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  • Writer's pictureProfessionalVA Ltd

What to look for when hiring a Virtual Assistant

Updated: Jun 7


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There are a lot of VAs out there, after all you can hire from anywhere in the world now. They often differentiate themselves with unique skills or certifications.


So how do you know who is the best fit for you?


Here is a list of qualities we expect from our VAs and that you should look for in any potential candidate:


Communication skills


Since you don’t see your VA face-to-face, they need excellent communication skills.

Most of your communication will be in writing, so look for someone who can get their point across clearly. Make sure they can understand you and will ask if they need clarification. A great VA knows when to ask for help and won’t just assume anything.


Industry experience


Someone who understands your industry needs less training. You’ll finish onboarding faster and get better quality work from someone with relevant experience.

This also applies to the specialised work you want your VA to do. For example, if you need someone to help write product descriptions, look for a VA who has written product descriptions for similar items.


Responsiveness


VAs should answer your messages in 24 hours or less.

You should never wait two or three business days to get a response unless they’re out sick or on holiday.


Ability to handle feedback


The best team members want to get better. They appreciate feedback because it helps them understand what you expect and do a better job. A person who wants more feedback is eager to learn. That’s a great quality in any member of your team. VAs who are good at taking feedback create more value for your business as they hone their skills.


Attention to detail


You want to hire someone that pays attention to detail. A VA should take the extra time to find and correct mistakes, like spelling errors in emails or duplicate transactions in your bookkeeping software. Detail-oriented assistants make fewer mistakes.



Efficiency


A good Virtual Assistant must work efficiently. When work takes longer, it costs more.

Efficiency comes with experience, so hiring someone who has had some is a safer bet financially.


Resourcefulness and proactiveness


You want a VA to be resourceful and capable of learning things as they go.

Look for someone proactive and capable of figuring things out on their own.

At the same time, make sure you document all your processes so that the information is there to find. Great candidates take the initiative and figure it out.

They’ll still run things past you, but they don’t need you to hold their hand.


Ability to work well under pressure


Things won’t always go according to plan. There will be times when you’ll need to assign a lot more work to your VA than usual. When deadlines loom and the stakes are high, your assistant should be cool and calm, after all, there’s no point two headless chickens running around. Your VA should be on top of it all, and help you get what needs to be done, done!


Time management skills


Look for someone who understands prioritisation. Deadlines exist for a reason, and a VA should be capable of managing tasks and priorities without missing due dates.


A friendly and professional manner


There is an old-fashioned thought that to be professional you must be serious and direct. The direct part, yes, the serious part? Well yes too, BUT, not stiff like an iron board. If you’re VA is dealing with clients and colleagues, you want them to have a friendly and approachable manner. After all they will be representing you and your business.


When it comes down to it, your VA needs to have a bit of everything.

Not a Jack of all trades, but an efficient all-rounder. It’s important you have a good relationship too, so taking on someone that not only suits your business, but suits you also.


So take the above into account when looking to hire your Virtual Assistant and you won’t go wrong. Of course you can save time searching by hiring a Professional VA Ltd assistant. We’ve already done all the groundwork for you and have a great team ready to help.


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