Not all VAs are created equal!
Some are new to the assistant industry and are still learning what it takes to help a business owner. Some have great customer service skills while others struggle to keep in touch with you about the status of your projects. Some have excellent technical skills while others find using a computer or the internet challenging. It is important to be aware that it is up to you to interview the VA and determine if their skills match your needs.
Flexibility – Does the VA work full-time or part-time? Are they available during evenings and weekends (if that’s when you work)? What time zone is the VA located in? Are their working hours set or flexible? Your VA shouldn’t add constraints to your business.
Security – Are their files and payments handled securely? How do they work with confidential documentation and information? Even if you don’t think your business requires a lot of discretion, you’d be surprised at how important this is. You don’t have to run a medical practice to want to keep information private. Ultimately, you want someone trustworthy.
Professionalism – Will your VA answer your inquiry in a timely manner? Do they appear to be knowledgeable, professional, in their mannerisms and the way they speak? You should feel comfortable trusting your VA with any task, especially if they need to liaise with your customers and colleagues.
Skillset – There are many tasks that you can delegate to your VA. It helps if you have a list prepared, then during the interview process you can review that list with a potential VA to determine if they can do all of those tasks. Do they have the skills you need to do the work required?
Structure – How do they like to work? Do they prefer to communicate via email only, voice calls only or a combination of both? Are they working with sub-contractors? Ask your VA what will happen if they are ill or away or on vacation. Will they (or even can they) arrange for another VA to look after you until they return?
Transparency – You should have an easy way to find out what your VA is working on. Do they arrange update calls or send regular update emails? Do they use a productivity tool such as Trello, Dubaso, or Slack?
Rapport – What kind of personality does the VA have? Do you both “click”? It’s good to have someone who is friendly, enthusiastic, detail-oriented, with extraordinary customer service and follow-up skills.
Considering the important role they play, it’s crucial to select wisely when hiring a virtual assistant. That being said…once you have found the right VA, things should fall into place smoothly and quickly. Alleviating your workload and helping you focus on your business needs.