In my last article,Avoiding Virtual Assistant Performance Pitfalls – Part II Articles Virtual Assistant-Hiring Pitfalls we explored the common hot water items companies face when hiring virtual assistants and how to avoid them. Now it’s time to talk about possible performance pitfalls and how we can protect ourselves and the virtual assistant when escritorio-virtual.net.What’s really most important when hiring a virtual assistant is doing your due-diligence before you make the hire. Just like anyone else, virtual assistants come with their own personality, life issues, and family situations. Making sure they mesh with what you need are paramount to ensuring smooth sailing after you’ve finally agreed to work with the VA.
Yes, it can happen. Back when you worked in the retro bricks-and-mortar world, how often did someone simply not show up for work? They quit, right? Unfortunately this can happen with virtual assistants as well. Perhaps not as often as in the bricks-and-mortar world but it does happen.
Why do virtual assistants quit, disappear, and move on? They do, for the same reasons they quit, disappear, and move on in the bricks-and-mortar world. Maybe they needed more money. Maybe they became ill and could no longer work. Maybe a better offer came along. Maybe they didn’t like the work. You can’t entirely avoid the situation itself but there are things you can do to minimize the damage if and when it does. Protecting yourself ahead of time for when it does and realizing that it could happen is your best defense.
Online files. Not only does putting your files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) online facilitate working virtually, but it also protects you if and when a virtual assistant leaves. Simply change the passwords then she’s locked out and you don’t lose any files or have to go hunting them down. Check out www.xdrive.com or speak with your website administrator about putting your files up via ftp.
Pay withholding. Why not put something in your contract with the virtual assistant that says you reserve the right to withhold pay until work files are returned?
Passwords. As soon as a virtual worker leaves or is let go, remember to change your passwords on everything he or she had access to!
What I Say Versus What I Can Do
Would you hire someone to watch your children just because they say they’re capable of doing so? I didn’t think so. Then why would you hire a virtual assistant (or anyone for that matter) without first finding out what they can do and if they can do what they say they can do? I recommend several steps be taken to test a new virtual assistant contractor before contracting with them. These steps are modeled after our own company’s interviewing process, which has evolved over the years. It’s a lot of work on your part but very worthwhile. If you don’t want to take all of these steps then look for a good virtual staffing agency, like Team Double-ClickSM who does all of the work for you.However, be absolutely sure that you send the virtual assistant a 1099 Miscellaneous Income tax form (in lieu of a W2, which employees only receive) each year.