Skills To Look For When Hiring A Virtual Assistant

The idea of hiring an assistant who isn’t in the office every day, may seem daunting.  However, virtual assistants have proven to be very cost effective and an excellent way to outsource jobs, and free up some of your time so you can focus on more important tasks.  Shocking though it might seem, to those of us who like to have a firm grip over our businesses, there are some things that a virtual assistant could do better than you can….eeek.  Indeed a recent poll by You Gov found that 70% of businesses in the UK are now outsourcing

If you would like to venture down this, very sensible route, here are our top 5 skills to look out for when hiring a virtual assistant.

Skills To Look For When Hiring A Virtual Assistant

Attention To Detail

When outsourcing tasks to someone else, you will want to feel safe with them handling tasks on your behalf.   With this in mind, before hiring your virtual assistant make sure they have good attention to detail. Do they respond to your emails in a timely manner? Is their CV free of grammatical errors? It might be also worth setting them a short task to see how they perform under time pressure. 

Time Management

Ensure that your virtual assistant is using up to date methods of timekeeping – there are various excellent online tracking tools (Like Toggl) As well as able to prioritise effectively and be realistic about their hours of work. Once you have hired your assistant, you don’t want to constantly worry about how they are getting on! Try to find out what motivates them, and check they are able to meet deadlines.

Communication Skills

Working remotely means that your VA needs more than just the ability to set up a zoom call, they need to keep in touch and have clear, open lines of communication, both written and verbal.  They need to be able to keep you updated on their progress, as well as ensure they discuss any problems they may be having.

Emotional Intelligence

This is a tricky one, as it is rather intangible, it is the capability to understand your own emotions, as well as being able to recognise the emotions of those around you.  Being self-aware and being socially aware enables you to assess situations and how to handle them effectively in all circumstances.  An essential attribute for any assistant, particularly working in a remote capacity. 

Self Motivation And Discipline

Each employer needs something different from their virtual assistant and these needs will evolve over time.  It is essential that your virtual assistant is adaptable, open to suggestions and to learning new things.  Most importantly even though a virtual assistant is ‘virtual’, you will still be working closely together so make sure that whoever you hire is someone on your wavelength, who you can get on with, and can help you find ways of working smarter not harder

For more information on how we can support you virtually check out our full range of services here

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