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How Do I Choose the Best Virtual Assistant?

Article Details
  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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To choose the best virtual assistant, you should first make a list of all of the tasks that you expect a virtual assistant to manage. Once you have an idea of the skills that the best virtual assistant for you will need to have, you should begin your recruiting process. This may consist of asking family, friends, and business associates for referrals to quality virtual assistants or going online and reading the websites of assistants to advertise their services. Depending on the type of tasks you will expect your virtual assistant to perform, you may wish to look into the assistant's background and ask whether he or she is bonded or carries some type of errors and omissions insurance. You may also wish to ask about the types of security precautions the virtual assistant has in place to protect sensitive business information.

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Virtual assistants typically offer a wide range of administrative support services. Many people hire a virtual assistant to schedule appointments, manage communications with clients, and perform bookkeeping services. In some cases, clients also need a virtual assistant with more advanced skills, such as in web development, graphic design, or accounting. The best virtual assistant for you will be someone who can meet your business needs at an affordable rate. If you know people who have hired a virtual assistant in the past, ask for the assistant's name and contact information. Although the assistant may not be taking on any new clients, he or she may be able to recommend a colleague to you.

The best virtual assistant for your needs will also be someone with whom you have a good rapport. If you find that you have communication problems with somebody during the interview process, this does not bode well for a productive business relationship. The better you can communicate with your virtual assistant, the more likely that he or she will be able to complete necessary tasks efficiently and to your satisfaction. Review your list of tasks with a candidate to make sure that he or she is capable of performing these tasks, as even the best virtual assistant may become frustrated if you are making demands that he or she cannot meet.

When talking to candidates, ask about their training and experience. Some virtual assistants hold certifications from professional organizations, and some also have university degrees or other educational credentials. Ask about and verify that the candidate actually has these credentials. Ask for references from previous employers and clients. As you may never actually meet your virtual assistant in person, it can often be helpful to complete a thorough background check on a candidate before agreeing to hire him or her. If you will be giving the virtual assistant proprietary information or trusting him or her with company secrets and passwords, it is extremely important that you be assured of his or her integrity.

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