In our last post, we discussed the steps to finding a virtual assistant. Finding the right virtual assistant can be quite a challenge and beyond required skill sets and work experience, there are also certain qualities or traits that we as business owners should look for.
Skills can be developed and knowledge can be learned; not having the right attitude, however, deters one from getting the work done. Being able to discern whether or not a candidate has most if not all of the following character traits on the other hand provides assurance that you have the right virtual assistant for the job.
Professionalism is something you should look for in any employee—virtual assistant or otherwise. Someone who is there to work fully understands that he or she is there to work and will do what is necessary to finish his or her tasks.
A professional knows how to get the work done in the most thorough yet time-efficient manner possible. He or she is someone who not only looks forward to his or her forthcoming paycheck, but also finds value and fulfilment in accomplishing tasks and contributing to the success of a project.
Virtual assistants are expected to manage their own time and their own workload. They are compensated for the time spent performing their designated tasks. You depend on them to accomplish such tasks even when you’re not looking and they’re on the other side of the world, in a different time zone. Hence, you need a virtual assistant with a high level of integrity—someone who will work when he or she says that he will, and won’t bill you for hours spent mindlessly browsing on social media or on other personal endeavours.
When looking for a virtual assistant, you need to find someone who is dependable, someone who will deliver within the prescribed deadline and give the quality of output you have agreed upon.
A virtual assistant that you can’t depend on means more work on your part, less efficiency in your business processes and diminished overall productivity.
You and your future VA may belong to different time zones. While there may be a fixed set of tasks that will be delegated to your virtual assistant and agreed timelines for their turnover, there may instances wherein you will need your VA to work on something that was not originally part of the plan. ‘
Your VA must must be willing and able to take on these tasks. Flexibility on the part of your virtual assistant is a must, whether it involves adjusting work schedules or the work load.
Most virtual assistants are offshore, meaning that they reside in a country other than those of their clients. Their internet connection may fluctuate at times. They may be expected to have a certain kind of software for work. Their work schedules may not completely intersect with that of their managers. What should a virtual assistant do in these distressing situations?
Research inevitably becomes part of a virtual assistant’s line of work, even if it’s not included in the job description. A virtual assistant needs to be resourceful enough to seek solutions to little everyday dilemmas that may arise every so often. While training is always helpful and tools should be provided to employees as needed, a VA should have the initiative to look for ways to get the job done, even if there are setbacks along the way.
If you’ve yet to hire a virtual assistant, make sure that your chosen candidate has the qualities mentioned above. Don’t be swayed by a sensational portfolio coming from a person with insufferable work ethics. Character defines a person, and attitude is everything, as they say; these five traits are what you should be looking for in your next VA.