Virtual assistants play a vital role in performing mundane tasks you either don’t enjoy or don’t know. But before you go on a limb and hire one, knowing the specific skills to look for in a VA helps in making the right decision. Compiled below are 5 things to look for in a virtual assistant.
Excellent communication skills
Interactions with a VA are all done online (virtual). Excellent communication is therefore crucial.
Good VAs promptly reply to emails, frequently give updates on the progress when handling a task, communicate professionally, and are always reachable. Prompt responsiveness comes in handy when you have that short deadline or a last minute request.
Pay close attention to how they respond during the interview process or initial encounters. Do they convey their ideas in an understandable manner? How fast do they answer to your emails and calls?
It also helps if you and your VA use the same communication channels. If not, be willing to learn and adapt to it. Hiring a VA who mainly uses e-mails while you solely communicate via Skype is a recipe for failure.
Resourcefulness is all about finding clever, quick, and easy solutions to overcome difficulties.
Little problems may arise time after time pertaining to VA’s tasks. While most may require your attention, some are minor and can be fixed by the VA. You would want someone who can take initiative and creatively and innovatively fix these problems without taking up your time.
Imagine how time-consuming it can be to have to set aside time to solve problems whose solutions are easily found on Google or YouTube, had the VA cared to look it up.
Necessary skills and experience
A new virtual assistant will have to learn a bit about your company before starting. That’s understandable. But you shouldn’t be training him/her on skills they should be equipped with in the first place, unless you have tools and processes that are unique to your company.
A good virtual assistant should be a master at his/her craft. Check their portfolio, past client testimonials, third party reviews, and examples of accomplished projects for verification.
You want a detail-oriented, enthusiastic, proactive, and punctual individual; who accords you the required respect, communicates respectfully, completes task on the stipulated time and does a good job while at it, and has good customer service skills.
To find this out, contact character references and ask how their experience was. Did the virtual assistant meet deadlines? Did the VA promptly reply to emails and requests or did the VA take ages to respond? Can the VA be depended on to successfully complete a task?
Don’t take your VA’s word for it especially if you haven’t began working together.
Trust and integrity
At some point in time, you will have to share sensitive information like email passwords or credit card numbers. Trust is therefore vital for your business relationship to thrive.
Ask your VA how they handle sensitive information and gauge their reply. They should be able to demonstrate the importance of keeping sensitive information private. Also, past clients’ and colleagues’ testimonials will give you a rough idea of whether they are trustworthy or not.
You can also ask your virtual assistant to sign a non-disclosure agreement before they start working.
These are some of the most important qualities to look for when hiring a virtual assistant. The right VA should have all of the above qualities.