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How to Onboard Your Virtual Assistant The Right Way

virtual assistant onboarding

When onboarding a VA, getting things right from the outset is important

Introduction

The number of people seeking the services of a virtual assistant to lighten their workload is growing year-on-year. Particularly amongst entrepreneurs and those running their own businesses or finding themselves continually in meetings. The profession of a virtual assistant has diversified immensely too.

They are far from someone who just answers your calls and emails and keeps an eye on your appointments. In fact, they can take care of many tasks, such as social media and blogging. This allows you to focus on other areas of your business to help it grow and to free up your time. Find out more about how our VAs can help you save time and money today and lighten your workload.

The first steps to a successful VA onboarding

If you’ve decided that you want to hire a virtual assistant, it’s not just as simple as selecting someone and inviting them on board. The working relationship between yourself and your virtual assistant needs to be one of clarity and cooperation.

You also need to ensure that they are fully aware of their responsibilities and that they get to know you and your expectations. And if you own a business and you’re not just a solopreneur, it’s important that you make them feel part of your company and introduce them to your colleagues. You want them to feel included, rather than excluded and distant.

Communication with you VA is key

Communication with your virtual assistant is key

The key to a fruitful and prosperous working relationship with a virtual assistant is consistent and clear communication. You need to be thoroughly clear with them on what you want communicated to you, through what method, and at what times. If you’re not clear from the start regarding this, you could find yourself being interrupted at the wrong times, but how was your VA to know if you didn’t explain things clearly from the outset?

It’s critical to have a good VA onboarding process in place.

If you go ahead and get started with your VA without any formal onboarding process in place, it’s going to make the journey a lot more tumultuous and difficult. Not only for yourself but for your VA.

Without any clarity on their roles and responsibilities, you increase the chance of them missing important tasks or not knowing what your communication preferences are. Things that will ultimately end up costing you time and money, and potentially your VA.

Establish a list of tasks for your virtual assistant

There are many different types of VA

As we mentioned at the start of this blog, virtual assistants are far from just people who answer your emails and phone calls. There are many VAs out there who bring many different skills to the table.

Some VAs, for example, can take care of your travel arrangements; others can support you in recruitment tasks and minute-taking. Other VAs can also assist with digital tasks such as blogging, updating your website on your behalf, and managing your social media.

Always check in with your virtual assistant

Especially during the early stages of the onboarding process and working with your VA, you’re going to want to check in more frequently than normal to see how they’re settling in. Ensure that they’re comfortable, and if they have any questions about the role, speak to them.

Being open and transparent again is the key to a prosperous and productive working relationship. During these check-ins, this also presents an opportunity for you to see if there are any areas where they may need additional support. This means that they will then feel more comfortable in their job role and more open to asking you for support where they may need it as they get to know you and the business.

No VA onboarding process is the same

Make the process personal!

It’s not as easy as going online and looking at what the standard process for onboarding a VA should be. Each process and induction should be tailored to the virtual assistant that you’re taking on. Just like each of your employees and each of the people you meet, they have their own characteristics and personalities. And also their own way of learning. And so it’s a case of knowing what to keep in mind during the process while at the same time being able to adapt as you go along and get to know each other better as working partners.

Your VA will be in the same boat as you

Believe us when we say that virtual assistants will be in the same boat, wanting to get the onboarding process right with you as a client. After all, they want to do their utmost to make the best first impression on you and to hit the ground running. And so this may mean that they may, in fact, proactively ask you some of the questions that we have already covered. As for how they will get their instructions from you, what communication channels do you use to speak to one another? What other tasks may be required of them? If this is the case, this is a promising sign of a fantastic virtual assistant.

Make sure your VA is set up and ready to go!

If you have IT equipment that you’ve got to get ready for your VA, make sure they’re ready for when they start. Before you go looking for a virtual assistant, it may be worth compiling a checklist of what they may need, such as a phone number, a company email address, a laptop, access to planning software, and other pieces of software that they will need as part of their day-to-day tasks. This means there is no time or money wasted when they are taken over by the business.

Follow our onboarding checklist

Here’s a Short Virtual Assistant Onboarding Checklist:

  1. Share phone numbers and emails
  2. Set up professional company email for you VA
  3. Set up an initial meeting to talk everything through
  4. Establish communication channels (e.g. Zoom and WhatsApp) and frequency – do you prefer over communication, for example?
  5. Set out clear tasks, at least for the first week and month
  6. Establish a plan of action for if they get stuck – how and when can they ask for help?
  7. Make sure they know who else they can turn to in your team if you are not available
  8. Provide passwords and access to all softwares and apps that they will need
  9. Talk to your VA about sending a weekly report (send them a template)
  10. Take some time to explore their interests and include them in company culture (so that it is not 100% work-focused)

In Summary

This isn’t a fully comprehensive list of the things that you should be bearing in mind when onboarding your VA. But these are the most important points to keep in mind. The main thing is to do your preparation and make sure that you are approaching the whole scenario holistically, always remembering that they are new to your business. Put yourself in their shoes and give them the welcoming treatment that you would expect and want if you were joining a new organization.

Claudia

  • Looking to scale your business more quickly?
  • Are you overloaded with administrative tasks?
  • Would you like to free up more time for business strategy?

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