Hiring a Virtual Assistant: Pre-Hiring Factors and Integration Tips To Consider | Magic Assistant Blog

Hiring a Virtual Assistant: Pre-Hiring Factors and Integration Tips To Consider

Jacqueline Florida
Jacqueline Florida
May 27, 2022
Virtual assistant working from home

When hiring a virtual assistant, it’s important that you know what specific skills and qualities you’re looking for beforehand. List them to provide clarity and ensure that you’ll hire the most qualified virtual assistant to perform the duties efficiently.

Plus, you’ll need to know how to integrate them into your business. So, before you hire a virtual assistant, you must already choose your preferred communication and collaboration tools. This way, introducing them to your team will be quick and easy afterward.

What To Consider Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Business owners must ensure that they hire a reliable virtual assistant. In a remote work setup, you have to choose a VA whom you can depend on to complete tasks and respond to queries and concerns from your customers during the agreed working hours.

Here are three things to consider before hiring a virtual assistant:

1. Determine The Qualities You’re Looking For

Hiring a virtual assistant is similar to hiring an in-house employee. They need to be qualified to fill the job.

The STAR method is an excellent way to determine if a VA can handle certain situations that are usual in your industry. You can use this method to ask about a particular Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Check out these various STAR strategy examples to understand what questions you can personalize to better fit your criteria.

Take Facebook for example. There are five qualities they look for in potential hires:

  • Bold – to contribute so it remains an innovation leader
  • Focused – to achieve Facebook’s mission to make people around the world more connected
  • Reactive – to move quickly to grab opportunities as they come
  • Open – to promote collaboration and transparency
  • Achiever – to establish social value in the world
Personal Assistant talking to her client

2. Know The Skills You Need

List the specific virtual assistant skills that you need to look for in a candidate. Say, you’re looking for an offshore personal assistant. Make a list of your business assistance needs. Based on your list, set the skill set that your personal assistant should possess so it’s easier for you to choose when candidates are lined up for your interview.

A healthcare startup in the USA, Haven Life, aims to promote the protection of individuals by having life insurance. So, it looks for candidates who can learn how to appreciate life insurance as its business owners do. Also, it wants someone who can demonstrate good decision-making skills – such as when they work on balancing work with the rest of life. Lastly, it looks for social skills so this person can jive with the team.

3. Know What Collaboration Tools To Use

When hiring a virtual assistant, you need to decide on the tools and processes you’ll use to work with them. Some widely used tools are:

Yachtlife, an online platform that caters to buying and chartering yachts, chose Google Suite, Zoom, and Slack as their key integration tools with Magic. These tools are ideal for their communication and collaboration efforts. Slack allows them to assign, monitor, and verify tasks easily in just one virtual office. G-Suite provides them to create and update documents, files, and reports that they can easily share with the members of their team. Zoom allows clear phone and video conferencing with presentations done conveniently.

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How to Integrate Your Virtual Assistant into your Business

Welcoming your hired VA to your company is the next thing you need to consider after learning how to hire a virtual assistant. Here are three tips on how to efficiently introduce them to your team or business:

1. Develop a strong onboarding process

A strong onboarding process requires having a balance between sharing company information with your VAs and building a good relationship with them. It needs to be the same for all VAs who are working with you, regardless of where they’re based. You need to encourage rapport while explaining the communication and collaboration style that your company expects.

2. Communicate your expectations

It’s ideal to let your VAs know your expectations as early as the first day on the job. However, if you’re schedule’s tight, set a time within the week. At the very least, they need to understand the rules and regulations, processes, and what is expected of them.

Pilot Company, a leading fuel supplier and the biggest travel center operator in North America, tapped Infor to ensure that all mobile devices used by its workforce functioned seamlessly. This was important since they used their mobile devices for company communication and assignment of projects and tasks. Pilot Company HR and Infor Workforce Management worked hand-in-hand to make sure that everything was ready for their remote workers so they can do their jobs properly wherever they are.

Business owner talking to her Virtual assistants

Before the Covid-19 pandemic forced lockdowns almost everywhere, this company was already looking into how most of its employees could work remotely. After determining what positions were needed on-site, the company HR met with the other employees to provide the necessary information they’d need to start working remotely. Infor Workforce Management, on the other hand, handled the tools and applications the employees needed on their mobile devices to set up for smooth remote working transition.

Given their success in transitioning to remote work, Pilot Company serves as an ideal example. They’ve even learned to nurture a remote culture that thrives.

3. Learn Your VA’s Strengths and Weaknesses

As they start working, discover your virtual assistant’s strengths and weaknesses.

Monitor their performances on tasks assigned and see which ones were successes and failures. You can also schedule evaluations or set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their performances.

Knowing their strong and weak points allows you to assign tasks that they have better chances of doing well, resulting in confidence to do a good job. For first-time VAs, this is a welcome respite, especially if they’re still adjusting to a remote work environment.

How do I hire a virtual assistant?

There are many options and platforms where you can find and hire the best virtual assistants. Just type “virtual assistants near me” in Google and you’ll get a list of virtual assistant services providers.

Magic provides virtual assistants services that allow you to skip the whole process of hiring virtual assistants. We have a team of fully-vetted virtual assistants in the Philippines. We can also scout and screen candidates if any of our Magic VAs are suitable for your business needs.

Choose your VA from the shortlisted candidates that we’ve matched for you based on your requirements. Once you hire a virtual assistant, you’ll join our client portal. Rest assured that we understand the importance of integrating teams so we’ve made steps to ensure that your chosen Magic assistant works hard to become an integral part of the team.

Once you’ve decided on the qualities you’re looking for, Magic can provide a list of shortlisted candidates within 72 hours of our initial call. We can also lend our expertise and tools in managing remote employees so you and your virtual assistant can dive into tasks immediately. Check out this guide on the roles that Magic can match you with. To find a Magic assistant, call us today.

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