Hiring additional employees is usually an essential component to maintaining business productivity, profitability and momentum as your business grows. However, if you can’t or don’t want to move into a larger office or commit to additional salaries just yet, consider putting together a team of virtual assistants or freelancers. Not only can virtual assistants work from anywhere in the world, we enjoy working with multiple clients rather than working full-time for just one.
So how do you get the right people for your virtual team?
Seek Out Self-Motivated Independent Contractors
The ability to remain self-motivated is an important quality to look for when hiring a virtual assistant. Do your due diligence by contacting former, or current clients of theirs – ask questions about the person’s productivity, skills and how well they work remotely. Keep in mind that hiring a virtual assistant can help you reduce many overhead and startup costs – but only if the VA can successfully complete the tasks required with limited oversight and guidance.
In addition, before hiring a VA, ask about their office setup. For example, do they have a fixed home office or are they fully location independent, literally travelling wherever inspiration takes them? (I wish the latter was me, but it isn’t) Check with them about what hours they’re able to work – are they available for an approximate amount of time per day, or just within a window of time in the working day? Generally speaking, if you really need your VA to work specific hours, you’ll probably want to actively consider hiring someone who lives within your time zone, or at least close to it.
Hire People with the Appropriate Level of Experience
Hiring a VA with the technical skills needed to help your business succeed is obviously important – especially if you don’t want to spend valuable time training them. This is why, right from the outset, you should only consider hiring those with the appropriate software, social media, administrative, design, database or computer skills necessary to complete your tasks effectively.
Other skills your VA may have that could be very advantageous include customer service, data entry, writing and editing, Web design and presentation creation experience too. If you plan to offer training to them, make this clear during the consultation process so your new VA knows precisely what to expect.
Hire Passionate, Career-Driven People
Lastly, when reviewing VAs and freelancers, look to partner those who are truly passionate about what they do because these are the people who are almost invariably driven to succeed. A person who enjoys their work will benefit your business in many ways – in fact, in numerous ways you can think of as well as in completely unexpected situations too. Happy team members tend to be more productive, energetic, enthusiastic and are more often than not ready to tackle new challenges at a moment’s notice. These are the types of people you want on your team.
Once you have your team assembled, make sure you maintain regular contact either via phone, project management systems, team chat, perhaps something along the lines of Slack, via email of course and although you may never have to, you could set up a time to Skype or Zoom too! Clearly outline all projects, milestones and task requirements so your team knows what’s expected, then provide project deadlines as necessary so your VA can create a realistic work schedule for themselves.
Creating Your Dream Team
Establishing a competent, dependable team of virtual workers requires patience, trust, transparency and a willingness to learn. Make sure the people on your team feel valued and appreciated. Listen carefully to all concerns, questions and the feedback they provide so you can create a virtual environment that’s happy and productive day in and day out, because even though you might not work in the same office as your virtual assistant, you still need to create an environment that supports teamwork, passion and an intense focus to succeed.