Top 10 Essential Tips for Hiring a Virtual Assistant

According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers report experiencing stress at work.

We are stressed out.

Work is one of the leading causes of that stress. These days, at work, we are juggling many hats and duties.

But what if there was a way to offload some of that work and some of the stress that comes from the job? What if we told you how you could be more productive?

Have you thought about hiring a virtual assistant and having them take on some of your tasks and freeing up your time?

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is someone who works remotely and works on tasks that a secretary would usually do such as data entry, taking phone calls, making appointments, and more depending on the business.

How Can Hiring a Virtual Assistant Help You and Your Business?

According to Virtual Assistant Canada, virtual assistants can help you and can help grow your business by freeing up your time to focus on duties that “generate the most revenue.”

If you own a business, you don’t want to spend all day on administrative jobs such as answering phone calls or entering data. These tasks eat up your valuable time and sap your energy.

We think you would benefit from virtual assistant services and we’ve compiled 10 tips for hiring a virtual assistant.

1. Figure out the Tasks to Delegate

What small jobs do you feel are taking away from your time the most? There are many services a virtual assistant can do including:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Data entry
  • Making appointments
  • Answering emails
  • Research

These are the most basic tasks a virtual assistant can take on, and the list goes on depending on your business needs.

A virtual assistant can save you hours and hours of work. For example, if you own a restaurant, a virtual assistant can contact food bloggers and invite them to try and review your food. The assistant can do the work of researching food bloggers in your area, contacting them, and then forwarding any response to you.

2. Decide the Pay and Structure

How much do you want to pay for virtual assistant services? This is one of the most important decisions you will make when hiring a virtual assistant. You want the pay to be fair but you also don’t want to spend a large chunk of your budget.

You should also decide if the pay will be hourly or if you want to do a different pay structure such as per project.

3. Decide on the Hours

Do you need a virtual assistant for a certain amount of hours per week? Depending on your budget and how many jobs you need to outsource, you should have an idea of how many hours weekly or even monthly you will need the services.

You can also decide if you need virtual assistant services for only a few months or if it will be a longterm job.

4. Write Up a Good Job Description

Once you figure out the job duties and pay, you can write up a job description to post to online job databases.

The job description should include a little information about yourself or your company, the job roles, pay range, and a way to apply.

5. Search through Websites that have a Database of Contractors

Or alternatively, you can search through websites that have a database of contractors. Instead of posting a job description, you can search for specific individuals or companies that offer virtual assistant services.

6. Figure Out the Hiring Process

What does your hiring process consist of? When individuals apply for the job do you require a cover letter so you can assess their writing and how they follow instructions?

Do you prefer a phone interview or a video call interview? Do you require more than one round of interviews? How about a writing test or any other skills’ assessment test?

Some would prefer a more stringent hiring process so that they don’t hire someone and quickly have to let them go upon finding out, for example, that they have poor email writing skills.

7. Have Open Communication

Clearly communicate with your potential virtual assistant what their job duties will be, their payment details, and their schedules. Make sure communication goes both ways and that you hear what your potential employee or contractor has to say.

8. Get Everything in Writing

Have important details such as pay rate, start date, and job duties in writing or on a signed contract. That way, any confusion about the job is cleared up and if either of you has questions, you can refer to what you have in writing.

9. Set Expectations Right Away

Do you absolutely not want any calls after 10 PM? Do you expect your virtual assistant to check emails on weekends?

Set the expectations of the job and communicate, for example, that you expect availability from 9AM-5PM on weekdays. Don’t assume the person you hire is a mind reader and will know exactly what you want.

10. Evaluate and Review Performance over Time

After a few months of a virtual assistant working for you, you might want to evaluate their performance and see if their services are benefiting you and your business.

Do you feel like you’re more productive? Can you measure your numbers and metrics and are they indicating growth for your business? Or do you simply feel less stressed and happier? These can be signs that you hired the best virtual assistant and that you are benefiting.

Or do you feel like you’re wasting time directing the assistant and reviewing or sending back their work? Do you think that the person you hired is unhappy with their position?

An evaluation can help you both understand if your work arrangement is beneficial for both sides.

Reaping the Benefits of a Virtual Assistant

If you follow our tips for hiring a virtual assistant, hopefully, you will reap the rewards and you will be less stressed and more productive at work.

Want to learn more about how virtual assistants can benefit your business or have questions about hiring one? Contact us for more information.