Every small business owner will reach a point in time when they will be unable to manage all the tasks by themselves. There will be too many tasks that would be impossible to handle without working for long hours on a day-to-day basis. That’s when you know that you need to find and hire virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants are remote employees who can handle your non-core tasks, such as scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, managing your calendar, managing customer relationships, organizing marketing campaigns, etc.
In this article, we’ll offer you tips on how to find and hire virtual assistants. You’ll also learn how to evaluate those candidates so that you hire the best among them.
How to Find a Virtual Assistant?
If you’ve already decided to hire a virtual assistant, the first question that may come to your mind is how to find one. Well, there are many ways you can do it but we have collected the best ones here.
Here are a few ways to find a virtual assistant.
Explore different freelance platforms
Freelance platforms are suitable for those who want to keep the costs down and don’t mind finding a virtual assistant by themselves. One of the best freelance platforms available is Fiverr.
Fiverr can help you find the ideal candidate who can get the work done at a cheaper price. But, beware that with VAs, you will only get what you pay for.
Besides, a good rule of thumb is to start small. So, if it is your first time and you’re hesitating to outsource the job to a company, then freelance platforms are the best way to get started.
Hire virtual assistants from a company
A virtual assistant company is a professional outsourcing company that has VAs onboard and allows you to hire them. The companies usually hire and train them on a variety of tasks. If you don’t have enough time to train your VA or don’t want to deal with them directly, you may consider choosing an agency.
The best part of working with virtual assistant agencies is that even if the VA is unavailable for any reason, the agency will find you a replacement. So, your work will never stop. Many agencies also offer a trial to help you test the VAs before you hire them.
Look for a specialized virtual assistant
Instead of hiring a single virtual assistant to do all the tasks, you may hire more. Depending on your requirement, hire a few virtual assistants and divide them into two teams. One team may be only focused on dealing with small and not-so-urgent jobs while the other team will have specialized VAs who can help your business.
For the specialized team, look for virtual assistants with a specific skillset. They must also be highly talented, experienced, trustworthy, and responsive.
Ask for recommendations from your network
If you have a local business networking group, you can ask them. However, if you don’t have one, you can ask for recommendations on different social media platforms, like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. It will most likely bring you a lot of recommendations.
Also, while asking for recommendations, t will help you to find a specialist VA.
Leverage online communities
Skilled people usually hang out in online communities. So, you can also join an online community and surround yourself with those kinds of people. A few examples of online communities are Associationofvas, Youpreneur, vanetworking, etc.
How to hire a Virtual Assistant?
Follow the steps below to hire a virtual assistant.
Describe the position in detail
This is the first step to hiring a virtual assistant. The details should include 3 important things, i.e.,
Type of employment
You need to decide whether the virtual assistant is going to be a permanent team member or a freelancer. Depending on that, you can specify whether the position is full-time or part-time.
The next thing you need to decide is whether paying per hour or paying per project is more cost-effective for your company.
You may choose the pay-per-hour plan if the job only involves small, independent tasks and involves a specific deadline. In case you need to hire virtual assistants on either a monthly or annual contract basis, you may go with the option of hiring long-term employees.
The last and the most important step in defining the position for virtual assistants is to decide what skills are needed. Do you need a generalist who can carry out a variety of administrative tasks or need candidates with expertise in a specific virtual assistant task?
Create a job description
After you have defined the position and know what type of candidate you need, the next thing you need to do is communicate the same to the job seekers. Here are some tips on how to create a well-structured job description for virtual assistants.
Add company’s details
Since it’s a remote job, there will be no location boundaries. So, chances are that your job ad will be viewed by people from different parts of the globe. These people may not know anything about your company. That’s why you must provide company information. Try to include data such as your values, missions, team, or important clients.
Describe the candidate’s profile
As your new hire will be working remotely, you need to make sure that they are productive. So, instead of sticking to the typical job requirements, think of adding skills to the candidate’s profile that can make them productive.
For example, the ideal candidate can be familiar with collaboration and task management tools such as Slack or Trello. You may also mention soft skills like the ability to work independently or good communication.
Highlight your best-selling points
Make sure you also mention your best-selling points. For example, whether the working hours are flexible, whether you’ll be paying for co-working spaces at their location or not, whether the remote employees will be provided with an advanced tech stack or not, etc.
Mention every perk or benefit you are willing to offer. It will help in grabbing the job seeker’s attention.
Explain the way you work
This is also an important step just like providing job details. You can share information on how you work or other data that can help them determine whether they are a good fit or not. You can talk about your expectations, work schedule, compensation, and trial period if any. Just be clear and honest. It may further encourage job seekers to apply for the position.
Post your jobs online
There’s no way you can find virtual assistants by physically looking for them. Since it is a virtual job, you need to start looking virtually.
Post ads on job boards that are specifically dedicated to remote work. You may also look for websites that can help with connecting employers to permanent or freelance virtual assistants. For this, you will usually have to pay a fee.
Evaluate the candidates
As you won’t get to meet the candidates in person, evaluating them can be quite challenging. However, using video software can be helpful.
Here’s how you can get the most out of your virtual assistant interviews.
Assess their communication skills
Communication is very important for virtual assistants as they will have to communicate sometimes on your behalf. Let’s say while making travel arrangements or contacting the clients. So, while hiring the virtual assistant, look out for candidates who
- Quickly grasp the guidelines
- Clearly express themselves, both in writing and verbally
- Ask to follow up questions if they are unsure
Give assignments related to Job
Try to give job assignments that can simulate the real duties. It’s a great way to evaluate the soft skills of the candidate. For example, ask them to research options for buying a particular software.
The ideal candidates you can choose are those who can
- Create a detailed list of the products allowing you to easily compare the options
- Properly analyze and present varied products based on their pricing and features
- Recommend top products depending on the characteristics and requirements.
In case you need help with creating assignments, you can use the recruitment assessment tools. These can provide a range of pre-employment tests you can refer to.
So, that’s all you can do to attract a pool of ideal candidates and select the best. The next step is just to get them onboard and train them.
For managing employment documents, you can employ tools like DocuSign or HelloSign. If you need to explain the company procedures, you can use digital manuals and videos. Now, let’s move to the cost that is often associated with hiring a virtual assistant.
Cost of hiring a Virtual Assistant
There are certain things based on which you can expect to pay a virtual assistant, such as
Type of work
For entry-level administrative work, such as email management or basic customer service, you’ll probably pay less. But, if you hire a virtual assistant for higher-level works, like content strategy or project management, you’ll be paying more.
You can check the client testimonials present on the virtual assistant’s website and/or their LinkedIn recommendations. You may also ask them for a few references of their clients and reach them via email. If they are unable to provide you with at least 2-3 client references, then their work may not be very recommendable. So, you can avoid them and look for other candidates.
You should also consider the level of experience of the VA before hiring them. We know looking at a cheaper option will be tempting. But, that may cost you the quality of work and you’ll end up doing it yourself again.
We hope that the article gave you knowledge on how to find and hire virtual assistants. Using the tips mentioned here, you can take one step at a time and slowly progress in your work with the help of a specialized VA.
Besides, ProGlobalBusinessSolutions is also a reputed organization offering virtual assistant services. We have got the best professionals who can perform the needed virtual assistant tasks to run your business efficiently. By visiting our website, you can get detailed information on our virtual assistant services and other services we provide. So, in case you are planning to hire an outsourcing service provider, you can reach us!