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7 Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Woman holding a blue pen in her right hand preparing to write in a notebook.

When stepping into the world of virtual assistance, it's crucial to be well-informed. To guide you, we've gathered seven insights from HR directors to co-founders, covering everything from training your virtual assistant to the importance of valuing cultural awareness.

  • Train Your Virtual Assistant

  • Document Your VA Requirements

  • Ensure Tech Compatibility

  • Give Three Candidates a Test Project

  • Clarify Your VA Needs

  • Have Patience with VA Onboarding

  • Value Cultural Awareness

Train Your Virtual Assistant

You cannot expect your virtual assistant to know everything if you're not willing to put the time in to train them.

It's on you as the hiring manager to create processes and SOPs, and ensure that you're providing your virtual assistant with what they need to learn effectively.

Document Your VA Requirements

I would say that you shouldn't assume processes; rather, have your requirements documented and ready to go in a digestible format for the virtual assistant you're hiring. This ultimately makes the hiring process seamless and smooth for both parties.

Ensure Tech Compatibility

The key nugget of wisdom before taking the plunge is understanding the technology and tools your VA will use. It's like handing someone a map without knowing if they can read it. Make sure you're on the same page regarding the software, communication platforms, and any other tools that will be part of your collaboration. 

This ensures a seamless integration into your workflow and minimizes any potential hiccups. Trust me, a little tech compatibility upfront can save you from a lot of headaches down the road.

Give Three Candidates a Test Project

I have hired more than twenty virtual assistants over the last two years. My best advice is to pick your top three candidates and give them a project as part of their final interview before choosing the top candidate. 

Another tip is to fire quickly. I have learned to end the work relationship at the first sign that the worker won't work out in the long term. My last tip is to be prepared to train and supervise. Most employers fail when hiring virtual assistants because they are not prepared to adequately train and supervise new workers.

Clarify Your VA Needs

Before deciding to hire a virtual assistant, it's crucial to clearly understand your specific needs. Take the time to outline the tasks and responsibilities you intend to delegate. 

Define your communication expectations, preferred tools, and any specific skills required for the role. Providing a detailed overview not only streamlines the hiring process but also sets the foundation for a more effective collaboration. This clarity helps the virtual assistant better understand your expectations and enables them to deliver results that align with your business goals.

Nabil Salib, Urgent Care Specialist, MyDoc Urgent Care

Have Patience with VA Onboarding

Before hiring a virtual assistant, it's crucial to note the value of patience. As an entrepreneur in the education sector, I understand that, like students, virtual assistants learn over time. They adapt to your rhythm, grasp your needs, and enhance their service based on this understanding. But these improvements won't happen overnight. 

Therefore, it's essential to be patient, giving your virtual assistant time to grow into their role. Remember, it's the gradual improvements over time that ultimately enhance efficiency and productivity.

Nooran Zafarmand, Co-Founder and CEO, Japamana

Value Cultural Awareness

One thing people should know before hiring a virtual assistant is the importance of cultural awareness. A virtual assistant who possesses cultural sensitivity can help avoid potential misunderstandings and miscommunications when interacting with clients or customers from diverse cultural backgrounds. 

For example, understanding cultural nuances in communication styles, greetings, or appropriate business etiquette can enhance client satisfaction and collaboration. Being culturally aware also shows respect for clients' values and fosters stronger relationships. It is crucial to discuss the virtual assistant's cultural awareness during the hiring process to ensure smooth interactions in a globalized business environment.


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