4 Unconventional Ways to Qualify Your Virtual Assistant

When hiring a Virtual Assistant, many business owners are content with just the interview and conducting a few basic tests. While these are tried and tested methods, they may not be sufficient in helping you find the best Virtual Assistant for your business.

To do that, you have to think outside the virtual box. Here are 4 unconventional ways to qualify your Virtual Assistant:

Trial Period

Would you buy a car without test driving it? What if there is computer error or defective brakes? Your life is literally in your hands by not opting for the test drive.

In the case of a Virtual Assistant, the life of your business could be in virtual hands if you don’t opt for the trial period.

It is standard procedure for VA candidates to agree to a trial period. This is paid time anyway and usually does not take more than 2 hours. The purpose of the trial period is to see how the Virtual Assistant performs in an actual work situation.

It is not a guarantee that you will find the best candidate. But at the very least, you will get a glimpse of how it is to work when outsourcing services.

Check Their Social Media Pages

Is it snooping around? Is checking someone else’s social media pages unethical? No. As a matter of fact, 60% of hiring managers would check a candidate’s social media account as part of the process.

Over the years, more businesses are placing greater value on the behavioral component than technical and fundamental competencies. After all, anyone can be trained but values have been ingrained by a lifetime of experiences. Among the factors hiring managers look into are as follows:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs
  • Images of drinking or drug use
  • Discriminatory comments on gender, race or religion
  • Negative remarks on previous employer
  • Poor spelling and grammar

Make Work Uncomfortable

A Virtual Assistant is technically contracted not hired. This means you can terminate the contract any time. You should continue to qualify your Virtual Assistant especially during the first month of the working engagement.

Put the VA’s commitment and dedication to the test by making work uncomfortable. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Schedule his or her work shift during late night or graveyard hours.
  • Schedule work and meetings on weekends especially on Sunday.
  • Give unrealistically tight deadlines.
  • Ask the VA to preside over meetings and to cover presentations in Power Point.

Do this for a period of 2 weeks. If your Virtual Assistant passes with flying colors, implement a normal working schedule.

If not, hire another one and repeat the process.

Contact References

Another standard procedure in the hiring process is for the candidates to provide references. This includes former clients, employers and associates. But some business owners do not check up on these references.

If you want to know how your candidate performs, talk to someone who has worked with him or her. Take the time to contact the references and if possible, reach out via phone.

You also need to check on the background of the reference. He or she could just be a bogus character “hired” to give you a good review.

Are you going overboard by implementing any of these strategies? Ask yourself, “How much do you value your business?”

Going back to the analogy about the car, would you trust your car to someone you don’t know?

Your business is your livelihood. You should tightly scrutinize the people you allow to be part of it. This is especially true when the person works from the virtual world where close, shared space collaboration is not possible.

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