Featured Image Caption: Virtual Assistant for Your Business
Virtual Assistants (VAs) are crucial to running businesses today. The best VAs will have the capacity to perform a range of tasks to make the lives of small business owners easier so that they can focus on forming better business strategies for growth.
Company leaders must focus on high-value tasks like creating a great company culture or a business development plan to help them achieve their goals. They can only truly focus on such pursuits when they free up their time from tasks that can be delegated to another employee—ideally, to a VA who knows and understands what to do.
How to choose the right virtual assistant for your business
Choosing the candidate that fits your professional requirements, temperament, and personal merits will require taking a deep dive into the subject of why you are hiring a VA in the first place.
1. Know what your VA needs to do
Explore your reasons for hiring a VA. Ask which of your company’s tasks can be delegated to the VA and what the job entails overall. List down specific functions or duties and ask yourself if they are to work with you full-time or project-based only.
Knowing your basic assignments for your future VA is how you start building a profile, including the skill sets or particular industry know-how you can include in your job posting. This is the first step in attracting the right kind of candidates: being specific about what you want and need so that they can respond should they find themselves suitable for the job opening in your organization.
2. Pick a virtual assistant who matches your core values or personality
Matching personalities doesn’t have to mean that you and your VA are peas in a pod—it only means that you both respect each other’s differences. What’s important when hiring an assistant, or any employee for that matter, is that their core values match yours.
If your employees value the same things as you do—integrity, loyalty, excellence, kindness, and other professional metrics you uphold—then work and collaboration will be smooth sailing from there. Find a VA with whom you can have a great working relationship.
3. Know their location and ponder on whether it is a deciding factor
Do you need your virtual assistant to be a native speaker? Perhaps he or she must work in your own time zone. Maybe you only need output-based work, and schedules do not really matter in the long run. Answering these questions and other location-relevant queries will help you decide if geography should have a say in your final verdict.
Keep in mind that one of the benefits of hiring a VA is that you get to hire the best talents, wherever they may be in the world.
4. Check their references
Virtual assistants must have verifiable referrals or references. Ask around about your chosen candidate, and be sure that they have a track record for doing good work. It would be much better if you could get personal recommendations to have more peace of mind.
5. Match their skills and experience with your set budget
If you are looking for the perfect VA, you have to respect fair pay rates. If you go for the cheapest option on the pay scale, you will not usually find the best set of skills or qualifications that suits your needs.
Virtual training tips for upskilling care of your human resource team (in-house or outsourced) will be an option for the not-so-qualified, but do you really want to spend extra time and resources on training instead of going for a candidate who already has all the necessary qualifications?
Think about the best possible options available, and work your budget around that without being too stingy about it. Everything great comes at a price, so prepare to spend a bit if you are in search of the best VA for the job.
6. Assess their multitasking capabilities
VAs will be handling several tasks at a time during your business’ busiest days. It is vital that you accurately assess their level of competence when assigned to multitask, as it will play a vital role in the overall efficiency of your workflow.
Some of their everyday tasks include scheduling, client handling, task organization, and multiple project management tasks. This is why virtual assistants must be highly organized, resourceful, and have the presence of mind to handle challenges well as they arrive.
Being an efficient VA means knowing how to use time management and workflow systems to eliminate errors and maximize efficiency. Good time management skills are a crucial characteristic any hiring manager must consider when looking for a VA.
7. Great communication skills are a must
Aside from research skills, they must have great communication skills. The Philippines and India are among the top English-speaking countries considered by SMEs based in the UK, US, Australia, and other parts of the world because of the citizens’ high English proficiency rates. Great written and spoken language skills are a must for every virtual assistant.
Stages of the VA selection process
- Come up with a list of qualifications
- List down the qualities that align with your company culture
- Make a detailed but succinct job posting that highlights your top requirements
- Post the job opening on reputable websites, or have an offshoring company handle it for you
- Pick your top candidates and invite them for an initial interview
- Give them a test, if it applies, or have them submit the results of a relevant proficiency test
- Do background checks
- Invite them for a final interview
- Hire a candidate who suits your requirements and can work with your budget
Know what you need to filter candidates efficiently
Once you have a list of definitive qualities and skillsets that you want your virtual assistant to have, you may then communicate your needs in the best way possible. When you can have a job posting that clearly discusses your requirements and the right kind of candidates see the ad, you will have a better time picking the VA who fits the job description. Good luck, and may the best VA win the spot!
By Amanda Poe
who is the Vice President and Head of Marketing for Outsource Access in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a passion for technology and streamlining processes while utilizing the most affordable resources. With several years of experience, she aims to grow clients big and small, while helping them keep their life in balance. Running a business and having fun can be challenging, but employing the most efficient strategies and team makes a huge difference. In her free time, she likes to travel and visit families in the Philippines, doing in-person goal setting and give back programs.