One needs to look at the process differently when you hire a virtual assistant. Granted, there are similarities between a virtual assistant and an assistant that sits in your office
but it is because they do not sit in your office, that the “prep” and on-going communication needs to be top drawer.
We have put together a few common mistakes you need to try to avoid when hiring a virtual assistant.
You are not clear on what you want or need from a VA
Before you hire a virtual assistant, you need to know exactly what your needs are.
If you are not sure on what you need help with, how will they understand what it is you want from them?
The simplest way to get to this, is to make a list of all that you need help with, and all the areas that you are struggling to keep on top of.
From there, prioritise what is most important and/or urgent, down to what is least critical.
This way, your VA will know what to tackle first.
One Stop Shopping (one VA can do all tasks)
When you realise what it is you need help with, it can be so easy to just dump everything on your virtual assistant. But, you cannot expect one person to do it all.
Virtual assistants can be god-send, but there are only so many hours in a day. That is why your initial list and compartmentalising each task is vital to a smooth process.
Having goals set for each task will make all the difference and you will find your VA will get so much more done this way, and of course, you won’t end up stressing.
It is all about planning.
Sacrificing quality of work to save $$$
Another common mistake is thinking one can save money by employing low-quality staff.
This rarely turns out well. There is much to be said for an experienced worker who understands his/her position.
At VirtualStaff 365, we pride ourselves on the fact that we only select virtual assistants where we are confident of their work ethic and experience.
You may pay a bit more with us, but you can rest assured you will be receiving the best service possible.
Skipping training and learning sessions
You know your business back to front. So, it makes perfect sense to educate your new virtual assistant on what your business is about and what the business needs. Do this from the start and keep reminding the VA.
Continuous training and learning sessions are critical to keeping your relationship flowing and ensuring all your work is completed to your satisfaction.
Set up a schedule for, at least, two months ahead, whereby you go through where your business is at that time, where it’s going, and what is required of the VA going forward.
Do try to stick to these sessions. One missed session can lead to others missed, and eventually you may find things have spiralled out of control.
Not Setting Expectations
Virtual assistants are not mind readers. It would be great if they were, but alas, that is not the case.
You need to be setting expectations and goals for your VA and of course, make them practical and possible to reach.
Here, again, the initial orientation session and ongoing scheduled check-in times are essential.
If you see a problem, address it immediately or in your scheduled meet up.
This way, you won’t land up pulling your hair out, all because you didn’t set the right expectations for your VA.
Lack of Communication
Distance, like with most relationships, can lead to either miscommunication or no communication at all.
Do not make this mistake with your VA. Communication is key!
Again, set schedules up in both your diaries, where you connect via an agreed communication platform, whether it be Skype, FaceTime, or WhatsApp Call, or even better, a voice-to-voice telephone call.
This way, you can go over the week gone by, and the week to come up.
A good idea is also to get your VA to send you a report on work completed and work still to be done.
This could be done on a weekly basis, and will show the progress, and /or any areas that need tweaking.
On the other end of the scale, it is common that too much micromanaging occurs.
Here at VirtualStaff365, micromanaging is not necessary or ideal. By constantly checking in on your virtual assistant, can affect productivity levels.
They won’t be able to get on with their work because you are constantly bothering them and checking on whether they are working.
We understand that not having your assistant physically in your office may lead you to worry whether they are actually doing any work, but we can assure you that through VirtualStaff365, you need not fret about this.
This is where the reporting in and progress reports come in handy. You can fool someone once, but eventually the proof is really in the pudding, and your VA will need to show what they have been up to.
Want to avoid making VA hiring mistakes? Call us!
Now that you know what not to do, why not take that step and look to employing a virtual staff member?
We have an easy to use contact form and we are here to discuss all your requirements.
We realise that every business has unique needs and finding that perfect VA for you is our priority.
A virtual assistant can offer both piece of mind and help you with time management.
So what are you waiting for? We’ll be right here waiting for your call!