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Wow! This year has been a year of incredible growth for my company, and my team. Unfortunately, it has been a year of many struggles as well. My recent one, finding virtual assistants that are honest and reliable to join our team. One after another I have brought on people on to my team with some incredible skills, work history, and seemingly great customer service skills. People practically begging for work from the start, but basically disappearing once they accept the new projects I give them. I keep changing my interview/screening process to add more to it to try to cyphen out the "bad one's", nothing seems to be working! I need to make some changes before these dishonest, unreliable virtual assistants keep making a bad name for my team and the entire industry.

 

I only bring team members on when the work allows for it, and I start them off with a smaller project to see how it goes before giving them anything big.

 

Any recommendations?

 

What works for you?

 

Desperately seeking some clear answers! And I know I can always could on the VA Networking gals to shed some light on the situation! :crossfingers:

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I had the same struggles when my company went through a huge growth spurt. I essentially dropped just about all of them, even the ones the remained, because I was not satisfied with their work.

 

Now, I'm super gun shy. I have a Team that's working - but I am looking for a Projects Manager and a few sub-contractors I can use on a per-project basis. I'm hesitating - but am so busy, I need to.

 

What I've done is TEST them on what they say they know. I don't take their word for it. Resume's are created, and honestly - I've had VA's just flat out lie about what they could do. The whole disappearing thing, and not meeting deadlines is irresponsible and drives me insane!

 

So, yep - I can relate. Not sure I have a perfect answer to avoid that, but testing them on what they know, checking with their clients (former clients) to get feedback is a start.

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Amanda and Traci,

 

I would love to discuss your needs and requirements with both of you... you can ask me anything you want or provide some test work. A Skype or phone could would probably be best so we can discuss, even more importantly, what you do NOT want in a VA subcontractor.

 

I don't really ask other VAs for work on this forum because I felt (sort of) discouraged from doing so here (and I agree that contributing to others on the forum is more important when I first joined).

 

Hope to hear from you. Today I am available so it would be an awesome time. My business phone is 480-256-8326 and I'm in Phoenix, on Pacific time. Thx...

 

Kathy


~ ~ ~ ~
Kathy Anderson :: Anderson Business Support Services :: VideoBranders.com :: Phoenix, Arizona, USA ~
Facebook :: Twitter :: LinkedIn :: About.Me :: Videobranders.com

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Guest MelissaG

Hello Amanda,

 

I sent you a private message yesterday but I thought I'd reply here as well.

 

I hold honesty and integrity as high as you do. In fact, I consider it one of the most important things in the world. I'm a new VA, and I'm looking to subcontract to bring in some money while getting experience.

 

If you're interested, please contact me.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Thank you.

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The other side of the coin, coming from a project manager's point of view (mine):

 

1. Clear communication with all deadlines and project parameters is very important. Project Mangers don't operate well with partial information. This has been my experience when attempting to work for other VAs - they only give you what they think you need to know. Then, when something inevitably doesn't go right, the PM is the one that gets the blame when she was operating under partial information. If you're not ready to let go as a multi VA, then you just need to keep on being the project manager of your own business, and not "trust" a PM, because you're not ready for one.

 

2. Pay a PM what they're worth. PMs should get paid at a higher level than other team members because they're the ones having to be the glue, the mediator between the team that's supposed to be doing the work and the client. The main reason I don't seek out work with Multi VA teams any more is because I know I'm worth more than $20/hour.

 

3. TRUST your PM. PMs operate under a higher level of experience, and they bring to the table MANY more years experience. For example, I was a paralegal for 17 years before starting my VA business. As a paralegal - especially one that works in litigation - I have a broader understanding of deadlines, working with many different people and different project parameters. Plus, with litigation, each case can be considered a project because it has its own parameters and its own deadline. Additionally, because I was also a litigation department supervisor, I have the necessary people management skills to go along with my project management skills. That's something really good PMs should have.

 

I know this is coming off as a little harsh, but I'm tired of seeing the "where have all the good VAs gone" type of posts. We're still here. We're just tired of being paid less than we're worth and not being trusted enough with the information we need to have to operate effectively.

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I am also a new VA looking to subcontract while getting experience. I am located in British Columbia. I was a teacher before being at home with my children for a couple of years. I have experience in education and office administration in the medical field. If anyone is interested in finding out what other skills I can offer please feel free to PM me.

 

Thanks,

Michelle

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Welcome Michelle! I'm in BC myself in White Rock, whereabouts are you located?


Tawnya Sutherland, Founder & Market Leader of VAs Since 2003

Check out all the FREE RESOURCES and training videos we have available for Virtual Assistants plus DOWNLOAD our Virtual Assistant Start Up Checklist!

Brand New? Check out the Virtual Assistant Career Program.

Veteran VA? Check out the VAinsiders Club (Job Board, Group Coaching plus extensive training resources)

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I am also interested in subcontracting projects. I can provide administrative and creative support, basic web design and maintenance. I have a background in meeting and event planning. I am building my VA business. But, until I am ready to launch, I could really use the income. Please contact me at (872) 222-8092. Thank you!

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Hello Everyone! Great to see that this post is still circulating. Since my original post, we've still had some ups and downs. I have changed up my interview process quite a bit, and do a lot more checking of references and work samples. I hope this little change will make a difference, as it seems to be so far. We are still looking to add some team members for some of the services that are not yet covered by the expertise of our current team members. Our biggest need right now is for Online Business Managers and Social Media Rockstars! I have included the complete list of services that we are looking to fill below. Feel free to check out our website for more info! http://www.yourusava.com/our-team/virtual-assistant-home/

 

Article Distribution Press Release Writing Resume Services SEO/Web Optimization Affiliate Program Management Audio Editing Blog Maintenance Blog Post Writing Blog Posts Blog Site Design Email Marketing Event Coordinator Graphic Design Logos Marketing Plan/Strategy Online Business Management Power Point Presentation Preparation Social Media Assessment Social Media Maintenance Social Media Profile Setup Web Graphics Webinar Setup & Management Website Design Website Maintenance
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Hi Amanda

 

I was just thinking about what you said in your official post and I might have a theory on that.

 

The way I see it is that there are an awful lot of VAs who haven't fully committed to developing a VA business. So, it's kinda easy to disappear if you don't like the tasks you're given. Now, if you're a VA who genuinely is building a business, you have a website up or are in the process of building one and you're stamping your face all over your brand, then the risk of damaging your reputation is a lot greater.

 

Tests and interviews aren't going to determine whether someone is flaky or not. That won't stop people from going underground when the going gets tough.

 

Oh and it's a shame you're only working with USA based VAs, as I have oodles of online marketing experience and I'm a dab hand with designing WordPress sites. :)

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Hello Everyone! Great to see that this post is still circulating. Since my original post, we've still had some ups and downs. I have changed up my interview process quite a bit, and do a lot more checking of references and work samples. I hope this little change will make a difference, as it seems to be so far. We are still looking to add some team members for some of the services that are not yet covered by the expertise of our current team members. Our biggest need right now is for Online Business Managers and Social Media Rockstars! I have included the complete list of services that we are looking to fill below. Feel free to check out our website for more info! http://www.yourusava.com/our-team/virtual-assistant-home/

 

Article Distribution Press Release Writing Resume Services SEO/Web Optimization Affiliate Program Management Audio Editing Blog Maintenance Blog Post Writing Blog Posts Blog Site Design Email Marketing Event Coordinator Graphic Design Logos Marketing Plan/Strategy Online Business Management Power Point Presentation Preparation Social Media Assessment Social Media Maintenance Social Media Profile Setup Web Graphics Webinar Setup & Management Website Design Website Maintenance

 

My daughter Danielle is someone who would be a valuable team player. She does all my internet marketing/social media/wordpress, etc. She is on holidays right now for the weekend, camping in the bush someplace LOL! Feel free to drop her a line! I don't know what I would do without her services. Her website is ProactiveVA.


Tawnya Sutherland, Founder & Market Leader of VAs Since 2003

Check out all the FREE RESOURCES and training videos we have available for Virtual Assistants plus DOWNLOAD our Virtual Assistant Start Up Checklist!

Brand New? Check out the Virtual Assistant Career Program.

Veteran VA? Check out the VAinsiders Club (Job Board, Group Coaching plus extensive training resources)

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Oh and it's a shame you're only working with USA based VAs, as I have oodles of online marketing experience and I'm a dab hand with designing WordPress sites. :)

Mena where are you located? I'd hire you in a minute as you seem so helpful around here but right now I don't have enough work to bring on another VA. Maybe in the future ;)

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Tawnya Sutherland, Founder & Market Leader of VAs Since 2003

Check out all the FREE RESOURCES and training videos we have available for Virtual Assistants plus DOWNLOAD our Virtual Assistant Start Up Checklist!

Brand New? Check out the Virtual Assistant Career Program.

Veteran VA? Check out the VAinsiders Club (Job Board, Group Coaching plus extensive training resources)

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Hey Tawnya, your post brought a smile to my face. Thank you for the kind words. I love helping out where ever I can so I guess being a VA is like the perfect thing for me.

 

I'm in the UK -- a smallish suburb just outside of London -- and always open to future possibilities. :)

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Hello again everyone,

 

Hi Tawnya - I have to say...I actually just brought on my first Canadian VA, and I LOVE, Love, LOVE her! My clients actually specifically ask me to verify that the team members that will be working on their projects are in the US. Especially as there are many people who say they are US or Canada based, and staff their company with VA's from India. So, it has become something that we are known for, and people are confident that we aren't outsourcing to other countries. Keeping jobs in the U.S. is something that has grown increasingly important over the years, especially as the economy has declined.

 

We are actually adding to our team again now, to fill in a couple spots that we are adding. I absolutely love what I do, and having team members that have the same passion. We completely support VA's having their own business, in addition to the work that they do for us. Crazy thing is, in the last week, and again in the last 6 months, I have had two people literally come on the team and copy my business model, my welcome kits, website content, interview emails, job postings and attempt to recreate it on their websites. This is a huge struggle for me, especially because I have really stepped up my interview and reference check process, and it still happens. Luckily, they signed contracts, so I have the option to pursue legal action. But, it definitely makes it a little scary, to say the least!

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Hi Everyone!

 

I am not sure if this discussion is still open, so hopefully my post is included and read by others.

 

I decided to give VA Networking a try to help my business, as I recently connected with other VA business owners, who recommended it. :) I have been a VA for several years now, and feel very fortunate for the experienced I've gained from my previous clients.

 

Unfortunately I had to step away from my business, beginnng of this year, to deal with some personal health issues which were unrelated to my businesss. When I came back to seek out new clients, I started running into some bad luck, and it continues to follow me. I have a lot to offer my clients but it's been a struggle to find the right connections. I would love to invest in the VA Insiders here so that I can access to more resources, but it is not within my budget to do that right now.

 

I can appreciate Amanda and Traci, your negative experiences with unreliable VAs in the past. I have heard other clients share similar stories and it's unfortunate that some VAs do this. I agree with the ladies on here that are VAs, there is definitely frustratation on both sides. Maybe great VAs are few and far between, but we are out there, among the ones that are different. :)

 

Right now, I am definitely looking for new clients that want a long term business relationship. My background is web design / maintenance, but I have expanded my skills into VA work. If anyone is interested, I would love to have a further private conversation with you. Please connect with me via Skype (ID is shonna.hirney) or email me at handsvirtual@gmail.com.

 

Thank you for reading this. :)

 

Shonna

 

 

Shonna Hirney

Heart & Soul Virtual

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