Published on July 14th, 2020 | by Daniela McVicker0
5 Common Mistakes When Hiring a Virtual Assistant
As a business owner, you know how crazy things can get. Your primary job is to think about improving your business and growing your company. But there are other things such as scheduling meetings, sending emails, outsourcing, and planning that someone needs to take care of. The best thing you can do to ensure things are running smoothly is to hire a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants are remote workers who take care of the tasks you assign to them. With the freelance industry that’s exploded over the last couple of years, there are thousands of VA’s you can hire. But, you have to be careful not to make the wrong choice.
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To ensure you’re hiring the right person, you have to avoid making the 5 common mistakes we’ve listed below. Let’s check them out.
Not Creating a Job Description
While you may feel that you can make an agreement with your VA “on the go”, the truth is this type of a deal can only cause problems.
When hiring a VA, it’s crucial that you know exactly what you’re looking for. Then you need to define it and write it in the form of a job description.
Make sure you cover things such as:
- preferred skills
- experience level
- list of tasks you’ll need them to cover
You may even opt for someone who has experience of working in the custom academic writing niche, as they are going to have excellent writing skills. In any case, let job seekers know what you’re looking for to avoid a ton of applications and under-qualified candidates.
Not Testing the Communication
Your virtual assistant will be representing you and your business by communicating with customers directly or via social media platforms. It means your VA will be writing emails, answering phone calls or running your social media account if you don’t have a manager for this.
So, you can’t allow them to have poor written or oral communication skills.
The best way to test this is to:
- exchange formal email with them
- interview them over video chat
- give them test task for written proposals, emails, or invitation
Pay attention to their vocabulary, grammar skills, attention to detail, and overall communication skills.
Make sure they’re suitable for representing you to your customers or business partners.
Not Testing Resourcefulness
A virtual assistant needs to have great research skills and to be extremely resourceful.
You never know when you’ll need them to find some information that might matter to you.
Again, it’s best that you test these skills by assigning them with a task.
For example, tell them you want to buy new equipment for your employees, but you need to do it today. Tell them to find laptops, for example, and send you the best tech deals within an hour.
You’ll see how well they perform under pressure and whether they are skilled enough to find what you’re looking for.
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Every niche and industry is different. Your specific branch of business carries a lot of specific details and instances not everyone has heard of.
This is exactly why you need to be realistic when it comes to your expectations from your virtual assistant.
You can’t expect them to start their first day at work and know:
- who your business partners are
- who are the leading companies in your industry
- what happens within your niche every single day
It would be wrong to expect them to be experts. The truth is, you should be able to provide proper training.
Leave room for:
- training them
- guiding them
- being patient about their questions
Just make sure you find someone willing to learn and grow.
Not Doing The Math
Virtual assistants are an extremely valuable addition to any team of people and can help improve things and get them in order.
However, some people feel like virtual assistants might be an unnecessary cost to the company budget. The truth is, virtual assistants, save you time and money. Here’s how:
- VA’s answer your emails and rearrange your schedules, leaving you more time to focus on business strategies and improvement
- VA’s help you outsource for specific tasks
- VA’s keep your team together, providing task management services. This saves you all the time and money
- VA’s can handle your social media accounts and online presence, saving you the money for hiring a social media manager
Think about the different ways your virtual assistant will make your life easier. Also, do the math, and see how much time and money you’ll be saving by hiring a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants are life-savers and anyone who’s struggling to keep up with their daily tasks should hire one. But, make sure you don’t make any of the common mistakes we’ve listed above.
Use the list above as a guide in the process of hiring your VA. Good luck with finding the perfect match four your business and your needs.