Help, I need a Virtual Assistant!
So you think you need to hire a Virtual Assistant? Maybe you have too many tasks on your to-do list and you often say, “I need a Virtual Assistant.” Or a colleague suggested you hire someone because you need extra hours in the day. Whatever your reason, there are a few things you need to know before hiring a Virtual Assistant.
As a business strategist and Virtual Assistant educator, I am often asked for referrals, where to hire, and what the process is. Because of this, I created this post full of information. I hope these tips will help you find the right fit for your business.
Before we get started, I do want to drop the idea that a Virtual Assistant can do EVERYTHING! Every person has their strengths and weaknesses. And your Virtual Assistant cannot and should not be able to do it all, remember this at all times. Now let’s jump in!
*Are you someone reading this and interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant?
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” ~Steve Jobs
A Common Misconception
First, I want to address a common misconception. If you’re currently not making a profit in your business, hiring a Virtual Assistant won’t make you more money. Even if they tell you it will! If your business is turning a profit, a Virtual Assistant can take over draining tasks. As a result, you have time freed up to focus on income generation. Just like it takes work to lose weight, it takes work to build a business.
Hiring a VA doesn’t mean she now runs your business nor is it a Virtual Assistant’s job to create a strategy for your business. That’s your job as the business owner. You delegate work to your Virtual Assistant. That means you tell her what needs to be done. You need to figure this piece out. Otherwise, your Virtual Assistant will work on things that may not be a priority and you both will end up frustrated.
So if you find yourself saying, “I need a Virtual Assistant,” make sure you have the proper expectations.
Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant
You need to follow a process to make sure you hire a Virtual Assistant that is the right fit for your business.
- Write out your job description – decide what tasks you need the Virtual Assistant to do.
- Create an application candidates will fill in using Google docs or something similar.
- Post the job with specific instructions on how to apply.
- Review all the candidates that applied.
- Conduct interviews with at least 3-5 of the top potential candidates.
Keep in mind that you are NOT hiring someone just like you or the person you “like” the most. Sometimes a person opposite of you is just what you need. So yes, you need to get along, but you are not hiring someone to be your friend. You need someone with the right skills for your business.
I’ve simplified the process I use when I am hiring someone. You’re hiring process will depend on two things: 1. How big of a role you’re hiring for, and 2. How much time you have to spend on the hiring process itself.
When clients hire me to do their hiring, I devote about 20 hours to the process of hiring someone.
Extra Steps for Long-Term Hires
If you are hiring a long-term team member then these extra steps are worth the time. (If you are hiring someone for a project this won’t be necessary.)
- After evaluating candidates give a small unpaid project or task to get a sense of the Virtual Assistant’s work ethic.
- Next check their references.
- Then assign a paid project for final 3 candidates.
- Last do a final interview with the top 3 then job offer to the top pick.
**Note – this may seem like a lot of extra steps but it’s worth it. I often see clients rush through this process. As a result, they hire the wrong person and have to go through this again. If they’d spent the extra time from the start, they’d avoid the extra time they actually spent.
Where to Find Virtual Assistants
First, ask your network for referrals. This is often the best way to find a great Virtual Assistant. You can send emails, post on social media, or ask people you already know.
Second, check out my directory of Virtual Assistants I’ve trained by clicking here. These Virtual Assistants have all been through my training so they are more skilled than a Virtual Assistant starting out. You can also expect the Virtual Assistant’s from my directory to have rates starting at $25 an hour and up.
Depending on what you need, sites like Upwork, or HireMyMom can be a great source for hiring. And if you are new to working with a VA, this can be a great option because you can view many different profiles. In addition, going through Upwork is a secure way of working with someone remotely. The difference between Upwork and hiremymom is the billing automation and payment protection. Upwork has a built-in payment system. Hiremymom allows you to set up your own method of invoicing and payment system. Since these sites are free to post jobs give them both a try!
Groups for Hiring a Virtual Assistant
Finally, Facebook groups are a great way to find a Virtual Assistant. There are many Virtual Assistant groups on Facebook and business owners often post in them that they are hiring. If you do this, be very clear on how you want candidates to contact you or messages will bombard your inbox. Following my steps above and start your post with “I need a Virtual Assistant.” Then give the instructions to apply.
Check out the following groups:
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/momsinbusinessonline/ (this is my own group and has numerous VA’s in it)
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/VAsinAustralia/ (this is not just VA’s in Australia)
You can see the hiring process takes some careful planning, organization, and a good chunk of time. If you are someone that has said “I need a Virtual Assistant” I hope you found this post helpful and an enjoyable read. If you did, please share this article with anyone you think my hiring tips might help.
If you have questions or would like some assistance with hiring a superstar Virtual Assistant, I am happy to help. Just shoot me an email with “I need a Virtual Assistant” in the subject line. Or you can click here to contact me and my team to let us know what you need, and we will get back to you within 1 business day.
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