Episode 1: Hiring And Trialling - Developing A Virtual Team
It can sometimes be difficult to simply let go of the reins when you're an independent virtual assistant. You may feel, quite rightly, as if you have developed a fine affinity to provide your services and even know what specific clients are looking for intuitively. Wouldn't it be rather difficult to hand this over to somebody else and wouldn't you risk more than simply an ability to branch out and expand?
These questions are often on the mind of the growing virtual assistant. Deep down inside you know full well that true growth can only be attained when you're able to leverage your time and effectively outsource within your own organization.
If you think that it's going to be simple to find individuals who will automatically "fit in" without any problem whatsoever, think again. It's not a simple task and outsourcing can often take up much more time especially in the early days, as you train and oversee the property.
You need to do quite a bit of research in the early days to find out where these people are likely to be. Sometimes you can find the prospective team member in the most unlikely of places and you won't necessarily populate your new team by simply going to online recruitment agencies. The process can also take quite a bit of time and it's not a process that should be rushed. If you do you will likely find out through the school of hard knocks that the individual you choose to contract is not the ideal choice.
Even though you may feel that a particular person is "the one," do not be tempted to treat this as a done deal without citing some form of trial period. This will allow you to test the individual under pressure without having made any formal binding commitment. You have got to see whether they are the right person for your team and they've also got to see whether they can work together with you, mutually and profitably.
Certainly, there are some great resources online where people who are looking for work can be teamed up with people who are searching for additional talent, according to the individual area of expertise. Within these resource sites, you can often find testimonials and can see how many hours have been logged successfully with other people. This may give you a good indication of the ability and the staying power of your prospects.
Even though you may consider yourself to be good at all that you do and well able to provide services across a broad spectrum of needs for a client, don't expect to find another individual who can effectively just replicate you. The likelihood is that you're going to have to hire and trial several different individuals, whose resumes may be specific to the services you provide. This opens up another question – how many hours can you "afford" to give to the new individual member of your team in that specific subject area? Remember that the team prospect will also be looking for stability, a certain level of income potential, and will undoubtedly be looking to "vet" your operation too.