You may have heard about companies hiring virtual assistants (VA’s) but been a bit skeptical as to whether or not you can trust someone outside your corporation with certain information or with the standard of work that your organization requires.
As an outsourced legal assistant, I can advise of a few things to take into consideration (or do) before hiring an outsourced assistant to do organizational work:
- Make sure that they’re a reputable company – reputation doesn’t always mean that they are a large corporate outsource company but do they have references that are contactable? Are they willing to provide you examples of their work?
- Meet them (even if its only via Skype) – many people outsource across regions so meeting face-to-face isn’t always possible but with technological advances their are many platforms such as Skype that allow people to have meetings face-to-face and its always better to work with a face rather than an anonymous person on the other end of the email.
- Start them off on smaller tasks – most outsourced workers won’t expect an indefinite contract and they know appointment is based on their ability to do the work so before throwing them into 100 page contracts, give them a few smaller contracts to ensure the quality of their work is up to your organizations standards.
- Know what it is you expect them to do and set those expectations upfront – because most outsourced workers work online, expect you to pay online and then get going. it is easy for misunderstandings to occur so I always suggest laying out a list of expectations so that the VA knows exactly what you’re looking for before even taking the job, that way you avoid future misunderstandings that may turn ugly.
These may seem simple but they could be the difference between an outsourcing failure and an outsourcing success for your organization so take these steps into consideration before hiring your VA.