The idea of hiring a virtual assistant has been around for years, but it’s only in recent history that the technology and programs to do so have become available. You can now hire someone from anywhere in the world to help with your business tasks, freeing up time for you to focus on other areas. But how do you find a good fit? Here are some tips and tricks we’ve found helpful when searching for our own virtual assistants!
Hire your virtual assistant through a reputable company.
We’ve found success with Upwork and Fiverr, but there are many others you can choose from as well! Hiring your virtual assistant through a reputable company will help ensure that you find someone trustworthy and skilled to work with. In addition, if something does go wrong, you are likely covered by the company’s policies.
Hire your virtual assistant through a referral from someone you trust.
If someone you know has had a great experience with a specific virtual assistant, consider reaching out to them! This is especially beneficial if they will be handling sensitive information related to your business. After all, it may not always feel comfortable sharing details of what you do with just anyone…but knowing who they really are can ease those concerns!
Pick your tasks carefully. You don’t want to overwhelm them!
This will take some trial and error, so we recommend starting with something small at first. This way, they get the practice and training they need before taking on larger tasks. In addition, this will also give you a chance to become familiar with the way they work and be sure that it is a good fit for your needs.
Ask for references and testimonials to ensure they are qualified.
You may feel strange asking for so much information, but this is your business and you want to make sure it’s done right! Most qualified virtual assistants will have a number of testimonials and references that they would be more than happy to share with you. Luckily, if you’re ordering from a reputable site, there will likely be reviews from previous clients readily visible for you to read.
Make sure they are fluent in certain languages if relevant.
If you are outsourcing to a virtual assistant in another country, it is always important that they have fluency in the language or languages that your business uses. If there are any questions or concerns about this, be sure to ask them upfront. If your assistant will be writing or will be speaking directly with customers, this is especially important.
Determine their education and experience level.
Is it required for your virtual assistant to hold a degree, or will they be able to do everything you need them to as long as they have experience in the field? These are questions that should be brought up during an interview with any potential candidate. The more experienced a person is at what they do—the better they will be able to do their job.
Make sure they understand legalities such as contracts and non-disclosures.
Oftentimes when working with remote employees or freelance workers who live in different countries, things like signing appropriate paperwork can be difficult! Make sure your assistant is aware of any contracts or non-disclosures that need to be signed, as well as the steps they should take if there are issues such as a breach in confidentiality.
Find out if their schedule is flexible enough to work with yours.
Another important factor to consider is how much freedom your virtual assistant has. Are they able to work around YOUR schedule? In many cases, you may have a specific time frame for when certain tasks need to be completed or deadlines that are set in place—it’s crucial that they understand this and can accommodate your needs! If your candidate doesn’t think they’ll be able to meet your requirements, consider looking elsewhere.
Outline your needs and expectations before proceeding forward.
This includes tasks such as the hours that you need your assistant, what exact types of work are expected to be done (copy editing, formatting an e-book for publishing on Amazon Kindle, etc.), and how much money you can afford to pay. Outlining your specific requirements will help you narrow down your choices when hiring a virtual assistant.
Interview potential candidates by phone or email.
There are several questions that you should ask your potential virtual assistants to make sure they match well with the position. Make a list of these and jot down notes as they answer them during the interview process. This will allow you to compare the candidates quickly. Many business owners do not conduct a formal interview when hiring a virtual assistant, which can lead to issues leading down the road. Never hire someone without conducting at least one interview so that you can properly screen your candidates.
Pay attention to your gut feeling. If something seems off, trust that instinct.
You are hiring someone to help your business, so do not compromise on the quality of candidates. If you feel like a candidate is not right for the job, keep looking. Taking the time upfront to find a virtual assistant that you think is a perfect match for your business will save you a lot of time, money, and headache in the long term.
It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of having an extra hand in business, but you don’t want to rush into things too quickly or settle for less than what you need. You should take the same care finding a virtual assistant that would be taken when choosing any other candidate for hire. Look at their reviews, portfolios, and testimonials- all these will give insight into whether they’re right for your needs and whether they’ll perform well on your team. Finding good virtual assistants isn’t always easy but it’s worth the effort! If you have any questions about this process feel free to leave us a comment below- We’d love to help answer any questions!