Updated: Jan 31
There are many who tout the advantages of hiring a Virtual Assistant as essentially a little known secret to success. There are certainly a number of distinct advantages to the process of adding a Virtual Assistant to one's team. Some of the most notable advantages include cost reductions and an increased possibility for profit. All these incredible advantages may make hiring a Virtual Assistant seem as though it is an ideal resource in all situations, but this is not true. There are certain precautions that should be taken when hiring a VA for a project. It is important to be mindful of these precautions when outsourcing a project to ensure the project runs smoothly.
Verify Candidate Qualifications
When deciding to hire a Virtual Assistant to complete a task or project, one should be very selective in screening all applicants carefully before deciding who should complete the work. This is important because you want to be sure to delegate the work to a qualified individual. Awarding a project to an unqualified individual can be a costly mistake if they turn in subpar work at the conclusion of the project or assignment. It can also be costly if it results in unnecessary delays or setbacks as a result of the lack of qualifications.
One way to avoid being outsmarted by fancy resumes and proposals hyping the accomplishments of an individual is to verify all of the information they present before awarding the project. This may entail contacting previous employers as well as references to determine the capabilities and work ethic of the individual. Taking the time to verify the information can help to ensure the individual you hire is truly qualified to fulfill your needs.
Outline Project Requirements Carefully
When outsourcing a project, it is important to be very clear in outlining the project requirements. This is important so both you, the client, and the virtual assistant understand all of the requirements of the project. Preparing contracts and/or proposal documents stating the exact project details and compensation to be provided is a good idea as well. Taking this extra precaution will ensure the money rendered is deserved. Considering having a conversation with your VA about payment methods. Will they accept funds based on milestones, half upfront and a half later, or will they require everything upfront? Go with the option that makes the most sense to you. Doing this also is helpful if disputes arise and mediation is required to resolve the conflicts.
Additionally, it is wise to include information regarding the required deliverables in the contract documents. This should include the exact end product which should be submitted. In this portion of the document, the client can specify information regarding whether they require the project submitted as a hard copy of the completed project, a soft copy of the completed project, or both.
Schedule Periodic Milestone Meetings
Regularly scheduled progress status meetings are very important when a project is outsourced. These meetings should be scheduled often enough to ensure the project does not fall too far behind schedule during any one phase of the project. These meetings can be helpful to both you and the Virtual Assistant. You as a business owner will benefit because you will remain in control of the project and can intervene if your Virtual Assistant is heading in the wrong direction with the project. These meetings are also beneficial to the Virtual Assistant because they can prevent them from being caught by surprise at the conclusion of the project if he misinterpreted the project requirements.