Having a virtual assistant is something that many companies are starting to apply in their operations today. Business owners, startup entrepreneurs, and established companies have begun to hire their VAs to help them with day-to-day tasks.
Virtual assistants are those who can provide services to your business in a remote location. They do not need to go to your office and therefore won’t be consuming any resources in your office. VAs can either be living within your country or halfway across the globe. The number of choices you have when hiring VAs is endless and can, therefore, be the reason why you’ll either fail or succeed in employing one.
At Outsource School, we also have our own VAs and have found great success in hiring them. They have become partners in our organization and have given innumerable contributions to our growth.
We’ve established a method for hiring a VA, the IOTM method, which has been successful in our experience. We’ll share with you through our course how the IOTM (Interviewing, Onboarding, Training, and Managing) method and other outsourcing tips have helped us and how you can use it to your advantage.
Interviewing VAs is the first step you have to take to start outsourcing some of your tasks. There several ways you can effectively screen applicants to get the best out of the bunch, but what worked for us is the CARE method.
Before we had the CARE method, we also had our failures in hiring. We used to spend hours of our day trying to interview potential VAs and yet still fail to screen them properly.
Believe it or not, we had had times when we hired individuals who did not perform as written on their paper. We even had a situation where we hired two VAs who were supposed to be identical twins but turned out to be one person.
Whatever stage you are in your journey in hiring VAs, following the CARE method will surely help you.
Where To Hire VAs?
As mentioned, VAs can be from anywhere globally as long as they have the right skills to execute tasks that you will assign them. However, VAs from the Philippines stood out the most from our experience.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- High Value for Money
- Reliable/Strong Work Ethic
- Can Communicate English At A High Level
- Tech and Media Savvy
- Culture of Caring and Giving
All of these attributes of Filipino VAs have helped our company grow to what it is today.
The onboarding process is a very crucial step in hiring a virtual assistant. This process serves as a last line of defense for your business. You will have to dig deep during the onboarding process and ensure that you and your VA will have the same expectations from the other.
This step is also where most of the clients of Outsource School fall short. Some clients do not know how to deal with issues, especially when faced with red flags during the onboarding process.
To simplify things, we’ve developed the SICC method to make sure that the VA you want to hire can meet the expectations that go along with your offer. Our course will share some outsourcing tips for onboarding, which mainly focuses on four topics: schedule, internet, and issues that come with it, communication tactics, and culture.
At the last part of the onboarding process, we recommend that you give the VA a chance to back out from the offer. This step will ensure that both you and the VA agreed with the terms you set. You will save a lot of time and other resources if you do this last step.
Now comes the fun part – training! After all the screening and vetting VA candidates and discussing in-depth the details of the position during onboarding, you will have to spend time to train them.
What worked best for our team before starting training is to create an SOP for VAs to follow. SOPs are a great way to make your team more efficient, effective, and generally more productive. When businesses fail to establish SOPs, sometimes it gets growing and scaling due to irregularities and miscommunication.
What Is An SOP?
A standard operating procedure, at its core, is a document, video, or a mix of both that shows a step-by-step process of how a VA should do the task assigned. Its purpose is to clear up any possible confusions that might arise when your VA is doing the job. SOPs should be easily understandable and self-explanatory.
In our course, we will have an in-depth discussion on how to create SOPs. Our years of experience have taught us how to systematically and effectively create SOPs. Here the top three items you need to remember when creating SOPs:
- Detailed Overview of the Task
- Step-by-step Process (Text, Screenshots, Videos)
- Do Not Do List
These items are what keeps our SOPs well-structured and simple.
The last step in our IOTM method is managing. Excellent management of virtual assistants will help you keep them stay with you for the long haul. One of the issues that hinder a business from growing is high turnover rates.
You don’t want to have the time and resources you invested in your employees go to waste; that’s why we’ve developed a method that will help you manage your VAs. Part of the outsourcing tips that we’ll provide you are implementing the BARF method in managing VAs.
BARF method stands for buying in, appreciating, relationship, and family. These are the steps that helped us keep our VAs happy and engaged with Outsource School. A more detailed discussion of how you can apply the BARF method to your company is available in our course.
The methods discussed in this article result from years of experience working with our VAs. We share what worked best with our team and are optimistic that they could work for your business too!
Outsourcing VAs is not an easy task, but it can certainly be lighter and more approachable if you follow the methods tackled in our course. If you want to know more, check out Cracking the VA Code – our training that gives an in-depth discussion about the IOTM method.