Onboarding refers to the process through which new members of a team are integrated into the company. This generally includes an orientation process that involves learning about the organisation – its structure, culture, mission and values. A comprehensive onboarding process also aims to equip people with tools that will help them to become a productive member of the team and learn what is expected of them.  

While it will take some upfront thought and work, having your ducks in a row even before your new Virtual Assistant starts will streamline the onboarding process considerably and have your VA up to speed in no time. Here is a short, comprehensive guide to help you. 

Mini guide to the onboarding process 


There are some useful elements of onboarding your new Virtual Assistant that should be in place even before the right person is offered the position and starts work.  

  1. For the recruitment process and when discussing the nitty gritty of the position with your new VA, it is important to write a clear job description that explains the function and scope of tasks and responsibilities of the position. It should ideally detail each duty along with the frequency and purpose of the work.
  2.  With remote team members, technology is fundamental to them being productive. Before the successful candidate starts work, create appropriate access to technology systems. For example: 
  • A company email address with tailored signature 
  • A company phone number (or VOIP option) that forwards to their location 
  • Calendar, scheduling, and travel software 
  • Access to internal messaging and video conferencing systems 
  • Cloud document and file storage 
  • Task and project management software 
  • Your CRM for managing any contact or prospective client 


You can’t cover every possible list of tasks or work scenarios that may come up. Rather, the aim of onboarding should be to create a foundation from which your VA has the information necessary to think on their feet and get to work right away. Here are four steps to take:  

1. Start with your company culture 

It is important to explain your values and other cultural norms to new team members. This is especially important as a VA will not be a part of day-to-day office interactions in person. For example, what is the attitude towards working after hours? Is it okay to share funnies or more personal information on the company WhatsApp group?  

2. Provide company information and a “reference library”  

  • Basic information about your company 
  • Employee handbooks 
  • Team information and contact details  
  • Security and privacy protocols 
  • Templates for documents, emails, meetings, etc. 
  • Any step-by-step manuals on how to perform tasks or operations 

3. Communicate your personal preferences 

While you may cover these in a meeting, it’s better to write them down for easy reference until your VA is in the swing of things. These may include: 

  • Meetings: When do you prefer to have regular meetings? How long should they be? Who should be in them?  
  • Availability: What hours are you not available? How do you like to structure your workday? Do you have no meeting days? 
  • Company voice: How formal or friendly do you want the emails and communication that comes from your office to sound? How do you want the phone answered? 
  • Personal: Are there personal tasks executive assistant VAs will be doing for you? Do they need to know about family birthdays? Who are your favorite florists and restaurants? 

4. Create a checklist to track task progress 

Have a task list ready to go on day one for your VA. Over their first few days, this list should include onboarding items that need their response. For example: 

  • Sign employee forms 
  • Create any personal logins necessary for key systems 
  • Complete training on software 
  • Set up email with IT 
  • Read through required documentation and reference library 

Have your VA check in with you at the end of each day with what they have completed, any questions they have, or to discuss issues that arose.  


In the days after your Virtual Assistant starts work, it is important to communicate with them often to give performance feedback – and acknowledge what they have done well.  

1. Track prescribed key performance indicators from the start 

While you may mention KPIs in the first interview and subsequent meetings, it is a good idea to also have set metrics against which you can track and measure performance. These may include: 

  • Good verbal and written communication 
  • Coordination ability  
  • Organisational ability 
  • Good time management 
  • Correct scheduling 
  • Efficiency in meeting deadlines 

At VA Central, equipping our Virtual Assistants does not end with the onboarding process. We believe in life-long learning. This is why our VAs receive continuous training and mentoring along with expert support through participating in monthly Zoom Masterclasses to develop their skills for the benefit of your team.