How a Pro Onboards WBN Talent
Our series with Larry Zogby continues! Larry Zogby, President of RDS Same Day Delivery, made his first WBN hire two years ago. He now employs seven WBN virtual assistants and has had tremendous success interviewing, hiring, and retaining WBN virtual assistants and in-person employees.
In our previous discussion with Larry, we discussed his successful hiring practices. This time, we gained insight into his onboarding process. Here’s what we learned:
Larry’s WBN Executive Assistant Diana serves as the liaison for WBN talent and plays an important role in the interview and onboarding processes.
From day one, she ensures that they have the proper technology to be successful in their role and she makes it a priority to provide them with a sense of belonging and support in their new role.
It’s been proven time and again that employees who feel that they belong in their workplace are more productive, happier, and tend to stay longer. That’s why it’s important to Larry that his new hires meet the RDS team immediately—and an email won’t cut it.
Diana coordinates a video call on the conference room TV. Each of the eleven internal employees meets individually with the new hire for a quick three- to five-minute conversation. Diana also sets up a video call for the remote employees to meet the new hire.
“This has to happen,” said Larry. “Whoever is going to onboard, in my experience, should be with me on the interviews. This way that person feels like the new hire has someone they feel connected to in the company. And on their first day of employment, they’re now interacting on Zoom with my team members.”
After the initial team meet and greets, Diana continues to help with their transition by training them for two weeks and providing them with a new connection—but this time it’s someone in their department that can support them throughout their time at RDS.
Larry manages his remote talent the same way he manages his in-office employees. But he does believe there’s a stigma about managing remote talent that often holds business owners and executives back from hiring them.
As he does with his in-office employees, he meets once a week with his remote talent to review and adjust priority lists.
“Anyone that has a proactive job in my company… has parking lots [a storage place for important tasks and ideas to act on later] or categories of things that have to be done. And once a week, we talk about prioritizing those categories. We’ve been very successful in [using] parking lots that they’ve created and we’ve tweaked over time,” he said.
By keeping tabs on projects and timelines for each employee, Larry is able to see if there’s an opportunity to hire another employee and expand the capabilities of RDS.
WBN virtual assistants have a wide range of skill sets, and Larry has a track record of hiring WBN talent for a particular role and then successfully moving them into a new role.
One VA in particular started in customer service, but Larry could see she was capable of so much more. How did he know? By having open, informal conversations with her about her goals, dreams, and motivations.
“We moved her to sales and now she direct reports to me,” he said. Now, she manages inbound leads from her home in Argentina, has trained two inbound customer service people in her role, and earns additional commission for training others and earning 5-star reviews for the company.
“I need more of her,” Larry said. “She actually created or enhanced our sales book. And that sales book covers all the templates, letters, projections, questions, how to onboard, etc., etc.”
Javier, another WBN employee, transitioned from inbound customer service to safety manager—and he lives in Panama. Javier provides Human Resources with reporting about the “boots on the ground” employees who are making deliveries. Essentially, Javier interprets the data and the in-person team is able to act on it locally.
“I am absolutely thrilled with WBN and the talent that they find for us,” said Larry. “It’s unbelievable because they are so engaged in what they’re doing. And every time we give them a new project to stretch them, they’re grateful for the work. And if they don’t understand it, they figure it out. They love to solve their own problems.”
Watch the full video to learn more about successfully onboarding WBN talent.
Keep an eye out for Larry Zogby’s third installment: Leading a Remote Team!