How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
Now for those of you who follow our blog and Social Media pages, by now you’ll know what a VA is, even if you’re not sure if and how one could help you.
But you guessed it, today we’re here to tell you that YASSS a Virtual Assistant can definitely help you, how they can help and the next steps you need to take to make your life a million times easier.
First things first, who needs a VA?
Everyone! And that makes our lives harder, not yours.
Believe it or not, a great Virtual Assistant is a magical creature that can turn their expertise to anything. Our clients range from small start-ups who need a right-hand man, or woman, because they just don’t have enough time in the day to large corporates who have us on call to cover holidays and sickness. Oh, and I almost forgot, we have a number of individual clients who use us to book their personal appointments, make travel arrangements and organise family events.
You’ll find that the term ‘Virtual Assistant’ covers a vast range of expertise and you’ll need to understand exactly what your needs are in order to find yourself the perfect match.
You see, some VAs specialise. For example, their background may be in PR and marketing and so they’ll ace your Social Media campaigns, while others may specialise in sectors such as law and therefore may be of more use if you’re wanting them to complete and return SDLT forms (Stamp Duty Land Tax). But that doesn’t mean your more generic VAs should be overlooked. Not even. These guys are your unicorns… hard to find but totally mesmerizing. Able to turn their hands to most things, they are able to assist with anything you throw at them. And if they don’t know how to do it at that very moment, you can be sure they’ll learn faster than most.
So, here are our top tips for securing your VA.
1. The first question we’re always asked is “what can you do and how can you help?”
Not the most helpful of questions to either party. Defining the services of a Virtual Assistant isn’t easy and when we say we do everything, we mean we do everything. Our job is to save you time by completing the tasks you shouldn’t be, or you don’t want to do, and therefore leaving you to do the things that bring you revenue. Every single client of a VA requires a different service, there’s no one size fits all and that’s why it’s important to find a VA that will fit your business model.
The best thing you can do is keep a list of all the tasks that you do over the course of a couple of weeks and understand what it is that you want or need help with. You’ll have a better understanding of what type of VA you need as well as knowing what you need to outsource.
2. Have a cup of coffee
It’s more than acceptable to meet with several VAs while trying to find the right fit with you and your business. An informal interview gives you both the chance to see if their expertise meets your requirements. Being honest and communicating at these initial stages is all part of building the trust which is crucial when you won’t be sharing a building.
This time also allows both parties to set its expectations and inevitably see if you can work together.
And don’t be afraid to ask to see a portfolio or CV. Although they’ll be freelancers and not be employed by you, they’re still be an extension to your team.
3. Set an initial task
Before letting a Virtual Assistant loose on your most important project or signing up to a retainer, set an initial task. It doesn’t have to be huge, just measurable to really make sure you know you’re in safe hands.
It’s very easy to forget that a VA may need training on your procedures and systems. Make sure you invest in this at the early stage so that when you pass them the tasks that are meant to save you time, they can crack straight on.
Don’t leave your Virtual Assistant to it. I’m not saying micro-manage them, far from it. But regular communication with clear instruction is vital for remote working. It ensures everyone is on the same page and are kept updated with latest goings on, as well as creating that team feel. Monthly meetings via Zoom and Skype are a great way to stay in touch.