If you’re reading this post, you’re probably an entrepreneur who’s ready to take the leap in outsourcing an assistant. That’s good news because 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs have reported mental health problems in the last two years. It’s now time to stop holding the fort on your own and start asking for help from a professional virtual assistant. Here’s a quick guide to outsourcing an assistant to a virtual assistant company in the Philippines.
Reasons to outsource an assistant
You can trust your virtual assistant to take care of recurring, time-consuming tasks so you can focus on planning and strategizing.
If you hire outsourced assistants overseas, you’ll have the advantage of keeping your business operations up and running even during downtime. This is especially useful if you have peak seasons you need to keep up with. Enterprises in the Western hemisphere, for example, can complement their operations with services from a business process outsourcing company in the Philippines.
Outsourcing services are rendered by technically-skilled people you don’t need to train anymore, making this a cost-efficient route.
Recruiting an assistant
Hiring a virtual assistant isn’t rocket science, though one must always remember that you are hiring an external party to integrate into your own team. We’ve written a recruitment guide in our previous posts, but these are the highlights.
Identify your needs.
In general, virtual assistants are expected to be reliable and resourceful. But some have training and experience for certain industries and skills. Narrowing down your needs will help match the best virtual assistant for your business.
Ask the right questions.
Don’t limit yourself to HR-standard questions during the interview. Ask your potential virtual assistants scenario-based questions. A glowing resume doesn’t automatically mean good performance on the job. Scenario-based questions are your best bet in gauging their fit to your company.
Establish ways of working and communication channels.
When you’ve finally hired your virtual assistant, always remember that the onboarding week is crucial. Express your expectations clearly, detail their tasks, and set regular check-ins with them.
Common pitfalls to outsourcing an assistant
Despite the numerous benefits, hiring a virtual assistant can backfire if one isn’t mindful of the potential problems. Here are a few:
Adjusting to your culture.
Memorizing your company handbook and other related policies is one thing, applying them in the day-to-day is another. Don’t expect your outsourced assistant to hit the ground running just by forwarding a stack of documents. Without deliberate onboarding, your outsourced assistant will find it difficult to integrate into your operations and culture.
Breaking the silos.
Your in-house team might not fully understand how it is to work with an outsourced team if it’s their first time doing so. The latter might not understand the former’s priorities, or the former could still try to do what the latter is doing and create redundancy. Buy-in from the internal team should have been secured prior to contracting an outsourced assistant.
Handling sensitive information.
Virtual assistants handle a bulk of admin tasks, which can involve dealing with sensitive information. Since this is unavoidable, it is better to proactively delineate their access from the get-go and point out what they may or may not access. Most of all, they should sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to their onboarding.
Outsource an assistant from a trusted outsourcing company
There are safeguards to every pitfall identified above, but the best way to manage them is by outsourcing an assistant from reputable veterans who know international, English-speaking markets like the back of their hand. Contact MCVO to get in touch with professional virtual assistants.