When on boarding a new team member have you found that it has taken up hours and hours of your time?
Has your own work suffered because you have been too busy helping them, teaching and explaining?
Has the whole process been exhausting and set you back?
Have you then had the unfortunate experience that after all that time and one on one investment, that the person did not work out and you were left with nothing done and no team member to help. In fact, right back where you started?
There is a better way to on-board new Filipino team member without the risk of setting yourself and your business back.
Here are a few tips to assist you, and save you hours of time, frustration and disappointment.
1.Outline Specific Expectations For Working, Before He Or She Start
Working with a new virtual assistant is much easier when you have outlined specific expectations for working, before he or she starts. For example:
Start and finish times
End of day reporting
Holiday and sick leave
Time recording software
Project management software
Written instruction procedures
It is much harder to set things right after poor working and productivity habits have set in. All of the above help avoid disappointment and mis communication.
2.Expect the Best But Be Prepared for the worst
I will highlight what I mean by this by an example. Through my previous virtual assistant who had worked for me for 2 and a half years I was recommended a new person that was looking for a job.
She had amazing very high-level marketing, admin and management skills, which I was impressed by. So her technical skills were excellent. The red flag went off even before she started though, because she had committed to getting the test job back to me by the end of the weekend and by 10pm on the Sunday night I still had not received it. When I Skyped her asking her for it, she said that she had had family issues come up and had not been able to do it, but that she would get it back to me by Monday morning. She missed the deadline but did not contact me to let me know that she could not meet it. I had contacted her.
When I finally got it, the quality of the work was high. So I overlooked the first red flag.
The second red flag came when, before the end of her first week, she asked for an advance in her pay. Again because of her skill level and the fact that she was referred by people I trusted, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and against my usual practises, gave her an advance. On the first day back after the Easter break she came to work but because of a personal drama, which was legitimate, she was on the phone all morning. She kept telling me she would make up the hours and that she was fit to work that day. I gave her the day off and the next day she was still caught up in the family drama and could not concentrate. I had already paid her in advance for the second week.
I gave it a few days and realised that this was not going to work, so I fired her and said she could keep the advance.
The moral of the story is that although this situation is always disappointing with systems in place, no virtual assistant is irreplaceable. With the help of my recruitment system and the right online portals there are many excellent candidates.
3.Take The Time To Deal With Complex Documents And Tasks By Creating Recorded Systems
The best way to deal with complex documents that you want your virtual assistant to work on is to make it as easy as possible for them to learn how to break down the information and understand the key points.
The easiest way to teach them is through screen share with you explaining what the document means and how to deal with it. As you are explaining it make sure you record it at the same time so that your live training can be turned into a duplicable system.
Take the attitude that it is ok to hand hold your virtual assistant especially if they are new to working in your business and even if they have a lot of experience. Never assume that they will know the short cuts or understand the terminology relevant to your industry and your country.
What this does is save you time and money in the long run. Throwing them in the deep end is not the best strategy even if you are testing their level of competence.
Take the time to sit down and record what the tips and tricks are to digesting the information. Ask them questions and get them to ask you if they don’t understand something.
It is a bit like teaching comprehension in primary school. It has nothing to do with the intelligence of your virtual assistant, it has to do with helping them get up to speed and learn quickly what they need to do and the fastest way for them to get it done.
The downside of not doing this is that hours and hours will be wasted on them learning the hard way. You will waste your precious money as well.
When entering a new culture or industry all of us need to be taught specific tried and true short cuts, terminology and methodologies.
One example is a client of mine that puts together investment syndicates. His documents and procedures are very complex and corporate. By giving verbal instructions and assuming that because his new virtual assistant had worked in project management for a Sydney company previously, that he would automatically understand how to interpret documents such as feasibility studies and contracts.
What he discovered was that after hours and hours of time spent on trying to understand the documents on his own, his virtual assistant didn’t really get anywhere.
What we are aiming to establish is long term working relationships with our virtual assistants, and this is more than possible to achieve. But at the same time the approach needs to be that no one is irreplaceable in your business. The recorded systems safeguard us against staff turnover and employing the wrong person.
There are three things that make outsourcing to the Philippines succeed:
- Creating systems
- Recruiting and hiring the right person
- Managing your staff and their performance over the long term
Go To Outsource is about helping you with all three aspects to make sure your experience of outsourcing is positive, productive and profitable.