Your Home Office Setup Could Be Costing You The Job

Posted by | March 15, 2011 | Blog, Home Tools

QUESTION:

I am a hiring manager with two home based administrative positions available. I have interviewed many applicants but sometimes it seems difficult to find someone who is really prepared to work from home. My company simply refuses to hire someone that does not have childcare for their young children, or who do not have a up-to-date computer and software or do not have an acceptable credit score. We do not cover the fees associated with setting up a candidates home office. In fact, we expect the employee to do this since the payoff is the opportunity to work from home!

Could you please let your job seekers know that if they want to work from home they need to walk the walk and talk the talk!!


ANSWER:

Oh boy… we get this question often from hiring employers who have become frustrated with candidates who, at least in the eyes of the employer, do not appear to be prepared to work from home.

Many employers have also complained about a perceived attitude amongst many work-at-homers that they “deserve” to be hired based on need and not on skills and experience. As we’ve said many times, a work at home job is just like landing a traditional brick and mortar job, except more difficult, more time consuming and more competitive!

Childcare
First, on the issue of childcare – this is simply a no brainer. You cannot accomplish the tasks of most work at home jobs while also taking care of young children (especially if the work involves phone and customer service work). As a result, childcare is a big concern of many hiring managers. So many times employers hire a home-worker only to discover that there is a three year old in the picture who needs constant care and attention, or who
interrupts phone calls and online meetings. Therefore, it is important that you make sure that you have childcare available to your children when working from home. And, whatever you do – do NOT tell an employer that you want to work from home so that you can
“spend more time with your children”. Potential employers will reject your resume thinking that you will not be able to focus 100% on your job.

Unfortunately, those of us that are employed full time from home can attest, working from home does not always mean that you’ll be spending more time with the kids.

Your Home Office Setup
A need for skilled and prepared home workers is one of the most frequent email subjects that we receive from employers. “Why can’t you send me someone with Act! (or Excel, or a virtual Fax, or Skype, etc)?”, or “Can’t you find me an applicant who knows SQL and HTML?” Other frequent requests: two phone lines, virtual meeting software, voicemail, a telephone headset, a non-AOL Internet access and email account, a college degree and previous home office experience. Basically, employers expect you to be WELL EQUIPPED at your own expense. If you are not in a position to fully equip your home office, rest assured that your competition can. There are no shortage of qualified work-at-home job seekers so if you expect to land a job, you will need to make sure that you can offer the employer everything they need to perform the job successfully. We suggest that your home office contains:

  • Processor Speed: 2 GHz or higher.

 

 

  • 1 GB RAM or higher

 

 

  • IE 6 with service pack 1

 

 

 

  • High Speed Internet Access: DSL or Cable Modem

 

 

  • Monitor-800 x 600 resolution

 

 

 

  • Email Account with at least 250 MB storage (no Hotmail, MSN, AOL or Yahoo). Free Gmail is ok

 

 

 

  • Home phone line

 

 

 

  • Comfortable and private home office with desk, chair, and file cabinet or storage.

 

If your resume is missing many items from the list above, we would suggest that you get yourself up to speed on the basic necessities of a successful home-worker before you apply for your next job. The competition alone will eat you alive.

Advice from a HomeworkersNet.com user
A recent successful HomeworkersNet member offers this advice:

“I have landed three really great work at home administrative jobs using the Homeworkersnet.com website. The trick is,” said Lindsey Owen, “is to think about all the other people applying for the job and then figure out a way to make myself stand out
in the crowd. When you listed a job that required experience with CRM tools. I realized that I didn’t have a good selection of CRM programs on any of my home computers so I downloaded what I could and purchased a few others. I received almost immediately that I was being offered the job.”

The most important thing that you can do if you are serious about working from home is get rid of AOL, Netscape, Bellsouth or any other “personal” type dial up service and instead get yourself professional quality high-speed Net access and a reliable email address. Some employers refuse to hire AOL, Hotmail, and Yahoo users because of the problems with email not being delivered.

How is your credit?
Finally, more and more employers are requiring acceptable credit scores to qualify for work at home jobs. (This includes VIPdesk and many others.) Too often employers have put their trust and time into a home based employee only to find that the worker “disappears” because they forgot or couldn’t pay their Internet service fees, phone bill or rent / mortgage payment. To protect themselves from this loss, employers now require an acceptable credit score to qualify. This is generally 400 or 500 and above.

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