In the recent few years, the idea of hiring a virtual assistant to outsource daily business tasks has become quite popular.
Though entrepreneurs and business heads are well aware of the advantages offered by having virtual assistants on board, most of them lack understanding of how to hire right virtual assistants.
Here is the deal!
As you finish reading this blog post, you will know all ins and outs of how to hire a skilled virtual assistant.
The five things mentioned in this blog post will empower you with the right information you are supposed to know when you are searching for a virtual assistant. Especially, the fifth point, if kept in mind, can help you get an exceptionally good virtual assistant.
Entrepreneurs, business heads, and busy professionals are asking the same question (in different forms) on multiple platforms such as Quora – how they can have a skilled VA on board?
Before we jump on the answer, let’s have an overview of virtual assistants. This will enable you to know what you can expect from your virtual assistant, thereby helping you in the process to select a right one.
So what exactly is a virtual assistant?
“A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office. A virtual assistant typically operates from a home office, but is able to access the necessary planning documents, such as shared calendars, remotely. People employed as virtual assistants typically have several years of secretarial or office management experience.”
Adding more to this definition, now, virtual assistants have a broad spectrum of experience ranging from Internet research to managing social media platforms.
Click here to know more about virtual assistant services.
Why you should hire a virtual assistant
Do you want to know the secret behind the success of many entrepreneurs and business heads?
The answer is simple: they do not do the petty tasks that they can easily delegate to others
“Your time is valuable and should be spent on things that will drive the most ROI.”
The takeaway is plain, simple:
You cannot do everything and you should not do everything. And if you try to do everything, you will do nothing to perfection.
“The biggest secret of highly productive people isn’t in any way ground breaking, but it is most often forgotten: They don’t try and do everything themselves.”
The key point is you should not burnout due to extreme multitasking.
Instead, you should focus only on those things that matter most to your business and delegate tasks to others, which you should not be doing.
“Once I started getting overwhelmed by scheduling meetings/calls and emails, I decided it was time to hire my virtual assistant. She’s been a huge help and costs me $600 a month for full-time work.”
Needless to say, a virtual assistant can save you both the time and money.
How to hire a virtual assistant
So, what are the secrets to hiring an exceptionally good virtual assistant?
In the reality, there is none. What you need to do is to keep these easy-to-follow points in your mind when you are searching for a virtual assistant. And you will hire a great virtual assistant.
- Look for a virtual assistant that meets your business needs
First of all, you should have a clear idea about what tasks you are going to assign to your VA. But before that, know what tasks you should not assign to your virtual assignment.
You should not assign tasks to your VA, which directly have an impact on the growth of your business. And you should not delegate core business activities to your VA.
As explained by Ryan Kaldani in the answer to How do I get started in finding and using a virtual assistant?
The main objective of hiring a VA is to delegate some tasks that you should not be doing as a business head or a busy entrepreneur. These tasks can be, but not limited to:
- Internet research
- Administrative work
- Data entry work
- Managing social media platforms
- eCom product listing
Make a list of tasks you want to delegate to your VAs. Once you have a list of defined tasks, you can start a search for of VAs whose skills match your needs.
“Before committing to a VA, it is important to have all their tasks clearly decided and outlined. Hiring a virtual assistant and giving them unclear tasks and direction will cost you more time and money in the long run.”
However, you should understand that there is always a scope of training.
You want to hire a VA to run social media campaigns for your lifestyle products. If your VA has a long experience in social media marketing for a food chain, he/she will need a brief training to understand your business objectives.
- Freelance virtual assistants are not always a good option
You might be lured to find a VA from a freelancing website. But hiring VAs from a freelancing website such as Upwork is not always a good option.
Many times, it has been seen that virtual assistants from a freelancing website are not skilled enough to complete assigned tasks efficiently.
Anyone can create a profile on a freelancing website and start out as a freelance virtual assistant.
Leading companies, such as Ninja VA, have a stringent selection process in place to assess the skills of VAs they are going to hire so that their clients can get highly skilled VAs.
Also, VAs sign a non-disclosure agreement, which ensures that clients’ data remain confidential.
For more details, visit the FAQs section on http://ninja-va.com/plans-pricing/
- Go for a company that offers a trial of its virtual assistants
If you can get a trial of your favorite software, why should you not get a trial of your virtual assistant?
Most leading companies, such as Ninja VA, offer a trial of its virtual assistants.
So, it won’t be a problem for you to find a company that offers trials of its virtual assistants.
However, this is not all!
Ninja VA offers 100% money back guarantee on its virtual assistants.The company believes in the culture of exceeding clients’ expectations.
What’s more, it offers competitive plans & pricing along with a free trial.
Click here to book a free one-on-one consultation on how Ninja VA can empower you with its virtual assistants.
- Consider the location and flexibility of VAs
You are going to hire a VA as you want to delegate some tasks and don’t want to have an employee on board.
Because VAs work online, location does not matter. But timezone matters a lot. If you VA is living in a different timezone, you need to make sure that he/she is available to work as per your schedule.
It is imperative that your VA must be flexible and he/she must be able to make a change in his/her work schedule according to any change in your requirement.
Some countries, such as India, are known to offer skilled yet inexpensive virtual assistants. So you should try to find virtual assistant from India if you want to save money and get the work done efficiently.
- Go for the skills of a virtual assistant, not for the company’s reputation
You should never go for the face value of a company. Instead, you should assess the skills of a virtual assistant yourself.
Top skills that you need in your virtual assistants are aptitude, communication, passion, competencies, attention to detail, willingness to learn, and ready to listen.
You should assess a virtual assistant for these skills.
Reese Ben-Yaacov summarized skills in an answer to what qualifications are required to be a virtual assistant?
So these are five things that you should consider when you are going to hire a virtual assistant.
Wait, the bonus part of this blog post is yet to come!
What are common snags to avoid when you are going to hire a VA?
Needless to say, hiring a virtual assistant looks like a win-win situation. Ask anybody who has hired VAs, you will hear many stories, and not all of them are interesting.
Here are three common snags that should avoid during hiring a VA:
- Never hire a VA as you have read somewhere that hiring one can save you time and money. The main objective of hiring a VA is to have some free so that you get utilize it to get more returns.
- Many times, people hire VAs without having a clear, written job description. You should never do that. Always have a clear VA job description before starting a search for a VA.
- Sometimes, entrepreneurs don’t consider language barriers during VA hiring process. You should not overlook this point.
“ ask anybody who’s ever been through the VA hiring and onboarding process and you’ll hear plenty of stories of things gone awry. Stories of projects bungled, disappearing VAs and more. The reality is, hiring a VA isn’t easy — and it isn’t a quick fix for your business’s problems.”
So make sure you hire a right VA with the right skill set to perform right tasks. A little homework is required in this matter.
Virtual assistants, if used creatively, can be a real help in charting out a plan for success.
However, you should understand your needs first before searching for a VA.
Once you have a clear VA job description, you should look for VAs who fit the description. Rather than searching VA on freelancing websites, you should try to find a company that offers free trials and money back guarantee on virtual assistant services.
And never forget to assess the skills of a VA before hiring him/her.
If you keep these things in the mind, you will certainly hire an exceptional VA.
Ever hired a VA? What more do you want to add in this post so as to hire an exceptional VA without much hassle?
I’d love to hear about it. Do leave a comment!