8 Essential Qualities Your Virtual Personal Assistant Must Have

Aug 24, 2020

When you own your own business in Ontario, one of the cons is that you’re constantly being pulled in different directions. The ability to delegate comes with practice, but if you map out tasks that can be handled by other people and tasks that need your direct focus, you’ll find that your life becomes a whole lot easier. 

For that reason, a virtual personal assistant can be a huge asset to your business. However, not every person is the same–you’ll need to do some research beforehand in order to find the best virtual assistant. 

Read on for our top eight qualities that your virtual assistant needs to have! 

1. Industry Experience

Industry experience is one of the top qualities that you need to make sure that your virtual assistant has. They’ll understand what the daily operations of your business are like, and you won’t need to spend as much time communicating expectations with them.

Depending on their role and tasks, having industry experience can also help them interact and create content for your target audience. 

2. English Proficiency

Unless you can speak multiple languages, it’s important that the virtual assistant you hire is able to speak english well enough to understand you. Since they’ll be working remotely, communication needs to be seamless whether written or verbal.

If you’re having trouble understanding each other and aren’t able to communicate your needs clearly, the work just won’t get done. 

3. Time Management Skills

Virtual assistants need to be able to know what they can handle on any given day and juggle multiple tasks at once. Plus, if they have good time management skills they can help you with your own schedule and be able to handle appointment requests and meetings.

They can find ways to make your life easier through automated schedule reminders and organizing your schedule to fit in family time. 

4. Attention to Detail

Since your virtual assistant will be juggling multiple tasks for you in a day, it’s important that you hire someone who has innate attention to detail. Once you communicate your needs and expectations, they should be able to correct the mistakes they make on their own. 

Although everyone is human and no one will be perfect all the time, you don’t want to feel as if you always need to check your assistant’s work before its delivered to the client. 

5. Verifiable References

Anyone can become a virtual personal assistant, so it can be hard to judge who is experienced and trustworthy and who is just getting started. The easiest way to find the best virtual assistants is to see if they have verifiable references. These can be found on their websites or through a Google search. 

If you find a promising virtual assistant who doesn’t seem to have any reviews, you can also ask them if they’re able to provide any references. 

6. Communication Skills

You also want to hire a personal assistant who’s easy to communicate with. Along with being able to speak english, they need to be accessible during the hours that they’re working. If you need something to be changed or corrected, it can become difficult if they take hours or even a day to get back to you. 

Furthermore, make sure that they’re comfortable communicating in a way that’s comfortable for you. For instance, if you’re not a fan of constant phone calls, make sure that they’re receptive to communicating through a messenger app or email. 

They should also be giving you updates on their own without needing to be asked a question first. This shows that they’re going the extra mile for you and are invested in the work. 

7. Fast Learners

Depending on your industry, the virtual assistant you choose may not know everything about the operation of your business. If they have experience and good references, you may need to train them for a little while so they know exactly what they need to do. If this is the case, it’s important that you find a virtual assistant who’s willing to learn. 

If you find that the assistant you’re interested in seems inflexible and only wants to work with the systems and software they know, then it may be easier to look elsewhere. 

8. Good Personality

Last but not least, you need to hire an assistant who works well with you in particular. They may be experienced, talented, and have good references, but it’s possible that your personalities and work styles just don’t mesh. In those cases, it’s important to politely acknowledge this and find an assistant who fits the culture of your business better.

The easiest way to learn about their personality and how they work is to simply ask them. Here are a few interview questions that will give you an idea: 

  • How would you describe yourself? 
  • Why did you become a virtual assistant? 
  • How do you like tasks to be assigned? 
  • What does your perfect workday look like? 
  • What are your hobbies or passions aside from work? 

Let them know that no answer is a bad answer–you’re simply getting an idea of who they are as a person! 

The Best Virtual Personal Assistant

It’s important that you think about qualities and expertise before you hire a virtual assistant. A virtual personal assistant is not just a contractor that you’re hiring for the short term. They’ll become an integral part of the way your business runs from day to day. 

Although you may want to save money by hiring inexperienced virtual assistants that don’t have high hourly wages, you’ll find that you’ll most likely spend more time trying to train them and making sure your expectations are being met. An experienced virtual assistant will make it easy. 

Ready to register and start your business in Ontario? Contact us today with any of your questions to get started! 



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