Hiring the perfect person to fill a position in your business can be a challenge. It does not begin and end with a simple job description. Once you’ve narrowed down what kind of expertise you need from an applicant, you also have to find someone who has the right attitude and the kind of personality that will fit in with your team and business culture. Now add another layer to that, a virtual hire. This complicates things even further. However, if you know the qualities to look for in a Virtual Assistant, you will have a relatively easier time finding the right one for you and your business.
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While every applicant will be different, just as every applicant need to have similar areas of expertise, there are also qualities you need to absolutely look for in a potential Virtual Assistant.
- Communication – The ability to communicate goes well beyond one’s proficiency in speaking and writing a language. It is also the manner in which one speaks, are they polite, pleasant, too soft spoken, etc. How do they respond to stressful situations? These are all important in considering an applicant. While only time will really tell, there are ways to test this during an interview or during initial conversations. This also includes how they comprehend and process information in order to be able to respond appropriately in any situation.
- Time Conscious. – Working from home means that one must be able to work independently. This means that they must have the drive to be able to meet deadlines. This may seem like a no-brainer but it is a HUGE factor in what makes a good and bad Virtual Assistant. Time management and the ability to perform and deliver as needed is an important trait for any remote employee. Furthermore they should be able to focus on their tasks at hand without getting distracted by their environment. Based on surveys, many remote workers say that they are able to be more productive at home because there are less distractions, but this must be a conscious effort.
- Attention to Detail. – “The devil is in the details” as the old saying goes. Often times missing a detail or small errors can throw a whole process out of whack. This is why being detail oriented is another important quality to look for in a Virtual Assistant. Ask them what their process is when performing a task. Do they make lists, do they ask for a checklist etc.? People will make errors, that is inevitable, but look for those who are careful to ensure that there are few to none when they do their work.
- Resourceful – While you want your Virtual Assistant to ask questions, you don’t want to constantly have to hold their hand and monitor everything they do as that defeats their purpose. You want someone who will be resourceful and take the initiative to gather what they need, on their own and only reach out when they have exhausted every avenue or need very specific details that can really only come from you.
- Open – You want someone who is open to hear areas for improvement and suggestions. It will take some time for you all to get used to working together and cohesion will only occur if all parties are flexible and open to taking assessment.
A Virtual Assistant can be a huge asset to your business, if you are willing to embrace the process and if you find the right person. You will only ever be limited by your own hesitation, but if you shift your perspectives you will find that the only real difference is that you can’t pop-in their cubicle to say hello, rather, you can fire-off a quick message or email. Finding someone can be tough, and time-consuming but well worth it in the end.