In part 1 of this series I explained the many benefits of hiring virtual teams. In part 2, I will discuss where to find the right people for your virtual teams.
There are several quality online vendor marketplaces that can help you find the right person, not only for your assistant needs, but for any work you need that doesn’t need to be done in person. A few of these include ODESK.com, Guru.com, and ELance.com. ODESK has some key features that I feel help it stand out from the others. The vendor signs in when beginning work for you, ODESK then takes screen shots every 30 seconds. You are then able to check and see what work they were doing and how long it took to get each project done. This provides accountability for the work they’re doing and allows you to confirm you’re getting what you pay for.
You can go to these sites yourself and search for a vendor to get the work done or post a job and have vendors post bids for the work. You also have the option of going through a hiring company. When going through a company you send them an application for your company. They will find applicants, narrow down 2-3 for you to interview, and then hire them for you. Some of these companies also have offices where the VAs work from, allowing them to assist you in managing your virtual team. You can learn more about this option by checking out supportsave.com or myoutdesk.com. Myoutdesk.com specializes in virtual real estate assistants.
It is often assumed that virtual team members are always working from out of country. However, this isn’t always the case. You have the ability to hire someone from your local community, within the state, out of state, or out of country. When determining whether to hire locally or abroad, there are a few things to consider. When hiring locally, you have the ability to meet with your virtual team member face to face and you are able to have them come to the office if needed. Depending on the kind of work needed, this can be a strong incentive to work with someone locally. A potential downside to hiring locally is that the cost may be higher than hiring someone out of area.
A benefit of hiring out of country can be the cost savings since foreign labor is generally less expensive. However, there are some challenges that need to be considered. Firstly, there can sometimes be language barriers to contend with. While the majority of out of country virtual assistants are English proficient, there can still be language issues that can come into play. Another challenge can be the time zone differences. You may be just getting into the office while your VA is getting ready to be done with their day. Although, this has the potential to be a benefit if you have 24 hour staffing needs.
Once you have narrowed down you search, there several tests you can use to help narrow your search ever further. Typing, Word, and Excel tests can be extremely helpful in determining the skill level of your potential virtual employees. You can click here to access links to several different tests I use when hiring my VA.
After you have found the right VA members, providing them with the right training and resources can help eliminate many of the challenges of working with people remotely. In Part 3 will we cover the many tools available to help you effectively equip your virtual team and streamline the work process.
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