So, you need help in your business and want to hire an assistant. But where do you find one? And what exactly are you going to have them do? Sometimes it can feel like hiring an assistant is more stressful than just keep doing everything yourself, right?
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I’ll help you figure out the things you need to know when you’re hiring a virtual assistant.
But first, what is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is an employee who works remotely, often from their own home. They can help with a wide range of tasks, including:
- Admin work: such as bookkeeping, data entry, and customer service
- Social media management: including creating and scheduling posts
- Marketing including email marketing and SEO
- Customer support: answering customer queries and handling complaints
- Event planning: organizing webinars, conferences, and other events
- Website maintenance: updating website content and fixing errors
You can read more here on what a virtual assistant is.
Here are seven important hiring tips when you need a virtual assistant.
1. Know what you need
Before you start looking for a virtual assistant, it’s important for you to know what role your virtual assistant will play in your business.
Sometimes, business owners think they need a VA when what they actually need is a consultant or project manager.
So figure out first what you need in general before you jump into specific tasks. Once you figure that out, it will be easier to identify which tasks you want to offload to your VA.
2. Create a detailed job description
A good job description will help candidates understand what the role involves and determine if they are suitable for the position. It should include information on the duties required, the hours worked, and the level of experience required.
By creating a detailed job description, you can eliminate the people who are not serious about applying.
In addition to the job description, you should also include the benefits they will get from working with you. This is a relationship in the first place. It’s not just about you or your business, but what you can also offer to your VA.
3. Screen candidates carefully
Take the time to review each candidate’s resume and ask them questions about their experience and skills. You may also want to ask them to complete a task or provide references.
Give their references a quick call or email and ask questions about their experiences working with the applicant.
I also suggest that when you interview, you opt for a video interview. This way you get to see their facial expressions and other nuances that an audio interview will not provide.
4. Set clear expectations
Make sure both you and your virtual assistant agree on what is expected of them. This will help you in avoiding hiring a nightmare experience both for you and your VA.
For example, make sure you convey to your VA what your work pet peeves are.
By setting expectations early on, you can both get started on the right foot. And avoid frustrations along the way.
5. Establish a communication plan
Establish how often you will be in touch with your virtual assistant and how you will communicate with them.
These days, the most common tool used for team communications are Messenger, Slack, and Discord.
Make sure there are guidelines set for which channels to use for specific purposes and who to contact for which project.
6. Provide training and support
Make sure your virtual assistant has everything they need to do their job effectively, including training on your specific software programs and systems. You may also want to set up regular check-ins to ensure they are meeting expectations.
7. Avoid micro-managing
This is a big No. Not only does this stifle your VA’s productivity, but it can also cause stress and anxiety. They can lose focus when you keep breathing down on their necks. When this happens, they will be inefficient and ineffective which defeats the purpose of hiring a VA in the first place. Let go of the tasks and trust that they’re doing their job.
Over time, allow your virtual assistant to take on new tasks and responsibilities as they prove themselves capable of handling more responsibility.
Over To You
Having a VA is a major business turning point. You’re no longer a solopreneur. You have someone you can depend on now, and this person also depends on you. By following these hiring tips, you can be sure to find and keep the right virtual assistant that will help you propel your business forward.