Feeling the pangs of burnout? Wondering why there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to complete all your work at an optimal level? To maximize your productivity and ensure you’re able to satisfy all high-level initiatives of your job, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant.
There is a myriad of ways you can utilize a virtual assistant - from customer service to administrative duties to design work. While each virtual assistant possesses their own unique skill sets, there are some must-have qualities that every VA should have for you to reap the benefits.
Here’s what to look out for.
They’re Highly Reliable
Reliability is essential. They could be one of the most brilliant, qualified individuals you’ve ever encountered, but if you can’t rely on them to report on the progress of a project or answer your emails in a timely manner, it will hurt your business in the long run. Since your virtual assistant will most likely be working in a remote capacity, they need to exhibit a level of responsibility and autonomy to perform the tasks assigned to them without any hand holding.
In the end: You should feel confident they can produce high-quality work - not just show up when they’re supposed to.
They’re an Excellent Communicator
Before you even extend an offer to someone, they should have demonstrative and effective communication skills in responding to your emails or phone calls in a timely manner. Poor communication, especially when it comes to a problem or issue they’re experiencing, can lead to disastrous outcomes.
An inability to communicate could result in misunderstandings that delay processes, generate extra costs, and hurt your relationship with clients. Make sure your VA is completely comfortable navigating different mediums of communication - whether FaceTime, the specific email provider you use, any project management software, text messaging, etc.
VAs are Resourceful and Proactive
The last thing you want is to hire a virtual assistant who simply goes through their checklist without truly investing time in producing quality work or putting in extra effort. The whole point of employing the help of a VA is to have a helping hand to carry out assigned tasks, find solutions, and solve issues that may arise with clients.
While it’s unrealistic to assume your VA will be a jack or jill-of-all-trades and know how to do everything, they should be resourceful. They could inquire about a particular task in a VA forum, watch a YouTube tutorial, or research articles that divulge the necessary info.
If one of your client’s requests to have a spreadsheet reordered alphabetically, a simple Google search would show your VA how to do it.
Virtual assistants that are experts at their craft will proactively stay on top of industry trends, competitor on-goings, and the latest technology. This could be a game-changer for your business.
VA’s who can solve problems, think of their feet, and take the initiative to deliver the highest quality work will save you time and sanity.
They’re Trustworthy and Honest
Of course, no one wants to hire an employee who is untrustworthy, but when working with someone in a virtual capacity, honesty is more prevalent than ever. Just like anyone, your VA is bound to make a mistake or error every once in a while.
The difference is, a good VA will come to you about any problems that arise or delays that prevent them from completing the work on time. Many companies use a screen and time monitoring system to track their VA’s progress and ensure they’re clocking in the correct hours.
However, that’s a personal decision and comes down to the level of trust you have in your VA.
Virtual Assistants are Able to Multitask
If we were to list out the top five areas a virtual assistant must excel in, multitasking would certainly be one of them. After all, they will likely have multiple projects or tasks on their plate and they must be able to stay organized, keep things moving forward, and juggle multiple clients without breaking a sweat.
Keeping a good schedule, knowing what to prioritize, and working efficiently is a vital component of a successful virtual assistant.
They’re Able to Work Well Under Pressure
Things may get a little chaotic on your end, but you never want clients to see what’s going on behind the scenes. This is important for your VA to understand as well.
They should place an emphasis on making each client feel as though they are the number one priority - regardless of how hectic the workload may be.
Instances may occur where there’s a short turn-around time or a higher workload than normal, and your VA should be able to not only handle the pressure but refrain from passing on any stress or negativity to a client (even if it’s unintentional).
They’re Great with Follow-Up
You’ve struck gold when you find a virtual assistant who can stay on top of all their tasks, even when a client may not. Sometimes things fall through the cracks on the client’s end, but your VA should possess the know-how to reach out and follow up - rather than just sitting on that task forever.
For example, if your VA needs a client’s approval on a social ad you created and they don’t hear back from them after 2 or 3 days, they should follow up with an email or a phone call as a reminder to the client.
VAs are Contributing to Business Growth
A virtual assistant that is truly skilled at their job will ultimately help your business grow. Whether it’s because they freed up your time to pursue new opportunities or their outstanding work resulted in an upsell or client referral, VA’s can contribute to your profitability when they possess the right skill sets.
Hiring a virtual assistant can be a daunting task. After all, you want to find a highly qualified candidate that you can partner up with. But, if you keep the above qualities in mind while you’re on the hunt for a VA, it should make the hiring process a much easier one.