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If you’ve been running a business for the past decade and have been doing well for yourself, you have probably heard of virtual assistants. They have shown to be extremely resourceful and cost-effective, not to mention extremely beneficial for the companies who hired them.
You don’t have to take our word for it. There are already a plethora of companies out there who have experienced firsthand just how great virtual assistants are. They’re not perfect by any means, but if you choose correctly, you’ll find yourself a remote worker that’s able to take your brand to new heights.
And that’s why we’re here—to help you know how to choose the best virtual assistant. Well, to tell you the truth, what we’re here to find out is how to find the best one for you. Because, to be honest, not all virtual assistants are created equal.
That’s the beauty, and their drawback—there are some virtual assistants out there who cannot do what you need them to do, no matter how good they look on paper. There are simply those who are incompatible with what your company needs, and you need to know which ones are good for you.
But as mentioned prior, this is also what makes them so great. Virtual assistants are such a varied bunch that the chances that there isn’t one for you out there is next to nil. So as long as you know what to look for, you’re good to go.
Sometimes VAs are hired for taking care of more than just one task.
Well, lucky for you, we’re here to tell just that. Here, we’ll lay down some tips and tricks, and the things to look out for when you’re looking for your virtual assistant.
- See if they are professional
These might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but truth is, it is still something you should be looking out for. Take note, a lot of virtual assistants are working from home. This means they are more often than not in complete control of their schedule.
Giving an employee that much freedom was unheard of a decade ago, and it can sometimes foster callousness, and have them think they can work when they think they need to, and not at the specified hours on the contract.
We are in no way saying that VAs are likely to do that. We’re just trying to emphasize just how important it is to choose the right VA. Now, you might be thinking about how you could possibly know if they are professional or not.
From the very first phone call, you can get a feel for their personality. Set the tone, and they should be able to get the message and converse accordingly. You could also send a message to one of their prior clients to see how they worked.
- Make sure they are well-acquainted with technology
Although some people might tell you otherwise, you need to make sure your virtual assistant is well-versed with the computer. Not really to the point they know the ins and outs intimately, but at the very least check if they’re familiar with most of the more common programs.
If you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense. These people are going to be working remotely. Not only are they going to have to rely on their own expertise and knowledge if a tech problem comes up, but they should also be able to fix it in a reasonable amount of time.
To tell you the truth though, this is probably one of the things on this list that you don’t have to worry about. People who work from home are at the very least know their way around a computer, which means you don’t really have to make it a priority to check this.
However, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so you definitely need to make sure you ask some questions regarding their computer literacy level when you start doing interviews for your virtual assistant.
- Do your research before doing interviews
If you were thinking about hiring a VA and found this article by chance when you were researching tips on how to find a good VA, you are already on the right track. Unfortunately, some people are too hasty, and post the ad as soon as they realize they actually need help.
Do your research, especially if this is your first time actually making use of the services of a VA. You would be surprised about what you can learn online, and this knowledge will increase the chances of you actually choosing someone who will be a good fit for your company.
Once you’re done with the initial research and already know what to look for in a VA, the next thing to do would be to do research again, but this time on the prospects. If you do it right, you’d be surprised at what you can find out from previous clients of a particular VA.
- Make sure their availability suits your intended schedule
As we have mentioned before, virtual assistants are in charge of their schedule. This is simply one of the perks of working remotely, wherein you can be the boss of your own timeline. However, this should change when they get a new client.
Make sure to check what kind of schedule a VA has. Are they willing to do full-time work, or are they only available part-time? Do they have specific rest days, or are they willing to go with what you choose for them?
Make sure the virtual assistant follows your schedule, not the other way around. No matter how good of a VA the potential hire is, you shouldn’t need to change your plans just because they’re not available during your assigned times. Trust us, there’s one out there who will be willing to go with your schedule.
- Check out what kind of industry they were working in before
Another thing that makes virtual assistants so wonderful is the wealth of experience they possess. Not all of them are seasoned veterans per se, but a lot of them have actually worked in a particular industry before, and then decided to go work at home.
This not only means you don’t have to spend as much time and money on training as you would if you hired an in-house employee, but it means they could even teach you a few things when it comes to their previous job.
For example, you need somebody to handle social media, and at the same time know how to calm down irate customers and have them leave with a good opinion about your company. Of course, you should make VAs with experience in the customer service industry a priority for hiring.
We’re not saying you should only hire them if they have years and years of experience in a particular field. But at least take this into consideration during the interviews.
- Keep an eye out for that spark
What is the most important thing to look out for when you’re hiring a virtual assistant? Professionalism? No. Attitude? Important, but no. Experience? Even more important, but this still isn’t what you should be prioritizing when choosing your virtual assistant.
It is a bit ambiguous, and it might be hard to spot, but the most important thing when choosing your VA is how you feel as a business owner about how compatible the potential hire will be for your business as a whole.
Let’s say a person came to you with the best resume you’ve ever laid your eyes on. But they just don’t feel like they’d fit in with your ideals. Trust us, you should continue looking. If you don’t feel like the person is a good fit, they probably aren’t. Trust your gut, as compatibility is the most important thing when looking for the perfect VA for your business.
It may seem like it all boils down to your gut feeling, but it really doesn’t. Although we emphasize the importance of compatibility, there are still things you should look out for when choosing your VA. We only highlighted the compatibility issue because, well, it is the most important thing to look out for.
Despite how much you’re able to save from hiring a VA, you are still taking a chance when you hire someone new. If at the very onset you feel like they won’t fill the spot you need, then find someone else.
This is the best answer considering how every company is different, and how you need to find the VA that best fits your brand. You know your company best—so just use our list as an outline and trust yourself to know the best person for the job when you meet him or her.