Many an entrepreneur has fallen into the trap of hiring a Virtual Assistant based on price and price alone (the lower the better, right?) This hiring criteria is usually closely followed by how skilled the worker is and their attention to detail, to minimize babysitting and revisions needed by you.
Our friends at 24/7 Virtual Assistant share the qualities a VA should have:
1. Head Nodders vs. Question Askers
Persistent header nodders have perfected their ability to nod their head in perfect harmony with you while you’re giving them instructions. Or, when sending email instructions, they don’t reply or give one-word replies like “on it boss”. Such a personality type rarely makes for a good VA, because they don’t feel the need to provide or receive feedback. They either think they know everything, can understand instructions perfectly – or downright don’t care whether things get done right the first time.
2. They Need to be Self-Managers
Obviously some projects are going to require you to be intimately involved with every little piece of the puzzle. That’s what cloud-based project management solutions are for. In order to build a massively profitable online marketing or service presence, you need people who can take instructions then adhere to your deadlines and follow up schedule without needing to be reminded. You won’t build a successful business hiring workers who expect you to hold their hand every step of the way.
3. They’re Accountable
Online VA’s are no different from offline employees. Some of them are stuck in teenager-mode and simply cannot accept that they’re responsible for getting things done and they’re responsible when a project or task isn’t up to spec. You can’t build a profitable business with workers who always have an excuse at the ready, especially the “blamers” who’re never at fault and hopelessly blamed for things that were “someone elses fault.”
4. They Don’t Mind Being Watched
In order to be successful managing a team of Virtual Assistants, you need to be able to track progress in real time, using a productivity app like Asana or Trello. This can be a problem with freelancers, who most often prefer to communicate strictly via email, and refuse to cooperate or have their time and work tracked. If you’re using a service who finds your VA’s for you, they’ll likely have their own project management dashboard setup for you to use, with employees who understand its importance to busy entrepreneurs and who won’t have a problem being monitored.
5. They Match Well With Your Style
You don’t need to be like two best friends from college. In fact, professionalism is key and your VA shouldn’t be your friend at all. However, they have to match up with your personality style and way of doing things, in order to make for a killer cohesive team. If you prefer minimal interruptions to your day, you can’t be working with VA’s who need constant attention. If you like to keep in touch hourly via Skype and they do not, well obviously it won’t be a work marriage made in heaven!
Their strengths and weaknesses also have to mesh with yours and other team members. The ideal team of VA’s will fill in all the gaps in your business, to make your online business a force to be reckoned with!
Photo credit: Phil Dowsing Creative