We received a submission to our Request for Partnership Center recently that was a good example of what we WON’T post to our members forum.
We don’t do RFPs (Requests for Proposals). That’s why we call them Requests for Administrative Partnering.
And we don’t post job advertisements because you are business owners, not employees seeking positions.
That’s NOT how business is conducted nor the proper mindset and tone for clients to be taking in approaching you.
This recent submission represents everything wrong with how the market has been educated to view virtual assistants as remote workers and substitute employees rather than what they are: independent business owners and experts who specialize in administrative support.
Not only did the person submit a three-page job description expecting daily, specific hours reporting to a supervisor (among other inappropriate and illegal expectations), but they also declined to provide their name.
Since they indicated that the “applicant” would be a community resource to various brokers in their agency, I’m guessing they perhaps thought their particular name didn’t matter. (Seriously?!)
Where to even start. There’s a whole host of things they are not understanding.
First, this is a business-to-business relationship.
Second, the relationship is a one-on-one one. A virtual assistant is not a community resource who is passed around at the client’s whim.
And sorry (not sorry), but if you can’t be bothered to provide your name, we aren’t going to be bothered to assist you.
We do not post anonymous RFPs. If you expect our members to provide you with detailed, personal information, you better be prepared to do the same.
On top of that, I absolutely detest people who try to get one over on the system and take advantage of people. It’s called being dishonest and unethical, folks.
This RFP came from a Human Resources department. They damn well know better. They are just trying to cheat the law and the government and get an employee they don’t pay taxes on.
After consulting with my admins, here is how we responded:
“Thank you for your interest in the our Request for Administrative Partnering Center. However, you appear to be seeking a telecommuter (which is an online employee who is still legally subject to the employment laws and employer tax obligations of the land). That’s not what Virtual Assistants are, nor how they work with clients.
“You also did not include your name as requested in the form. As the submission is not appropriate, it will not be posted to our members forum. For more information about Virtual Assistants, what they are (and what they aren’t), how they help clients, as well as how they work with clients, our Client Guide will be helpful to you.”
This is yet another good example of why we have ditched the virtual assistant term. Assistant is a term of employment, and when you use terms of employment in a business context, it simply confuses clients and sends the wrong message.