You probably struggle to find time each day to complete all of the tasks on your to-do list as a business owner. If you wish you had someone to take care of all the little details so you could focus on building your business, you should consider hiring a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant is a salaried or freelance office assistant who works in an administrative capacity from a distance. They might be everywhere and work for you full-time or for multiple other leaders throughout any given week.
What makes a good virtual assistant?
Flexibility and the capacity to adjust to changing work situations are essential qualities for good VAs. When an issue arises, they should be able to discover a solution and devise a strategy. When you understand your customers’ demands, respect them, and provide suitable services, you earn their trust.
In three simple steps, you can find the ideal virtual assistant.
Make sure you understand the role description.
The trick is to be extremely specific about the duties you want them to complete on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and write them down. Be honest with yourself about your expectations in this situation. Many business owners are looking for the ideal applicant. You need someone that is computer knowledgeable while also being creative. Someone who is good at following orders yet doesn’t require them. That’s why it’s critical to set down what chores you’ll be responsible for each week. Taking the extra step can help you distinguish between what is required and what you imagine an “ideal” employee to be.
Here’s an example of some of the components in a recent work description for a marketing virtual assistant:
- Using the program we’ve chosen to send e-letters.
- Putting together a content calendar.
- Processes for posting to syndicate sites.
- Management of social media.
Get a Good Idea of What an ‘Ideal Candidate’ Is.
After you’ve figured out what your candidate will be doing on a daily basis, you’ll need to figure out who your ideal candidate is.
For the marketing virtual assistant job, we employed the following. The first few items are absolute must-haves, while the rest are merely nice-to-haves.
A word of warning here, as I’ve seen it happen time and time again with clients and company leaders: don’t hire someone because you like them. The virtual assistant might be a pleasant, well-organized, and well-spoken individual. But, at the end of the day, you shouldn’t hire them if they don’t have your must-haves.
- Strong communicator, particularly when it comes to writing. When writing, you must be fluent and clear in English.
- Process-oriented, skilled at utilizing and refining systems, and capable of learning to build systems over time.
- Possesses initiative. They’re fine with uncertainty and finding things out on their own. You must be meticulous in your work.
- Long-term compatibility.
- I’m looking for a job that will provide me 30-40 hours a week.
- Has a growth attitude and learns quickly.
Make a list of 3-5 test projects.
Give each applicant 3-5 test projects to complete in a set amount of time, with the identical duties for all of them, and offer to pay their hourly rate for the time spent on those projects.
We assigned the following responsibilities to the top five candidates for the marketing role in question:
- Figure out how to list and publish a course on Udemy or Coursera, then write up the steps in a Word document, replete with screenshots.
- Using a collection of keywords, rewrite an existing piece of material for SEO objectives.
- Create five social media postings to promote a forthcoming webinar on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Please use Canva or Photoshop to make comparable visuals.
- Change the picture, call to action, and subject line in an e-letter template.
- For an e-letter campaign, write a summary paragraph for one of our YouTube videos.
The test project results will not only show you if the virtual assistant can perform the things they stated they could in their CV, but they will also provide you with valuable insight into how they process information and function independently.
One of the test projects you set forth may require extra information or specifics from one of the candidates. While this does not automatically rule them out of the running for the position, it is something to think about as you evaluate your own workflow and leadership style. Are you a hands-on leader that loves to monitor and follow up on your employees? Or do you like to hand over a project to someone and let them run with it? If you fall into the latter category, the individual who required a lot of explanation may not be a suitable match for you.
A good virtual assistant may save you hours every day, allowing you to focus on your business’s growth and expansion. You can locate the ideal individual to complement your leadership style and needs with a little effort and the procedures outlined above.
What should I ask a virtual assistant?
- What areas of expertise do you have?
- How did you get started as a virtual assistant?
- Have you been a virtual assistant for a long time?
- Which tools do you prefer to use?
- Do you have any security measures in place?
- What are your working hours?
- Can you tell when you’ll be available?
- What is your preferred method of communication?