Stop Wasting Time With The Wrong VA!
Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Savvy business owners everywhere are making the decision to leverage VAs and automation to take their business to the next level. This strategy has proven successful in streamlining processes and saving time. If you’re going to take this route, there are a few things to consider first. Hiring a VA is a little different than hiring a regular employee. They’re independent contractors that work remotely, often for many clients at a time. This makes your selection process slightly more involved.
Bringing in the wrong VA can be detrimental. You chose to hire someone because you’re business is growing and you need to outsource administrative tasks. Wasting time having to micro-manage a virtual assistant is counterproductive. Not to mention, that it takes away from the actual work you need to do to push the business forward. You need to be able to delegate with confidence. The ideal contractor makes your life easier, they shouldn’t burden you. Sometimes when you need help fast you can be tempted to hire quickly, but then risk hiring the wrong person.
Avoid hiring the wrong VA
Most VAs have their own standard contract, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to draft your own as well. Comparing these and working in pertinent items from both sides will simplify things. This way, both parties’ needs are met. The contract language should protect you so that you are not obligated to pay for work that is unsatisfactory. Think about including a trial period clause with clearly defined terms and conditions. Also, be sure to have a thorough interview process and ask pointed questions that coincide with the type of work needed. And of course, always check reviews and references. These practices can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Hiring someone competent is crucial to the growth of your business. Taking the time to research qualified candidates will help you avoid the revolving door dilemma. Hiring and firing can be exasperating. The goal is to find someone that’s capable and fits seamlessly with the team for as long you need. When you’re looking for the right VA, there are a few things you can do to develop an optimal work relationship.
Foster the best outsourcing relationship
Outline specific tasks to be outsourced. Be honest with yourself and only delegate items that can realistically be done virtually without much intervention. Your VA should be able to perform the job without constantly going back and forth. Determine what qualifications the right candidate would need to fulfill this role, and stick to it. When you do find the right person, do what you can to integrate them with the company. Include your VA in emails, tele meetings, and conferences when possible. Keeping them in the loop, specifically regarding things related to their job, will help to avoid double work. Communication goes a long way in promoting a cohesive workflow.
What to do when things go wrong
Disciplinary actions are a sensitive subject. First, you need to discover if the issues are due to incompetence or simple misunderstanding. Oftentimes you won’t know until after the problem is addressed. If it persists, it’s safe to say this is a matter of competence. Depending on the contract and your needs overall, you can handle this in different ways. Businesses who outsource simple admin tasks like email and calendar management may be more patient than those who outsource higher-level tasks such as marketing.
One solution might be to move forward with a focused review for a specific period of time. After a brief recap of expectations, set up metrics to determine improvement. During the review period, schedule huddles at least once a week to allow questions and give counsel. This, however, is up to your discretion. If the VA has misrepresented their abilities, you may prefer to break the contract and find someone else.
Ultimately, you have to do what’s best for the business. Outsourcing should make things less complicated, efficiency is the main objective. Contracting typically does not include extensive training. This person is should be able to demonstrate skills required prior to on-boarding. It’s true, there may be minor adjustments along the way, but don’t waste time with the wrong VA.