It’s a symptom of the modern workplace and employment landscape. As we’ve explored over the last several months, more and more jobs are going virtual.
These days, traditional corporate employers often prefer to have at least some “remote” employees working from home full- or part-time rather than taking up expensive desk space. And many businesses, especially start ups and technology companies, have no physical location or maybe have one small office but workers scattered throughout the country. They depend on at-home employees.
So the workplace for many is switching to a virtual one. And funnily enough that trend has extended to a profession that has helped many people land virtual jobs of their own in recent years.
I’m talking about human resources. You know, the folks that recruit new employees, handle benefits and payroll, create contracts, and all the other background tasks that come with managing a workforce.
Virtual Human Resource Management
Fortune 500 companies and other large businesses tend to keep most of their human resources work in-house. But they’ve been forced in recent years to take on virtual HR helpers as well. So there are some opportunities here for you if you’re interested in a work-at-home job for a well-known employer, but it’s not where we’ll be focusing today.
Small to medium-sized businesses, and those virtual companies with employees around the country and around the world, are especially drawn to virtual human resource departments. The traditional businesses are doing it because outsourcing this work can be very cost-effective compared to having an in-house human resources department. The already virtual companies do it by necessity. Their employees interact by email, Skype, phone, and instant message … so HR does too. It couldn’t be any other way.
By the way, these virtual companies are great places to pitch on the virtues of virtual human resource management. Often, these companies are started by entrepreneurs with vision and big ideas. They quickly discover that day-to-day management of a company is taking them away from the creative work they love and are best at. So they’re very open to outsourcing work like accounting, marketing, and yes, human resources. Take that hassle off their hands and they’ll reward you handsomely.
That’s where you come in. As a virtual human resource manager you’ll handle some or all of the tasks handled by a traditional HR department. But instead of reporting to your cubicle every day… you’ll work from the comfort of your own home – or wherever you want really. All you need is a reliable Internet connection and phone service.
And although experience in human resources will come in handy, it’s by no means necessary to take on this opportunity. It comes down to whatever you feel comfortable with.
If you have management experience at any previous job, you’re perfect for helping your clients find new employees and recruit new executives. Likewise, if you have experience in a certain industry or profession thanks to your own background or previous jobs, you can specialize in head hunting, hiring, and recruiting. Be sure to mention your industry experience to potential clients and employers. They’ll see you know their industry and what types of employees they are looking for.
For example, if you’ve worked in IT or software development, that could be your niche. Software companies would be very open to having “one of their own” help them recruit new employees.
Whatever industry you’ve in been in, you probably have personal contacts who might be interested in a new job or at least know somebody who is. If those don’t pan out, you know the online forums, job boards, and LinkedIn and Facebook groups these people hang out in. In short, you’re perfect for the recruiting game.
Recruiting is just the start of the HR services you could offer.
If you’ve been a book-keeper or done any accounting, you can handle payroll. Of course, only those with a good grasp of benefits like retirement accounts and medical insurance should attempt to handle that aspect of the job.
At the very least, you can help companies with some of the basics, like screening job applicants for new positions. All you have to do is follow the guidelines set by your client.
How You Get Paid
There are a few different arrangements when it comes to virtual human resources management jobs. Some companies will hire you outright and put you on payroll as a full-time or part-time employee. You might even get benefits. But you still get to work from home.
Some businesses, especially the start ups and smaller companies, might work on a contract or freelance basis. You get paid per hour or per project – until they hire somebody for a new position, for example. Standard rates are $60 per hour. Per project fees are tougher to figure, but you should keep in mind the time you think you’ll spend on a project when sending a quote to the client.
On the recruiting side for businesses of all sizes, it’s quite common to have more a commission-based compensation structure. In other words, you get paid only when you bring in promising new talent.
Obviously the more HR services you can offer with confidence, the more you can charge. So brush up on your knowledge by studying all the appropriate laws and regulations when it comes to hiring and firing, employee complaints, workplace safety, and other areas, as well as best practices when it comes to recruiting, boosting morale, and employee retention.
Finding Your Virtual HR Job
Online job boards like Indeed.com and Monster.com showcase many virtual human resource jobs. But that should be only your first step if you’re seeking a position in this niche. You should also market yourself to companies who don’t realize that they’re wasting valuable time and creative energy handling HR stuff instead of activities that impact the company’s bottom line like product creation and marketing strategy.
A great way to advertise your services and let people know you are open for business is to set up a website all about you and the human resources services you offer. Fill it with details of your experience, as well as articles about your take on human resources best practices and trends. Position yourself not as a simple service provider but as a consultant who can help companies grow and profit.
You might also set up a Facebook page for your new virtual business. At the very least, announce on all your social media profiles that you are offering virtual human resources services. You’d be surprised how many people you know (or people who know people) who need this type of help.
Finally, doing a bit of “grunt” work can also pay off. Create a form letter that you can send out when you find a small or medium-sized business online. Chances are they don’t have an HR department and one of the management staff is doing a haphazard job and they’d be glad to focus on other things.
You come to the rescue by offering to take one or more HR services off their plate.
P.S. I just gave you the rundown on how to start turning a profit by offering virtual human resources services. But here are a few more tips, strategies, and tips to help you succeed beyond your wildest imagination!
Virtual Human Resources Management Jobs
Examples of Virtual HR Providers
Virtual HR Tips and Trade Associations