How do I hire a virtual assistant?
This question stumps a lot of entrepreneurs and professionals who need to find a virtual assistant who can help take their business or productivity to new heights.
Many think it is so mysterious because they assume it is very different from hiring office-based staff.
Hiring virtual assistants is not the same as hiring office workers. But that does not mean they are so different not everybody can find the right virtual assistant for them or their business.
The steps are pretty much identical except for some important variations. We have demystified all of them here to make sure you find the best virtual assistant who can provide you with the support you need to achieve even greater success.
Establishing how you need a virtual assistant to help you out
Their general job description may not be so clear-cut, but the kind of assistance provided by each type of virtual assistant is.
For example, aside from executive assistant, administrative assistant and customer support, we provide virtual assistants in sales and marketing, project management and research, accounting and bookkeeping, human resources and recruitment, and real estate.
Knowing the specific support you need from a virtual assistant boosts your chances of finding the one who can provide it.
Getting ready to work with the virtual assistant you choose
As we mentioned before, you need proper tools to work with virtual assistants. But some will be more important for you and the one you hire than others.
Say you need a virtual assistant to help you with social media marketing. You have to use a social media scheduling tool, like MeetEdgar. It lets you automatically post and save updates, saving you lots of time and effort. Such a tool will not be needed by other virtual assistants, like an accounting virtual assistant.
Determining which tool or tools your virtual assistant needs to accomplish the work you give her guarantees she can.
Making sure your potential virtual assistant can do the job
Due to the distance and time zone differential, you have to hire a virtual assistant who is not only qualified but can also handle problems herself if needed, like when you are away taking care of your kids.
You can find out by giving her a test. For instance, you can give a sales and marketing virtual assistant a timed article writing test to see how much of an expert she is in it (or not), how well she can write in English and do research by herself, and whether she can be counted on to meet deadlines.
Finding out whether your potential virtual assistant is the right fit
More than being qualified and reliable, your virtual assistant should be genuinely interested in her line of work—if not passionate about it. Being so self-motivated lets her provide you with consistently excellent service.
You can gauge her level of interest or drive during your remote interview. Ask her what she does during her free time. If it includes continuously learning about her line of work, you bet she really likes or loves what she does.
Such dedication lets her keep up with the developments in her field and always deliver terrific work.
Getting ready for the screening process
You need more than a clear idea of the type of virtual assistant you have to have to be able to pick her out among the many applicants you are likely to get:
- A telecommunication tool, like Skype
- A list of interview questions, to avoid messing up or forgetting about anything important you need to know
- A quiet, distraction-free place to do the interview
Practice using the telecommunication you choose ahead of time to avoid having problems with it. Also, check whether your wi-fi is working properly. Prevent your kids or pets from interrupting the interview by asking someone you can trust to take care of them until you are done.