Are you considering hiring a virtual assistant, but aren’t sure where to start, what to look for or how this decision could impact your business? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then this post is just for you!
Before hiring a virtual assistant, it’s important to learn more about who they are and how they work. Beyond a telephone or Skype interview, here are four tips for selecting an amazing VA so you can streamline your business operations.
Review a potential virtual assistant’s website before scheduling an interview. Make sure each page contains proper grammar and punctuation. If you see lots of spelling errors or sentence structure that doesn’t make sense, cross that person off your list and keep searching. Actively look for information about the person’s personal, business and educational background. Get a sense of the person by reviewing their ‘About’ page.
Are they Professional
Before, during, and after the interview, consider how professional the VA is and how well they responded to your initial engagements. If the VA takes too long to respond or ignores questions you have about work experience or specific skills, you may want to reconsider and continue your search.
Keep in mind that how a VA handles you and your requirements is a sign of how they’ll handle your customers or clients. For the most part, your assistant is a representative of you and your business. If they make a bad impression or appear unprofessional, this will reflect on you.
Skills and Experience
Find out exactly how a VA can improve your business. Ask specific questions about their work history and skills. Enquire about systems and software they’ve used so you can be assured you’re selecting someone with the appropriate experience. This will save you valuable time in training your VA.
Depending on the type of assistant you need, enquire about their specific skills in more depth, such as website management, content creation, social media management, newsletters, online research, or email management. Ideally, it’s helpful to select an assistant with a set of skills that meets most or all of your requirements.
Always ask for references, essentially so you can actively consider some sort of verifiable social proof – whether in the form of testimonials or praise, before making your final decision. These references can at least to some degree verify if the assistant is being honest about their experience and skills. References can also give you an idea of what it’s like to work with this person and how professional they are with their clients.
Asking about their availability is very important because virtual assistants can live and work from anywhere in the world. For example, if you need someone who can give a timely response to client requests, a local VA (someone in your time zone or close to it) is important. If you’re looking for someone to manage your books periodically or assist with anything that needs to be done on a daily basis – like social media for example, your VA doesn’t necessarily need to live in the same time zone at all.
Determine if you need a full-time or part-time assistant. Some VAs have multiple clients so the time they can work for you may be limited. Choose someone who can work easily with your schedule.
In most cases, you’ll know who you will want to hire after conducting a few interviews. If you feel a special connection to a person, or if your personalities fit, then you should follow your instincts. Finding the best VA for your business is possible, especially if you’re clear about what you’re looking for from the start.
Collaborating with a virtual assistant can be of a significant value to your business saving you time during the working week by tackling those tasks that you don’t have the time for or have neglected.