Working with a virtual assistant is one of the ways to grow your business. Outsourcing your virtual assistant services is the same as hiring a personal assistant who takes on most of the administrative tasks, does the email management, assists with inbound and outbound calls, looks after your social media, and other tasks that you delegate for your business but the difference is a virtual assistant can work remotely.
How to Spot the Best Virtual Assistant?
Your virtual assistant will handle all sorts of tasks. That is why it is essential that you find someone who can provide the best virtual assistant services.
Before you commit to hiring a candidate to be your next virtual assistant, here are the skills and characteristics you must check and look for.
Remember, your virtual assistant will be working remotely and you cannot monitor him or her 24/7, therefore, proper communication is important between you and your VA. As the client, you need to be able to relay clear instructions and feedback to your virtual assistant whether it is through email, voice calls, or chat. In return, your VA must also communicate in an understandable and direct manner. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings that can eventually affect your business.
Aside from the client-assistant relationship, you must hire a virtual assistant that has great oral and written English communication skills. This skill will be handy when you ask your VA to provide you assistance in sending out emails to clients or making calls to potential customers. Keep in mind that you want someone who can be a good representative for your business, whenever you are not around.
The required technical skills greatly depend on the tasks you want to assign to your virtual assistant. For example, if you need someone to write blogs for you, then look for a VA with excellent writing skills. If you want someone to design brochures or create social media posts for your business, find a VA with graphic design skills. Other skills, though, can be trained. But if you want the best virtual assistant, you must hire someone with multiple skills. Here are some of the common skills you might need in a VA:
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Administrative skills
- Digital marketing
- Social media marketing
- Lead generation
- Customer service
When writing down your job advertisement, be clear about the skills that you need. Identify which skills are required, which are preferred, and which skills you’re willing to train them on.
Aside from skills, you also need to look at the attitude of the virtual assistant. Although it might be difficult to gauge it at first, there are some telltale signs that you might want to look out for. For example, if a candidate shows up for the interview late or in an unprofessional manner, that shows a lot about his or her punctuality and professionalism. If you think the candidate has good business ethics, then just go with your instincts. Just make sure to lay down the ground rules clearly when you’re working together.
Guide to Outsourcing and Hiring Virtual Staff
After managing your expectations and noting the specific things you are looking for on a virtual assistant, you can now jump into the actual hiring process.
Step 1: Make a List of Tasks You Want to Outsource
By making a list, you will have a guide on how to properly delegate the tasks within your business. You can pinpoint the most important tasks you want to take and the tasks you want your virtual assistant to do. After the responsibilities are specified, you can now create a job description for your virtual assistant.
Step 2: Create a Job Description
Here, you must provide background information about your business. Of course, the job description must include the level of education, experience, and/or skills required, list of duties and responsibilities, and list of any apps, tools, or software they will be using. By mentioning these, you are relaying your expectations for all possible applicants.
Step 3: Post Your Job Description Online
Once you are done with step 2, it is time to post your advertisement online and start accepting applications. Just take note, post your job advertisement on platforms that you can easily accommodate and review every application. You can also actively find your next virtual assistant on different platforms instead of waiting for the best possible applicants to send in their resumes.
Step 4: Review Applications and Schedule Interviews
After you review the credentials and capabilities of applications. Pick out your top five and schedule them for a video interview. For remote work, a video interview is the best option to gain immediate responses from the applicants. In this step, you can test their communication skills and work ethics. Also, through a video interview, you can establish an initial impression or relationship with the candidate because you can get to know them more by asking them questions related to their virtual assistance experience, their skills, goals, etc. You can also briefly ask them about their hobbies, how they like to work, how they like to be managed.
Step 5: Give Your Top Candidates a Test
If they pass your communication skills test, now, you must be sure about their technical skills. Before the job offer, you must see the quality of their work. Give your top three candidates a test that will include some tasks that they will be doing once they are hired.
Finding the perfect virtual assistant for your business is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You need to evaluate your needs against what the candidates can offer, you must thoroughly screen your candidates to avoid making costly errors. Remember, there are thousands of virtual assistants available online so never settle for the second best. Once you find the perfect VA for you, you will reap the benefits in the end.