If you’re looking to rent an office in Seattle and think hiring virtual workers employees from the Seattle area could save you some money, don’t be so sure. With the recent boycott against Seattle-based businesses not supporting a $15 minimum wage, you might be asking for trouble if you’re not willing to pay a fair wage. Also, the Emerald City has specific hiring rules and regulations, so check with the city government before you accept or deny an applicant.
Still, the pluses of hiring virtually in Seattle could outweigh the negatives:
- Ability to attract more specialized and trained workers
- Lower overhead since you don’t need to provide virtual employees with office space
- Hiring virtual workers located in Seattle area means you can meet in person when necessary
- If you want to hire people who are not U.S. citizens, you can contact the City of Seattle’s Employing Immigrants website, which provides quick and easy access to immigration-related employment law information.
- Seattle is home to several leading educational institutions with high graduation rates. Plus, The University of Washington is one of the top recipients of federal research dollars.
Managing Seattle Virtual Talent
If you are going to hire employees to work remotely you’ll need a system of procedures and requirements in place so virtual workers know exactly what is expected of them. Spell out from the beginning what you expect in terms of working hours and response times. Try and have set weekly or biweekly live conversations in case any questions need answering.
Project management tools help you keep track of your virtual workers’ goals and progress and keep everyone on the same page. Online tools are available to share visuals with virtual employees during your calls; using the cloud to store files means there won’t be 20 versions of a project floating around.
If you want virtual workers in the office sometimes, you can create space for a workstation to handle revolving workers. And consider offering transportation reimbursement; Seattle’s good metro rail system and streetcars mean access is not an issue.
Virtual workers may be the answer to grow your business in Seattle. Be sure to always do your research and hire in a way that is legal and avoids trouble down the road.
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