A virtual assistant can do wonders for your business, but only if you find the right one. Hiring a virtual assistant isn’t always as easy as one, two, three—finding the right person for the job is crucial. So before you send out that job posting and begin scheduling interviews, read the following guidelines and see how they can help you find the VA who will help your business grow.
Identify your needs.
Before anything else, you need to understand what tasks and responsibilities a potential Virtual Assistant would have, and if outsourcing them would be cost effective. Make sure that hiring a VA would suit your business needs.
To have a clearer perspective on this, observe and evaluate the processes within your business over the course of a week. Check which tasks are repetitive and could easily be designated to a VA, which would free up your schedule and give you time to focus on requirements that need your full attention.
Create a system and establish standards and best practices for your business processes.
You, as a boss would want to get the job done seamlessly. You want results that are at least at par with—or would even exceed—expectations. The question is, do you know what you want? Have you been able to set standards which your virtual assistant can use as a benchmark as he tries to deliver output? Does your business have a systematic step-by-step process for getting a job, or a series of tasks, done?
As a business owner, you should have an idea of what results you’re looking for. If the tasks that you’ll be outsourcing to a virtual assistant are mostly administrative tasks that are neither technical nor require a specialized skill, then it’s better to have a best practices checklist that your VA can follow.
Ask yourself: am I ready for a VA?
Hiring a virtual assistant is like saying that you’re willing to let go of certain tasks involving your start-up business and that delegating such tasks to a different person won’t hurt your operations. It also means that you’re ready to work with a new person in your team, and that you can afford to hire extra manpower.
Do your homework and prepare a detailed job description.
Once you’ve determined that you need a virtual assistant and what you need the VA for, create a detailed job description that enumerates the responsibilities of your future VA, desired qualifications and other related requirements.
The job description may be easy enough, but there might be other details that you need to include, such as computer hardware and software requirements, minimum internet speed, and work schedule—especially if you intend to a hire virtual assistant from a different time zone.
Do a little research so you know the industry rates for the tasks you want done. Check where you can have you job posting published, or if you want an agency or staffing service to recruit a virtual assistant for you.
Conduct a screening process.
The Skype interview may have been pleasant and the résumé may appear impressive—but don’t stop at that. If you need a virtual assistant who can write effective social media posts, at least give your applicants a short qualifying exam that will determine if they can actually construct sound and crisp statements. If you need a VA who can perform specific excel tasks, try to check your applicant’s excel knowledge.
Hire someone who meets your selection criteria and choose your best candidate.
After the screening process comes the difficult part—choosing your virtual assistant. Out of a pool of applicants, you may have your first, second and third choice based on their qualifications. Your shortlist should be a roster of your most qualified applicants—not just the ones with the lowest rates.
Remember that you will be entrusting your business to your virtual assistant, so you need to hire one like your life depended on it. Don’t hire someone just because you think doing so would be most cost efficient. Getting someone who works for $3 an hour but who cannot efficiently perform the task at hand costs you more money in the long run. Don’t settle for anything else than what your business deserves.
Hopefully, having these guidelines in mind will lead you to the ideal virtual assistant for you and your business. Getting the right person for the job will help you streamline your operations and achieve your business goals.