(April 24, 2014)
As you know, we have hired Denise, a full time virtual assistant from the Philippines into our team. She is still in the last week of her first training month. But from the first weeks of working with her already, we were able to learn many lessons that I hope are useful for you if you ever consider hiring a virtual assistant full time.
Managing a Full-Time VA Takes Time
If your assistant is really working 8 hours a day for you, you have to reserve some time on your own schedule to answer questions as much as possible especially in the beginning. My guess is that you need at least 1 hour a day to record into screen recordings to explain what you want and what you don’t want. And, at least, one Skype or phone call a week to get to know your full-time VA better and answer questions in real time.
Believe me, it makes the difference.
If you communicate only via email, it’s very probable that many misunderstandings stay what they are – misunderstandings. A real time phone call or Skype call can clean up many issues.
If your virtual assistant is too shy for a Skype call, and this can happen if you hire from the Philippines; a real time chat via Google Chat is just as effective. Well, perhaps, a little less effective but it still works.
Leveraging a Project Based Virtual Assistant on Your Full Time VA
If you already have worked with a virtual assistant that knows you and that has worked on project based work for you; you can use that to your advantage.
What do I mean?
Let’s say, you have outsourced the project to a virtual assistant with whom you have worked for 2 months. He has invested 10 hours a week working with you. He is not a full time assistant, at least not for you. But this assistant knows you and he knows how you work. Either re-hire him if you like working with him or if you’re still working with him, just expand his tasks to help manage your full time assistant.
What can your project based assistant help with?
You can take your full time assistant by the hand especially at the beginning and explain how you like your communication done best – via email, via updates, which format, which frequency. Your project based virtual assistant who already knows you can take that time off your hands by explaining what he has learned works best with you to your new member of the team.
In other words, outsource part of your managing from your virtual assistant. At least that is what I do and it helps me really a lot.
Reviewing the Work of a Growing Team Takes More Time
Although it’s great fun to see my team working by tracking their screenshots via different sites that track their activity; it does take time to record feedback videos to both of them.
What I’m doing now and I can propose to you, if you are working with several assistants at once, is to record one video in which you talk to both assistants about their updates and screenshots. And then ask them to figure it out which task in the video are meant for one assistant and which for the other.
Ideally, of course in the video, you clarify which assistant should take care of which part of the work. But for you as an employer, this way you only take the time for one video – let’s say, half an hour a day – and your assistants figure out the rest between them.
More Content into the Virtual Assistant Diary
Please expect growing amounts of content and behind the scenes insider information in our diary from my virtual assistant. I will totally submit what Denise has written as her diary updates to me and publish them on the diary. So that you can understand how the cooperation with a full time assistant can be especially at the beginning.
I’m not holding back. There have been challenges. But I think many challenges can be overcome. I can even imaging doing an interview with my assistant, transcribing it and posting it on this site.
I think it can be quite charming if you think about hiring someone full time. Please let me know what you think about this in the comments.