4 Tips To Consider Before Hiring A Virtual Assistant

The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is consistently working in their business but not working on it. This often limits scalability and stifles innovation. That’s why highly profitable businesses focus heavily on strategy, sales and systems, non-negotiable necessities for business success. But if you’re bogged down answering phones, scheduling appointments or filling orders, you won’t have time to do much else. More and more entrepreneurs are recognizing the value of hiring a virtual assistant (VA), someone who remotely assists you with administrative, creative or social media tasks. VA’s are becoming the go to solution to increase productivity. Have you considered hiring one? Do you know what to look for before you do? Consider the following four tips before you hire anyone:

  1. Check their social media profile.

Resumes and interviews are not always good indicators of employee morale. Before you even schedule an interview, take a look at the candidate’s social media profile. Dig around and see what you can find. What are they saying on Facebook? What type of pictures are they posting on Instagram? What are they talking about on Twitter? People tend to be more honest about who they are when they are unaware a potential employer is watching.

  1. Look for mistakes.

Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. But what you don’t want to do is hire someone to make them for you. Pay close attention to a candidate’s website, work examples and email correspondence. Make sure their work is consistently on point and avoid anyone with a pattern of error riddled work. Mistakes can kill your brand and compromise your reputation. If you have to edit the assistant’s work, you may as well do it yourself.

  1. Focus on their skills.

Likability is not a skill set. Yes, it is an important factor, but don’t just hire someone because the chemistry is right. Assess the most important factors like competence, mindset and expertise. Make sure those variables are in alignment with the mission and vision of your company. Most importantly, don’t over look performance gaps because you see the assistant as a friend instead of an employee.

  1. Ask and then tell.

Virtual assistants are in high demand and their expertise varies. Before hiring one, carefully examine your needs. Many candidates have solid experience, but make sure their experience benefits you. I like to use what I call the “ask and tell” rule. Ask them what tasks they enjoy doing most, before you tell them what tasks you actually need. Why ask before telling? Most people will bend their answers and expertise to fit your needs. You don’t want that. By asking first and telling second, you can choose someone who organically wants to do what you need done.

Remember, great businesses have great teams. In order to thrive, you need one too. Consider hiring a virtual assistant to help turn your business dream into a profitable reality. Why wait? You can hire one for as many or as few hours as you need. Do your research and start searching for your perfect VA today!

1 Comment
  1. Teri, a company you should check out in the virtual assistant space is Atlanta-based Uniquely Virtual http://www.uniquelyvirtual.com It is a company that is providing high level virtual executive assistant service on multiple fronts to a range of companies, individuals and organizations.

    Some of thes services provided include email, phone, contact and client management, travel planning and itineraries, managing expenses, processing invoices, writing letters and memos and meeting set up.

    Uniquely Virtual was created to offer flexible administrative options in the post-recession workplace. Rather than relying on contractors like many other virtual assistant firms, Uniquely Virtual hires its team on a part-time or full-time basis. They receive salary, health-care benefits and a flexible work environment.

    Last week Uniquely Virtual launched a powerful online platform designed to streamline the workflow process and provide an even more efficient level of service to its clients. The introduction of this platform allows for greater access to potential clientele, and ultimately will result in Uniquely Virtual hiring more employees.

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Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.