I recently put out a call to action to hire a new Executive Assistant in my business and lo and behold! I thought I followed every step correctly. In fact, I added more components to my search process this time than ever before but unfortunately, I still selected the wrong VA; one who ended up having a total meltdown and quitting before the job even began, after I had paid the first invoice as a deposit. Here are the lessons that I learned from hiring the wrong VA.
Ask for References- But Know They Don’t Mean Everything
In the process of selecting two different people to add to my team, I requested that both of them provide me with names of references to help figure out whether or not they were a right fit for me. However, even though both candidates came with strong references, including glowing ones, suggesting that I hire the candidate right away; one of those candidates still quit before the job even began.
This means that references are important, but they are not always an indication of a person’s behavior today.
Always, Always Do Two Rounds of Interviews
The first round of interviews was primarily done in order to weed out the people who might not be the right fit for my business. It was relatively easy in this initial interview to tell who may be appropriate versus who needed to be nixed from the list. The second round of interviews involved more in-depth conversations with people that I felt were the right fit for the job.
I learned that the second round of interviews could often reveal more than the first level and that this was very valuable.
Be Especially Clear in The Job Description
This time I used a Google form to capture information about who I wanted to hire and asked people to self-select which qualities they consider themselves to be highly proficient with. This made things much easier in terms of narrowing down my list, since I got more than 100 initial applications.
In those 100 applications, more than 40 simply were not qualified because they had not followed the basic directions and were not proficient in the skills I was looking for. This made it pretty easy to trim down my list to the right fit for someone to go through the first and second round of interviews.
Always Trust Your Gut
Your instincts can tell you a lot about a person, but this time my instincts were off. However, one of the people that I hired in that hiring process has turned out to be wonderful and a really valuable asset to my team. Sometimes you just need to accept that mistakes and accidents are going to happen as you begin to outsource in your business.