You, as a client, felt growing pains in your business and decided to hire a virtual assistant to take on tasks you can no longer handle. While most virtual assistants and clients work well together, there are some common trends among clients as to what tends to happen with virtual assistants who, perhaps, do not mesh well with the client’s business or work needs.
It is important to create a clear and concise contract that both yourself, as the client, and the virtual assistant can agree upon and come back to, but sometimes, there are still some snags that occur.
Below are some common trends among virtual assistants that clients have found to be issues:
VA disappearing without reason
As a virtual, it is an easy to sign onto a position as it is to sign off. Some clients have found that virtual assistants can come and go quite easily based on the virtual portion of the position. You are not required to step into an office to count as a workday, so when the work becomes tougher, or the virtual becomes uninterested, some may leave without notice or explanation.
Having a clear contract can eliminate this from happening if it offers a way to understand the job functions, what is expected, and how a virtual assistant can professionally withdraw from a position if need be. Make sure to maintain an agreed upon minimum and maximum number of hours to maintain long-term relationships with your virtual. Although it may be tempting to get rock bottom hourly rates it is not recommended. Lower paid virtuals are more likely to take on better-paying roles with little to no notice.
VA language barriers
Sometimes, you may be hiring someone who is not from your native country, and there may be some language barriers in place. While a language barrier may not be the biggest issue, if they are an expert in the field you need work done in, it is still something clients run into with virtuals.
Platforms, such as Upwork, allow you to filter languages based on your preference because if you are unable to delegate tasks to a virtual assistant, it may be hard for the work to be done to your specifications.
Furthermore, developing a good relationship may also be hard, so following your instincts on how you want to approach language barriers is a way clients can ensure they are comfortable–and also creating a comfortable work environment for their virtual assistant. The general rule of thumb is if you can not understand them in written or verbal form during the screening process then it may be difficult to have a long-lasting relationship with your business and clients.
VA not having skills they applied for
The one issue clients tend to find with virtuals is that ultimately the skills they applied for do not match their skills. With in-person interviews, it is sometimes easier to pick out falsified information due to physical cues the person may make, but what about online? Even a video interview may not be enough to prove if a virtual assistant does have the skills they say they do to perform the job.
Clients sometimes find that after an onboarding process for a virtual assistant, when handed the first pieces of work, the virtual assistant does not know how to do it, which then leads to the question to whether or not their resume was accurate.
Meadows Resources uses a number of pre-qualification testing including software, hardware, skills, and personality with their resources in the screening phase of their recruiting in addition to background checks, references, and education verification and certification. This is done to ensure that the candidate is who they say they are and that they meet all of the minimum equipment, skills, education, and experience clients are looking for in a resource. It is highly recommended that clients hiring independently follow the same strict screening process to hire and retain the “Best Fit” candidate for their organization.
VA taking too long to complete tasks
Everyone has their own speed to complete work, but what if it goes over the proper amount of time to complete a task. As a client, you are not able to oversee your virtual assistants work beyond when they say they will start and when they turn it in. Programs such as Google Drive can allow for a little more of a look as current-time work, but beyond that, you are at the mercy of the virtual assistant finishing tasks on time.
Understanding the time it takes to complete a task, combined with how your virtual assistant works can be a good gauge on how long it should take. Everyone is different, but when tasks consistently are drawn out beyond a typical timeframe, that is when you need to discuss with your virtual assistant an appropriate amount of time for projects to be turned in.
It is recommended that you monitor your resources in a time capture system that also does screenshots. This along with a clear KPI accountability system should help you to ensure that your work is being done in good time and makes your resource accountable for the job duties assigned to them. Having regular kick off and review meetings is essential to both temporary project work as well as long-term ongoing work. Without management, most resources will fail to meet your expectations. Project management systems do help to manage large-scale work and monitor progress daily.
Virtual assistants are an asset to any company needing extra help without the extra overhead. While these situations have occurred, it does not mean you will run into these issues if you decide to hire a virtual assistant. Taking the time to create concise contracts with protocols for all parts of the client and virtual work relationship will eliminate most of the above from happening.
Furthermore, working with an agency, such as Meadows Resources, that helps clients and virtual assistants find each other, figure out a perfect fit between client and VA, and help with contracts and on-boarding is also an idea to consider and a safeguard to a great client/VA relationship.
Meadows VA School helps prepare virtual assistants to be able to help be an instrumental part of any client’s business and will know how to properly handle themselves and their workload based on the information they have been given through Meadows VA School teachings.
If you are having issues with virtual workers schedule a FREE Discovery Call with us so that we can learn more about you and your needs and make a best fit placement for you and your work.