What qualities should you look for in a VA?
Like with taking on any staff member, it’s important to know what qualities you’re looking for when hiring a VA. They will be representing your company at some level, so you want to make sure they are a good fit. You also want to feel you could have a good working relationship with them as they will be supporting you in your business.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at what you should be looking for when hiring a VA.
What do you need them to do?
The first question to answer when hiring a VA is ‘what do you want them to do?’.
In the past, a VA could assist in all areas of the business. But as areas such as marketing, social media management or bookkeeping become more specialised, it’s important to make sure your VA can handle the intricacies of the subject.
That doesn’t mean that a VA who helps with admin tasks can’t also do some marketing, for example, but a VA who claims they can do it all probably won’t do as good a job as a VA who specialises in a specific area.
This may mean that you need more than one VA, but being a freelancer who joins to support your business rather than an employee, this is still a viable option.
So, when you know what tasks they will be asked to do, you get a clearer idea of what you need.
VAs come from all sorts of backgrounds and recently over the COVID lockdowns, a lot of VAs have started up their own business coming from employment in all industries.
Consider the following when checking their background:
You may want someone who knows your industry. It’s not always necessary and as mentioned, it depends on what they will be doing for you, but a VA with industry knowledge might be more useful if, for example, they were part of the customer support process and need to be able to talk about your product/service. This is not an essential requirement in most cases and is down to personal preference.
Knowing who else they have worked for and in what capacity will also give you an idea of the experience they have in what you need.
Get references from past employers. You want to know who you are working with and references can be helpful in determining this.
Ask how long they have been a VA and how they started. What made them become a VA? Questions like this will give you a feel for the person and what their goals are. Do they see themselves as working in partnership with you or as a separate entity?
Experience alone doesn’t necessarily mean they will be any good, so don’t dismiss newbies out of hand – they could have had experiences that translate into being a great VA.
You can check out their social media, especially their LinkedIn profile. Don’t be put off if they don’t have one as they may be finding work through other avenues, but it could give you more insight into the person.
Interview them. This person will be representing your business and working with you so you need to interview them as you would any other employee. Find out what they are good at and what they enjoy doing. As with any member of staff, pushing them to do something they don’t enjoy won’t get you the best results.
If you are hiring a bookkeeping VA, you’ll want to make sure they are registered for anti-money-laundering regulations (MLR).
And finally, as with any business, insist on business insurance.
Treat hiring a VA the same way you would treat finding any member of staff. You need to know they can do the things you need them to do, but quite often you can go with your gut on how you feel about them and their ability to integrate with your team.
At Jaxstar, we see ourselves as partners in your business and are fully committed to your success. We help you in all aspects of admin, processes and systems, and can help give you back your time so you can focus on what you love doing.
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