Small business owners and solo entrepreneurs often struggle to get tasks done. Without a team of employees to handle admin functions, there’s a delay in meeting deadlines. Since hiring employees can be costly, most resort to hiring virtual assistants. And in this day and age, remote workers aren’t only efficient but also cost-effective.
A virtual assistant is different from freelancers that work on projects. Usually, a virtual assistant becomes a regular member of your team with a specific work description and function. Eventually, functions and roles may change as needed, but the remote assistant remains a valuable part of your admin team.
How do you hire a virtual assistant?
Hiring a virtual employee for the first time is a daunting task. You can choose to hire from an agency or hire someone who works freelance. Regardless of your choice, the following six steps should be your guide in finding a virtual assistant for your business.
- Make a list of specific tasks you’d like to outsource. The first step in hiring a virtual assistant is coming up with a list of functions. For each of these tasks, it’s also helpful if you can come up with guidelines and training materials. You may also want to prepare a document showing your intended outcome for each task.
- Create a specific job description. You’ll need a job description before you can start looking for candidates for the job. The description should indicate any specific or special skills required for the job. Be specific with your requirements, especially if you prefer candidates with a particular educational background or previous work experience.
- Advertise or post online. After preparing the job description, the next step is to post online and wait for applications. There are many platforms available where you can post or advertise for the job. You can hire someone locally, or choose a global remote worker.
- Schedule interviews with applicants. After receiving applications, you can proceed with shortlisting at least five applicants. Video interviews are preferable because you can gauge their communication skills better. During the interview, you can ask questions about their preferred management style as well as their values.
- Conduct a test. Before choosing a candidate, you can conduct a test for your top applicants. For example, you can ask them to complete a task. The task should be relevant to the job description so that you can gauge how well they perform in real life.
- Assess the performance of your chosen applicant during a trial period. A trial period of at least 60 days will encourage your chosen applicant to do their best. A signed agreement between you and your virtual assistant is also vital to avoid problems and discrepancies.
Hiring a virtual assistant isn’t as challenging as some assume. The tools and resources are already available so that you can select from a massive pool of talent. The most important thing to keep in mind is to ensure that you have outlined the specific job description for the assistant you wish to hire.