How to get the best out of your Virtual Assistant
Updated: Mar 9
Do you want to join the thousands of business leaders who are outsourcing talent so they can save time and money during crucial periods of growth? Perhaps as yet, you don't have the resources or the capacity to accommodate additional headcount - or do you have a skill shortfall and need immediate support with the latest social platform? Whether you need someone to take care of your 'to-do' list, eradicate your inbox overload, organise a killer conference, or keep you up to date with the myriad of social platforms - help is at hand.
Whatever the reason, hiring a Virtual Assistant can be a great and inexpensive solution for executives who simply need to delegate - finding a VA couldn't be easier and there are many freelancer finding platforms out there - but remember finding an experienced and reliable professional might take some careful consideration to ensure a productive relationship and to realise maximum benefit.
Here are my top tips for successfully hiring a Virtual Assistant:
Testing, Testing 1,2,3 - Test your VA with smaller hourly tasks before embarking on a retainer or longer project so you get a feel for how well you work together. Set a short review period and get to know your VA during this time whilst getting a better understanding of what you can hand over quickly and what might require more time. A good VA should ask the right questions, take time to understand your needs and show initiative.
Set Clear boundaries - It is only natural that a VA will want to get a better understanding of both your business and expectations - so set guidelines and establish a clear communication cadence - you will want to avoid inbox overload, so scheduling short sessions for Q&A and progress reporting is key. A good VA will want to do this and will suggest collaboration tools that help you communicate and keep track of tasks for greater efficiency.
Allow them to develop the skills that will best serve your needs - You will want your VA to grow with your company, integrate with your existing teams and bring new skills to the table. You will also find that Virtual Assistants love working on tasks that teach them new skills and allow them to demonstrate adaptability. This collaboration brings huge benefits all round so take some time to onboard your VA and train up on any in house protocols and you will get the time back tenfold. Initial investment here, will ultimately pay huge dividends in the long-run.
Keep it real - Be wary of VA's that over promise and claim to be able to say completely design your website or take on a mammoth task that would usually require a specialist consultant. A Virtual Assistant usually offers niche services based on previous experience - and you can establish this with a little bit of research. VA's are humans not superhero's so have a list of specific tasks you need help with and establish what is doable on an initial discovery session.