I received a comment and question about Virtual employees as follows:
Where and how do you find these virtual workers? How do you evaluate them? What are the confidentiality and conflict screens you use? I'm very interested in this concept, but don't understand the specifics very well.
Posted by: Scheherazade | April 6, 2005 12:45 PM
Finding Employees: I posted for law clerks on my Alma mater law school web site which allows attorneys to post job openings. Interestingly, I received students with excellent credentials. I attribute this to the uniqueness of the posting which emphasized independent work, flex hours, self-motivation and great pay. I also anticipate that there are many lawyers out there who stopped practicing to raise children and would love to step into a virtual position, but would never go back to a 50 hour/week job at a law firm.
Evaluation: I evaluated them initially based on their resumes, grades etc and a phone interview. The real test is in their work product. Since they are not employees, they only get work if they complete the assignments in a timely fashion delivering quality solutions. So bad workers simply don't get further work.
Confidentiality: Each worker signs an Independent Contractor agreement which mandates confidentiality, etc. If there is a conflict, they can reject the assignment. All documents transmitted with attorney client information are labeled as such and, in the case of Adobe docs, password protected, locked down for printing, etc. I instruct all workers that they must delete files from their hard drives at the conclusion of the assignment.