Outsourcing to virtual assistants in the Philippines certainly has its benefits and businesses are moving in this direction to reap some of these. However, there are situations when outsourcing to a virtual assistant is not beneficial, particularly if the business does not have an adequate plan in place to support this type of arrangement.
If one of the following 5 warning signs applies to you, go back to the drawing board before you hire a virtual assistant.
- Inadequate processesVirtual assistants are generally driven by processes – both for time efficiency and to accommodate for the absence of face-to-face contact. Without pre-determined processes within the organisation, it is near impossible to hand work over to a virtual assistant and have it completed in a timely and accurate manner.In addition, processes are required to manage staff, regardless of whether they are virtual or not. However, managing staff virtually comes with a set of different challenges so if the organisation does not have adequate processes in place to do this, the benefits of hiring virtual staff will not be optimised.
2. No strategy
If it is not understood from within the organisation what is needed, it is impossible to outwardly direct a virtual assistant on what is required. This not only includes overall strategy for the role, but also should incorporate a clearly defined set of daily, or short-term tasks in order to provide a roadmap for reaching goals
Direction needs to be set from clear objectives and communicated effectively to the virtual assistant. Unless the assistant is clear on and believes in the organisation’s strategy, it is not beneficial to hire them.
3. No capacity to manage someone
A common misconception when hiring a virtual assistant is that once they are hired, the job from the company’s perspective is done and no further management is required. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
As with staff that work for the company face-to-face, there is a requirement for someone within the organisation to manage them and ensure that targets are being met in line with the organisation’s strategy. In addition, there is a need to have someone from within the organisation manage the virtual staff member to ensure that this individual is capable of managing the assigned work and workload. If this isn’t possible, hiring them would not prove beneficial.
4. Reliance on one person
When hiring a virtual assistant, the company is relying on this one staff member to undertake the work in line with the company’s requirements. Unless the company has set realistic goals about the amount of work the assistant would be able to complete, the organisation may not get what is required out of the arrangement and a virtual assistant would therefore not be an ideal solution.
In addition, relying on one virtual staff member limits the ability for information sharing and accessing a range of skills. Therefore, if the organisation was put in a position where the virtual assistant was no longer available, this information may be lost. Furthermore, if the project requires a range of skills, one virtual assistant may not be suitable.
5. Unrealistic expectations
Hiring a virtual assistant can become a problem if and when the company holds unrealistic expectations within role requirements. For example, it is unrealistic for a company to hire one assistant that can enforce major changes in the business, or engage in a wide range of unrelated tasks requiring different skill sets including bookkeeping to graphic design.
For more information on outsourcing virtual assistants, visit www.virtualcoworker.com.au or call 1300 886 740 in Australia.