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Hiring a virtual assistant has now become the solution not only to overcome financial crisis, but are also a relief for overwhelmed business people, entrepreneurs and anyone in need of a couple of hours free per day – without leaving their duties pending.  However, it could be really frustrating if you don’t hire the appropriate helper (and believe us, we must know!).

Some clients find it shockingly unusual on our insistance on finding out what is it that they’re looking for: is it marketing? human resouces outsourcing? web work? design? clerical work? sales?

Hiring a person that is not capable to take on your work will create stress and lower your expectations of what could be a great deal! Let’s take a look what you should take into consideration when looking for a VA (virtual assistant):

  1.  Computer skills:  Since your virtual assistant works remotely, most of the communication between you and your assistant will be via email or instant messaging platforms, hence, computer literacy is definitely a must.  He/she should be able handle at least basic computer packages, like word processors, and internet. Make a list of what you need: do you need your assistant to know how to use QuickBooks? WordPress? Photoshop? HTML knowledge?
  2. People skills:  Your helper must definitely have the ability to deal with all types of people, from potential clients, to suppliers and other employees from your company. Be sure to interview your assistant first!
  3. Check the specific background and area of expertise you need: Assistants can perform pretty much any task that doesn’t require physical presence. Administrative tasks are just one type among a large variety of tasks that you can delegate on your virtual assistant. So if for example, you have decided to hire a person to be in charge of graphic design for you, make sure that the person that you hire has studies and/or experience in that type of work. Always ask for a portfolio or work samples!
  4. Honesty and integrity:  Even though this person will not be at the same office with you, he or she will handle confidential information about your company. Just make sure that is a person you can trust. Be sure to ask about your employee’s background (Perhaps they are just one Google-click away!) and the company’s policies in regards of your personal and sensitive information.
  5. Availability to communicate in different ways:  You need to be in constant communication with your remote associate. Make sure that you will be able to reach your virtual assistant when needed and that there is more than one war for you to get in touch with him or her. If communication fails the whole idea of hiring a remote assistant will also fail and will only result in a frustrating experience for those involved. Tip: If you have a smartphone, be sure to inquite if it’s possible to get in touch through free services such as BlackBerry Messenger or WhatsApp.
  6. Punctuality:  Look for someone who can stick to deadlines and make your deadlines and milestones clear from day zero in order to avoid misunderstanding and set your expectations straight. Creating a to-do list is also helpful.

Keep in mind to consider this six points before you decide to hire a candidate for virtual assistant. Before making a decision, it’s recommended to make your own list of what are you looking for in a potential helper. For more information in regards of this, check out Virtual Assistance category.