Your Guide to Hiring a Virtual Assistant

The increasing shift to work-from-home jobs has left entrepreneurs with immense workloads. Unable to cope up with all tasks, many have sought to employ virtual assistants (VAs). However, employing an online assistant to take care of your everyday work affairs is a daunting situation.

A series of questions come up. For instance, how does one find someone credible, experienced and well-versed in a specialized industry?

It’s normal to have doubts and be indecisive during the hunt for a perfect VA. But there’s no need to worry. We will break down each step of finding and employing a VA, so follow along!

Be Realistic

When you hire a virtual assistant, you can’t assume that all your entrepreneurial problems will vanish. However, VAs may ease your workload through better organisation and delegation. 

For instance, they may aid in reducing mental burn-out. Sadly, a significant percentage of business owners believe that they must complete each task themselves. Hence, they spend most of the days working on their business. This directed attention may work initially but eventually leads to burnout: exhaustion, minimal focus and terrible work-life balance. 

Instead, the smarter option that business owners can opt for is outsourcing certain tasks to VAs and overseeing the process. After all, one cannot design product portfolios, answer inbound calls and pitch sales all at once. 

Types of Virtual Assistants Available

The first practical step is deciding which type of a VA you need: general or specialized.

General virtual assistants tackle everyday tasks that are important for any business’ operations but not aimed at expanding them. The tasks they handle are usually easy and are repetitions: emailing, entering data, updating calendars, and scheduling content.  Simply put, their job entails being a helping hand that takes care of low-level, tedious tasks.

Specialized virtual assistants, contrarily, are skilled according to the needs of specific industries. For instance, a virtual e-commerce assistant knows their way around product listing, sourcing and hunting. Similarly, a virtual legal assistant is specifically trained to find relevant statutes, interpret them and create case briefings. Such VAs usually charge a significantly higher amount than their general counterparts. This price difference is because they know the ins and outs of their specific industry.

Searching for Virtual Assistants

It’s always better to employ long-term workers rather than freelancers for VA roles. This is because freelancers work project to project and not permanently. Plus, they cater to multiple clients at once, so they do not concentrate their efforts exclusively.

So, you must follow specific steps to employ a worker in your business. Firstly, jot down any tasks you are looking to outsource. Highlight these tasks into a concise yet direct job description. It should include criteria regarding minimum age or qualifications. Finally, post the description on online platforms like QuickMonday, Guru and Handy.

Go through any applications that potential VAs submit and shortlist those you plan on interviewing. Gauge which candidate has the best value against the salary you are offering and employ them! Of course, you could employ the VA on probation before presenting any long-term contract to prevent any mishaps.

Bottom Line

Hiring VAs increases efficiency within any business’ everyday affairs. However, an employer’s role does not end at hiring. You must schedule weekly check-ins, ask for monthly reports and feedback. But most importantly, make sure that you do not micromanage the VA! Instead, communicate your expectations clearly and evaluate them against those to diminish any future need for micromanagement.

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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