Hiring people today is not limited to proximity. Outsourcing business solutions has opened opportunities for businesses to tap the global workforce that showcases skilled and talented professionals. Virtual assistants (VAs) are one of them. There are many considerations when hiring a VA with the skill set being the leading factor. As we continue our series on outsourcing, we’ll zero in on what you need to look for in a VA to help you have a good head start in your working relationship.

Good Communication Skills.

VAs should primarily have the ability to communicate well with their clients. Communication is crucial to the success of your working relationship with them and this is the reason why it’s also a priority for VAs to work on this skill. Good communication involves clarity, consistency, and promptness. Your VA should know the importance of giving updates and responding promptly to emails. They also need to have the tools necessary to accomplish this such as a Skype account, working email address, Dropbox account for file sharing, and other basic platforms for communicating online.

Efficient Organizational Skills.

This is the main reason why VAs are hired. Business owners need someone to help them organize their schedule and tasks. Your VA should excel in time management because she will most likely handle multiple assignments. Proficient administrative skill is also a must as this ensures high attention to detail. Some VAs are even hired to do project management because of their ability to oversee several tasks with precision. Your VA should be comfortable multi-tasking but not to the extent of compromising the quality of her work.

Reliable Computer Skills.

This is a no-brainer when evaluating VA candidates. They should not be only adept in using Word but also equipped in data processing. They should be able to type fast and sort fast. Data encoding should be done with the combination of speed and accuracy hence the need for high level efficiency. They should also be knowledgeable in other software such as Excel and Powerpoint. Email management is necessary, too, so that your VA can filter your inbox in such a way that you can reply promptly based on priority and not quantity.

Advanced Internet Skills.

Internet skill is another non-negotiable skill for VAs. They should be experts in researching, using online tools, and navigating the web. This is because the nature of their job mainly involves internet use. The web is their oyster, so to speak. They should be able to help you update your blog, manage your social media activity, and assist you in online marketing. Some VAs can write compelling articles and even post them on WordPress. Bottomline, they should be able to weave their way through all the internet noise and find exactly what you want them to look for.

Personal Skills.

Look for VAs who are generally self-motivated and can work with minimal supervision. They should get things done at the time you expect them to finish the task. VAs that operate on a “can do” attitude allows them to work with enthusiasm whether it’s a challenging new task or a repetitive process. You should be able to depend on them to deliver the quality work you require. Your VA should be an active role player who can partner with you in improving your business processes and increasing your productivity.

These are just some of the many skills that your VAs should possess. Much like your in-house employees they work well with clear instructions and expectations coming from you. They should have the ability to work independently or collaborate with a group. Keep in mind that some VAs can be more skilled than others, which comes with experience and training. Don’t expect them to be all the same since they have different personalities, too. This is the blueprint of the skills that your VAs should have but their individual work style and work ethic are unique to them. Aside from the ones we mentioned, be specific with what you’re looking for in a VA. Remember that you’re looking for a team member and not merely a service provider and that sets the bar for the qualities and expertise you would want for your VA.

About Pepper Virtual Assistants

Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.

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