As a leader in the Virtual Assistance industry for more than 13 years, I currently manage a growing team of quality VA's. However, this article is not about me. I want to help you save time, money, and heartache by sharing with you their top 5 questions to ask.
- How much experience have you had? Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) is one of those times when experience makes all the difference. An experienced VA can hit the ground running. They bring something to the conversation and the relationship. The relationship feels more like a partnership, and that helps. If you're at the place in your business when you think you need to hire a contractor, it probably means you're too busy to develop them and hold their hand throughout the entire process. Please find out how much experience they've had and where they received that experience.
- How long have you been a Virtual Assistant? Working remotely and independently is not something that comes naturally for some people. You need to know if they have experience working remotely without supervision. You need to see if they know how to manage their time or else they will waste yours.
- What software programs do you use? Don't assume that because you use Microsoft Office that everyone does. A good VA can work with any software. Techy VA's are the best because they love software and won't charge you for the privilege of learning something new. However, if the software is unique to your organization, that is a different scenario because learning custom software may not yield the same benefits. Generally speaking, the more you know as a VA, the more valuable you become. Try to get a sense of how they feel about learning new software and what software they've already mastered.
- How many hours are you available to work in a month? Virtual Assistants are contractors. You need to know if you are the only client or the 10th client they are trying to support. How many clients they have won't be an issue if they have the capacity to take care of you. In my experience, people often bite off more than they can chew. When that happens, have an honest conversation with your VA about your relationship and whether or not it's time to look for support elsewhere. It's not personal; it's business.
- Where do they see themselves in 10 years? I love supporting people with big dreams. However, if I am hiring a VA, I want to know if they see themselves growing a successful VA business over the next ten years or if they are only hoping to make a few extra dollars every month. The answer to this question may affect the energy they bring to the work. I am always looking for individuals who have a heart for entrepreneurship. Even if they end up outgrowing my business one day, at least while they are on my team, I know they will give me 110%.
Which Virtual Assistant to hire is a very personal decision. Do your due diligence. Ask for references, give them a trial period and start them off with smaller tasks before giving them more complex assignments. The first few months of the relationship should be spent getting to know each other and developing a rapport. Choosing a VA may prove to be the best decision you ever made.