With today’s frenetic life demands and with work and life constantly tugging at each other to achieve the right balance, it is the best decision to outsource some aspects of it to a virtual assistant or a VA. Hiring a virtual assistant provides the total win-win situation for all parties involved as it makes for a better lifestyle for the employer while providing growth and income opportunities for the VA.
Finding the Right Fit
Working with VAs offers many benefits, and in one article IncomeDiary sums these up in one short statement: work less while earning more. An effective VA can help you build your business as you reduce costs, spend more time working on your business strategies, and have the freedom to pursue your personal interests.
To reap the benefits of hiring virtual assistants for you and your business, there are three basic things to look for before offering a contract. A working laptop and high speed broadband connection are just the tools and not the main requirements for the job. Interested in the burgeoning business of outsourcing VAs? Here are some tips to find the right fit:
- Communication skills should be top priority.
Depending on the demands of the work, the ability of the person to write and speak fluently in business English is very important. The reason for outsourcing is to be able to save time and energy, but if you are left with additional tasks because of constant rewriting or editing a person’s work because of miscommunication issues, then the objective or hiring VAs is immediately defeated.
Conducting a video interview and giving a simple writing test can help you assess your candidate’s communication skills. During the interview, avoid asking questions that are answerable by a “yes” or “no.” Instead, ask what, how, or why questions such as “What are your areas of strength as a VA? “How did you get into this line of work?” or the perennial interview question, “Why should I hire you?”
- Hire for skills and attitude.
With outsourcing, the VA may be miles or even a continent away and micro-managing is definitely out of the question. This is why it is important for employers to hire based on both what they can do and who they are as a person as there is very little time available for training. No amount of interview can gauge a person’s real character, so the best thing to do is to have a trial period of a few weeks up to a month to better assess the person’s competence, work style, and values.
- Ask around.
One of the best indicators of the VA’s work ethics, reliability and level of skills is the feedback of other clients he or she has worked for in the past. Read what the clients have to say about the VA’s work or character. This is usually posted on the VA’s website or profiles, like his or her LinkedIn page.
Who knows, the perfect VA and they key to elusive work-life balance may just be a recommendation away.
Contact an Agency of Virtual Assistants
There is an easier way to find the right VA for your business or personal needs: going to an agency of virtual assistants like Yourvirtualassistants. These agencies have done the job of screening and hiring the cream of the crop when it comes to VAs. They also have the a wide range of special skills to offer you—from administrative tasks to highly specialized services like website design and maintenance.