Perhaps you’re thinking of joining the Virtual Assistant (VA) hiring bandwagon because your digital marketing business is growing and you need someone who can multi-task effectively with a multitude of admin duties.
Hiring a VA is incredibly beneficial, especially monetarily as they can provide administrative support for a fraction of the salary needed to hire a full-time receptionist or administrative assistant.
You may be wondering what skills and qualities are required when recruiting for a VA. They can perform a variety of tasks such as telephone answering, social media scheduling, email answering and much more.
Fortunately, I have put together a comprehensive list that ensures you make the right choice during the VA hiring process.
Here are the qualities and skills you should look for in a VA.
Ability to multitask
A VA must be able to handle calls, schedule meetings, organise miscellaneous tasks and client requests all at the same time.
All these elements keep the company moving forward – ask your potential VA how they have gone about managing several tasks at once to assess their multitasking skills.
Works quickly and efficiently
VAs typically work at an hourly rate and so you want to hire one that can complete the work quickly but efficiently too.
The more experience your VA has in handling and completing several tasks at once, the more you can maximise time spent on your own tasks.
Reliability and dependability
Your VA needs to complete tasks that are assigned to them without worrying on if they will follow through or not.
If they’re not reliable or dependent enough then your clients may feel neglected and disappointed, which can not only damage your reputation but also gives you the job of cleaning up their mess.
Ask your VA when they’ve gone above and beyond their duties to assess their dependability. This way you can make an informed decision on their overall reliability as a VA.
Hiring VAs who operate abroad has become a more cost-effective solution for marketing businesses. But just because the virtual staff are cheap it doesn’t always mean they are the best person for the job.
If the VA job entails heavy use of client interaction especially – then making candidates take a language proficiency test can put to rest any worries about their communication skills.
You could even conduct an interview over the phone to assess their speaking skills (and telephone etiquette).
Amazing time management
VAs will have a lot of tasks to deal with simultaneously, so it’s essential that VAs can nail down time management.
A decent VA will naturally be good at time management, but what separates the good from the excellent is their ability to use a variety of tools to manage their tasks efficiently for productivity’s sake
Your new VA will be required to communicate to both you and your clients. Having good communication skills is essential for this – so having the people skills and the ability to connect with others is imperative.
A VA also needs to give you frequent updates (weekly or bi-weekly) to keep the communication flowing so you’re in the know of what tasks they’ll be performing.
Good computer skills
It’s not uncommon for businesses to assess a VAs typing speed. A VA needs to be able to type between 30-40 words per minute (WPM) in English (or the language you require).
They should be able to manage multiple applications and task management software open in order to work on various tasks at once.
Knowledge of project management tools
Running a business smoothly in today’s climate involves knowing and using the top project management tools. You can use applications such as Trello to pin tasks to a board, or Asana to assign tasks to people and/or projects.
You can go even further by assigning to a software development company like Atlas Computer Systems to develop bespoke clever software that will help your business reach new heights.
During the interview process it’s worth asking what project management tools they’re familiar with, they might even know of some you don’t.
If they are unaware of any useful tools then go about asking how they would learn new applications and assess their keenness to project manage effectively.
So to summarise – hiring a VA is fantastic business news to increase your own productivity so that you can work on business-focused tasks.
Make sure you hire the right VA by assessing them on the skills you need the most.
I’m a UK based freelance SEO consultant and digital marketer and I provide results-driven online consulting and digital marketing services to SMEs. Are you ready to grow in 2020? Get in touch today!