fortune 500 companies. #Virtual and #remote applicants are welcome!” This presents a few job requirements, while providing relevant keywords that will hopefully attract the right candidates.

Use video interviews

Since candidates may be in different regions of the country, perhaps even the world, video interviews can be a great way to connect with temporary virtual talent. Plus, live video interviews are an inexpensive way to conduct a face-to-face meeting, regardless of where the candidate is located. Video interviews can come in a variety of options, such as one-on-one, group, or informational. However, all of these can be used to narrow down the candidate pool, while using the sharability of the interview to coordinate with your whole team.

Take advantage of talent assessments

If you really want to test the skillset of a temporary virtual worker, take advantage of talent assessments. Talent assessments can ultimately predict which candidates will fit best within your company, both in terms of performance and culture. Even if these workers are temporary, these factors are still important, particularly when it comes to the contagion effect. While the comprehensiveness of talent assessments are based on your needs, try to test elements such as skills, industry, and organizational knowledge. In addition, think about giving a limit for the talent assessment to ensure answers are as authentic as possible.

Ensure you’re mobilized

Whether you’re posting openings on job boards or redirecting candidates to your career site, make sure every step is mobile optimized. After all, more than half of job seekers look for work on their mobile devices at least once a week. If you’re specifically targeting virtual workers, you can be sure they’re part of this number. While you don’t have to go as far as creating a mobile application, ensure any job descriptions, links to additional information, or the actual application process are mobile optimized so every candidate can apply through the device of their choice.

The rise of the freelance economy will mean more temporary workers, many of whom will reside in the virtual category. While hiring them may require different strategies, use the above tactics as a guide to finding those key workers who will bring your organization to the next level.

What do you think? What are some other ways to hire temporary virtual workers?

About the Author: Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring solution that allows staffing professionals to collaborate with their clients around video interviews. Find out more about using video interviewing for temporary staffing and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.