8 Soft Skills to look for in a Virtual Assistant
Now that you have made up your mind towards hiring a virtual assistant, the next thing on your list is what to look for in an assistant that will make your life easier. This needs to be done with some consideration on your part on the kind of VA that will suit your business needs. You need to have a keen eye when looking at soft skills of your virtual employee. Soft skills are those character traits and interpersonal skills that a person comes with. Character traits tend to be ingrained unlike occupational or hard skills, which are learned and honed over time. This write-up looks at what specific soft skills you need to look at when selecting an assistant:
Great Attention to Detail: A great assistant should be meticulous at all things. The attention to detail should be part and parcel of a normal day. They need to proud of the fact that they look into those details, which others tend to ignore. By approaching each of their tasks with meticulousness and urgency an assistant helps the manager or executive to achieve the often quoted work-life balance. They ensure that the errands are completed before the deadline and great care is taken on fast delivery of the tasks.
Presence of Mind: Despite all things being spoken about being attentive on the job, many assistants tend to miss the most obvious things. A good employee is known to fill in the gaps and demonstrate initiative. Even when incomplete ideas are given out by the executive or manager, an ever-present assistant is able to bring completeness to the ideas, keeping the executive informed and in approval all along the way.
Great Listening Skills: Listening leads to learning. While most people tend to ignore this fact on the course of life in general, a great assistant assimilates information quickly and boldly ask a question to fill in the gaps in understanding. By intently listening, a good assistant is able to understand the direction the boss is taking and the reason behind every strategy. This kind of work ethic will be able to bring an excellent working relationship to fruition.
Relationship Builder: One of the quality traits of an assistant is being able to build rapport with people whether in person or on phone. Irrespective of the number of people he meets, he needs to have a knack for breaking the ice and able to forge relationships. This kind of personality would not only click anywhere but would be an asset to the manager or executive.
Communication Skills: One of the key skills an assistant must possess is communication skills. There is nothing more valuable in business and in corporate circles than understanding and being understood. In a situation, when there is no face-to-face time between the client and the assistant, it is necessary to have appreciable communication skills to streamline your work. At times when the instructions are vague and ambiguous, it is the assistant who has to take the upper hand and straighten out the correspondence.
Time Management Skills: A good assistant needs to do two things at the same time. Not only does he needs to be able to manage his own schedule, he also needs to prioritize his boss’s assignments and events. The employee carefully plans and organizes the boss’s schedule to ensure the executive is spending more time on long-term planning and goal setting.
Project Management Skills: It is generally a known fact that the assistant helps the manager or the executive see the big picture. This big-picture thinking can come to life if the assistant helps him/ her in the endeavor. With each and every project coming with moving parts, it is necessary that the assistant is able to help the boss in being able to help with the moving parts. A great assistant is able to make the job easier by tackling things like comparing expenses on financial statements, analyzing client trends or even simply highlighting a budget. These things help in a huge way in growing the partnership between the executive and administrative assistant.
Technology Skills: When looking for VA it would be a good judgment on your part to look for someone who is technologically well oriented. It can be as simple as MS office and as complex the latest CRM software. A good assistant would easily be able to assimilate the latest in technology with a little amount of training. This kind of ability in an administrative assistant would make it an ideal for to be taken in as your assistant.
The article talks about the kind of skills a great assistant needs to possess for them to be hired by a first-timer, someone who is hiring a VA for the first time.