Four Tips to Make Sure You Hire the Best Virtual Assistant

The first employee an entrepreneur should hire is a personal assistant in the form of a Virtual Assistant. Not a secretary, call centre agent or admin manager. Here’s why:

  1. Your business is still growing and you want to save on costs
  2. You need an employee who can perform an array of tasks
  3. You want a flexible employee that you can use during times when your business needs it the most
  4. You don’t have to be tied down to one Virtual Assistant and can work with them on a project-by-project basis
  5. There are no office expenses as he/she will work virtually
  6. Virtual Assistants tend to be highly experienced individuals who left full-time work for a work-life balance

As the above six points show, entrepreneurs and small businesses can benefit from hiring a Virtual Assistant as their first employee. If you’ve made the decision to hire your first VA, here are four tips to make sure that you hire the best candidate:

1.  Instead of interviewing, work on real work simulations

Most entrepreneurs will interview various Virtual Assistants and then immediately hire the one they think will fit their company, but a smarter method is to skip the interview and put them to the test. The person who performs the best gets the job/project.

One may not have the time to train these candidates on how to do the work, therefore, it’s wise to give them a simple task like responding to emails or making calls. Choose a task that does not require much of your input. If you want to, you can develop your own mock session, pretend to be a customer and have each candidate respond to you.

2.  Don’t let age influence your judgment

People automatically assume that younger assistants are much more flexible and that older assistants cannot keep up with the workflow. You will be pleased to learn that a more mature person can learn new tricks, especially if they’ve been a Virtual Assistant for a while.

Again, when hiring, avoid bias and rather hire based on real work simulations.

3.  Hire for a specific skill

You will find that Virtual Assistants come with an array of skills. You can find one assistant who can do everything, which may tempt you to appoint them. We recommend that you hire for a specific skill and not a bunch of skills. Reason being, an assistant who possesses many skills tends to be a master of none. One who focuses on one skill can master that skill through training, courses and experience.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that a blogger cannot be a web developer. You need to group the same skills in one basket. Blogging and web design can go in one basket and, therefore, hiring the same person for these skills is an acceptable practice. Blogging and cold calling, for example, are two different skills which in our opinion require different assistants who are experts in each field.

4.  Look at paying the market-related price

We get it. You want the best candidate at the lowest price. But to avoid low-quality assistants, pay a market-related salary. Look around freelancer sites like Fiverr, Guru, Freelancer and Upwork to have an idea of what people are offering for similar work. Of course, it is up to you in the end. Determine what you’re willing to pay for such a role/project.

For personalised tips, join our Virtual Assistants members group.