Having a virtual assistant can change your life for the better. The benefits range from cost savings to more time for the things that matter to you.
However, hiring and working with a VA does come with a learning curve. AU entrepreneurs who don’t make allowances for such tend to revert to their default arrangement too early and end up missing out on the benefits of having a capable VA.
So, if you want to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks, take care to avoid these five common mistakes:
Failure to Define Your VA’s Role
Although you don’t have to personally meet your VA, it’s still important to clarify their role and your expectations. Don’t just say that you need a virtual assistant. Be clear about why and what you need them to do for you, precisely.
Virtual assistants are pretty versatile, but they function best within a well-defined role. For instance, do you need them to take care of administrative duties such as calendar management, email filtering, and appointment setting? Or do you need someone that specialises in content writing, graphic design, or transcription?
Defining roles as early as possible will help both you and your VA to manage your expectations and provide both your efforts with the right direction. Thus, be sure to establish that before anything else.
Writing a Poor Job Description
Speaking of managing expectations, the next step is as crucial as the first one: writing a proper job description.
A poorly written one can greatly decrease your chances of finding the right person. For example, if you post an inaccurate or incomplete job opening, it might attract the wrong candidates or even put off high calibre ones altogether.
So, what’s the right way to write a job description for a VA?
You can start by writing a detailed summary of your desired skill set. Do you want a VA who’s familiar with a specific software? Do they need to have a background in accounting? Whatever it is, be clear about your minimum requirements.
Additionally, you can include preferences such as age, gender, location, or experience. The bottomline is to write up a job post that will reach and most importantly, attract the right people.
Hiring The First Candidate That Applies
Okay, okay. I get that you’re in a hurry to start working with a talented VA. But keep in mind that there are many skilled virtual assistants out there, so take your time to pick the right person.
Not getting enough applicants? Try to repost or update your job opening after a week or two. If you’re really in a rush, assess your candidates as soon as you have at least five in your pool so that you have enough options.
Remember, the more candidates you have to choose from, the higher chances of hiring someone who would be a perfect fit for your team.
Not Having Sufficient Qualifying Procedures
There are many candidates who are great on paper but lack actual skill and a good work ethic. Thus, don’t limit your screening process to simply reading online profiles and resumes.
For example, a more thorough qualification procedure often involves conducting a preliminary interview via phone call or Skype or even running some background checks. If you need back office staff, you can include a skill test for typing, filing, organising, and even spelling. Bookkeeping VA candidates, on the other hand, can go through a paid skill test where they have to prepare journal entries, cash flow reports, or income statements.
If you like to dive deeper and see if their personality would be a good fit for you or your company, you can also invite them for an informal virtual chat. Here, you can touch upon their personal reasons for applying, their career goals, what drives them, and so on. Knowing a little bit about where a candidate is coming from can help you make a better-informed decision.
Making Cost Your Top Priority
There has long been a debate about whether you should pay a remote worker based on their skill or location. Here’s the thing. Sure, cost efficiency can be one of your primary reasons for hiring a VA. However, choosing a candidate based on cost alone is never a good strategy.
While the VA with the highest asking rate might not necessarily be the best fit for you, lowballing won’t do you any favors either. Most candidates factor in their skills and experience into their rates, so tread carefully lest you end up hiring someone whose incompetence or inexperience could end up costing you more in the long run.
In sum, hiring and keeping the right VA comes down to doing your homework. It might sound overwhelming if you already have a lot on your plate as it is, but fortunately, we can help you with that.
Remote Staff has been making it easy for Aussie SMEs and entrepreneurs like you to hire, train, and keep top Filipino VA’s for 14 years now. We don’t just provide our clients with skilled Filipino remote talent, but we also constantly help facilitate a smooth and harmonious working relationship between our clients and remote workers.