In today’s age, many employers are afraid of the Virtual Candidate. Whether this prospective employee has obtained a degree online or worked from the comfort of their own home, there is a lot to be considered. Many HR professionals feel that not attending a brick and mortar school is less than acceptable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Employees and students that have been a part of a virtual company are more structured and more disciplined. Who is there to hold their hand and ensure the work is being completed? No one. Yet most companies that hire virtual employees have very strict guidelines to follow.
This phenomenon is more than strange considering recent HR trends. More and more companies are utilizing virtual platforms as an interviewing strategy. Although some may view this process as impersonal, what could be more efficient than receiving video interviews and contacting those you feel made the strongest impression? It is interesting that HR managers are willing to utilize these tools for their own advantage but be wary of candidates who have done the same thing. Generally speaking, virtual candidates have the edge in many different categories, including: communication, team-building, and self-efficiency.
Most companies that allow employees to work from home thrive off of team-building exercises. Team members are encouraged and more or less expected to communicate with each other in an effective and productive way. Giving employees the freedom to work from their home also requires a high level of self-efficiency and responsibility. Often, company policies are even more strict for telecommuting positions. There is no excuse for an employee to be late to work since there is no commute. In most instances, high expectations prove a candidate’s abilities to thrive in a stressful environment. If more human resources professionals were to realize the value of the virtual candidate, they might find themselves digging through a pool of high-quality talent for their organization.