The Face of the New Employee – Virtual and Everywhere

I have been a fan of Kevin Wheeler’s ever since I saw him present here at a conference in Melbourne Australia back in late 2007. He has just written one of those “here are my predictions for 2010” posts that I recently mentioned in my last blog post. The link can be found here. It is a good article and what I like about Kevin’s posts is I find that they are based not only on just recruitment principles and operations but also on larger demographic and sociological trends. Yes there is lots written about Generation Y, but it is quality writing.

Anyway in his blog post, Kevin mentions one of the things he thinks we will see more of in 2010 is the “Virtual Recruiter and the Virtual Employee”. That is Recruiters will use the technology available to them to source, attract and hire candidates for roles in countries/cities outside of their location. Kevin writes that Recruiters will find jobs for people and hiring managers they may have never physically met.

I agree with Kevin, I think the use of the virtual employee will increase. As technology continues to develop to allow us to do many of the things we used to have to do in an office and with a mindset shift in what is a “workplace” is, I think we will see more people working in virtual teams and offices.

In my role, I work in a virtual team – my colleagues are based around the world and I liaise with people in APAC, EMEA and North America regularly. We all know what we have to do and work together with a common goal of finding the best people for Oracle. I am based in Melbourne Australia and have successfully placed candidates into roles here at Oracle across Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, India and Singapore. There have been times where I have worked with Managers and Candidates who I have never physically met – the relationships I have with some of my online networks is stronger I would suggest than what some people have with their real world contacts.

With the use of many online tools, soft phones and collaborative products the world is quickly becoming a much smaller place than it use to be. Employees are no longer limited by their physical location, they can work on projects with team members in different time zones or locations.

From my own personal experience workplace flexibility works very well. I enjoy working across different cultures, I have expanded my skills and capabilities and have provided my clients with a value added service. Not every organisation can offer this type of role, but if companies want to attract the best staff they will have to start making their working more flexible to a changing workforce that expects flexibility or risk getting left behind by quality candidates.

I know that there is a common perception that online networks are somehow not as strong as real life relationships and that unless you meet someone for a coffee you can only develop a relationship so far. I do agree with that thinking to some degree, however that gap is quickly closing as 1) the technology continues to develop to make us more connected and 2) the growing acceptance that your online networks are just as real and valuable as the relationships that you have with your in person networks.

One thought on “The Face of the New Employee – Virtual and Everywhere

  1. Virtual networks. Social media. Online communities et al. When an employee in Brisbane in 2008 I was focussed on meeting most of my candidates. When I became QLD partner of Online Recruitment in 2009 my CEO was 85% – 95% virtual. He has a strong and respected presence online. Now, as a rural “branch” manager of a recruitment entity that has a strong “bricks and mortar” presence in Brisbane most of my placements are to virtual companies by virtual candidates.

    Hey, embrace the revolution. It has been a slow burn and increases exponentially per annum. There are inherent dangers though. For me, it’s the disingenuous client who feigns interest and requests a telephone interview and then gives weak feedback which indicates they were only “tyre-kicking”.

    What I have learnt through the disappointment of this process is to be more investigative with my client through more probing questioning. Essentially, having my candidates involved in this process potentially harms my reputation and affects my ratios adversely (lol…).

    Part of my marketing plan in 2010 is a push into larger markets Sydney and Melbourne. With a phone, computer, smart phone, apps etc my new raft of prospects/ clients will be talking to a professional who is sitting in his boardies and singlet. Of course, periodically I will travel and, of course, I will grooom. Until then, viva la revolution!

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