Finding someone to work for you virtually is a daunting task. How do you know this person is who they say they are? I know I’m on the opposite side, but I I try to be as transparent as possible so potential clients get a good feel for my personality and my skills before I complete my first task for them.
I’ve also found that it’s good for both the client and the VA to work together for a short period of time or on a few projects before a more long-term offer is made. You want to make sure your potential VA lives up to his or her claims. Your VA needs to make sure they’re comfortable working for you. If there is tension or anyone is uncomfortable right at the start, chances are, you are not a good match.
If you are considering becoming a VA yourself, you want to make sure you possess the following traits to ensure you are being the best VA you can possibly be.
10 qualities to look for in a VA before moving forward
- Good personality and friendly- You may be wondering why this quality is #1. For me, it’s most important. If a person isn’t pleasant to work with, no amount of skills will make them a good team member. Your VA may interact with not only you but other staff members, customers, potential customers, etc. You don’t want someone who’s going to be rude or unprofessional.
- Honesty and Discretion- VA’s are trusted with even the most confidential information a company has. Personally, I’ve been trusted with bank accounts, credit cards, and more. You want someone that you can trust. Your VA may also be privy to private information that could include company strategy secrets. It will benefit you to bring someone on board who knows how to keep their mouth shut. I recommend having them sign a NDA before you start giving them access to really private information.
- Dependability and Responsiveness- If you can’t depend on someone, why do you want them working for you? The same goes for responding. When working virtually, it’s possible you’ll miss each other. A little time may go by before you see one another’s Slack messages or check an email. However, you hire someone with the expectation that they’re available during certain hours. Make sure to discuss this in detail before any contracts are signed. If your VA is supposed to be available, make sure they are. I am always on point. If I can’t get to something right then, I make sure to let me team members know when I’ll be able to get to it. If there’s a super tight deadline, an exception can be made. In my experience, as long as you communicate when you’re going offline or mobile for a few hours, everyone is ok with it. You don’t want someone who’s going to just disappear on you.
- Resourcefulness and Confidence- Not all VA’s are going to be experts at every single program you’re using. I know I’m not, and I am upfront about that when meeting with a potential client. I do let them know that I am capable of learning anything, and I’ve found that clients are happy to train when a reliable VA is willing to learn. It’s a good investment. There also may be times where your VA needs to think on their feet. You’re hiring them to free up your own time so while it’s important to welcome questions, you don’t want someone who can’t make a decision on their own; especially for something simple. Make sure to find someone who knows how to take the bull by the horns, and they’re confident in their work.
- Communication Skills- You want someone you can understand, your customers can understand, and the rest of the team can understand. I’ve found that people who don’t have good communication skills are not effective social media managers, and they’re generally harder to work with. Make sure to hire a VA that you understand.
- Flexibility- This is so important for someone working virtually. I’m making an assumption, but chances all, we’re all work-a-holics. In my years of working virtually, I’ve noticed we’re all the same; both the clients and the VA’s. We love to work. While daytime hours are ideal for business, there may be weekend tasks that pop up or tasks to be completed at night. VA’s work from home. Make sure to communicate what you’re looking for and find someone who’s ok burning the midnight oil occasionally just in case you need them to.
Don’t be overwhelmed
Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed looking for a VA. VA’s are supposed to make your life easier, not more difficult. The process of finding the perfect match shouldn’t be one that’s stressful.
I also recommend keeping things casual. Stuffy resumes are a thing of the past. If you want a Rock Star VA, find him or her! Don’t settle for anyone less.
I screen my own team members using the qualities listed above. If you’re searching for a VA, send me a message. Let’s see if Do It All Virtual Assistant is a good match for what you’re looking for.