How to hire a virtual assistant for your business

Video interview for a virtual assistant
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How to hire a virtual assistant for your business

Deanna deBara is a freelance writer and business owner who started with no clients and no income and took her business to six figures — all within two years of launching. And a huge part of that growth? Hire the right team. In this post, former employers share a step-by-step process for finding and hiring the best virtual assistants in the digital space.

How to hire a virtual assistant for your business

The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners know that it takes a village to build a successful business. If you want to take your business to the next level, you need to hire the right team.

Not too long ago, your talent pool was limited to your immediate area. But thanks to technology, you can hire the best people for the job, whether they’re 10 miles away or 10,000 miles away.

Hiring the right digital team — and especially the right virtual assistant (VA) — can completely revolutionize your business. This process can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. You’ll need to consider: Where do you find talent? How do you know if someone is the right person for the job? How do you manage the interview process when your potential assistant is on the other side of the globe?

Fortunately, finding the right VA requires just following the right process.

Let’s see a step-by-step breakdown of how to find and hire the best talent online:

Step 1: Know where to find VA

The first step to finding the right online team?

Know where to look.

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There are many freelance talent advertising sites out there, but not all freelance sites are created equal. If you want to find the right VA, you have to know where to look.

When it comes to VA, there’s no better place Improve. With over 14 million active users, Upwork is the largest database of online talent on the internet, and a large percentage of that talent specializes in administrative work. And with virtual assistants worldwide, there’s incredible talent at every price point — so finding a great assistant that fits your budget shouldn’t be a problem.

There are other sites that have a lot of VA talent (like Freelancer.com or Onlinejobs.ph), but it’s certainly a limited source of talent. If you want to create the widest network, stick with Upwork.

Step 2: Write the perfect job ad to find the right VA

The next step to finding the perfect VA is writing the perfect job ad.

The biggest mistake you can make when writing a job ad is to make it all clear to you: what you’re looking for, what you need, and what you expect from your new VA.

But if you want your job ad to attract the right talent, it can’t be about you. It needs to be about them.

The whole purpose of job ads is to attract the right talent. So think of it like an advertisement — and the product you’re selling is the job. Your job ad should highlight the benefits of the position. Do you offer flexible working hours? Do you offer any special training? Do you have a particularly great working environment? Whatever makes the job special, make sure it takes center stage in your job ad.

Remember: the best virtual assistants are full of opportunities. Your job ad needs to sell them why your opportunity is the right one for them.

Step 3: Use the “screening trick”

Two of the most important qualities you need in a virtual assistant are attention to detail and the ability to follow directions.

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And there’s one simple trick you can use to determine which candidates possess those two qualities without reading their resume or cover letter — and that’s adding a screening question to your ad. your recruitment advertisement.

Somewhere in your job ad copy, add a specific instruction for candidates to follow. So, for example, you could say “Send a copy of your resume with the subject line” Continue from [your name] for VA. ‘”

Adding this simple line of text will show you which candidates pay attention to detail (since they’ve read the entire job ad) and know how to follow directions, and will allow you to instantly eliminate those who aren’t. candidate does not do so. This can save you a lot of time during the screening process.

Step 4: Test drive

You wouldn’t commit to renting a car 5 years before a test drive, would you?

So why would you commit to a long-term commitment to a virtual assistant before trying them out?

Test projects are a great way to see if a candidate is a good fit before making a hiring commitment. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few quality candidates, assign each of them a sample project. It’s helpful to give each candidate a similar project so you can compare the apple to the apple, and you also want to make sure that the test project matches what they’re actually going to do after that. to recruit. For example, if you need a virtual assistant to handle research, assign them a small experimental project based on the research.

One last thing about test projects: make sure you pay your candidates for their test project. It’s not fair to ask people to work for free — and if you do, it can give you a negative impression of the best, most experienced candidates.

Video interview for a virtual assistant

Step 5: Interview

When you get your test projects back, you should have a pretty good idea of ​​the candidates you want to work with. Next, all that remains is the interview.

When interviewing people online, keep things short and sweet. Basically, you just want to get a feel for someone’s personality and whether their personality matches yours.

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Some of the things you’ll want to gain during the interview process include: their experience as a VA, how comfortable they are with the technology your business uses (like QuickBooks for bookkeeping, ZenDesk for customer service or Asana for project management) and available.

You also want to understand their organizational skills, so if possible, schedule a video interview. If they claim to be super organized but their home office or bedroom is a complete disaster, they may not really be qualified for the job.

Step 6: Make sure your assistant is always around

So you hired a great virtual assistant. Congratulations!

But finding and hiring the right talent is only the first part of the equation. Now it’s important that you manage your amazing virtual assistants in a way that keeps them around.

Here are some best practices for keeping quality talent on your team:

  • Invest in their growth: If your VA feels there’s plenty of opportunity to learn and grow in the position, they’re more likely to stay.
  • Be persistent: If you tell your VA you’ll give them 20 hours of work per week, make sure you’re living up to that promise.
  • Respect your assistant’s personal life: Don’t expect them to work overtime or respond to emails on weekends, unless that’s clearly part of their contract with you.
  • Schedule regular check-ins: Meetings to discuss their progress and how they love the position will help you stay grounded. That way, if they have any concerns, you can address them together, sooner rather than later.

Online recruiting can be a challenge. But with this step-by-step guide, you have everything you need to find the right virtual assistant — an assistant that takes all that repetitive work out of your mind, so you can focus on making your life easier. Take your business to new heights.

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