When you hire a virtual assistant (VA), your business gets access to an expert who can handle low-priority and administrative work. Therefore, having a VA will allow you to focus on more business-critical tasks while keeping costs relatively low.
While VAs are skilled enough to handle nearly anything, they will need a fundamental understanding of your company and their role within it. This is where the onboarding process comes in.
The onboarding process provides your VA with the necessary knowledge of your company, the tasks that fall under their role, and the tools they will need to get those tasks done. It ensures that both you and your VA are on the same page.
Here are a few onboarding tips to help you ensure a successful onboarding experience:
Give a thorough overview of the company and business
Introducing your virtual assistant to your company and its culture is an essential step in the onboarding process. This overview will give your VA a better understanding of how the company works. It will also give your VA a better context for their job.
Your company overview should include the following points:
- Company background, mission, and values
- Company objectives
- Relevant policies and SOPs
- Present organizational structure
If you have an employee handbook or policy guidelines, make sure to provide a copy for your VA. Should any internal policies become a concern, they have documents they can check before taking action.
Prepare and present relevant tools and software
Given that virtual assistants work remotely, you should prepare the tools and software they need. Ensure the relevant permissions and access credentials are ready for your VA’s first day.
During the onboarding process, give a rundown of these tools and software—what they are for and why they are essential for the job. This information will help them get a good grasp of your overall business workflow. If possible, have written resources available to help the VA navigate and review these tools and software.
Introduce the rest of the team
A critical aspect in any business is teamwork. Even when you outsource to a virtual assistant, situations may arise wherein they will need to collaborate with your in-house team or other staff. Thus, they need to be familiar with them.
Besides providing a professional yet warm welcome for your VA, this introduction bridges the gap between the VA and your existing employees. This is especially important if your VA will need to work and interact with the in-house team.
You can conduct a video call to help introduce your team to the VA. Team members can introduce themselves and share a bit about their job at the company. This way, both your VA and the team members become more familiar with each other, making future interactions easier.
Make expectations clear
Setting expectations is a critical step in the onboarding process as it allows both you and your virtual assistant to discuss your respective expectations throughout their employment.
Key points that you need to discuss at this step include:
- Channels of communication
- Nature of deliverables and role responsibilities
- Timelines of deliverables; how they are set, followed, and negotiated.
- Key performance indicators (KPIs) and respective measurements for them
- Members of the team they need to work with
- Task and project management
- Expected work hours
On your VA’s end, ask for their own expectations from the role and the company as a whole. This information can help you anticipate your VA’s potential needs and opportunities later on.
Give a run-through of your internal processes
While your VA may already be highly competent or have prior experience in similar roles, they will need to get a good grasp of your business’ specific requirements and how things are done in your company.
For a successful onboarding, build a list of tasks and processes that your VA should complete and provide the necessary details such as the goal of the task or process, what is needed to complete it, relevant team members involved, and so on.
You can compile this list and examples into a document, creating a resource they can reference at any time. Proper training materials for upskilling your virtual assistant will make their transition into the role smoother. This also reduces the chances of messing up a task or skipping a vital step of your process.
Start Success at the First Step
Running a successful business doesn’t end at hiring highly-skilled workers. An effective onboarding process provides the information that your virtual assistant will need to be effective at their role and sync with your company’s workflow and culture.