Is it Bad to Hire a Virtual Assistant With an Accent? Here’s the Truth (And It’s Not What You Think)…

by | Apr 11, 2023

A lot of business owners are hesitant to hire a Virtual Assistant to handle phone sales and customer support because they’re worried the VA’s accent will push people away.

This fear isn’t completely unfounded—clear communication is important, and a thick accent can lead to misunderstandings and frustration on both sides. For that reason, we actively work to recruit VAs with little to no accent.

But what if I told you “accent” has almost ZERO impact on a VA’s success in their role?

It’s true—and I’ve experienced it firsthand.

My husband and I immigrated to America in 2018 with nothing but a couple suitcases of clothes and $400 in cash—no jobs, no car, no roof above our heads, no credit score or history, no insurance. I was carrying our 1-year-old daughter in my arms. We were excited about the opportunities ahead, but we were worried, too.

We immediately began looking for jobs.

Coming from Eastern Europe, I spoke with a noticeable accent—one that was a little unfamiliar and difficult for people to place, which made it stand out even more.

Hire a Virtual Assistant   I applied for jobs and got invited to interviews. I was offered multiple positions that turned out to be scams. It was discouraging. Nothing seemed to be lining up for me—and I couldn’t help but wonder if my accent had something to do with it.

One day I saw an opening for a job qualifying leads over the phone at a real estate company. It was a work-from-home job and the company sounded amazing. I applied and met with the COO to interview for the role. After that meeting, I knew I had found the place where I belonged—I loved the people and the energy, I could see huge opportunities for future growth, and the company’s core values were a great fit. I wanted that job more than anything.

There was just one problem…

…my accent!

   This was a phone job. I was going to be part of the sales department, handling sensitive conversations with customers and trying to coordinate large real estate transactions.

   As I thought about it more, my heart sank. I figured there was no way the company would choose me for the role. And even if they did, was I really going to be a good fit? Would I really be able to excel? What if potential customers were turned off by my accent? What if my voice hurt the company’s brand image or caused people to lose trust? What if I ended up holding the company back and letting the team down?

   These thoughts kept running through my head.

   Then I got the call—I was hired! I was nervous, but I took some deep breaths, pushed aside the fear, and decided I would do the best I could in spite of my accent.

   What happened over the next 30 days was nothing less than shocking.

   I didn’t just excel—I did so well in my role that by the end of the first month the COO had laid off the rest of the lead intake team and was giving all the leads to me!

   It was incredible. My accent was not an impediment at all. Instead, potential customers valued how I connected with them, the rapport we built, how I listened to their stories, and how I worked hard to bring value to every conversation.

   My accent helped me succeed. It forced me to build deeper connections rather than settling for the kind of surface-level chit-chat that might have come more naturally to a “local.”

   In other words, my accent made me BETTER on the phone!

   Today, I hire and train virtual assistants from all over the world. I’ve seen hundreds of incredible VAs outperform expectations again and again, just like I did in my first job when I came to America.

   We recently analyzed the performance metrics from our top VAs over a WHOLE YEAR… and the highest performer had the thickest accent! His primary performance indicator was at 124% for the year, which means he FAR exceeded expectations for the company we had placed him with. This was awesome to see.

   In short, “having an accent” really isn’t the obstacle many business owners think it is.

   With our top-tier hiring and screening process and our proven VA training system, accent is largely irrelevant.

   We absolutely seek out and recruit VAs with minimal accent or even no accent at all, and if you’d prefer a VA without an accent, we can easily accommodate that request. But the most important thing is finding someone who’s the right fit for your company culture, core values, and needs. And that’s what we do best here at HireTrainVA!

If you’re ready to bring on a rock-star VA – accent or no accent – we can help. Reach out to me and let’s find your next top performer!
Valentina Brega
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