If you’re considering hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA), how do you choose the best Virtual Assistant for you? After all, there are a multitude of VAs out there, offering an increasingly wide range of skills and expertise.
To attract the right candidates to you, it’s important that you put together a well thought out job description, that is specific to your role. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting far more time than you need to.
Without giving your job description careful consideration, you may receive applications from some highly skilled VAs but if you’re not specific about the skills and expertise you require, the chances are you’ll attract people who are just simply not right for your business.
In this blog, based on our experience, we discuss some of the key steps you should not ignore when creating a job description, to help you choose the best Virtual Assistant for your business.
The First Step
The first step is to list out the various duties and responsibilities your Virtual Assistant will be taking on. Don’t restrict yourself for the moment, simply list out everything you would like your VA to handle, in an ideal world.
Don’t forget to include the tasks you like to do but could delegate later. Also, think about your longer-term goals and what tasks you may want to delegate as your business grows.
What skills do you think you may need in the future?
Create Your Job Description
Create a job description that details the skills required for your immediate tasks. But if there are tasks you know you will want to hand over at some point in the future, it’s worth including these skills if they aren’t already covered.
Do give some serious thought about the tasks you may want your Virtual Assistant to handle in say, 12 months’ time. If you can hire someone now with the required skills, it can save you having to go through this process again in a years’ time.
How Many Hours?
It’s also important to include a rough idea of how many hours you want your Virtual Assistant to work for you each week. Or to look at it another way, what is your budget? How many hours does your budget allow for?
Stating an approximate number of hours required gives any VA applying for the role an idea of the time commitment you’re asking for. If they have several other clients, they want to ensure they have the capacity to give you the quality time you deserve.
This also sets some boundaries in your VAs mind. Otherwise, they could simply keep working on everything and your invoice at the end of the month will be much higher than you budgeted for. And that’s not good for either you or your Virtual Assistant in the long run.
Do They Follow Instruction?
When you’ve written your job description, be very specific in how you want Virtual Assistants to apply for the role.
For example, you might post the role on social media, but request they apply via email, giving brief details about their experience. What you’re looking for is, do they follow instructions? If they direct message you instead, it might be a red flag that they don’t!
‘Meeting’ Your Shortlist
Just to be clear, when we say ‘meeting’, we mean an online meeting (e.g. Zoom, Teams etc.), and not a face-to-face meeting. The role is for a Virtual Assistant after all!
We also prefer to call it a conversation, and not an interview. That takes all the pressure off, allowing for an open and honest discussion to identify who is right for your business and, just as importantly, for the VA to work out if you are right for them!
When you start attracting some candidates, talk to at least three Virtual Assistants, if possible. You’ll be working with your VA on a one-to-one basis and so it’s important you give yourself every opportunity to hire a Virtual Assistant who you can build a strong working relationship with.
Of course, during your conversation you will discuss their skills, expertise, and experience. But to identify how suitable they are for your specific role, and business, you want to go a little deeper than that. Our blog ‘Questions to Ask a Virtual Assistant’ covers a few ‘not-so-common’ questions that could help identify their suitability.
Software and Systems
While most Virtual Assistants will be familiar with much of the software that is used, discuss with them the systems you use. If they are not familiar with something, that shouldn’t be a problem, Virtual Assistants are generally very adaptable. But if they can demonstrate they are willing to learn new things, that’s an indication they have the ‘can-do’ attitude you are looking for.
A Final Thought...
As already mentioned, working with a Virtual Assistant is all about personality and attitude. The Virtual Assistants you meet are all likely to be perfectly qualified to do the job but building a strong 1:1 working relationship will determine the impact your VA has on your business.
Interestingly, although communication has always been an important business skill, research has found that teamwork skills are even more highly regarded these days. This is perhaps not surprising when you consider the growth in remote working.
So, during your meetings with prospective Virtual Assistants, take a little time to also get to know a bit about them outside of work, their family and other interests. You want to give yourself every chance you choose the best Virtual Assistant for you, who has the personality that fits in with you and the culture of your business.