How to Hire a Virtual Assistant: 5 Mistakes You Must Avoid

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant: 5 Mistakes You Must Avoid

Virtual assistants are being used more and more in the business industry, for their convenience and efficiency. Virtual assistants can perform a variety of tasks for you and your business, from ordering products to scheduling appointments. Using virtual professionals will help you to focus on the more important aspects of your business. However, hiring a virtual assistant isn’t always as easy as it sounds. It can take a lot of time, effort, and planning to find the perfect virtual assistant. In order to create a healthy and successful relationship with your virtual assistant, it’s important to avoid the following 5 mistakes.

1. Not Being Prepared and Organized With What You Need

Any entrepreneur should be well prepared before hiring anyone onto the team, including a virtual assistant. Hiring a virtual assistant before you’re truly ready for one can end in a disastrous experience for both parties. Before you go looking for your next virtual assistant, make a detailed and accurate list of what tasks and services you’d like your virtual assistant to perform. What is it that you expect him or her to do? What are your most important requirements?

Being organized and thorough with your list can help you find a virtual assistant that not only matches your needs, but also possesses the proper aptitude, attitude, and experience to match your vision. Your list of required tasks and expectations help you and your virtual assistant start off on the right foot, with a full understanding of expectations from both parties. You may also consider creating a type of “manual” prior to the hiring process, filled with requirements, procedures, and other relevant information important enough to be shared. Eliminate problems in the future by simply being proactive and thorough from the start.

2. Lacking Time For Communication and Review

Many smart business people make the mistake of assuming that a virtual assistant will simply take care of everything once they are hired. Just like any other member of the team, your relationship with your virtual assistant requires communication, honesty, openness, and feedback. Assuming that your virtual assistant can simply be left with a list of tasks and forgotten about; will only leave you and your business disorganized and unsuccessful. It’s important to check in on your virtual assistant, and check in often.

Before you’ve hired a virtual assistant, it’s important to understand that you’ll need to make ample time for him or her. Since they are after all, human, virtual assistants may make mistakes or need direction, instruction, or guidance. Before hiring your next virtual assistant, be sure you have the time required to build a positive, communicative relationship with them– to catch problems early, provide feedback, offer suggestions, and more.

3. Having a Plan to Micromanage

A virtual assistant can take care of a plethora of tasks for you, saving you money and a ton of time. As an entrepreneur, you may be use to being in control. But managing a virtual assistant may be different than managing other members of your team. Before jumping into the hiring process, entrepreneurs must understand that micromanaging a virtual assistant is unrealistic

Working with a virtual assistant can be hard for some entrepreneurs, with a fear of the loss of control. Is your virtual assistant really working? Is he or she really doing their job? But micromanaging your virtual assistant takes away his or her ability to work, as well as removes all the free time you’ve gained from hiring a virtual assistant in the first place. When you hire a virtual assistant, it’s important to establish well-set boundaries and requirements for check-ins and reviews. This allows the virtual assistant to do his or her job, also allowing you to check in on the task’s status as well.

4. Allowing Your Virtual Assistant Too Much Access

It is completely possible to build a strong, virtual team. It is also possible to build a strong, working relationship with your virtual assistant. Your virtual assistant can perform a variety of tasks for you and your business, making them a convenient and wonderful addition to the team. But because of this, they are also very close to you and your business. While you and your virtual assistant should have a good relationship, it’s also important to remember that this is all about business.

Before you hire that next virtual team member, it’s essential to understand the importance of managing your virtual assistant properly and providing them only with the information they need. Create “lines in the sand” for yourself and your business- what your virtual assistant will have access to, what you should give them access to, and where you’ll draw the line.

5. Hiring Without a “Trial Run”

Finding a virtual assistant who does your tasks for you is great, but your virtual assistant needs to vibe well with you and your business as well. Before allowing him or her to be officially brought on board, it may be smart to do a type of “trial run.” Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of hiring a virtual assistant and beginning the relationship full blast, right away. Start small, with a small project or task. During this trial run, be sure to look for things that stand out to you. How is your virtual assistant’s communication skills? Can he or she get the job done quickly? 

Before you hire your virtual assistant to take over a strong role within your team, it’s important to know how well they mesh with your company, how well they can complete tasks, and how much initiative he or she takes. If your trial period goes well, you’ll save yourself from learning later on if your virtual assistant suits you well or not.

By taking the role seriously, being organized, and finding the right fit for your team, you can make use of a virtual assistant in no time. Hiring a virtual assistant can change your life and help your business become more successful. With more time to focus on growing your business, the possibilities are endless!

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