How to hire your first virtual assistant.
Not long ago, I hired my first ever virtual assistant.
That might not be a big deal to some, but for me, it’s a huge accomplishment. You see, I’m not great at giving up the reins. I’m really terrible about trusting other people to get things done right. I fear choosing the wrong person. I dread the process of training someone to do what I do when I’ve barely got it together myself.
How will I get what’s in my head down on paper?
At this point, my business is an organized chaos that only I understand. I’m sure many of you can relate. It’s a work in progress.
Like many solopreneurs, I took a lot of time to invest energy in the businesses and websites of my clients, and very little time to keep up my own business. But all of that has changed over the last year. And I hope to further change my situation by outsourcing tasks to talented people who are better equipped to manage them, while I do what falls into my “zone of genius“.
So, you might be wondering…what exactly goes into hiring a Virtual Assistant?
Well, today I’m going to tell you exactly what it takes to hire your first virtual assistant.
How to hire your first virtual assistant – the process.
1. Create a job description. Start by outlining the tasks that will have the most impact on your business and the most potential to increase your earnings. Then work your way down to defining qualifications, pay-scale, etc.
2. Begin recruiting your applicants. When reviewing candidates, think about your communication style and company values. Is the candidate a right fit? Do they have the experience the position requires? What about their professional references? Consider using a survey to ask questions related to the position to better assess whether potential applicants are the best fit as you prepare to hire your first virtual assistant.
Where to find a virtual assistant:
- Word of mouth recommendations;
- Social networking (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Google+);
- List the position on job boards (universities, Monster.com, Craigslist, etc.);
- Through an online network like Zirtual, Elance, oDesk or Freelancer;
3. Discuss expectations. Be sure to discuss payment terms, hours, paid / unpaid leave, confidentiality issues and other job related expectations with your potential hire. Will you offer training in areas that are outside of their skill-set? When will tasks be assigned? How much time will they be given to complete tasks? Create a process for your virtual assistant that allows them to easily submit progress reports and feedback with you.
Track progress: Download a free progress report template
4. Make a plan. Don’t wait until the last minute to outline and assign tasks. Getting it down on paper ahead of time will help you to better assess what tasks are priority and gives you an opportunity to discuss tasks with your virtual assistant before they are assigned. Outline your upcoming tasks days, weeks or months in advance to ensure more flexibility and less rush for both of you.
5. Keep the future in mind. Do you intend to keep your VA for 3 months? 1 year? 3 years? How will your relationship evolve during that time? How will you ensure retention once you’ve trained your VA? Will you provide opportunities for professional development? Will there be advancement to higher level positions in the future? Quarterly or annual pay increases? If you intend to retain your virtual assistant for a longer period of time, these may be things you’ll want to consider.
Your new virtual assistant is an important part of your team. If you’re lucky, they’ll become a long-term support to your business and help you to get more organized, become less stressed and maybe even double your profits!
Now I’d like to hear from you. When did you hire your first virtual assistant? What was your experience?