Get off to a flying start with your new VA
You’ve found a Virtual Assistant who seems so perfectly suited to your business that it feels like they will simply slot into place effortlessly. That’s great news. And you’re right, it won’t be long before you’ll be wondering what you ever did without them. But first there are a few things you need to do to make sure you kick off the relationship in the best possible way. Here we share our VA onboarding checklist to help you give your new Virtual Assistant everything they need to make a difference from day one.
Our Virtual Assistant onboarding checklist
1: First, tick off a few formalities
Part of the onboarding process is making sure any formal documentation is in place. Here are four important items of vital admin you should cover before your Virtual Assistant starts.
- A contract. From contracted hours to rates and payment terms, it’s important to document the details of the working arrangement so you’re both happy and clear about what’s been agreed. This contract is to protect both of you.
- Insurance. What insurance does a Virtual Assistant need? We suggest you look for professional indemnity insurance as a minimum, and ideally cyber security insurance as well. If your VA will be doing any on-site or event work, they should also have public liability insurance.
- ICO registration. Your Virtual Assistant will hold data about you and your clients, so it’s important they’re registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) for data protection reasons.
- AML registration. If your Virtual Assistant will be supporting with bookkeeping and other finance-related tasks, ask if they’re registered with HMRC in line with money laundering regulations (or AML).
2: Share access to technical tools and software
Working remotely means your Virtual Assistant will need access to a variety of your tools and software. Most initial hiccups experienced in the early stages of working with a VA are down to them not having permission to use the right systems they need to fulfil a task. This is best avoided by giving them access to everything they will need from day one. This may include some (or all) of the following:
- A company email account. This allows your Virtual Assistant to communicate as a member of your team.
- Inbox and calendar permissions. If you are hiring a VA to take away the burden of your emails and the pain of diary clashes, they’ll need admin rights to your accounts.
- Access to shared drives. For example, if you use SharePoint or Google Drive, give your VA the right permissions for relevant files and folders.
- Register them as users on any third-party applications. This includes CRM systems and project management tools such as Asana and Trello.
- Any other niche platforms. Make sure your VA has admin rights to your HR portals, virtual office accounts and (if relevant) any accounting software.
- Share passwords. Use password sharing technology, such as LastPass, to make sure they have any passwords they might need.
3: Take time to introduce them to your business (and you!)
Every business is different. You’ll have certain preferences and ways of working that your Virtual Assistant needs to know about. From the fonts and colours you use to who does what in your team, it’s vital that you spend time with your new Virtual Assistant to make them familiar with the nuances of your business. In fact, in our experience, the more time you spend with your VA upfront, the more likely they are to hit the ground running.
A few questions you’ll need to take time to answer in the onboarding process are:
- What’s your business all about? Give your Virtual Assistant a thorough overview of what you do. Introduce your team structure and share information on your clients. By giving them insight into your vision and goals, your Virtual Assistant will get a clearer idea of what they can do to help you achieve them.
- What’s it like to work with you? Be open and honest about how you like to work and communicate. They’ll need to know about anything you don’t like too. This conversation will set the tone for how you work together.
- Are there any company processes they need to know about? This includes everything from what systems you use for what, to specific procedures you follow for things like invoicing and onboarding new employees. Of course, if you don’t have these in place, they are all things your VA can help to implement.
- Is there anyone else they need to work with? If so, making these introductions early is a great way to integrate your Virtual Assistant into your team.
What’s the right way to onboard a Virtual Assistant?
Hiring a Virtual Assistant might feel like a fairly momentous turning point for your business. It’s understandable that you want to get this relationship off to a flying start. And your VA is there to help guide you through this process.
So, the best way to onboard a Virtual Assistant is to start by asking them for help. Yes, the first thing your VA can even help you with is their own induction!
At Virtually Priceless, we take control of the onboarding process for our clients, so they know exactly what we need and when we need it. Of course, the more time you can invest in this process (even if it’s just thinking time) the more you benefit in the long run.