Admit it. Administrative tasks take most of your time. Instead of worrying about scheduling that client meeting for tomorrow, don’t you want to handle more pressing matters than that? If that’s your worry, it’s time to start looking for a virtual assistant or online assistants to invest in. Why?
Hiring virtual assistants save you tons of time and effort. They handle almost anything from scheduling meetings to booking you that ticket to Japan. But the catch is:
Online assistants can either give you stress or success. Either they are great on what they do, or they are incredibly new to the business. So, in choosing a virtual assistant, have a standard.
Consider this your cheat sheet for virtual assistant recruitment. Ready for the guidelines in choosing the right virtual assistant for you?
1. Open Communication Line
You can’t see a virtual assistant personally. Unlike a regular office assistant, an online assistant is a remote type of job. So, what’s the best thing to do?
In this situation, choose a virtual assistant that keeps an open and clear communication line. Select a virtual assistant that knows how to speak, read, and write in English (as most of the business use the English language). That way, you don’t have to worry about mutual comprehension. What else?
Select a virtual assistant that has an open communication line 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A dependable virtual assistant is someone you can count on during emergencies, so keeping an open line is crucial.
2. Look for A Virtual Assistant with Experience
Like most jobs, hiring an experienced virtual assistant is a must. It’s no secret that:
An experienced online assistant is handy because you don’t have to teach them anymore. This will save you time. In the end, you hire to let people work for you and not the other way around. So, what are the hallmarks of an experienced virtual assistant?
Experienced virtual assistants are confident with their work. With confidence comes initiative. A good virtual assistant goes beyond what is expected of him.
3. Choose Somebody That Has A Sense of Accountability
Your selection is golden once your virtual assistant is humble enough in owning up to his mistakes. This only means that your applicant has a sense of accountability. This is useful in times of:
Emergencies and worst-case scenarios. An accountable online assistant will do everything to try to correct his mistakes.
This type of virtual assistant is credible and disciplined. This means that he or she is willing to learn from that mistake. This is also a sign of professionalism on their part.
4. Make Sure That They Have a Good Working Track Record
Research on your shortlist’s past job experiences. Although past experiences don’t define a person now, it is still important to get to know their working styles. What you can do is:
Look for contact references from their past employers. Call their employers if you can. From there, assess their quality of work, traits, soft skills, hard skills, and what can they bring on the table.
5. Has Good Organizing Skill
Know the organizing skill level of your soon to be a virtual assistant. The role of a virtual assistant requires excellent organizing skills. Why is this so?
Most of the virtual assistant’s tasks are messy and tons in volume. Organizing these mundane tasks saves a lot of time. Although most of the tasks are easy, arranging them from most urgent to least urgent is crucial in not missing your deadlines.
Don’t look for the most intelligent virtual assistant. Look for someone diligent and knows his or her priorities well. Administrative tasks are first and foremost easy to do but difficult to organize, especially if it is in volumes.
6. Choose Somebody That Knows Their Way Around Social Media
A social media savvy virtual assistant will help you a lot in the marketing side of the business. They know the nooks and cranny of social sites. And the best thing is:
He or she can lead you to a lot of avenues that you might not even know about. Plus:
You don’t have to invest a lot of time teaching them how to do their job. Get some comments from their past employers on how they hold their social media accounts. This will give you an overall idea of their knowledge in handling social media accounts.
7. Hire Somebody That Speaks Their Mind
A virtual assistant is confident about his skills when he suggests an idea. Sharing a take on issues shows knowledge and expertise in the subject.
You can count on them in certain situations, which requires another opinion. The little bits and pieces of advice from them will eventually help your business in the long run.
8. Likes to Know More About Responsibilities
A virtual assistant who likes to get in-depth information about his or her role is a keeper. This means that he is not selfish and that he cares about your business. The most important part is:
Putting limitations on the person’s roles helps a lot in defining his responsibilities. This will avoid overlapping roles between your employees.
9. Trial Run
Trial runs are important. This will help you assess the quality of work that you are expecting from the person. Plus:
This is a good way of knowing your future working relationship with the person. This is a good time to assess their working style, for example, if they honor your deadlines or your guidelines. Make sure to prepare at least two types of trial runs. These trials should feature some specific skills that you want to assess from your future virtual assistant.
10. Has a Good Sense of Time Management
The right virtual assistant for you is somebody who can manage their time well. Do you want to know why?
Time management equals to having a good sense of priority on the tasks ahead. An online assistant that manages his time well does not miss any deadlines because they know what to prioritize. And:
This also means that they value your time.
A virtual assistant with a good instinct saves you time. Even before instructing them with the next step, they already know about it. The only catch is:
This quality is hard to find in a virtual assistant, as most of them placidly wait. It is rare to find somebody that initiates action.
An online assistant usually manifests this trait in the middle of the working relationship. Once he or she grasps your business core, you will not need to tell them what to do next.
12. Has Is Eager to Learn
It’s not a requirement to hire someone that has years and years of experience. Sometimes, an eager learner is enough for a virtual assistant to be successful. At first:
You might need more time to teach the person, but the pay-off at the end is worth it.
You know that your online assistant is eager to learn if he asks questions. However, you need to be good in analyzing these questions as some of it might be nonsense. For example:
If you need somebody that is good at writing in the English language, you don’t hire somebody that will always ask you about grammar.
13. Wants to Understand Your Business Core
At most, virtual assistants are not interested in your business. As long as you pay them, then that is enough. However, you’ve found the right virtual assistant if:
Your online assistant wants to know more about your business. He wants to learn it for a reason. He is trying to understand the business so he can readily adjust to your needs. For example:
If your core business needs a 24/7 type of focus, then your virtual assistant will try to open his or her lines 24/7.
There are a lot of virtual assistants with most of the qualities mentioned above. You just need to find patience in your search. Some companies offer a vault of good and able virtual assistants. Some of the good virtual assistants are hiding in freelancer sites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, and more. You can also find virtual assistants from social media sites like Facebook. Scour these virtual assistant Facebook groups. Post your AD and keep a clear message for them. The most important thing to observe is:
Treat your applicants well. Yes, they are virtual assistants, and most of their tasks will be mundane, but this does not mean that you get to disrespect them.
Treat them with respect and professionally correct them if they are at fault. Pay them for their work’s worth. After all:
Nurturing a good connection is so much more pleasant than raking loads of cash.