May 13, 2022

Killer Strategies to Successfully Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Many business owners are finding themselves stretched too thin. They’re trying to do too many things at once, and as a result, their businesses are suffering.

One way to fix this is by hiring a virtual assistant online (VA).

Virtual assistants can help you take care of the daily tasks that are bogging you down so you can focus on what’s important – growing your business.

But before you can hire a virtual assistant, you need to know how to find the right one for your own business.

In this article, we will discuss the best tips and the best strategies on how you can find and hire a virtual assistant successfully.

How to Hire the Right Virtual Assistant for Your Business

What Is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is an individual who works remotely and fulfills a variety of administrative and technical duties, depending on the business need.

There are two types of virtual assistants: general and specialized VA.

A general virtual assistant is someone who provides general administrative support to a business or individual. They can perform tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing emails, data entry, and preparing presentations.

Meanwhile, specialized virtual assistants have expertise in specific areas or specialized services, such as social media marketing and accounting.

Why Hire a Virtual Assistant Online?

In today's fast-paced business world, it's important to have an assistant you can rely on to help with the day-to-day tasks that can quickly start to pile up. This is where a virtual assistant can be a lifesaver.

Small business owners have taken to hiring virtual assistants because they can easily take over almost all the tasks that keep their business running--from social media management to administrative tasks, from data entry to calendar management, from project management to lead generation, from web research to graphic design.

hire a virtual assistant online

With virtual assistants helping them, entrepreneurs can focus on high value tasks, reclaim their lost time, and explore business development opportunities.

Here's how virtual assistants can help you on top of your work:

  • Social Media Management

Most virtual assistants can help you with creation and scheduling posts on social media platforms. They can also moderate comments and engage with your followers.

  • Administrative Tasks

From booking appointments, making travel arrangements, and handling customer inquiries, a virtual assistant can take care of the day-to-day tasks that eat up your time. 

  • Data Entry

If you have a large amount of data that needs to be encoded into a system, a virtual assistant can quickly and accurately get the job done. 

  • Calendar Management

A virtual assistant can help you stay on top of deadlines by managing your calendar and sending reminders as needed. 

  • Project Management

If you have projects that need to be completed, a virtual assistant can help by keeping track of deadlines, milestones, and deliverables. This can take a load off of your plate and help keep projects on track.

  • Lead Generation

A virtual assistant can help you generate leads by researching potential customers and clients. This can be a great way to grow your business.

  • Web Research

A virtual assistant can do web research for you, whether you need data for a presentation or you're looking for information on a potential business partner. 

  • Graphic Design

If you need help with creating visuals for your business, a virtual assistant with graphic design experience can be a valuable asset.

RELATED: The Onboarding Checklist For Successfully Starting Your Virtual Assistant

  • Support Services

If you have customers or clients, a virtual assistant can help with customer service inquiries by providing chat support and answering phone calls.

  • Video Editing

A virtual assistant can help you create videos for your business by doing tasks such as editing footages and adding music.

You see, hiring a virtual assistant is a smart way to streamline your business and free up your time to focus on the tasks that are most important to you.

In addition, getting a virtual assistant can help you save money, as it tends to be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee.

However, hiring a virtual assistant online is not easy. You can find a variety of virtual assistant websites that offer these services nowadays, and the process of looking for the right candidate itself can be daunting.

But, don’t let the initial overwhelm get to you! You only need to follow a handful of strategies to be able to effectively find and hire the best virtual assistant for you and your business.

1. Know What To Look For

Just like hiring personnel in any kind of business, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re looking for when you want to hire a virtual assistant online. 

Be very clear on the tasks that you’re planning to assign to your virtual assistant and the specific skill sets you’d need from them. Without a clear picture of what you want and what role you want your virtual assistant to take in your business, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’d expect a lot of things from a person who is completely unsuited to the job.

hire a virtual assistant online

Additionally, consider these factors when choosing a VA:

  • The type of business you have

  • The tasks you need help with

  • Virtual assistant cost or hourly rate

  • VA’s skillset

  • VA’s personality

2. Set Up Your Systems and Processes Before You Hire a Virtual Assistant Online

Before you hire a virtual assistant, make sure you’ve already set up a system of how things are done in your business and that you’ve documented ways to implement them. This way, when you manage to find the right person and have succeeded in training them, you can easily entrust the tasks to them, and they will also have something to consult from time to time should the need arise.

You can make use of online workflow management tools like, Trello, or Asana to make setting up your processes more convenient.

3. Write the Perfect Job Post Advertisement

There are several websites that offer virtual assistant services where you can add a job post for remote online assistants. 

Do research on which websites have created the most successes in terms of VA recruitment—you’ll find comprehensive reviews about this in several startup blogs if you do a quick Google search.

Remember that your job advert is the beacon in the whole recruitment process. This means it should not only be well-written but also detailed.

hire a virtual assistant online

Your job listing should include a clear-cut description of:

  • Job description

  • The skills and other qualifications you’re looking for (e.g., great communication skills)

  • The duties you expect a VA to perform

  • Work hours and days per week you require (including whether you’re looking for short-term or long-term help)

  • The online platforms and project management tools you use in your business

This list will serve as a filter for the right applicants. Try to avoid making it sound too clinical—this is an advert, after all. Write your job listing in a way that would appeal to your potential candidates. Nobody wants to respond to a job ad that sounds demanding and autocratic from the get-go.

hire a virtual assistant online

4. Shortlist and Interview Candidates Before You Hire a Virtual Assistant Online

Start sorting through the number of responses you’ve received for your ad. This will be the most time-consuming part of the process because, while you’ll find that there are people out there who seem right for the job, most of the applications you’ll get will be from people who don’t qualify.

Make a list of things or qualities you can’t hire a virtual assistant without—by this time in the process you should already have one—and use this list of ‘non-negotiables’ as a guideline.

Generally, this list will consist of your expected skill set from your ideal virtual assistant, their length of industry experience, their knowledge of or familiarity with the systems you use, and their going rate as a VA.

hire a virtual assistant online

With your list, you’ll be able to narrow down the number of qualified candidates that you can schedule to interview.

Reach out to your shortlisted applicants, and arrange for an interview through a video call. Video interviews will enable you to assess their communication skills, their command of English if they’re from other countries, their personality, and the way they present themselves.

Make sure to ask them questions that would let you know if they are able to work well independently and how they respond to potential issues. Knowing these things will make your decision making easier later on.

Here are some tips for conducting an interview:

  • Prepare a list of questions in advance.

  • Ask about their experience and expertise.

  • Test their skills with a task.

  • Get references from previous clients.

5. Train Your Virtual Assistant

Once you’ve successfully chosen the best virtual assistant for you, bring them up to speed on the systems you use in your business. This is where you present them with your documented processes and their personal access to the online tools they’ll be using.

Depending on the duties they’re assigned with, you’ll also probably need to give them limited access to your cloud drive and social media accounts, so it’s a good idea to use a type of password management software like 1Password or Lastpass that would let you share your login details in a safe method.

Not all businesses work the same way, so spend some time training your VA so they can learn the systems unique to your business. This will also provide you an opportunity to establish rapport with your VA and be able to assess their willingness to learn new tasks.

how to hire virtual assistant

6. Manage Your Virtual Assistant

Having a virtual assistant in your team will definitely grease the wheels in your business, but an organization can only run smoothly if the parts are well-maintained.

A virtual assistant works remotely, but this doesn’t mean that you can leave them to work independently for as long as you can – they’re not perfect, so they’re bound to need guidance once in a while.

Entrepreneurs who hire virtual assistants on their own benefit from giving their new staff a trial run or a trial period during which they have time to assess the abilities and skills of their VA. Sometimes, it will take a couple of tries before you find the the right one.

This is why some small business owners find it simpler to bypass doing the hiring themselves and turn instead to virtual assistant websites, as these companies can take the bulk of the hiring process from them, and save them precious time.

how to hire a va

Companies that provide virtual assistant services, like The Virtual Hub for example, have made the process of hiring a virtual assistant more convenient; they have sought individuals with different talents and expertise under strict criteria, ensuring that clients who sign up for their services are assigned to top virtual assistants who are best suited to their needs.

They even provide additional training and management support to their VAs even after they are paired with clients, so that their work remains consistent and their progress well-tracked and monitored. With this added support in place, clients can feel secure that the help and services they receive from virtual assistant companies are well-worth their time and investment.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Final Thoughts

There is no magic formula for hiring a virtual assistant. It requires a lot of time, energy, and a well-organized plan of action. Without structure, your hunt for the right virtual assistant will fail.

Whether you opt to hire one on your own or through a website, it’s helpful to know these killer strategies to guarantee your success. And once you do find the best virtual assistant for you, they are sure to make your life and business easier to manage.

Learn more about all things virtual assistant in our Ultimate Guide to Virtual Assistants. This MASSIVE guide will teach you all the ins and outs of hiring a virtual assistant, managing a virtual assistant, and all the other things in your mind whenever you're thinking what a virtual assistant can do for you and your business.

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