Subject: Results can be even worthier than you pay!Methinks Nitin must also serve as virtual assistant to some offshore spammers! Here’s the rest of the email…
Dear Stephan, Very Good Evening! I am really exicted about our newly build relationship.I will be even happier if you will be assign me some tasks to assist you,to save your time and give value for your money.You have not assigned me any task till now,kindly take some time off and please assign me some tasks as still you have 37hrs left in your account for this month of April. I am sending you a weekly report for the time period of 14th April to 19th April as an attachement,please have a look over it. Your feedbacks are the keys to give you best possible service so kindly give your feedback on my work and please let me know that how can I assist you in best possible way. Waiting for your reply! Regards,I shudder to think of this guy acting on my behalf, replying to my business-critical emails in Borat-speak. So I fired him, and his firm. I realize now I could have avoided this whole debacle. Hindsight’s 20/20, as they say. Rather than blindly trusting in GetFriday and their VA assignment process, I could have instead followed Tim’s procedure for selecting a virtual assistant:
- Make enough inquiries to receive 20-30 proposals.
- Look to hire multiple virtual assistants; never hire a single individual — you don’t want your project to fail because someone got sick, took a vacation, or quit on you.
- Immediately delete any boilerplate form responses.
- Then assign an easy 20-30 minute task to the top 3-5 candidates to test for reliability. This will eliminate around 50% of them.
- Then, if your project takes 20-30 hours, assign the task to all three and ask them to stop after three hours and send you what they have done — and you will know who performs best.
Danielle Keister says
Well, since you aren’t going to give your VA referrals (something I’m sure she would appreciate from her clients, wink, wink), perhaps your readers might like to know where they can find qualified, competent and reputable Virtual Assistants. I run the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce, and we are the only Virtual Assistant organizaiton who selectively screens members for these traits. Of particular interest:
Client’s Guide to Virtual Assistants:
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant:
Virtual Assistant Directory:
Get to Know Our Virtual Assistants:
Christopher Kata says
Wow – I do alot of offshore work but I had never thought of outsourcing these kinds of tasks!
It’s an interesting idea – one which I’d apply to activities which do not require direct communication with clients. Rather activities which are self contained.
I’m going to put this to some serious thought!
BTW – we canucks are hard workers – so you’re new VA should work out fine!
Kris Mazzini says
You can also find qualified Virtual Assistants on http://www.vanetworking.com/. I strongly believe that a qualified VA will screen potential clients to find out if they are a good fit. As for myself I want to make sure that I am a good fit for them as well. I never look out for only my best interest. I always have my client’s best interest at heart. I learned a long time ago if you are not a good fit for them and / or they are not a good fit for you don’t take them on. You will very unhappy as will the client. And that is NOT good business.
Rita Cartwright says
I wrote a blog post on the disadvantages of outsourcing to offshore virtual assistants. One of the disadvantages I pointed out was English is not their first language and this could pose problems. To read the other disadvantages I mentioned, please visit http://rjswordprocessing.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/disadvantages-of-outsourcing-to-offshore-virtual-assistants-2/
Kandra Hamric says
Great Blog Post.
I had a potential client call me who had fired a VA from overseas. The VA went a put nude photos all over her website where the real estate properties went along with team photos.
What could she do? NOTHING.. just replace the pictures. If she would have hired in the U.S. she may have had some legal recourse.
Business owners beware of outsourcing outside of the U.S.
Deanne Verrall says
Consider an Australian VA. Two of my main clients reside in the USA and the time difference works well for them and for me (I can do their work “overnight”).
Unfortunately I think it’s true if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
Good luck with your Canadian VA!
Tawnya Sutherland says
I am Founder of the largest online social network for Virtual Assistants. I invite you to visit our network when thinking of hiring your next VA. We have everything from generalist VAs to specialized niched VAs available to suit every business need.
Download our FREE 30 page
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Kathie M. Thomas, A Clayton's Secretary says
Getting an offshore VA does not mean it has to be India. There are heaps of countries with VAs, all with good English speaking/writing skills but with a background knowledge of the countries they live in.
I manage the second oldest Virtual Assistant network in existence and my home base is Australia but we have members in 16 countries – all professionals. And yes, you would be paying for that expertise too, but they get the job done properly.
Marlena Corcoran says
You could have asked GetFriday to assign a different VA. That’s what they offered to do for me–and I’m very glad I accepted.