Helping you leverage the power of your Virtual Team

Virtual Team Recruitment

Online interview ice-breakers especially for virtual team leaders

These four (4) clever online interview ice-breakers aren’t just ice-breakers.  They are revealing “chit chat” style questions that you can use to not only “break the ice” but to find out some very useful and interesting details about your potential virtual team worker – before you even start the interview.

4 questions in 4 minutes and you’ll already know much about the working style of your virtual worker applicant.  Things like >>  if they like to be well prepared, if they have the technical set-up required to work virtually, if they will be available to you when you need them, what motivates them and if the working relationship will be long-term and sustainable.

Here are 4 revealing interview ice-breaker questions: Continue reading

Online Outsourcing Horror Story – Is outsourcing jobs to India really that cheap?

Firstly, I would like to clarify, we are not against outsourcing to India or Asia – outsourcing online jobs to India and other places offshore can be a very fruitful experience – some of our best work is done via outsourced workers.

Whether you lead a Virtual Team or you operate an online Virtual assistant business you can greatly benefit by outsourcing online. Outsourcing online can save you a lot of time, money and effort. In fact, if you’re clever about outsourcing online, you can actually increase your profit substantially.

Let me ask you, have you ever…

  • Hired a contractor from India and found that you were not happy with the result?
  • Wasted time and money and got no results for your outsourced project?
  • Had to pick up the tools yourself and finish the job?

You will be surprised to know that the problem is 90% of the time, NOT skills related – it is communication related. Let me make this statement and then explain it “just because someone reads or speaks English it does not mean they understand what you want”. Continue reading

Outsourcing and Offshoring Jobs to India >> Should YOU or Shouldn’t YOU?

Have you ever wondered about expanding your virtual team by outsourcing some of your jobs to contractors in India?   Perhaps you want to expand your virtual team offshore while keeping costs low?

It was about 7 years ago when we engaged our first online contractor from India and I’m delighted to say that he is still working with us today.   That’s not to say every outsourcing story of ours has a happy ending 😉 But from our experience, we have found that with the right online hiring methods, the right virtual team tools, and the right online interview techniques you can have success and profit from your virtual team.

Here are 9 virtual team tips to help you outsource some of your virtual team jobs to India ….

#1 Where possible use a recommended contractor

#2 If it’s your first-time outsourcing offshore, consider using an online outsourcing website like … www.freelancer.com

#3 Ask to see 3 real life samples of their work. If they don’t provide you samples don’t be tempted to short-list them just because they are cheap and say they can do the work.

#4 Look at the feedback, comments and testimonies of past clients. Check their overall rating and how the contractor has responded to negative feedback (if any).

Continue reading

Tricky Top 5 Online Interview Tips for Virtual Team Managers

Virtual Team Managers face an extra special set of challenges.  Are you leading or growing a virtual team?  Don’t YOU know it!  Connecting at a personal level, developing loyalty and trust, maintaining virtual team morale are all aspects of a virtual team that can present challenges to you that perhaps you’ve never faced before.

One of the first things to determine with a new virtual team member is their suitability to work virtually, within your virtual team.  So growing the right virtual team that will support you and your business starts with hiring the right people. There we are presented with one of your first special challenges as an online virtual team leader…and that is interviewing online applicants hoping to join your expanding virtual team.

If your potential team member lives close to your locality, then of course you can interview face-to-face in person. BUT what about Carol’s example below (perhaps you’ve found yourself in a similar situation) … Continue reading

3 Tips on How to Lead and Build Your Virtual Team

Being an effective  Leader or Manager has its fair share of challenges.  This can be even greater in the Virtual environment.  Leading a virtual team requires lots of minor adjustments, unless your team is in bad shape of course, then a major overhaul is in order.

As I was sitting here thinking about the areas I need to improve when it comes to leading our Virtual Team I thought I would share what came to mind.

Here are some things that you can think about, I would love to have a dialogue with you so feel free to share it and comment.

Continue reading

What is more important in your Virtual Team – Attitude or Ability?

All I can say to start this article is “Watch out for the Red Flags”.

When we recruit for our Virtual Team, we have a strict process, however the temptation is when you are desperate and need help immediately – to shortcut the process.  This is dangerous…let me explain.

Red Flags are what we call ‘warning signs’ in our recruitment process.  It is when a person has not ticked one of the important boxes.  Your requirements will be different depending on the role, however when looking at a potential virtual team member – how highly does attitude rank over ability?  What is most important to you?

Attitude is the most important quality we look for in our business.  Skills are important, but a person with the right attitude, they can always be taught the needed skills.  A person with a “stinking” attitude and all of the ability in the world will not help your business or your team.

Let me share how me ignoring a red flag in this area cost me 2 years of wasted time in my business and thousands of dollars in training staff members.  I have also seen lost money and time, countless times in the virtual teams of our customers due to this very same factor. Continue reading

Should you outsource / Build your Virtual Team in 2012?

I know you are probably getting bombarded with “What are you doing in 2012” emails. Even though there are a lot of reminders hitting your email box, don’t discard the spirit of the message.  I love this saying:

“Business don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”…Anonymous

Yes plans are important.  Managing your team and strategic outsourcing should form part of your planning process. If you are anything like me my business plans are BIG.  Wow I am going to accomplish so much in the next year and then 3 months into the year what happens?  You are in a hole totally overwhelmed by your plans.

I am not going to tell you I have this problem licked, because when you have a team, you just create bigger plans and so the problem can be the same.  In fact, it can be a huge negative on your team morale when your plans are unreasonably too big. Continue reading

How much should I pay for a Virtual Assistant?

WARNING – This article is not for the budget conscious.

“If you pay peanuts you get monkeys” ~ Anonymous

I remember a conversation with a potential client who was taken back when I mentioned how much I charge. His response was “Well you better be really good for that price”.  Although it could have been my selling skills :-), however this person was obviously not used to paying for quality skills, knowledge and experience.  He was also not used to working with a Virtual Team.  If you want to outsource and are asking yourself how much should I pay for a Virtual Assistant? Let me help you navigate through this problem.

Firstly let me ask you, would you pay the man who mows your lawns the same price as your brain surgeon?  Of course not!  Why?

The answer is obvious, isn’t it?  Now if you were shopping for brain surgeons and saw an advertisement in the newspaper that said “We will undercut any surgery by 50%” – would this be attractive to you?  Now a Virtual Assistant is not a brain surgeon, HOWEVER there are services you should want to pay top dollar for and other services that you could possibly outsource to a budget under-cutter.  Here are some key questions for you to consider before outsourcing: Continue reading

One Big Fat Reason to Outsource To a Virtual Assistant

Think bottom dollar, think big fat wallet, and think big fat income. If you want to free yourself up and continue to make more money and increase your income you’ll need a team to support your dream. Try this formula for cloning yourself, (don’t forget special ingredient #3, without it, the whole thing is gonna flop!

Systemise

Systemise your business or hire someone to help you systemise your business. Eliminate anything that isn’t contributing positively to your life or business. Focus on the areas that free you up and/or make you the most money the easiest way possible. The systems you establish are the key to automation. Automation is the key to sacking yourself and having someone else step into your shoes.

Outsource

Having systems makes outsourcing easy. You can outsource the various key functions to technology and/or skilled virtual assistants or other team players that fit in with your overall business model. You’ll want to make sure you work with a virtual assistant that will be a trusted business partner in your business.

The best and quickest way to find a virtual assistant is within your own network. You can also check out www.myvaspace.com. Continue reading