As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, more and more businesses are turning to virtual assistants to help with their administrative tasks. Whether it’s to help handle their customer support, organize files or plan their schedule, virtual assistants can help to lessen the burden of these tasks.
While there are many benefits to be had from a virtual assistant, it’s crucial to ensure that you can trust them to handle your sensitive information before you start working together. In this article, we explore some steps you can take to check if your virtual assistant is trustworthy.
Ask for references
One of the most effective ways to determine the trustworthiness of any employee is by asking for references or testimonials from past clients. Testimonials can provide valuable insights into their work ethics and professionalism, giving you a good idea if they can be trusted with sensitive information.
It’s also helpful to ask for contact information of the clients who have left testimonials, so that you can follow up with them if necessary. Plus, virtual assistants are much less likely to send false testimonials if you ask for contact details to back them up, even if you don’t intend to reach out.
Do a background check
While references and testimonials are certainly helpful in the vetting process, they can’t quite paint a full picture of the virtual assistant’s background. A background check will be much more extensive, confirming their employment history, education and flagging anything on their criminal record.
It might seem intrusive to conduct a criminal background check, but it’s crucial in order to maintain the integrity of your business. Many employers will require these checks when taking on someone new, and it should be no different with a virtual employee. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Hire through an established agency
If you’re nervous about doing all of this research, it could be a good idea to hire a virtual assistant through an established agency. This way, the agency will have already done all of the hard work for you, ensuring that they’re a suitable candidate for your business.
What’s more, if you find that your new virtual assistant isn’t a great fit for you, most agencies will facilitate swapping to a replacement. This can save a lot of time compared with hiring another person entirely.
Just make sure that you check out the virtual assistant agency first, checking that they’re authentic and have a track record of working with a mix of businesses, as not every virtual assistant may be suitable. For example, you might want someone with experience in certain software, or someone who is familiar with more advanced financial concepts.
Reach out to acquaintances
With the popularity of virtual assistants on the rise, you might find that several of your friends or acquaintances use their services. This is a great way to find out personal experiences that can be invaluable in choosing your virtual assistant.
For example, a previous colleague might have a virtual assistant that has some additional time to spare. Since your colleague has done the legwork for you, you can rest assured that they’re capable and trustworthy enough to work for your business too.
If you’re struggling to find someone within your professional network that has a virtual assistant they can recommend, consider joining online communities or forums for business owners. Virtual assistants will usually be a common topic of discussion, and these threads can provide valuable recommendations of those who have a proven track record of trustworthiness.
While other qualities are also important in a virtual assistant, such as effective time management and organizational skills, trustworthiness is paramount. You wouldn’t want to be handing over a portion of your business’ operations to someone you feel uneasy about, so it’s vital to do your research before committing to a virtual assistant.
Once you find someone you know you can trust, you can look forward to the benefits that virtual assistants can bring. With many of your tedious daily tasks out of the way, you can focus on what really matters; setting your business up for success.