We are now living in an unprecedented age of technological advancements that have made it possible for two people living continents apart to be able to communicate with each other in real time, while looking at each other through the user interface of devices such as smartphones and laptop computers.
The role that the internet has had in making this possible cannot be overstated. It has opened up a whole vista of possibilities for businesses throughout the entire world. This is basically due to the fact that businesses are not limited to sourcing labor for their work from their location.
They can now seek the service from around the global, getting the best labor offered at the cheapest prices possible because of currency differences between different currencies.
This comes in handy when a business owner decides to hire a virtual assistant to make life a lot easier. Below are some of the tips and pointers that you would need to know before hiring a virtual assistant.
Understanding these suggestions will assist you in making informed decisions that will save you a lot of your hard earned money and also prevent you from experiencing many inconveniences that would otherwise pose a major challenge to the success of your business.
Before Hiring Virtual Assistant
Determine If Virtual Assistant is Necessary
The very first thing that you should do is to determine whether or not your business needs a virtual assistant. This will prevent you from hiring someone who will only take away value from the company (in the form of wages) while adding nothing tangible to the business in return.
You would be much better suited creating a list of tasks that the virtual assistant might take over from you so as to free up your time to focus on other projects.
Once you have figured out more than enough things to do that would justify hiring a virtual assistant, you can then embark on the project with out any hesitation or doubts that would normally cloud such an exercise.
Decide Between Using an Agency or Hiring a Freelancer Directly
There will be a huge difference in the advantages and disadvantages to your company when you choose to hire a virtual assistant from an agency or if you decided to choose your assistant from a freelance website.
When dealing with the agency, you might have to pay more for the services of the virtual assistant that you will be getting, without the being certain that this assistant will give you more value than the freelancer you would have hired directly.
While this is a small disadvantage, the peace of mind that you will get by working with an agency instead of sourcing for your own freelance virtual assistant will more than make up for the extra amount of money that you would have spent.
However, if money is a real concern for you, you could still hire a virtual assistant from the myriad of freelance website out there on the Internet. While there is no guarantee as to the efficacy and effectiveness of such an assistant, chances are you could get someone at the level of the agency virtual assistant or even better for half the cost.
Be Detailed in Your Requirements
It is important to make sure that the job listing that you will make advertising for the services of a virtual assistant will be as detailed as possible to prevent any conflicts down the road when you start working with your virtual assistant.
List every single tasks and quality that you will expect from your virtual assistant as the two of you work together. It is also crucial to insert a call to action somewhere in the job listing (preferably in the middle of the job listing) that will serve to make sure that any respondent to your job advert will have read and understood everything that they will be required to do.
A failure to be clear on the job description and a failure to hire the people who have read and internalized your requirements could lead to catastrophic consequences for your business.
Interview Respondents Before Hiring
If you choose to go with hiring a virtual assistant directly from a freelancer website, then your job listing will definitely attract a large number of bids. This is where you will have to separate the wheat from the chaff.
You will have to inspect their profiles and come up with a shortlist of the best applicants for the job based on your budget and their qualifications. Later on, you will interview the shortlisted applicants to see if they are capable and that they have internalized all your requirements.
All this must be done before hiring to minimize any chances of chaos down the road as you start working together with your virtual assistant. Hiring an assistant is half the battle.
You Still Have to Manage Them
After getting the virtual assistant of your needs, you should understand that it does not stop there. They will still want guidance and managing.
This means that as much as you will have the free time you have always wanted to focus on other projects, you should also make sure that you send them tasks in good time and give detailed guidelines so that your tasks can come out the way you want it to. It is only good and proper management that will allow you to extract the most value out of your virtual assistant.
Be Responsive to Their Needs
It will also be up to you to treat your virtual assistants in such a way that they will be constantly motivated and willing to give you their best work at all times. This means that you will have to be polite and be punctual in paying them if you want every thing in the business to run smoothly.