Making the decision to hire a virtual assistant is all well and good, but what should you look for in terms of qualities and characteristics? Should you be focused on suitability for the job, requisite skills or should you be looking at this from a much broader perspective? There’s a lot to be said for choosing carefully.

If we were able to wave a magic wand and get everything that we wished for, surely we would conjure up – like a genie, from a lamp – a carbon copy of our self to be the ultimate, proactive virtual assistant. We would not have to communicate with this person and could rely on them to do exactly what we wanted, in the way that we wanted it to be done. But would a carbon copy of you really be the ultimate, proactive virtual assistant? Surely, there’s a lot to be said for having someone who can provide a second opinion, or who may be able to see an alternative way of progressing forward with a certain task. After all, it is said that two heads are better than one and a virtual assistant who is a knowledgeable, savvy business veteran can really provide you with your money’s worth when you engage.

Hiring a virtual assistant who is proactive as opposed to being reactive is great when you don’t want to have to spend your time laying out all the details and confirming what needs to be done. There’s nothing quite like the peace of mind you can get when you know that your proactive virtual assistant is quite capable of filling in the dots, as it were. They may well have done this type of work before, but there may nevertheless be an element of flexibility or accommodation to be taken into consideration. There may be several different potential outcomes according to a set of parameters that only emerged as the job was in the process of being completed. In this case, you do not want to be on standby all the time to provide guidance in order for the virtual assistant to follow the correct path. A proactive virtual assistant will be able to take necessary action and will be the ultimate self-starter.

It may well be necessary for you to outline a set of parameters in the beginning when you initially engage the virtual assistant to work with you. But the beauty of working with an assistant who you know to be a self-starter and who will be able to take the right decisions is that you do not have to allocate a lot of your valuable time to be constantly on top of the job.

Furthermore, a proactive virtual assistant can be a form of business advisor and can also act as an early warning system if something starts to go wrong. Constantly on the lookout for potential warning signs or indications that things are amiss, the virtual assistant will know exactly the right time and the right place to get in touch with you, in order to ensure that things are brought back on track as soon as possible. Remember that there is always a time and a place for proactivity in terms of business growth and expansion, but there is definitely a need for a virtual assistant who will also be the eyes and ears of the operation, while the principal is engaged in more delicate or refined activity.

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