10 Tips to Make Hiring a VA Easier
Hiring a virtual assistant can be a daunting task for a business owner, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for several years. To take a little pressure off of and create a positive relationship with your new assistant, keep these tips in mind.
Know What You’re Looking For
Like other professions, a virtual assistant may specialize. Not all virtual assistants do the same tasks, or even all of the tasks a business owner might need. For example, some handle social media; some focus on content creation and publishing. Other virtual assistants handle tasks like scheduling, billing, and administrative tasks. There’s also they chance that a VA can do a mix of the different activities mentioned above. If you know what you want this team member to do, and have a clear plan and process established this will help you find the right fit.
Use That Knowledge to Create a Job Description
Your job description will explain what you’re looking for and will help you (and the prospective VA) to determine a good fit. This document will explain your expectations. It is your potential assistant’s first glance at you and your business, also be sure you let a little of your personality shine too.
Make Sure You Set a Budget
Your budget will serve as a guide to weed out some of the potential applicants. It’s important to know and understand exactly what you can afford, so this new hire doesn’t cause financial issues.
Make Sure Your Potential VA Understands Your Industry and Audience
A strong assistant learns what your audience likes and what attracts them. They need to know a little about your audience and your industry to create compelling messages for social media and correspondence, if that’s part of the tasks you’re hiring for. If you’re open to teaching a new VA, then be sure you find an assistant who is eager to learn.
Expect a Little Back and Forth
Like any other employee, whether you see them daily of communicate electronically, you can’t expect a new-to-you VA to jump right in and get it all right. There’s always going to be a little bit of an adjustment period.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Bringing on a new employee, or being that new employee, are both stressful situations. Mak8e sure that your VA can reach you and communicate if they have questions, concerns or need information. If you find that you’re not getting what you need from your VA, reach out so they know what’s going on and how to fix it.
It’s easy (and common) for people to get excited about the idea of outsourcing tasks they don’t have the time, enthusiasm, of energy for. Sometimes, this leads to creation of a huge list of tasks that a business owner wants to hand off. But, you don’t want to completely overwhelm your new assistant. As they learn your processes and preferences, you’ll be able to slowly increase the workload.
Keep Time Zones in Mind
If you hire an assistant who lives in a different time zone, be aware that they may have a slightly different schedule that doesn’t match yours. If you want to keep a relaxed and happy vibe with that new VA, it helps to keep in mind that time zones can affect deadlines. Until the new assistant is fully comfortable in your business, it can help to give a bit of room in deadlines.
Have Your Systems and Back End Ready
To help your new hire hit the ground running, you’ll want to have things squared away when your VA starts. Have accounts set up for your new assistant on whatever task management software you use, create an email account for them. Change your contact page so that your readers and customers know that they’ll interact with an assistant instead of you directly, and make sure your VA has access to the tools they will need.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush through the hiring process. Your virtual assistant may become your go-to person and if that’s your aim, you want that individual to be the right one. You may feel a sense of urgency, but it’s important to do your due diligence. Make sure that your new employee meshes well with your personality, your work style, and what you need for your business. The first person you interview rarely turns out to be the absolute perfect person for the job.
Hiring an assistant should make you feel a bit lighter, and give you more time. If you’re stressed out about the idea of delegating tasks to someone new, you may not be entirely ready. But, if you’re excited about that prospect, with a little planning, you’ll be off on a new adventure.