Are you having too much work on your plate and cannot finish it on time? If that’s the case, you should hire a virtual assistant.
A pair of helping hands would go a long way in solving the problem. Sure, you will need to pay your assistant, but that is better than missing deadlines and having to quarrel with clients, right?
Now, when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, there are certain things that you need to pay attention to. You do not want to waste time on candidates that do not possess certain necessities. Let’s take a look at what a virtual assistant should have.
Education and Training
Education and training should be the first on the list. Hiring someone who is incapable of doing the job is not an option. There is an argument to be made for training a person from scratch, but if the type of work you do is complicated, the training period could take more time than you can afford.
Of course, if you hire an assistant who possesses proper education and required work skills, it also means that you will likely need to pay them more.
Working with someone who has poor organizational skills would be a problem. If tasks are difficult to manage and the person cannot organize their work properly, they will have a hard time carrying out their work.
Poor organizational skills also build habits like procrastination, miscommunication, and inefficiency. Besides, if you ever decide to hire more virtual assistants in the future and create a team, the one who lacks organization skills will struggle to keep with their peers and be a hindrance to the overall teamwork.
Similar to organizational skills, having good communication with others is also a must these days, particularly when working remotely. The odds of miscommunication increase when you cannot talk to others in person. And when it comes to work, even one small misstep could snowball and lead to bad consequences.
Hiring foreigners is quite common when it comes to VAs. If your assistant has a different native tongue than you, it means communicating in a language that at least one of you is not a native of. Keep that in mind as well when looking for a potential assistant.
Multitasking may not be a necessity if the work for the assistant is relatively simple. For example, data entry.
On the other hand, if a person can manage multiple tasks simultaneously, it showcases their experience and adds weight when you are on the fence about hiring that person or not.
Moreover, you might have plans to assign different tasks to the assistant over time slowly. Once they have more work on their plate, multitasking skills should come in quite handy.
Proficiency in Technology
The odds are that you will hire an assistant who will work for you remotely. Thus, you need someone who knows their way around technology and will not bother asking silly questions that are not related to their work directly.
Your VA should also have work tools. For the most part, an internet connection and computer ought to be enough. If they need software for work, you will likely get it for them (if the software costs money).
Taking care of a computer can be tricky at times, but it should still not be an issue to prevent the assistant from working, especially if they have a reliable model, like a MacBook.
Macs have a few issues here and there, like overheating or lack of storage, but these problems are easy to manage. Cleaning the dust inside the laptop usually reduces the temperature, and a cleanup utility tool would help you remove unwanted junk from the MacBook’s drive (you can tell the assistant to read more about cleanup software if they ever run into this problem).
The work environment plays a prominent role as well. While you may not see it for yourself, you should still ask the potential candidate whether they have a place where they can work without distractions.
Noises, lack of lighting, messiness, and other distractions are a hindrance to the overall work productivity.
An assistant who lacks a proper work schedule might still finish their job on time, but you will likely struggle to plan tasks in advance because it is too difficult to tell when exactly they finish their work.
Ideally, you should set some ground rules and discuss the work hours so that they understand when you expect the job to be finished.
Similar Job Experience
When you have to pick between two or more candidates, the priority will go to the one who has similar job experience regardless if it is a few years or months.
At the same time, if you have few options and cannot find an ideal candidate, hire one who lacks similar work experience but compensates for that with other skills. The job experience will come with time while they are working for you.