How to Find and Hire a Virtual Assistant

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How to Find and Hire a Virtual Assistant

Many business tasks are not tasks a business owner needs to handle. As you grow your business, you might find that it’s time to hire a virtual assistant (VA) so that you can focus on serving your customers. Looking to a virtual assistant service for help can benefit your bottom line by letting you prioritize growth.

Business owners no longer need to restrict themselves to choosing from candidates in their geographic areas when hiring personal assistants. You can choose to hire a virtual assistant instead. A virtual assistant could help with such tasks as:

 

Essentially, if it’s the type of task a traditional assistant might handle, a virtual assistant can handle it. The only significant difference is that a virtual assistant works remotely. This is helpful if you serve customers in multiple time zones.

A virtual assistant might charge hourly rates and work on an as-needed basis. Hiring a VA may be more economical than hiring a traditional part-time or full-time assistant.

These are just a few ways hiring remote assistants can serve a business owner’s needs and allow them to grow their businesses gradually. However, because you’re a business owner focused on your field of expertise, you may not know how or where to find and hire a virtual assistant. The following guide could help.

How to Find and Hire a Virtual Assistant: What You Need to Know

The process of finding a reliable virtual assistant doesn’t need to be overwhelming. It’s much easier to navigate when you break it down into the following steps:

Define Your Needs

Not every virtual assistant offers the same services. It’s important to know what type of virtual assistant you’re looking for when interviewing candidates. Defining your needs will save you a lot of time in the long run. Knowing your needs is also critical when you’re writing job descriptions for these workers who are new to your company.

Be aware that your needs may change and evolve as your business grows. Don’t just consider the types of tasks you may need an assistant to help you with now. Consider potential future needs and hire an assistant with relevant work experience.

Set a Budget

Small business owners often have tight budgets. However, if you only make “saving money” your goal when interviewing candidates, you might be inclined to hire the candidate who charges the lowest rates. They may not be the candidate who is best qualified to serve you.

Set a budget before finding a virtual assistant. Knowing exactly how much you can afford to pay can help you strike the right balance between staying within your budget and hiring someone qualified for your project.

Come Up with Interview Questions

The specific nature of your business and work may influence the questions you ask as you find a virtual assistant. However, the following questions are appropriate to ask any VA candidate during an interview include:

  • What skills and experience do you have that make you a good fit for this project?
  • What are your rates?
  • What time zone are you in?
  • Can you provide reviews or testimonials from past clients?
  • How will I stay in touch with you?
  • Do you use any special tools or technology?
  • Do you have any certifications or degrees I should be aware of?
  • Are there any common virtual assistant services you do not offer?
  • What type of work do you find most appealing?
  • Do you have any experience managing employees?
  • What languages are you proficient in?

 

Remember that a virtual assistant job is very similar to a personal assistant job. If you remind yourself you’re essentially hiring a traditional assistant, with the added bonus that they work remotely, coming up with interview questions may be easier. All you have to do is consider what you’d want to know about any assistant you’re thinking about hiring.

Know What Tools You Need

a business owner on a computer who is searching for the right virtual assistant to hireA virtual assistant may need access to certain tools and resources to perform all the tasks you have for them. It’s possible they’ll provide at least some of these tools themselves. Those they can’t provide, you’ll need to buy. It’s important that you know what tools you’ll need to obtain so that your virtual assistant can hit the ground running.

Write a Job Description

Business owners may overthink writing job descriptions. On the one hand, you want to provide enough detail to ensure candidates who apply are qualified to serve you in the way you need them to. On the other hand, you may worry that providing too much detail can alienate and drive some candidates away.

Reviewing real-world job descriptions for VAs can help you better understand how to write one yourself. All you have to do is head to a platform like Indeed and search for virtual assistant jobs. Reading how others describe these positions may help you identify the qualities the best job listings share and recognize tasks you’d like your VA to perform that you hadn’t thought of.

Find a Virtual Assistant

You may officially begin searching for candidates once you’ve completed the above steps. You might start your search by posting your job description on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

However, you can also work with a virtual assistant service or agency. Hiring a virtual assistant through an agency instead of trying to find and hire a virtual assistant yourself offers many benefits. They include:

  • Saving time, as the agency will already have a list of candidates from which to choose
  • Getting the peace of mind that comes from knowing someone else has vetted your candidates
  • Being able to research an agency to learn what past clients have to say about their services
  • Coordinating with professionals who specialize in helping business owners like yourself find virtual assistants

 

At PEAK Outsourcing, we believe our virtual assistants can play critical roles in our clients’ success. We help by facilitating a connection based on the information we gather about a client’s brand and goals. Find out more about how we can do the same for you by contacting us online today or calling us at 1-866-861-1731 to discuss your project.

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Patrick Freking
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Patrick Freking

Owner

Pat has built a long and varied career across multiple areas. He graduated with a BS in Finance from Arizona State University and got his start in the business world as a healthcare consultant for some of the largest hospitals in the world, including St. Luke’s Episcopal in Houston, TX and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Pat then ventured into the banking industry, gaining vast knowledge of all facets of commercial and retail lending. Following this, Pat built on his depth of sales skills and worked as an enterprise representative, selling Oracle applications and software implementations to Fortune 500 companies, as well as he had the opportunity to represent an accounting firm focused on the implementation of Sarbanes Oxley regulations.

In 2004, Pat started his own real estate development and management company. Over the years he developed and managed multiple commercial properties throughout Arizona and Texas. It was then that Pat sought out the resources of third party outsourcers for many support functions of his business and grew to understand how important these operations were to the success of his own company.

Pat believes the key to his success has been choosing to build his businesses with strong partners. “The one thing I am certain of is that businesses are only as solid as the teams that build them. You have to trust and genuinely believe in the people you put in front of your customers. It’s my commitment that Peak’s partnership with your business will be one you can depend on”.