#31: Expert Hiring System Part Four

Jul 29, 2018 | Office Operations

The theme for July is “Hiring Your First or Next Virtual Assistant.”

We are wrapping up the Expert Hiring Series with the final piece of the system in what I call “train do phil”…

We are wrapping up the Expert Hiring Series with the final piece of the system in what I call Train-Do-Phil.

Some of the onboarding processes will be driven by the VA – signing contracts, setting you up in their system, payment arrangements – all that is usually driven by the VA, but your job is to make sure they are trained as in “how we do things around here.”

A couple of hints and tips are strategies for training, is that when you are training somebody, ask them to keep notes. And then have them turn their notes into a step-by-step guide for your review. This is going to do a couple of things: when they write it down and submit it back as a review, it’s going to make sure that you are clear that they know what they are doing and that they have a good guide to follow if they forget something down the road, then they would have something to refer back to.

It’s also going to build up your operations manual, because if they are documenting everything that they are learning and they are writing it down step by step, then in the event that they win the lottery a year from now and you have to hire someone to take their place, then you have all of your material and how things are done step-by-step.

Another tip also, when you know you are bringing someone onto the team, set a date by the day that you want them to start. Let’s say, for example, you know that you are hiring somebody and you want them to start on March 1st. Block out some time on your calendar for when that individual is supposed to be starting, to designate some training time for them. Because anytime you bring on somebody new, it’s important that you spend time upfront to get them trained properly.

The other thing is to set some time limits around training. Sometimes you will have the luxury of having an existing team member train and onboard the new person, and in this case, what I like to do is have the new person do a rundown with the client to get a feel for what the role is, what the client expects, how they roll, so to speak. Also, during that time, look at the standard operating procedures guide or operations manual to get up to speed. I like to break it down by weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and ad-hoc tasks and shadow the existing team member the first week and then have the new person take the lead the second week with the old team member around for questions.

If the role is new or the business owner is the one training them, then you can limit it by assigning March 1st as the start date and April 1st as the date you want her to be completely trained up by that date. You can break it down by week 1 – most important tasks, week 2, second most important tasks, week 3, maybe one-off, ad-hoc tasks, and then week 4, shadow them and answer any questions.

This accomplishes a couple of things. First of all, the VA is up and running on the most critical pieces right away. So in the first week, you block out time to really work with her on taking away those things that are critical to you right away. Because she has a month of training, and week 1 covers the most important pieces, the new VA will have a whole month to come back and ask questions. 

The second thing is that it will break the training down into manageable pieces, for both the business owner and the new team member. But it still allows the business owner to see some immediate results.

Finally, one of the most helpful things that my clients did for me was telling me about their philosophy and long-term plans. I once had a client sell his business without bothering to tell me because he thought I should have known. That was interesting. But knowing your philosophy will help your team members anticipate questions that may come up and empower them to be proactive.

An example is that when I was training my own VA last month, I told her that I don’t automatically add people to my newsletter list. After a short funnel or sequence, they will get an email to opt-in to my other interest lists. This gave her direction so that if she saw a campaign that did have the old tagging set up, she knew she could go ahead and change it. If I hadn’t told her that, she may have ignored it, duplicated it, or played 20 questions of why one campaign is set up differently than others.

Make it part of your training, it will go a long way.

So my Train-Do-Phil is making sure you train them, make sure you do it with them to train them properly, and philosophy, let them know what your plans are, where your business is going so they can support you.

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