No-one said finding the perfect virtual assistant would be easy! But many businesses quit the search way too early thanks to a handful of negative experiences.

As a Melbourne virtual assistant provider, we’ve had many clients come to us with reservations or negative experiences colouring their expectations.

It’s never too late to find the ideal candidate – so long as you do it right and avoid these all too common mistakes!

Are you giving your virtual staff the wrong tasks?

Before hiring virtual staff, you need to be clear from the very beginning what tasks they’ll be doing and what you need from them. Just like any other employee, your VA’s skills and experiences need to match up with the role you’ve hired them for.

Unfortunately, many businesses think of virtual staff as do-it-all employees.

Even worse than being given work they simply aren’t qualified for, many business owners forget that virtual staff can’t do everything for you!

In my experience, virtual staff are best employed to take the grunt work off your shoulders. They are very good at this – when it comes to more strategic work however, I strongly recommend keeping that part of your business here, in Australia.

It’s not because your virtual staff aren’t capable, not at all! Rather, it’s because only you can do this type of work. I’m talking about things like:

  • Developing business strategy
  • Putting together plans
  • Making sales

If you need a second opinion, feel free to ask your VAs for their thoughts. But as the business owner, this is your specialty.

 

How unclear communication impedes your VAs

Effective communication is important in all businesses – however, when half your team is based in another continent altogether, it goes from important to essential.

Unclear directions are like kryptonite to the virtual staffing – after all, you can’t poke your head into the next office to clarify things!

My advice?

    • Ditch email – use instant messaging instead
    • Schedule regular Skype meetings – this ensures you’re all on the same page with one another
    • Sync your calendars – you need to know what your VAs are up to, and vice-versa
    • Use project management tools – this is especially useful if you have multiple VAs working the same project
    • Build good habits – make time for a quick catch up every morning and afternoon
    • Be very clear with goals – share your goalposts and metrics

Need additional tips for “handling” your virtual staff? Check out some of our useful productivity hacks.

It’s all about trust: have faith in your virtual staff!

By all means, keep track of your remote team. However, it’s important that you trust them to work effectively without having to breathe down their necks!

Firstly, micromanaging very rarely works – 85% of workers say that it negatively affects morale.

Secondly, if you’re not willing to trust your virtual assistants, what’s the point of bringing them on?

At VirtualStaff365, we know you don’t mean to micromanage (or at least, we hope it’s unintentional!) That’s why we try to set your mind at ease is by making sure we hire the right person from the word “go”.

Our recruitment process is thorough, with candidates vetted according to your requirements and put through multiple rounds of interviews if requested. We can even test for technical skills.

Additionally, we provide you with time and attendance-monitoring tools to help you track what your team are doing on any particular day.

 

You won’t always have a virtual assistant in Melbourne. They can be anywhere in the world… and sometimes, that’s a problem!

Just because you can talk to someone on the other side of the globe, doesn’t mean you can communicate with them.

Cultural differences and language proficiency are two of the biggest hurdles that come with hiring virtual staff. They simply mightn’t fit in an Aussie business!

Before onboarding a virtual assistant, do some reading into their:

  • Work culture
  • Language quirks
  • Approach to work
  • English fluency
  • Values
  • Overall outlook

VirtualStaff365 source talent primarily from the Philippines, with a couple hailing from South Africa.

Luckily for you, English is officially recognised as an official languages in both, resulting in high levels of fluency and neutral accents. Both countries possess a good work ethic and are relatively Westernised, making them ideal destinations for virtual assistants in Australia.

 

Choosing incompetent virtual assistant services

Hiring virtual assistants can be hard, I know. There’s nothing wrong with looking for help… provided that you find someone who knows what they’re doing!

For example, not every agency makes an effort to understand your business, customers and requirements. Every business is unique – how is your Australian virtual assistant service supposed to find a suitable VA if they don’t know what you need?

Far too many virtual assistant services will simply draw  from a pool of applicants to fill the vacancies. They might be able to guarantee fast turnaround as a result, but can they really guarantee you’re getting the best person for the job?

Another sign of a less scrupulous virtual staff finder is if they completely ignore you once a position is filled. Filling a position isn’t the end of the story – you still need to worry about:

  • HR
  • Managing your VAs
  • Payroll
  • Time & Attendance
  • Annual reviews
  • Xmas bonuses etc

Good outsourcing providers will help out with all of these things. As a small or medium-sized business, you mightn’t have enough time to do all of these things on your own. Trust us, an incompetent outsourcing provider can throw a spanner in the works!

 

Interested in a virtual assistant in Melbourne? Get in touch with VirtualStaff365!

So there you have it – the most common things that businesses do wrong when taking on virtual staff. Steer clear of these mistakes, and you’re already streets ahead of many other businesses that outsource!

If you’re interested in virtual staffing for your business, you’ll need a partner. With an Australian virtual assistant provider like VirtualStaff365, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of outsourcing without the headache.

Whether you need someone to look after data entry, customer service or anything else, talk to a Melbourne virtual assistant agency today – call us today at (03) 8842 4300, or get in touch here!