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7 Red Flags to Spot when Hiring a Virtual Assistant.

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7 Red Flags to Spot when Hiring a Virtual Assistant.

Finding a virtual assistant online is easy, but the challenge comes when you want to find one that is skilled in his or her craft and has a track record of delivering with integrity.

When you set out to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA), you notice many applicants out with skills they have probably not mastered or perform terribly at.

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At face value, it would be tough to spot these flaws as most gigs are well packaged from a marketing standpoint. The problem starts when you hire one for a task. It’s best to simply avoid VAs that would give you headaches down the road by knowing the right metrics and qualities to look at before hiring.

With the tips I’ll share, you’ll be able to effectively screen out bad candidates and find the right fit for your business. So in your next interview, be sure to look for the signs listed below.

“When I find an employee who turns out to be wrong for the job, I feel it’s my fault because I made the decision to hire him.”

­­– Akio Morita


Key Highlights

🎯 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard, that is why having a quality screening process for remote workers is crucial.

🎯 According to an article on Indeed, It is estimated that 40% of people lie on their resumes.

🎯 If you hire a candidate with another Virtual Assitant job, the will be a conflict of interest.

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🎯 One skill a Virtual Assitant should have is good communication; without this, there is no point in hiring that candidate.

🎯 A candidate should possess basic skills like being tech-savvy, communication, Time management, creative thinking, and reliability.

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SEE ALSO: 9 Vital Lessons For Aspiring Virtual Assistants

SEE ALSO: 6 Best Places to Hire a Virtual Assistant


1.  Lack of Communication and Responsiveness

One of the most important things to first consider when hiring a Virtual Assistant is their ability to communicate and to respond faster to you and other work members.

When it gets hard to get in touch with a virtual assistant, raise a red flag.

If they are always wasting time responding to your messages, another red flag.

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If you are good at conducting interviews, you can tell when a candidate is not being truthful. I once received a resume from a candidate with a fake resume, all containing false information.

When it takes a candidate more than 72 hours to respond to a job offer, then they are not serious about the job. If a candidate responds after this period, I advise you to consider not hiring that person.

“Bad human communication gives less room to grow.”

-Rowan .D. Williams

2.  Lack of Preparation

If you have a Job interview, the obvious thing you should be doing is preparing yourself. You know they are a red flag if the candidate is

  • Messy in his or her approach to tasks.
  • Not wearing acceptable or decent clothing.
  • Not prepared to answer the basic review questions.
  • Poor social or communication skills.

Once a client is late for an interview without valid reasons, that doesn’t speak well. If you give a candidate a deadline, it is expected that they keep to time.

Showing up late to an interview is a sign of poor time-management skills. If you give a person like this a job, the odds that they will continue being late are high.

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“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.”

― Idowu Koyenikan,

3. Not Paying Attention and Making Mistakes

Nobody is above mistakes, trust me, I should know. What makes the difference is if you learn from your mistakes. If you are well knowledged in your field, it will be easy to spot mistakes on your first contact with them.

During the process of the interviews, the calls, and the emails, you will spot gaps in knowledge, mistakes in emails, and various red flags during the time of your conversations.

I will not label this as a red flag, but if a candidate doesn’t ask questions after an interview, it feels like there are not engaged.

The point of an interview is to get information about your candidate and for the candidate to know your business.

There is supposed to be professional back and forth communication between you and the candidate in an interview.

4. Unable to verify their skills, experience, and track record

Hiring a Virtual Assistant is just like hiring for any other position. There are interviews, background checks, and skill checks.

Running a brief background check on a candidate should be mandatory. Try checking their past jobs, work references, and history.

When a candidate tries to decorate their resume with fancy skills without any proof, this is a sign of dishonesty. Make sure they have some kind of proof that they have that skills.

Check out their references and verify the certificates; make sure they are real and verified. The list below is the things you should make sure you check about the candidate.

  • Testimonials
  • References
  • Certificates
  • Skills
  • Background
  • Past employment

5. Having Conflicts of Interest

Another thing to take note of when hiring a Virtual Assitant is checking if there is a conflict of interest. When hiring a VA, make sure they don’t have too much on their plate.

When you hire a virtual assistant, you want all the attention to be on your work. When they begin to complain about the workload and how much time they have, you know something is taking their time.

When you and another business begin to fight for the attention of candidates, then you know there is a conflict of interest.

A Virtual Assistant is supposed to be a dedicated helper, meaning they should focus on you on your business.

6. Suspicious Online Presence and Work Experience

An employee represents your company. One way people get to know your company is through its online presence.

Before hiring a Virtual Assistant, check out their online presence, meaning checking out their Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Make sure you go through all their profile thoroughly, and if you notice any discrepancies in what you see and what they have told, you know that there’s a red flag.

For example, a new candidate’s resume should at least match their LinkedIn profile; if you check what they post on their social media accounts, more often, you will find out that they post things related to their profession.

It is normal to ask a candidate for past work experiences and references; If they have one, make sure you check and verify them. It is a huge red flag if a candidate can’t verify his past work experience.

7. They are not taking your business seriously

The truth is not all jobs are sexy; I mean, you can’t say cleaning rooms and bathrooms is a sexy job, but it is a job that needs to get done. It is okay if the candidate is not passionate about your job; the main questions you should ask them are,

  •  Are they focused?
  •  Are they hard-working?
  • Do they take the business seriously?

You always want to take your business seriously, and a potential employee of yours is expected to do the same. Taking your business seriously means a candidate should set up before working for your company.

If a candidate can’t take their life and business seriously, the odds are they will not do the same to yours. A potential virtual assistant should be

  • Well mannered
  • Has a reputable online presence
  • Be a good communicator
  • Has the potential to add value to your business.

Final Thoughts

I have hired and worked with many people online, so let’s say the knowledge I just gave is also part of my experience. The basic process of hiring a Virtual Assistant is just like any other online profession.

The goal is to make sure their skills are verified.

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