I spoke about the hiring process in BC&D: My First Hire Part 1: Hiring Process.
I hired a Virtual Assistant! I had a bunch of tasks that I queued up to have my VA work on. First I’d have to spend a lot of time training my new hire, regardless of their past experience and work ability. I wanted to teach her about my business, processes, systems, style, code, so much… I started with the business.
Before my VA got started on her first day, there were a bunch of tasks that I had to complete to get them setup in my environment. Some of these apply to just my business environment, but most are pretty general.
I spent a solid day getting everything set up- I believe this is an important step in hiring a VA and any employee. I documented this process in detail so when I go hire another worker, I have a step by step process to follow.
Starting off communication strong was important to ensure my VA and I are always on the same page. One of the most common issues with outsourcing a VA is a lack of communication which leads to a lack of understanding, which leads to a lack of trust and productivity… That being said, I have a methodology that I applied to my relationship with my VA to ensure we’re always on the same page.
The first week started off with a two hour long introduction meeting that took place at 8:00 PM on a Sunday night EST. I introduced my company, and learned more about her goals and aspirations. I walked her through all the ccounts I set up, and my expectations for communication. It was a 2 hour training on how I wanted her to work with me. This was carefully thought out before hand- make sure you spend the time and think about how you and your VA are going to work together.
After showing her the Master Todo List, I walked her through each task I wanted her to complete this first week. The tasks were focused on training and learning about my business. Specifically I asked her to:
None of these tasks were very challenging and only a few added real value to the business, but they allowed for my VA to get failure with and have an introduction to the business. This is already starting to pay off with some of the social media work she’s starting to work on. You have to be patient and deliberate with on boarding.
Having a solid workflow and defined process allows you to be a much more effective manager. Before I assign any task to my VA I make sure I have a clear definition of what the process of completing that task looks lik e. I write down this process, and explain it to my VA, answer any questions and ask them to repeat back to me the instructions to make sure we’re both on the same page. As my VA completes a step in the process, I have them update their bullet journal and I receive a subtle notification informing me on the progress. Similarly, every time I make a change to our shared documents, my VA gets a notification and knows to check in.
So far my VA has been really responsive to new tasks and challenges presented. She asks questions when necessary and isn’t shy about taking on more independent work. I’m going to continue to let her run with tasks and give her some level of autonomy with how tasks are completed. I ask her to document her process whenever possible, so if we hire someone else, we can build a scalable business.
One challenge I have been running into… With the new addition of my VA, I am tasked with managing another persons tasks and constantly checking for a notification. My brain is always on the lookout and its distracting me from being completely focused on my value-add work. This is a personal issue and I’m working on ways to eliminate all notifications during certain hours, and getting my daily schedule more structured. This is a personal issue and has nothing to do with my hiring process, or the VA I hired.
So far, my experience with hiring a VA has been amazing- its really a cool feeling to go to bed and then wake up with work complete, waiting for your reviewal. It has saved me 3 to 4 hours each week, and I’m just getting started! The ROI is a no brainer for anyone that has their own business, or tasks that take away from your value-added work and can be automated!
TLDR: Get a VA for you business, hire right then train right, and save time!
Have you outsourced any work, what has your experience been?
I’ll post an update after a few months of working with my VA with any tips and suggestions I find.
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