Over the last few years everyone has been talking about the magical Virtual Assistant (VA). The unicorn of the recruitment world!
When we first started Grow My Team nearly four years ago almost every new lead that came to us was looking for a VA. Maybe it was the popularity of Tim Ferriss’s 4 hour work week, the growth of Upwork, Fiverr and a heap of other online freelance marketplaces. Maybe it was just wishful thinking?
So what did people want in a VA? They wanted a super star! Someone who was a Xero certified bookkeeper, with a background in Digital Marketing, meticulous data entry and administrative skills and an all round administrative superstar. Sounds amazing right? And wait -- people wanted to find this unicorn for less than $5 AUD per hour.
In those days we were sourcing our candidates exclusively out of the Philippines and while $5 an hour is a generous hourly rate and we did find some incredible candidates at that rate, it was impossible to find this unicorn. We found great bookkeepers, admin assistants, project managers, digital marketing assistants, social media managers but it was impossible to find someone who could do everything well.
Top 3 reasons why you shouldn’t hire a VA to do all those tasks
1. It is not realistic
If you’re hiring someone locally to come into your office you don’t expect that they can do the work of 5 different roles. So why is there an unrealistic expectation of what a VA can do? It’s almost as if using the word “virtual” makes it seem like the person performing the role is not real.
2. Too risky to your business
The quality of their work will be compromised. Maybe their bookkeeping skills are excellent but they are struggling with the digital marketing piece of the role. They may become overwhelmed, stressed and distracted. Your brand is too important. You need to take the time to invest in people who are going to represent you and your business.
3. Cheapest isn’t the best
There are lots of different options to hire great virtual staff at an economical price. That means you can hire a few people to perform a few different roles. For e.g. a VA to manage your calendar, emails, recurring tasks and travel bookings, a Digital Marketing Assistant to manage your social media accounts, create content, set up marketing automations and a bookkeeper to, you know, do bookkeeping.
Hiring the right virtual staff can be enormously beneficial to your business. Just make sure you hire the right staff. There are no unicorns out there.