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How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Featured copy

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time


Have you ever been overloaded with work and wished you had more hours in a day?

At times, the amount of workload at your disposal might be overwhelming especially when some daily tasks take a lot of your time. The best solution is to hire a virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - What Is A Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant, commonly referred to as a VA, is a self-employed online worker who provides clients with administrative, professional and technical assistance from home. A VA is basically a secretary working from home.

VA’s performs the same work as a personal assistant but the difference is that they do all their tasks online and their physical presence is not necessary.

Some VAs specialize in specific areas  while others can do multiple tasks from the same industry, for example, a marketing VA can do different tasks but with clients from the marketing industry.

Tasks that can be delegated to a virtual assistant include basic duties like answering and directing phone calls, managing social media accounts, taking down minutes in meetings, placing orders for new supplies, follow up with clients and customers among other duties. The following information will give you tips on how to hire the best VA.

What do I Consider when Hiring a Virtual Assistant?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Qualities of a VA

Hiring a virtual assistant is not so demanding and you do not need spend a lot of resources on recruitment and conducting interviews. On the other hand, you can also not pick a VA randomly.

Several factors should be considered when hiring a virtual assistant. The most preferred candidate should have a college degree particularly in the secretarial field and some years of experience. They should be computer literate and be conversant with basic computer packages including Microsoft Word and Excel.

Other qualities to look for when hiring a VA include:

  • High typing speed. A VA should have a relatively high typing speed since most businesses that hire VAs require documentations for every task they do.
  • Good time management. A good VA should be able to manage their time well, be flexible and available at any time as requested
  • Excellent communication. All communications take place through the internet; a VA should be able to communicate clearly and effectively. He or she should also be able to write clearly, with correct grammar usage. They should be able to listen and understand what the client says.
  • Can handle large volumes of work
  • Be able to research on the web
  • Should be in a position to create a good relationship with client and corporates

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Benefits

A virtual assistant will not only help in reducing your workload but will also give you more time to concentrate on the most important areas of your job thus increasing your productivity and make more profits in the long run.

Hiring a virtual assistant is affordable and reduces labor costs. You do not need to think about taxes, payrolls, workers compensation and incur other expenses on paying for an office space.

A business owner will not spend a lot of time on employee training. A VA will help you develop management practices especially if you are an entrepreneur since you need to plan, organize and delegate duties to your virtual assistant.

Places to Hire a Virtual Assistant

  1. Freelancing websites

These platforms have a large number of talented freelancers who can perform their tasks very well to get hire ratings. You can hire the best VA considering the ratings they got from previous clients. Some of the sites best sites include Upwork, Guru, Peopleperhour and Fiverr. Or save yourself the hassle and use a service like ours.

  1. Social media platforms

You can also advertise on platforms like Facebook and twitter. You will get individuals or organizations that are willing to help you on how to hire the right VA.

  1. Your network

Ask business owners, your mentors and professionals. Make them know that you need help and they might know someone who can perfectly work as a VA.

  1. Events and workshops

You are likely to get a qualified virtual assistant from events and workshops organized by companies that train and hire VAs.

Things to Note before Hiring a VA

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Things To Consider

Hiring a VA may seem difficult and can go amiss at times. As much as a virtual assistant can help streamline your business, you can’t just hire anyone from the streets. Here are the tips that will direct you on how to hire the right fit for your business.

First, understand your reason for hiring a VA. Does your business really need a virtual assistant and if so, are you able to incur the costs without making losses? You should be able to analyze the situation of your business before making the final step. Do not hire without any solid reason.

Find the right type of VA. As much as virtual assistants can multitask, hire a person who best suits your area of business. Hiring a wrong VA can be costly and they may not be able to deliver as per your expectations. A right VA on the other hand will help you save a lot of time and resources.

Follow the following steps to make sure you hire the right VA

  1. Have a clear description of your work.

Write a clear job description and details on the kind of job you are hiring the VA for. You should be as clear and precise as possible. Vague descriptions will lead to a lot of unnecessary applications.

  1. Rule out the unqualified candidates

Select the best candidates according to how they draft their cover letters and if they paid attention to details. Did they follow the instructions you gave and if you had a keyword to be included, did they use it? Consider the language they used and if there were any grammatical errors in the applications.

  1. Pick your shortlisted candidates.

These are candidates who had a clearly written application and are willing to work with your budget. They should be able to deliver your projects on time and pay attention to details.

  1. Set up an interview

The interview should be through a video call, texts or via email. If the VA is within your area zone, you can decide to have a face to face interview too. Select the candidate who answers your questions correctly and can also be able to communicate effectively. You can test them with a job and see if they can do it correctly.

How do I Manage my VA?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Manage Your VA

Clearly define your expectations. Outline to him or her type of work that should be done on a daily basis. Give them a clear, detailed job description. Do not delegate too much for them to handle.

You should also be in a position to communicate promptly, preferably on a daily basis and when they need clarifications from you.  Do not pay your VA too little. You may risk losing them and when they do their work perfectly, don’t forget to congratulate them.

Final Thoughts

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Final Thoughts

Hiring a VA may not be easy. At times, the process may be demanding but the activities reduce with time and when you get the correct fit, you will surely reap the benefits.do not expect a VA to know everything when hired. Create time and train them on the tasks to handle. Hiring the best VA will be of great importance to you as an individual and your business at large.