Hiring virtual employees is becoming increasingly popular as companies look to reduce overhead costs while still having access to a talented workforce. Virtual employees are employees who work remotely, usually from their own home office or another remote location. This type of arrangement offers a variety of benefits to both employers and employees, including greater flexibility, lower overhead costs, and access to a wider talent pool. In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a virtual employee and discuss how to go about finding and onboarding them.
What Is a Virtual Employee?
In today’s ever-evolving business world, companies are turning to virtual employees as an efficient and cost-effective way to fill their staffing needs. A virtual employee is an employee who works remotely from a home office or from anywhere in the world. They have the same responsibilities and duties as regular employees, but rather than reporting to a physical office, they work from a virtual office. Companies may hire virtual employees to save money on overhead costs, such as office space, utilities, and other expenses, to expand their support team into new time zones, or because that virtual employee just happens to be the best possible candidate.
Advantages of Virtual Employees
Hiring virtual employees can bring numerous benefits to businesses, including cost savings, flexibility, increased productivity, efficiency, and accessibility. Compared to traditional employees, virtual employees are generally cheaper to hire and maintain. Virtual employees are often more productive than traditional employees and can be more focused on specific tasks, allowing businesses to get more done in less time. Virtual employees can be quickly and easily accessed from anywhere in the world, reducing the need for businesses to rent office space and equipment.
How to Hire a Virtual Employee
Overall, hiring virtual employees can be a great way for businesses to maximize their resources and get the most out of their employees. With the right tools and strategies, businesses can find and hire the best virtual employees to help them achieve their goals. To hire the right virtual employee, it’s important to first identify the specific skills and qualifications that the candidate should possess. Once you’ve done this, you can create a job post and either go to a virtual employee provider or directly post your job to one of the big job aggregators or to a specialized remote work job board. Because virtual work is so in demand, you will have no shortage of great candidates applying to your post!
What Are the Options for Hiring an International Virtual Employee
Companies have four options to hire international virtual employees: work with an agency, hire contractors only, open a local subsidiary to hire employees, or engage an employer of record to hire employees on their behalf. We will go over each option and explore their pros and cons.
Virtual Employee Agency
Virtual employment agencies are specialized recruitment and placement agencies that charge fees based on successful hires. These agencies often place both remote contractors and long-term employees. They are a great option for companies that need help finding highly specialized workers or quickly creating a team. However, they may not be able to help you when it comes to payrolling and supporting your workers on an ongoing basis, and that support becomes even more necessary when you’re hiring international remote workers! You may also be limited in who you can hire and how.
Hire Contractors Only
One option for hiring international virtual workers is to exclusively hire contractors. When you hire contractors you have a business-to-business relationship with them, not a traditional employment relationship. Contractors invoice you directly for their work and you can use a variety of methods to pay them. However, complications can still arise when paying international contractors, including with regular international transactions, and worker misclassification issues.
When hiring contractors, it’s important to have a reliable method of payment and to treat your contractors as contractors. That means hiring for project-based work, or for long-term work where your contractors largely direct themselves, supply their own tools, and do not advance within your company. Hiring contractors but treating them as employees is a form of worker misclassification that you need to watch out for.
Open a Local Subsidiary
Another option to hire international virtual workers is to open a local subsidiary. To open a subsidiary, you will need to incorporate a local business, open a bank account, register with all relevant government bodies, and finally open payroll. This is a good option for businesses that want to hire large teams of virtual workers in one country, or that want to open full operations in the country. It may not be the right option for companies that want to hire virtual workers in multiple countries, or who want to hire workers without doing business in that country.
Engage an Employer of Record
The last option to hire international virtual workers is to engage an employer of record that can help you hire both contractors and employees and understand local employment laws in enough depth to know the difference. Employer of record (EOR) providers help you hire in countries where you do not have a legal entity, by hiring workers on your behalf. EORs like Canadian Payroll Services provide ongoing payroll and human resources support, as well as offer employee benefit packages to help you hire the best of the best. Because EORs specialize in employment compliance, they can provide the same or better human resources and payroll support that you do for your in-office team, at a fraction of the price.
How Canadian Payroll Services Can Help
Canadian Payroll Services is an employer of record that specializes in connecting virtual workers with companies from all over the world. We operate in just one market – Canada – and have unmatched expertise in the local talent market and in local employment and tax law. Whether you want to hire just one virtual worker or a whole team, we can help you hire quickly and compliantly, and then provide on time, ongoing payroll and HR support on demand.
Want to learn more about how Canadian Payroll Services can help? Get in touch!