Essential Steps to Hiring the Right Virtual Assistant for Your Business
Updated: May 8
So you've decided to hire a Virtual Assistant and now you're wondering how to go about it. You can't hire just anybody, right? You want to know that they are going to be the right fit for your business and that you can work well together. I have compiled an informative guide, with advice shared with me from VA's in our industry, to help you find the right VA for your business.
Benefits to hiring a VA
There are so many benefits to hiring a Virtual Assistant to join your business, especially if it's just you working alone (solopreneur). A lot of people hold back initially as they are reluctant to 'hand the reins over' so to speak but actually, having someone else to delegate tasks to can help your business to reach new levels. And here is why...
VA's are inexpensive compared to hiring an employee with a full time salary. You simply get charged per hour for their time which can be a great saving when you're still in the early days of starting your business.
It's all in the word 'virtual'. You don't need to provide a physical office for your VA. Another great saving! But also, this means that you can still work collaboratively from anywhere in the world.
That being said, you don't have to rely on local VA services. If there are local VA's in your area that you don't feel are the right fit for you and your business, you can look further afield.
Being a entrepreneur is tough, especially when you're working alone. Having someone else in your team can give you time back to give you a healthier work/life balance and prevent you from burnout.
By having someone else to delegate tasks to, it gives you a chance to focus on your strengths and high-income activities. You can stop wasting your time with mundane tasks and get stuck into growing your business instead!
Types of Virtual Assistant
Before you start looking around for the best VA's to hire, ask yourself first, what kind of assistance do you need? There are lots of services that VA's have to offer but some will have specialised in particular areas.
If you just need help with general admin tasks such as email management, data entry, making calls, etc. then a 'General Virtual Assistant' will be the better fit for you.
However, if you need help with more specific tasks that require some skill such as, social media management, project management, customer service, etc. You may even need a VA who is trained and knowledgeable in your industry or niche. These types of VA's or services will often cost you a bit more than 'General VA's'.
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
The tips and ideas that I share in this article, shared with me by other experienced VA's, are ones that I put in practice myself and also keep in mind when clients look to hire me for my services.
It is important to remember that there is a difference between hiring a freelancer and hiring a VA. When you hire a freelancer, they are hired to complete a one-off project for a set period of time and then part ways. When you hire a VA, you are hiring a team member.
These essential steps are what is going to help you find the best VA for your business and give you clarity on the tasks you need to outsource and delegate.
Create a list of tasks you want your VA to do
If you're not sure where to start with this, I recommend listing what your personal strengths and weaknesses are. From this you can decide what would be helpful for you to delegate to someone else.
For example, if you're great at creating email campaigns but rubbish at talking to people on the phone then delegate the phone calls for your VA to do!
By making this list, you might even highlight some tasks that would be better suited for someone more specialised or you might decide to hire more than one VA.
Create a job description
Firstly, when writing a job description for a VA, start with a specific and clear title. You want VA's who are looking for work to find your job post and you also want the right kind of VA's applying. You might also want to include a little bit about yourself and/or your company so that the applicant can decide whether they are a good fit for your business. It works both ways! And then focus on the tasks, responsibilities and skills you require them to have.
I really like this blog post written by Greg Diegno on Time Doctor.com: A Guide to Writing the Perfect Virtual Assistant Job Description. He gives some great advice for anyone who hasn't written a job description before or needs a few pointers for this niche.
Quiz your applicants
By this, I don't mean grill people! A really great way to see who reads carefully, is good at following instructions and get to know an applicant a bit better, is to have them complete a short quiz designed by you.
By creating something like this for applicants to complete, it filters out the people that really want to work with you, to those who can't really be bothered to fill out a short quiz. You also then get the opportunity to see who would be a better fit for you, based on people's answers.
You are now well on your way to finding the best VA for your business - which is really exciting! After all, why wouldn't you want to actively seek the perfect VA for your business after reading about the benefits it can bring you?
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