Hiring virtual personal assistants has become very popular these days, and you’ve undoubtedly heard entrepreneurs tout the numerous benefits of having the best virtual assistant to help them out with work and even manage their personal schedules.
While it has become a current trend, and you’ve likely heard how others have become successful with the extra set of hands they’ve hired, you’re probably wondering how that would work for you with home-based Virtual Assistants being—well, virtual—and often working from remote countries, like the Philippines.
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You’re probably thinking it’s not easy to work with someone from a different country. There are so many things to consider, like work schedules, language barriers, and things like technology, internet connection, and other logistics. It can get pretty overwhelming, enough to make your head spin. But being so busy with so many tasks, ultimately, you’ll find that you need to hire the best virtual assistant to help you.
The good news is that hiring the best virtual assistant for your business has now become easier and more convenient!
So how do you nail it when you want to hire the best Virtual Assistant?
Here are some key steps to take to ensure success when you finally decide to hire a virtual assistant:
1. Prepare a detailed Virtual Assistant job description
Before hiring a virtual personal assistant, make sure you list down jobs and tasks you want your virtual assistant to do.
Sometimes, we want to hire someone who can do everything for us, but that’s very unrealistic.
You might want to add to your list the platforms or applications you’re using to make sure the person you’re hiring is knowledgeable or experienced in using them. Add some virtual assistant duties you want them to fulfill as well as skills that potential VAs should have.
Aside from Virtual Assistant tasks, it is also important to add a short description of your company, so they will know the nature of your business and who they work for.
Having a job description helps you attract the best virtual assistant for the job because you already have a list of skills and qualities that your potential VA should have.
The following are some things you can include in a Virtual Assistant job description:
- The nature of your business
- Applications and tools that you are currently using
- Language requirement (e.g. excellent English communication skills)
- The tasks they will be handling if employed by your company
2. Use a Virtual Assistant Services company or agency
There’s a lot of work involved in recruiting, onboarding, training, and managing a virtual administrative assistant. If you’re already too busy to take care of these things yourself, then it may be a good thing to consider getting the help of a virtual assistant agency or company.
Before you hire a virtual assistant, you should know that using a company or agency that provide virtual assistant services can really help when sourcing people to work for your company or business.
They usually have a pool of talent who need very minimal training because they’re already equipped with the useful skill sets you require. They can give you a list of potential candidates based on the job description that you have.
There are many agencies that provide these virtual assistant services and, although they come at a higher price, there are a lot of benefits in opting for their assistance, too.
Here are several things that agencies are able to fulfill:
- They provide consultation
- They employ experienced home-based virtual assistants
- They can provide a backup plan for when things don’t work out between you and your VA
- They give training and support to both you and your virtual assistant
In addition, these agencies know where to hire the best virtual assistants. Currently, the country that has the most virtual assistants is the Philippines. This is because virtual assistants in the Philippines are able to communicate in English well, overcoming the language barrier that most clients consider as a huge downside of hiring a virtual assistant.
3. Make sure processes and procedures are written down
It is best to write down the company or business’ standard operating procedures. They can serve as written instructions for tasks that you expect a virtual administrative assistant to perform.
These processes and procedures should contain information on how to go about specific jobs.
Here are some things you might need:
- You should have updated SOPs for all the processes and procedures of your company. This will be useful not only for the day-to-day fulfillment of duties, but also for unforeseen scenarios.
- Make sure your procedures are concise and complete, and that all necessary information is included.
- All repeated tasks should have separate SOPs.
4. Use online tools and apps
If you are worried about not being able to monitor or communicate with your virtual assistant, there are online tools and applications that you can use to make it easier for you and your VA to work together. Some platforms can be used to oversee and manage tasks.
There are many tools on the internet that you and your virtual administrative assistant can use in growing your business.
The Virtual Hub conducted a poll as to which virtual assistant tools and applications are commonly used by clients for project management. According to the poll results, most of our clients use Asana. It’s a powerful tool in tracking tasks, and it’s also a great means of communication.
Other than Asana, here are some tools that are widely used by clients:
LastPass is a safe way to share your login details and passwords for online tools you use for work. LastPass remembers your passwords for you in a secure way. Instead of manually providing your virtual administrative assistant with every login information you have for your accounts, you can give access to that information via an easy and encrypted way. All you need is an account on LastPass, the email you’ll associate with it, and a master password.
LastPass is cloud-based. This password manager has an extension for different browsers and a mobile application. One of its key feature is that it offers a two-factor authentication option which ensures that no one else can access your password vault.
Previously known as Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for your Domain, GSuite is composed of GMail, Hangouts, Calendar, Google+, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Sites. It is a one-stop shop for online tools. It even creates a custom email address for your own domain.
GSuite also has ample cloud-based storage and allows you to collaborate and share with your team members.
Hootsuite is a social media tool that lets users schedule posts and updates to different social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and many others using the Hootsuite dashboard. Managing your social media presence is now easier because you’re able to see the activity of your accounts in one place.
Signing in to each social media accounts and creating posts can be tiresome and can consume too much time. Through this application, many businesses can implement, analyze, and improve marketing campaigns on all profiles without having to check the information in every application.
Another bonus: Hootsuite can be used for both business and personal social media accounts.
TimeDoctor is an employee time-tracking software. It allows you to keep track of your team’s output and helps you and your team do more each work day.
TimeDoctor has a desktop software, mobile application and also has web based components. It also takes screenshots of an employee’s desktop and also has web-based reporting.
With technology, remote work has become a popular option today instead of the the traditional office space. Here is a 9-step recruitment process documentation from our friends over at TimeDoctor to help you hire the best talent from anywhere in the world.
Search Engine Optimization is an important part of making online businesses successful. SEM Rush is a tool that helps business owners find profitable keywords. It is a program for both new and experienced bloggers who want to optimize their blogs and their websites. It also allows them to create content that their audience would find interesting for a better visitor experience.
SEM Rush also allows you to understand your competition and believe us when we say that it pays to actually understand your competition. This tool has capabilities for you to look at your competitors. Aside from understanding your competition, it also allows you to find new keywords you can use.
Ithemes.com calls WordPress the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management in existence today.
It powers millions of blogs and websites. WordPress’ market share is almost 60% compared to other content management systems. The second and closest competitor is Joomla and is used only by 6.3%.
Image Source: https://torquemag.io
Aside from being so powerful, WordPress is also flexible and easy to use. This is the main reason why it has become so popular.
5. Build a relationship and communicate
It is best to understand what a Virtual Assistant is and what they do. The key to a long-lasting and happy relationship is having an open communication. This is also true when hiring a virtual assistant. Make sure you are able to communicate your expectations to your VA and use your online tools, like Skype or email. There are more tools available online that you can use to communicate with your VA.
Keep in mind that, while it’s good to always communicate, you should also limit your communications with your virtual assistant to business hours. Both VAs and clients have a life beyond work and that needs to be mutually respected.
Being a solo entrepreneur is difficult and most of the time, we work by ourselves, but you should also learn to delegate. Give your Virtual Assistant tasks and then trust them with performing those tasks. You should make your VA feel confident to share their knowledge. Remember, some of them have had years of experience with other clients and might be more knowledgeable about tools or platforms.
It’s important to build a strong working relationship with your virtual administrative assistant. You should also have effective communication channels. Choose the tool that works best for both of you. Sharing your business vision also helps you and your VA to share one path and goal. It will motivate your VA to know new ideas and ways to do things to reach your business goals.
To build a strong relationship with your virtual assistant, consider doing the following things:
You must have weekly check-ins with your virtual assistant
Set weekly meetings to talk about how your virtual assistant is progressing with their tasks. Set aside time to ask them how they’re doing or if there are things they’re having difficulty with. It helps to listen to their suggestions or whatever else they have in mind. Who knows, they might have some brilliant business ideas that could help you. Make sure you stick to that schedule, too. You can also create a Virtual Assistant task list, and check where they are or what they have accomplished in your meetings.
Always use online tools to communicate
The internet provides so many tools to help you communicate with your VA. Asana and Basecamp, for example, are project management tools you can use to assign tasks and check its progress, too. You can also make use of Skype, Hangouts or Slack to communicate or chat. Quick updates and check-ins can be done using these platforms.
Get the best virtual assistant to help you and your business
Hiring the best virtual assistant for your business can seem daunting at first but it doesn’t have to be. Companies that offer virtual assistant services have made the process easier, and once you’ve set your expectations and have your systems and procedures in place, you’ll discover that hiring a virtual assistant can be very simple.
In the end, having a virtual administrative assistant to help you in your business can change the way you approach work and, ultimately, the way you live. To get the best virtual assistant out there, make sure to follow the methods we have outlined above and we can guarantee that you’ll be able to hire a virtual assistant in no time. And if you’re looking to know more about what virtual assistants can do for you and your business, our Ultimate Guide to Virtual Assistants can answer all your burning questions about having a virtual assistant.