Although technology has made it easier for businesses to compete globally, business owners are even more frustrated and stressed than ever. Not only do they have to manage everyday business tasks but they also have to manage personal tasks as well. With this in mind, many smart business owners are hiring virtual assistants to complete time consuming tasks that they don’t have time to do.

Now, before you hire the very first virtual assistant who applies for your posting, you must be aware of the pitfalls of outsourcing and how to overcome them. In this article, we will demonstrate issues you may face within the outsourcing process and provide proven strategies to develop a smooth working relationship with your VA. One that leverages their skills and provides mutual satisfaction.

Drawbacks of Hiring a VA

When short-listing a virtual assistant from varied sites, it can be difficult to weed out the inefficient ones and choose the most qualified candidate. Just about anyone can make themselves sound good however, can they deliver? Although many employers ask for references, it is difficult to verify resources because many people simply list their family members and friends so they can be assured an impressive rating. Solution: Check independent feedback systems or simply call past clients to inquire about references.

You cannot be certain of your VAs work efficiency until you hire them. Many Virtual Assistants have an impressive profile that display their skills and achievements but a striking portfolio cannot be the only criterion to justify that you will get quality work from them. Solution: view work samples and be willing to check them out with a trial project.

Delegation of tasks is another daunting task. Most entrepreneurs are so adept at doing everything themselves that they have a difficult time delegating. In addition, sometimes they don’t have a clue as to what they need. Plus, At times, it so happens that the employers do not know exactly what they want and they end up allotting the wrong projects to their VAs. Moreover, many employers find it difficult to trust their VAs till they do not prove themselves with their efficiency. Solution: Be careful about delegating. Understand your VAs strengths and only delegate those tasks that they are capable of doing.

Be mindful of time differences. If you hire an international VA, you may experience differences in time zones. This can act as a stumbling block because you may need work delivered when they are unavailable. Solution:  Use this time zone difference to your advantage. For example, if you are hiring a VA from a different time zone and you have a deadline to meet, give them the work during their working hours and have realistic goals about delivery dates.

If you hire a VA from a country where English is not the first language, you may get frustrated because their work is chock full of spelling errors. Easy solution: You can either edit their work to make it more suitable or you can hire an assistant that has better English skills so that the quality of their work meets your high standards.

Cultural and linguistic differences can also make communication between you and your VA harder. For example, the VA hired by you may understand and speak English well but if English is their second language, it can create communication breakdown as they might interpret things told by you in a different manner. Solution: Be mindful of how you communicate with your worker.  Encourage open communication between you and your VA so they are comfortable asking you questions or clarifying points.

Some VAs use outdated equipment or programs or have dysfunctional internet service. Easy solution: choose a VA that has up-to-date equipment and tools/software and are able to complete projects in a timely manner.

Some VAs are flaky and don’t complete work in a timely manner. Easy solution: hire a team of VAs or always have a backup provider wiling to stand by and help if needed.

In conclusion, hiring a VA isn’t easy but it is definitely worth the effort.  Just remember to follow the advice in this article and you’ll find a highly qualified VA that is able to complete all of your task hire a VA with multiple skills, either hire VAs that are fluent in English or be willing to work with them.