Hiring a team member is an important step towards shifting from a solopreneur mindset to a business owner mindset—in other words, from working for your business to finally making your business work for you. A team member can free up your time so you can focus more on activities that have the biggest impact on your business’ bottomline, like sales or client relations.
But when it comes to hiring virtual employees, you want someone who’s not just good but also one who will stick with you and your company for the long run. In this video, Linh Podetti, founder of Outsourcing Angel — an offshore recruitment agency with a virtual team of over 70 around the world — shares the top 5 traits to look for to help you hire the best virtual assistants and retain a long relationship with them.
A good virtual assistant has integrity and can be trusted to work on your project to completion. As they are working remotely, virtual employees are expected to manage their own time and workload. You depend on them to accomplish the tasks assigned to them without hand-holding and without you being physically there to supervise their work. This quality is also important when it concerns sensitive data like customer records, invoice details and other personal information. This is why Outsourcing Angel looks after everything for you, so you’re covered for all things related to privacy, HR, payroll and training.
A valuable virtual assistant is also your go-to person when it comes to finding information and is proactive when carrying out tasks. For instance, instead of asking questions, your virtual employee should easily find the answers themselves by doing a quick Google search. A virtual employee should always be solution-oriented, where she finds workable solutions for everyday challenges instead of presenting you with problems. While trainings are extremely helpful, your virtual assistant should still have the initiative to find ways to get the job done.
Effective communication is more than just the level of proficiency in written or spoken English. You also have to consider how your virtual assistant relays or conveys information about their tasks or project and how she keeps you updated about her work. It’s challenging to communicate with virtual teams as context of messages may vary. At the same time, it can be difficult to monitor certain time-bound tasks when your virtual employee is not responding to you. It could be that your virtual assistant has lost connection without you knowing or she just doesn’t possess the communication skills to keep you up to date.
You need to make sure that your virtual assistant is accessible through various channels of communication so you’ll be informed about work and project status at all times. Our virtual assistants at Outsourcing Angel are the best to hire because they are trained to have the initiative to communicate and be responsive with task updates, so that clients can have peace of mind that things are getting done.
Accountability is an often overlooked trait when hiring a virtual assistant. Some companies choose to hire freelancers to cut costs but are unknowingly sacrificing accountability. Can you work with a virtual employee who avoids shouldering responsibility? Would you trust her with critical tasks only to forget it or worse, never to return with the project?
This is the difference when working with an agency like Outsourcing Angel. The agency acts as the middle ground, making sure that the work assigned to virtual assistants are completed and delivered on time as promised. Outsourcing Angel’s virtual assistants are professional and ready to take on responsibility. If your virtual employee is committed to your happiness and to the success of your business, she will take all the steps necessary to assign and apply herself to tasks and find solutions to problems because she is fully aware of her responsibilities.
Last but not the least, good virtual assistants are not without the skills that make them what they are—ultimate virtual rockstars. It’s important to determine a virtual employee’s level of competencies in the appropriate fundamental and technical skills.
The fundamental skills include the basics, like the ability to use the internet for video or voice calls, create emails and work with basic software needed for the task.
Technical skills are more specific to the scope of work. For instance, if you’re looking for a social media manager, your Virtual Assistant should have the social media know-how to assist you in carrying out tasks and make helpful recommendations.
If you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant, use this as a checklist to make sure you are getting the best of the best. You should also download our list of Interview Questions to use during your next recruitment process. A portfolio can only do so much; you can’t let someone who has a poor work ethic join your team. Character and attitude can mean more than a creative resume or CV. However, if you’re looking to hire the best virtual assistants, Outsourcing Angel is a great place to start.