Virtual assistants are angels sent from heaven. They can do a lot of stuff for your business, thus giving you the time you need to focus on major projects. These individuals can provide different services to your business, regardless of their location. Typically, virtual assistants work remotely, but they can access the necessary data and information they need to work so long as they have the right tools.
The process of hiring a virtual assistant can be very stressful. The market is full of individuals who claim to offer these services—some are genuine, while others aren’t. This presents one major challenge for many people—how do I get the right virtual assistant? There are several things that you should check before hiring a virtual assistant. Please note that hiring the wrong person can prove to be costly for your business.
With that said, let’s look at the top 7 things to consider when hiring a virtual assistant.
This is the first thing that you should consider when hiring virtual assistants. A good virtual assistant should have a well-proven track record of the previous projects that were completed successfully. So, an experienced virtual assistant shouldn’t have a challenge in showing examples of similar projects that they have accomplished in the past. Check their portfolio, as well as third party testimonials and reviews.
Certain professions don’t consider multitasking to be an important skill. However, this is not the case with a virtual assistant. A good virtual assistant should be able to organize and schedule tasks, manage clients, and perform other duties at the same time. Multitasking skills are essential, as they assist a virtual assistant to keep your business running.
If you come across someone with experience in using productivity tools, time management, and task management software consider it to be a bonus. Such skills are essential in boosting productivity, reducing errors, as well as keeping your operations running smoothly.
Virtual assistant jobs are very demanding—and this calls for someone good with time management. A virtual assistant shouldn’t have a challenge in handling different tasks and ensuring that these tasks get done without delay.
Therefore, a professional virtual assistant should have exceptional time management skills. Moreover, having the ability and willingness to use time management tools should be a plus to them. Such people should be able to review their time management tools, to know how they can boost their overall productivity.
Good communication skills
You will need to communicate with your virtual assistants daily. Moreover, your virtual assistant will need to communicate with your clients every day. That means good communication skills are a must. These skills include understanding how to talk to other people, and also communicate through a phone call, chat, email, or text message. Therefore, you should check whether a virtual assistant is capable of communicating effectively using these channels before hiring them.
Also, it’s important to understand that excellent communication skills extend to giving ideas on how to remain in communication with each other. This can include weekly phone or video calls, giving weekly updates on a particular day, as well as any ideal that will help both you to remain in touch.
Since you are looking for someone to work virtually, they must have outstanding computer skills. These skills include the ability to conduct research, and also to type well, and fast. A good virtual assistant should type at least 30 words per minute in English.
Moreover, they should be good at internet search skills, and conversant with top task management and project management programs. Besides, a good virtual assistant shouldn’t have a problem with scheduling email programs, calendars, chat, and video conferencing tools, as well as dealing with any software program used in your industry.
Today, most people are searching for virtual assistants who are not native English speakers. This has become a common trend, and it comes with one major benefit—affordability. Virtual assistants who are not native English speakers charge lower rates compared to their counterparts. Thus, you’ll realize it’s much cheaper to hire such virtual assistants. Interestingly, you can get a virtual assistant to handle your daily tasks at a very cheap rate.
However, this comes with one major challenge—English proficiency. Most of these virtual assistants are not proficient in English. Therefore, this can present a major challenge, since you’ll be communicating in English. Moreover, the virtual assistant will need to communicate with your clients in English—meaning there can be a major communication barrier.
Virtual staffing agency, Allshore, advice that you ask your prospective virtual assistant to do an English proficient test online. After that, take some time to conduct an interview—this can be via a video or phone call. This will assist you to understand whether you are a good match with the virtual assistant. Moreover, it helps in gauging their English proficiency, and how they can communicate in English.
Generally, your virtual assistant will serve as your personal assistant. That means, they will be handling lots of sensitive information. At times, you’ll need to allow them to access your email and social media accounts, as well as credit card information when booking flights and hotel rooms.
Now when hiring a virtual assistant, make sure that they prove to you the significance of honesty when interviewing them. It’s important to let them show you how they shall be handling your sensitive and private information. This is where references come in handy. Take your time, and call a number of their references and enquire about the virtual assistant’s level of honesty.
Bonus point – Resourcefulness
Always look for a resourceful virtual assistant. This should be some who can handle different challenges with creativity and innovation. A virtual assistant who can demonstrate such skills can be very valuable to your business.
Moreover, creating virtual assistants will directly tackle any challenge that comes their way and put the necessary measures in place to prevent it from happening again. Therefore, resourcefulness is key, in addition to the other qualities we’ve discussed above.
Professional virtual assistants should take their time to understand what they are needed to do. With time, they should start anticipating your requirements, as their boss, and this should allow them to make an informed choice without dilly dallying. Therefore, you need to understand that hiring a virtual assistant is like hiring any other employee in your business.
When you hire your virtual assistant, ensure that you come up with a process that’s clear for both of you. Besides, you should factor in the cost of hiring the virtual assistant. Finding one who charges flat rates is an added advantage. Virtual assistants who charge per hour tend to have additional charges and hidden costs. Moreover, it brings on another challenge of monitoring and verifying the time logged in by the virtual assistant.
All, in all, a professional virtual assistant should make things easier for you. Having them on board will change your business. Moreover, it will give you the time you need to concentrate on other business activities.