In the June edition of “Ask a Hiring Manager,” we talk with Virtual Vocations very own Sarah Hill, the Department Manager of Vetting Approvals (or Virtual Vocations job database manager in basic terms). As a leader in the job board industry, we post 100% vetted job openings from the top remote employers across all industries while also offering informative blog posts and career services. Yet none of it would be possible without the efforts of Hill, and her team of job quality specialists.
To maintain a high level of quality job listings, Hill acts as the Virtual Vocations job database manager. Under her guidance, the quality specialist team conducts in-depth research of the company to ensure each employer’s legitimacy. In addition, they approve and post the newest jobs for Virtual Vocations members. The final aspect of her job is to provide unique insight into each remote-friendly company by sharing our research findings in the Remote Companies Database.
While the job may seem simple in nature, it requires a staff of remote workers with a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and a self-starting mentality that’s identified through Virtual Vocations hiring process. If you’ve had success with Virtual Vocations or you’re searching for a place to start your work from home career, use these tips from Hill for a strong start to achieving your goals.
What type of jobs are you interviewing candidates for?
Most recently, we’ve been searching for job quality specialists. These individuals sift through job listings to filter out fraudulent employers, as well as approve and post new job openings. Successful candidates usually have strong data entry skills, a keen attention to detail, and the ability to work remotely.
Is a resume important when you are making hiring decisions?
Yes! A resume is always a welcome addition to any application. It gives me a great overview of the candidate and a glimpse at their experience, or lack thereof. As a general rule, the easier that resumes are to scan and the less cluttered they are, the more valuable they are to me in the hiring process as Virtual Vocations job database manager.
What things will turn you off from inviting a candidate to interview?
Probably the most egregious turn-off is not following the directions to apply. Following instructions seems simple in nature, but you’d be surprised how many candidates are automatically eliminated by failing to do so. On top of that, it’s nearly always quick, easy things that only require a minor attention to detail.
It could be as simple as not attaching your resume to your application or not filling out the subject line as requested. Candidates go through an online assessment and we grade them on how well they follow a set of provided guidelines. So to that degree, not following directions or guidelines is almost inexcusable.
So let that be a lesson to all you jobseekers out there. Follow the directions, check your work, and then check it again just to make sure. That’s a surefire way to make certain your application is airtight.
What three things are most important during an interview?
The three things that are most important before and during the assessment process:
- The candidate is communicative through the entire process from the time they’ve been chosen to take the assessment through the assessment itself.
- During the live assessment, that the candidate is able to show through their answers that they’ve been through the provided materials and can apply the guidelines during their assessment.
- The candidate provides requested materials before deadlines, or if having issues, reaches out well before deadlines instead of waiting for the last minute or reaching out past the deadline.
What should a potential candidate know about interviewing?
The potential candidate should know that the assessment is a live test. It’s just like an interview, demonstrating their knowledge of the learning materials. The assessment also shows their willingness to learn the guidelines provided to ensure subscribers get the newest and best job leads available. Thus, preparation before the live assessment is essential, and it’s quite similar to going to an interview.
How important is it that I have all of the requirements on the job listing? Should I still apply even if I only have 75% of the requirements?
Yes! You should absolutely apply even if you only have 75% of the requirements. Not everyone will meet all the requirements. Candidates shouldn’t feel discouraged just because they don’t have everything listing in the job posting. As the Virtual Vocations job database manager, I understand that hard skills are only a portion of the overall profile of a successful applicant. Soft skills are equally as important, and something that you can’t readily demonstrate without applying to the job first.
What are you looking for in candidates in terms of culture fit with your organization?
We’re looking for someone with a hawk’s eye for detail, the ability to read faster than the Flash, and data entry skills that would put…well, Data to shame. We’re a hard-working, fast-moving, completely distributed team.
Or I suppose that’s the more eye-catching explanation that we use for our job description and some of the hard skills we want to see in applicants. But in terms of culture fit, we just want someone who’s willing to be a team player and has a strong work ethic. Both of those attributes will take you far with our team and endear you to the Virtual Vocations database job manager, a.k.a., me.
What are you looking for in a cover letter that you can’t get from my resume?
I use 10 questions instead of a cover letter. Your responses to these 10 questions let me know a little bit about you! This can help you stand out from other candidates and give me a glimpse into you, your experience, and why you want to work for our company. This is more of a casual way to explore who you are as a candidate without feeling the stress that you might experience during the interview process. So when you’re answering these questions, be honest, be straightforward, and most importantly, be yourself!
They say that you only have a matter of seconds to make an impression with your cover letter. What are three things you see on cover letters that will cause you to immediately reject an application?
With the 10 questions:
- Using the wrong company name. Yes, this has happened!
- Three or more grammatical or spelling errors. We’re all human, but this is supposed to be your best foot forward!
- One-word answers. That tells me you aren’t very interested, and the feeling is reciprocal. I’m not interested in you as a candidate. It may sound harsh, but one of the biggest turnoffs of a hiring manager is a candidate who’s clearly just looking for any job.
When it comes down to it, how do you decide who gets the job offer?
The candidate that gets the job offer is the one that can show through their assessment scores that they can apply a set of guidelines to their work that’s given to them on a daily basis. But maybe equally as important is communication! When you’re on a remote team, nothing is more important than transparency and communication. The more communicative I feel that you are, the better your chances of getting hired for the position.
Hiring Manager Bio
Sarah joined Virtual Vocations in 2012 and is devoted to getting telecommute positions on the site so that others can find their dream work from home position. Her favorite thing about working from home is the flexibility it allows for her to be there for her family whenever and wherever needed. In her spare time she enjoys playing Lord of the Rings Online, playing flute and piccolo, and watching bad movies on Netflix with her husband.
Are you a hiring manager who’s interested in appearing in our “Ask a Hiring Manager” monthly series? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to set something up with the team. We’d love to hear from you!
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