If you're a busy executive or entrepreneur looking to become more productive and grow business, chances are you've thought about leveraging a virtual executive assistant (or a managed virtual assistant service) to help you with admin tasks that hold you back from reaching enviable high performance.
This article discusses the top 7 qualities you should look for when choosing a virtual assistant for outsourcing admin tasks.
When it comes to finding the right virtual executive assistant for your needs, we always recommend hiring a managed service provider. This way, you don't have to waste your limited time finding, vetting, interviewing, and managing a single virtual assistant on your own - who you may very well have to replace in the future after they've already become indispensible.
Managed service providers like Prialto have accumulated best practices through internal trial and error, and incorporated aspects of the different companies serviced over the years in order to better position our teams and our clients for success.
Below are the 7 qualities of a virtual assistant you should be looking for before you hire:
- Experience. There should be a demonstrable track record of successful projects, processes, and systems. If you have a particular project, a virtual administrative assistant should be able to show you examples of accomplished work similar to yours (same industry, size of the business etc.). Look at their portfolio, and check for third party reviews, testimonials, and more.
- Technical skills. It's not enough for the work to get done. Technical skills can make a big difference in a great assistant as opposed to a mediocre one. Your virtual administrative assistant must be able to use the most modern digital tools to help your business scale successfully. Everything must be of exceptional quality and properly documented. The job should get done the right way, right away.
- Security. Issues around data protection should concern you, especially where customer records or invoice details are involved. The best work around is to give your virtual administrative assistant tiered access to data you’d like to keep secure. Look for virtual assistant services that provide tiered access in addition to NDAs.
- Management skills. It's important that your assistant be part of a managed team. Managed teams give each virtual administrative assistant access to continued education, mentoring, and ongoing support that can only come from having a resourceful team around. For more information on how to find really great people, check out this article from our friends at Time Doctor.
- Communication skills. Communication between you and your assistant is core to making the relationship work. If you prefer to communicate via video conferencing software or group communication tools, is your virtual assistant able to accomodate your preferences? The answer should always be, "yes!" The best virtual assistant services have a project manager who reviews requirements, updates any processes, and seeks feedback from clients. You definitely want this added asset on your team!
- Reliable Processes. Do you have documented processes that can be delegated to a virtual executive assistant? If not, the best virtual assistant services will gather the right information from you and put together a system that leverages best practices in your industry. They should be able to make any process more efficient. Examples should be readily available.
- Price. Look for flat rates, otherwise you risk the hidden fees and additional charges that can stack up when you pay per hour. The hourly pricing also leaves you with some of the responsibility for managing your hourly usage, which defeats the point of hiring a virtual assistant to save you time.
Don’t risk the long-term success of your business by hiring a mediocre virtual executive assistant who is not part of a greater, managed team.