How to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Want to learn how to hire a virtual assistant? Are you having challenges finding the right VA for your business? This post is for you.

Starting a business literally requires you to be superhuman, it’s as time intensive as a baby if not more. You can even refer to your business as your baby. It requires double the time to do some tasks and you wish you had 25-hour days.

If only you knew how to hire a virtual assistant.

Just because your business is picking up doesn’t mean you have to forget you had a life before that. You can literally fire yourself from your business in five easy steps and get higher profits for it.

We need to run stuff on social media and reply to customers emails every day. Are you looking for a new apartment, scheduling interviews and product launches? You can’t do that by yourself in one day let’s not kid ourselves.

You probably burn so much energy on very small tasks like scheduling and research that are very time consuming.

Yes, even Beyoncé John Jonas and Rihanna and the likes get only 24-hour days. They don’t work extra like you think, they actually may be doing a lot less than you do in a day. 

 

 

Hiring a virtual assistant is more convenient that they are always there with you but are not exactly there, they won’t come to work late, complain of a cold and what have you.

Did I say that they are not expensive? A few months ago I did a little research on virtual assistants and to my surprise you can get a virtual assistant for as little as $2-$5 per hour.

The first question you should ask yourself on how to hire a virtual assistant is “of what benefit will the virtual assistant be?” which is basically, “why should I hire a virtual assistant?”  If by now you aren’t sold on the idea, then here is why you should strongly consider hiring a virtual assistant:

  1.   Saves money

Virtual assistants are often an accessory that we can subscribe to when we need them, when we are overwhelmed with work. They are part time workers who go for a fraction of what a fulltime assistant would go.

Besides saving on their salary and insurance, the expenses for rent and office space is also a strain on you for an employee. However, with a virtual assistant, they have zero expenses from you.

  1.   Wide range of experts

We hire according to our needs and requirements. No matter what your need is, be it administrative, HR, IT or in marketing there always is someone out there and you will get whatever you need in an instant without wasting time and resources in choosing, interviewing and training and testing a full time employee.

  1.   Confidentiality

Your virtual assistant acts on your behalf and it’s their job to protect your interests and your business. They observe and act as to take measures against possible challenges that may arise in your business.

  1.   No location limitations

Virtual is the keyword here. The fact that they are literally with you the whole time wherever you are, is a big part of why they are.

  1.   More fun and leisure time

Work is a strain that after draining your energy and leaving you with a tired head tonight, tomorrow is the same as today and that energy can barely be regained. However, with a virtual assistant to do all the work you have more time to spend with your beloved ones and do what you love and focus on other interests and priorities in life.

Who doesn’t enjoy that? You just need to know how to delegate effectively and save all that energy to use on more enjoyable stuff.

 

When to hire a virtual assistant

This is the second step on how to hire a virtual assistant. The best answer to this question is “NOW!” however, it’s harder than just saying now. We have to figure out what it is that we want from the virtual assistant before we ask ourselves whether it’s the best time to hire the virtual assistant. 

 

Have clearly defined tasks

According to Cody McLain you should not bet snappy in entrusting your calendar and other confidential information that may mean life or death for your business to a total stranger because you are busy or the like.

First things first, use Evernote or a calendar to keep track of every small and repetitious task that you undertake daily, weekly or monthly so you can review them on how often you do it before actually deciding to take up the virtual assistant. When you have had enough stuff that you feel you might need a virtual assistant. then you are ready to go to step 3.

According to Kristy Smith at Virtual Elves there are three crucial tasks that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant with little or no interaction from you. Tasks such as:

  •         Social media marketing
  •         Bookkeeping
  •         Customer relationship manager

These tasks can easily be delegated so that you would focus on more fulfilling and important aspects of your business (that only you can do).

Virtual assistant Vs Software Solution

Contrary to the truth, when Compared to a software solution, a virtual assistant seems less useful. A software solution works on predictions while a virtual assistant is a human being that actually has your schedule that is accurate and less prediction.

A software solution seems like an idea because it takes less time to train than it would take a human being. However, the software is more expensive than human resource.

While a computer software may seem better in speed, it has less productivity in that it has a limited span of tasks than a virtual assistant.

How to hire the right virtual assistant

 

How to find and hire a virtual assistant is the hardest part. Once you are sure it’s time to get the virtual assistant, the real work and fun interaction begins. Let’s minimize the torture and headache for you:

1. Look for an assistant in the right place

The options are vast and unique when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant and these are dependent on your needs.

  1.      Part-time employee or team for current project
  2.      Full-time assistant 100% into your business.
  3.      Outsource Specific short term projects

Services such as Zirtual, Virtual Angel Hub, and Virtual Elves provide ongoing virtual assistant support.

These types of services can assist with basic tasks such as organizing travel, managing emails and social media accounts, and writing basic content. Pricing for these services vary so you’ll need to check with each provider what they charge for their VA’s. 

These services typically charge a finder’s fee as they locate and match you with a VA based on your specific needs. They also take care of complicated legal HR requirements such as managing paid leave, and paying fair labour rates, for your VA so that you don’t have to.

The Philippines has surpassed India as the best place to find a virtual assistant due to lower cultural and language barriers. Filipinos are able to speak English clearly where as an Indian accent can be difficult to understand.

A couple of popular places to contract a Filipino assistant would be on Onlinejobs.ph and Virtual Staff Finder

Another useful site for finding a VA is Virtual Assistant Assistant, which serves as a directory of VA sites complete with user reviews so you can get an idea of what others have thought of each service.

 

2. Filter through the crowd

Once you post your job opening, you have dozens of applicants almost instantaneously. You now have the challenge of filtering through the quagmire to choose the right candidate.

a)      Request the candidate to take appropriate online tests. 

There are many free tests that candidates can take online to prove themselves. Depending on the task required, find tests for the applicants to take that prove they are skilled in the field.

Several basic test could include an English language test or typing test. KeyHero is also great for Words Per Minute testing.

 

b)      Interview and ask for references.

Evaluating the person over a video interview, and reading what other people have to say about the candidate, you’ll be able to gain an understanding of how well they can communicate, present themselves, and work with others.

There is a great course on body language here on udemy that allows you to look for subtle cues in the person you’re interviewing which would not be possible to see if it were without video.

3.When it doesn’t work out, move on – quickly

After following the steps outlined above, and put in an appropriate amount of time to train your assistant –if things still aren’t working out – let them go.

Everyone has different skill sets. Some people are self-motivated and capable of working on their own from home. Others, however, need structure in order to be productive.

The final word on how to hire a virtual assistant

After thorough comparison between hiring a virtual assistant and using a software solution, most people will go with the right answer. A virtual assistant has more advantages, is more flexible, may even be cheaper than a computer software may be.

Hiring a virtual assistant has the greatest advantage of being able to take on more tasks and being specialized in fields such as customer relations and social media marketing.

Simply follow the tips and steps outlined above to prepare yourself for a positive VA hiring experience.

This blog post was inspired by a question from one of our community members.

If you are a teacher and you would love to take the initiative and put your wonderful entrepreneurial skills to practise, and learn alongside other teacherpreneurs at different stages of their journey, join our Teacherpreneur Academy Facebook Group.