The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
We know it is not easy to find an experienced, trustworthy, and efficient virtual assistant who is also affordable and cost-effective. But, with some extra help, you can find the right virtual assistant to fit your specific needs.
Here’s a list of the dos and don’ts of hiring a virtual assistant, a few tips to make sure you hire the right talent and manage them effectively.
Do a background check on your Virtual Assistant
- Check the work and academic history of your candidates. Also request CVs, certificates, and any other relevant information.
- Interview the virtual assistant to ensure that he or she meets your requirements and expectations. Interviews are important in the process of hiring a virtual assistant as they allow you to get to know them a little bit. You can also ask for references or letters of recommendation.
- Determine whether the VA has experience related to the job offer, for example in finance, marketing, sales, HR, accounting, project management, etc.
Stay within your budget
- Hiring an offshore VA may be a good idea to reduce costs. In general, virtual assistants in Latin America are cheaper than in other countries.
- Outsourcing VA services in Latin America can also save you the trouble of including more people on the payroll. This is because you will be hiring freelancers who work remotely.
- Agree on payment terms in advance to avoid problems or delays in payment. Also, agree on specific terms such as deadlines, the hourly rate, or the terms of the monthly plan, among others.
- Generally, VA’s with previous experience are more efficient. They do not need as much supervision and will save you time and training costs. People who have held similar positions as secretaries, assistants, or freelancers may also be a good choice.
Get help from a virtual assistant company
- A company specialized in recruiting and hiring virtual assistants, such as There Is Talent, can help you find the perfect match.
- Working with an experienced recruitment company will increase your success in hiring a VA. It will save you tons of time in the process of selection, recruitment, and interviewing of VAs and will choose the best talent for you.
- When hiring a VA company in Latin America or elsewhere, be sure to clearly state your requirements and expectations. Be specific about the type of assistant you need: Part-time virtual assistant, Full-time virtual assistant, bilingual virtual assistant, specialized virtual assistant, or general virtual assistant.
Have a backup plan
- Some virtual assistant companies offer a backup VA in case you’re not satisfied with the results.
- Also, make sure you can cancel the virtual assistant services if necessary.
- Pay attention to any signs that your VA is not working as agreed and take the necessary measures.
Keep in touch with your virtual assistant
- Have a clear communication plan and choose the medium of communication that suits you best (phone, email, IM, apps, etc.). Also agree on office hours for direct communications.
- Follow up on conversations and send details agreed by email. This will help you to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Check that your VA is actually doing what he or she is supposed to be doing. It is a good idea to ask for a weekly progress report.
- Hire a VA who is proactive, someone who is constantly asking “what else can I do for you?” and who can, to some extent, figure it out by themselves. Also, it’s a good idea to make yourself available for any questions they may have, and reply in a timely manner. However, you shouldn’t need to be their babysitter!
Don’t be a babysitter
- Hire someone professional who doesn’t need 24/7 supervision.
- If you’re always worried about what your virtual assistant is doing, you’re not getting the help you need. Your VA should be someone you can delegate your responsibilities to, not someone you need to take care of.
Don’t forget to assess their abilities
- Do not hire a VA without first evaluating their abilities. A VA company can do it for you, or you can choose to interview and evaluate them yourself.
- Do not do an interview by email, it is important that you get to know the personality of the VA and get a feel for whether they are going to be a good match for you.
- Once you hire a virtual assistant, don’t forget to track their progress.
Don’t assume with your virtual assistant
- Don’t assume your VA already understands everything. Be sure to give clear instructions as this can save you a lot of time in additional explanations.
- Be sure to give complete information. Do not assume that your VA understands all the details about you or your company. By providing all the necessary information to your VA from the beginning you will avoid delays in the performance of the delegated tasks.
- Do not assume that your VA will capture any changes you have planned. If something changes during the process, be sure to inform your virtual assistant about it.
- Do not assume that your assistant remembers everything. Many times information is lost during verbal communications. Avoid misunderstandings by following up on your conversations and try to keep a written record.
Don’t hire an inexperienced VA to do complicated tasks
- If you need specialized skills, hire someone who is trained for the task. That is, hire a specialized VA for complex tasks and hire a general virtual assistant for simple tasks.
- Hire an experienced VA with the skills required to perform specific tasks.
- Hire someone who can handle pressure and constructive feedback. The best virtual assistants are those who can use feedback to improve their performance.