Qualities to look for in a virtual assistant

virtual assistant

Deciding to hire a virtual assistant can be a stressful endeavor — but not when you know what to look for.

A virtual assistant will help bring value to your company and take your business to the next level — one you simply can’t reach on your own or with your current team.

When seeking out a virtual assistant, make sure to look for one with all of the top qualities needed to do the tasks you require. Blindly hiring a virtual assistant who doesn’t have the skillset to help with your tasks will leave you in a more challenging spot than before you brought them on board.

Here are the top four qualities to look for when hiring a virtual assistant.

Great Communication

Many virtual assistants take over customer service and communication tasks, so if you’re planning to put your virtual assistant in charge of client communication, it’s critical to hire one who understands your service and can communicate with customers.

Effective communication skills should be showcased — both written and verbal.

You’ll most likely be communicating regularly with the VA, so you’ll want to make sure you both have the same communication style and have an open line of communication.

Miscommunication causes inefficiencies and comes with potential revenue and reputation costs for your company.

Can Work Efficiently in High-Pressure Moments

In most industries, it’s inevitable to go through emergencies where “fires” have to be extinguished quickly.

When urgent situations happen and you’re a one-person show, it can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

When you hire a virtual assistant, your company will become more versatile; you’ll now have the ability to plug your VA in wherever you need them and fill in the gaps.

If it’s busy season and phones are ringing off the hook, or a client is in dire need of a report ASAP, a virtual assistant can help.

VAs also help meet deadlines and catch up on workload overflow.

These qualities make a virtual assistant almost essential to small businesses.

If your company is constantly using internal resources to handle in-house emergencies, leaving employees no time to get to their own work, you’re likely to see a decline in employee morale.



Trustworthy and Honest

Most virtual assistants will gain access to your sensitive files and client information, so they must be trustworthy.

If you get any off-putting vibes interacting with them or find something questionable in their background, hire someone else.

Of course, you should trust any new employee — but this is especially the case with a VA.

A virtual assistant should be able to communicate with you and tell you the truth openly. If they make a mistake, they should be able to talk to you rather than try to hide it or place the blame on someone else.

Virtual assistants must be trusted to complete their work. If a VA claims they will get something done but fall short, it will leave your business in a tough spot. The last thing you want is a virtual assistant who received their first paycheck, only to disappear. This nightmare scenario is rare, especially if you hire out of a reputable staffing agency, but be sure to vet your candidates thoroughly.

Organized

The point of bringing a virtual assistant into your team is to make your business more efficient and organized.

A virtual assistant is supposed to lighten your workload, not make things more complicated.

An organized VA will know how to manage their time and prioritize tasks. They’ll also have an efficient filing and documentation system. An unorganized virtual assistant is not what you want; that could leave you picking up the pieces after mistakes happen rather than getting tasks off your plate.

Leverage a Virtual Assistant for Your Business

When hiring a virtual assistant, it’s important to hire one with qualities that will benefit your business.

Remember that there are many virtual assistants to choose from, and finding the right one to help your business should not be rushed. Take the time to find one that you get along with and trust. They should have excellent organizational, communication, and crisis-management skills.

When you find the right hire, you’ll quickly see that the search was worth it.



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