You’ve been praying each day to have not just 24 hours but 48 hours (or more) because of the huge amount of tasks piling up.
Of course, we’re putting that wish on the impossible list.
What’s the next best thing to having a few additional hours each day?
Having someone who will use their hours to do what needs to be done.
That’s what a virtual assistant can do for you.
But as with any other job, hiring the right person is the secret. Some do a good job. But some do an AMAZING job!
Your mission – is to hire that amazing person who can lift that huge load off your shoulders.
Here’s how to find virtual assistant candidates — the best ones, at least — for the job.
Tip #1: Think about tasks you need them to do
Don’t get overexcited now.
Some business owners jump into the hiring process without thinking much about why they need a virtual assistant.
The truth is, the road to hiring the best virtual assistant starts with you understanding your own needs first. And when we talk about your needs, it involves the tasks that allow your business to operate and grow.
Take a seat and start making that long list. Group them under these three categories – tasks you don’t want to do, tasks you have no skills for, and tasks you have no time for.
Tasks you don’t want to do
Especially if you’re a startup, there is probably a long list of tasks you don’t want to do but have to do.
For sure, these include repetitive back office work like entering data into a database or fixing your files into organized folders.
Tasks like these are essential in every business, and the bad news is these are tasks that easily pile up.
A virtual assistant can be your silver lining in this case. There are VAs who would be more than happy to work on tasks like these for you.
Tasks you have no skills for
A number of tasks are also required for any business to thrive, but you may not be well-versed in them.
Web development is a good example. You may be a stellar entrepreneur, but if you plan on selling your products through your eCommerce site and not just on Amazon or eBay, not having any technical training can be a huge problem.
The same thing can be said for other tasks that require creativity, like graphic design or content writing.
You may know how to use Illustrator or WordPress. But if you do not have a creative mind, the quality of your output may end up hurting your own business.
It’s a good thing there are a number of virtual assistants with all the technical and creative skills you don’t have.
Tasks you have no time for
And then, there are tasks you may enjoy or are okay with doing but do not have the time for.
For example, social media can be considered an essential marketing tool. But if you’re the only one taking care of manufacturing, selling, and overall operations, do you really think you’ll still have time for marketing?
Whether you know how to deal with these tasks or not, the fact that they are necessary for business growth means that you’ll have to get a virtual assistant who can deal with them.
Task list for virtual assistants
Unsure about where to start? Here’s a list of virtual assistant services or possible tasks you could pass on to a virtual assistant:
- App development
- Appointment scheduling
- Audio and video editing
- Content creation
- Competitor research
- Customer service (emails, calls, chat)
- Data entry
- Database building
- Editing and proofreading
- Email management
- Email marketing
- Event management
- File organization
- General research
- Graphic design
- Keyword research
- Preparation and creation of presentations
- Project management
- Reports creation
- Site analysis
- Social media management
- Training of remote staff
- Transcription of audio and video files
- Travel planning
- Web development
As long as this list is, this does not even reach half of the tasks a virtual assistant can do for you.
Do you want to see more tasks you can pass on to your virtual assistant? Here’s a list of 101 things virtual assistants can do for you!
Tip #2: Know who your ideal virtual assistant is
Now that you’ve created a list of tasks that you want a virtual assistant to take care of, the next step would be to figure out what kind of virtual assistant would best serve your needs.
As early as now, I’m telling you that knowing how to find virtual assistant candidates correctly means letting go of the myth that all you need is a single super VA.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING.
Virtual assistants have their specializations. Hiring someone who specializes in a specific set of tasks ensures better quality in terms of output and results.
Besides, even if you find that unicorn who can do everything, you’re only setting your VA up for failure. This person would get burnt out easily, regardless if you’re offering a whole wad of cash for their troubles.
The key here is grouping the tasks you want to assign to your VA according to their specific fields. From there, you’ll understand what kind of virtual assistant you need (and whether you need more than just one).
Kinds of virtual assistants
There are different kinds of virtual assistants based on the kind of work that they do.
Generally, virtual assistants are categorized into the following:
- Administrative or general VA
- Bookkeeping VA
- Content manager or content creator
- Customer service or technical support VA
- Ecommerce VA
- Real estate VA
- Sales VA
- SEO specialist or SEO manager
- Social media manager
Remote workers with specialized technical skills use their titles, like graphic designers and web developers.
Note that in some cases, the roles of some of these virtual assistants may overlap. In this case, it’s important to figure out whether you really need two different people or just one.
One great example would be someone who writes content but also has a vast background in SEO. If your content demands are not that tough, then you can get this person to do content management and SEO for you. Of course, you should pay this genius a bigger salary than your usual SEO manager or content writer.
However, if you expect this person to submit a number of articles per day, it would be impossible to have the same person do keyword research and optimize their own content simultaneously. In this case, it would be better to hire two people who can collaborate to get better results.
Negotiables and non-negotiables
In figuring out who your ideal virtual assistant is, it is important to have a list of negotiables and non-negotiables. This will put you in a better position to screen potential candidates and choose the best among them.
Your negotiables are skills, traits, and other factors that candidates may or may not have. You could say, for example, that having a typing speed of 60wpm would be a huge advantage, but people who do not type as fast are still encouraged to apply.
Your non-negotiables, on the other hand, are things that applicants SHOULD have. If someone applies for the job but does not have one of your non-negotiable conditions, then this person is disqualified, no questions asked. It wouldn’t matter how vast this person’s experience is in the field.
How do you decide what’s negotiable or not?
Well, there’s one thing you can ask yourself to figure out. Does this skill impact this person’s ability to deliver the expected results?
Here’s a simple example. You’re hiring a graphic designer, which means that knowledge of tools like Illustrator or Photoshop is non-negotiable.
Here’s one important reminder – don’t let your personal preferences and biases get in the way of business.
It’s understandable if you want someone with a certain degree, for example. But if a person has 10 years of experience in the field, has stellar achievements, and knows every tool to be used, would you discount this person as a candidate just because he or she does not have a university degree?
Tip #3: Ask your current employees
Let’s say you already have a couple of other employees. Use this to your advantage.
Employees have an insider look at what goes on inside your business. This means they would likely have as much insight into your needs.
In fact, sometimes, they may have more insights than you do.
Your current employees may see tasks that are redundant to them. When you ask them about tasks like these, you could actually take a few tasks off your list of responsibilities that you want to pass on to your virtual assistant.
Some of your employees may also feel that they have to-dos on their list that hinder them from doing the job you hired them for. This could be an opportunity for you to see a need for a specific virtual assistant that you may not have seen before.
Now, we hear, you don’t you worry. You may say that your current employees are multitasking because you just can’t afford to hire a whole bunch of people and because they’re more than happy to help a growing business.
But here’s the thing.
When a person multitasks too much, the quality of their work also suffers.
Also, you may be confident in thinking that your employees are happy with the work piling up on their desks. But sometimes, they may not be as honest about this as you think.
So if you really want to know what tasks you need to outsource and what kind of virtual assistant you need, ask the people who know the business as much as you do.
Tip #4: Create a clear job ad
You know your requirements and who your ideal virtual assistant is. Now, it’s time to translate all that into a job ad.
Your job ad could make or break your hunt for your business’s best virtual assistant. So make sure you do this right.
Your job description is critical not just because it describes what you need but it also helps you weed out candidates who do not fit the profile.
Here are the most important parts of a job description that will reel the right people in:
Your job title should be specific. Don’t just say “virtual assistant.” Say “general administrative VA,” “content writer,” or “bookkeeper.”
Remember that there are so many types of virtual assistants out there. When you use a general job title, you’ll waste your time browsing through applications from people who do not have the right skills for the job.
Also, make sure you think about keywords that job hunters would probably look for.
Your summary must catch the right person’s attention instantly.
You can start by describing your company and its values or why it’s advantageous to work with you.
Give a brief description of the job, but keep it short and sweet. You’ll have plenty of space to get into detail later.
Duties and responsibilities
You describe the tasks the virtual assistant would be responsible for in detail but concisely. As much as possible, make this a bulleted list so it would be easier to scan.
If tasks to be assigned to this person are out of the norm, then make sure you add that.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re looking for a virtual administrative assistant. But because you just don’t have the budget for a social media manager just yet, let’s say you also want this person to post regularly on your social media profile with the content coming from you. Make sure you add a bullet point that explains this.
It will also help to give an overview of the person’s day-to-day activities. This would allow candidates to see if they can cope with your expectations.
Skills and qualifications
This is where you include your non-negotiables.
List down tools that you require your virtual assistant to use. In cases where you would only consider it a plus if specific tools are to be used but you’re also open to whatever system the candidate is used to, then mention that as well.
Other essentials to include in your ad
Maximize your job ad by adding other essential things you think candidates should know.
If you require them to work at specific hours, for example, that’s something you should mention.
It would be best to list the benefits you are willing to provide. For example, you could say how many paid leaves they can have in a year. You can also mention if you’ll be providing performance bonuses and the like.
Some employers like mentioning traits they will not tolerate. You can say, for example, that you do not like people who do not respond to emails. Don’t worry, and this will not be seen as unprofessional. It’s best to set the right boundaries before hiring someone.
Another thing you should include would be the salary (and whether or not this is negotiable).
Some employers also add additional instructions on the job ad to test the ability to follow directions. You can do the same thing if you want.
You can, for example, leave instructions on what subject line to use in sending you an email about the post. You can also ask them to start their email with a certain phrase or add a particular word so that you’ll know that they read the details of your ad thoroughly.
Tip #5: Sell your brand
A lot of employers forget about this small detail. But if you want the best to work for you, you have to give them a good reason to apply.
This is why selling your business to potential employees is just as important as selling your products to the right people.
You already mentioned a few essential details about the business during the summary part. Make the most out of this space.
Mention if this is a reasonably new business and talk about how much growth you’re anticipating. You have to sell the notion that this is a job that will open up great opportunities down the road (unless you’re only looking for temps).
If your business has won awards or achieved something great in the industry, that’s worth mentioning.
If you believe that the virtual assistant you’re hiring can greatly contribute to your growth, you might as well invest in making your business a great place to work in.
Tip #6: Look for virtual assistants in the right places
If you’re looking for designer clothing, don’t go to the thrift shop. You go straight to the high-end shopping centers.
The same logic can be applied to your virtual assistant hunt.
There are a lot of job sites online, but it would be tough to look for remote workers and virtual assistants in the same places where office-based people are looking for jobs. There are sites specifically for virtual assistants – that’s where you should start.
Here are some VA agencies to look at:
Some best freelancing platforms to hire a Filipino virtual assistant are:
You can visit these places and gauge where to start your journey.
Ways to find virtual assistants on these sites
There are two ways to find virtual assistants on the sites listed above. You can browse the profiles that come up after a search or post a job ad and wait for people to send their applications.
In searching profiles, make sure you use the right keywords. Vary your keywords as well so you can ensure you don’t miss anyone.
For example, instead of just looking for a “content writer,” try the keywords “writer” or “blogger” as well. Instead of just saying eCommerce assistant, you can try “Amazon lister” or “eBay expert.”
As for posting a job ad, you’ve got all the tips above. Again, make sure you maximize the space provided.
Things to consider
How do you decide which virtual assistant site or service to use?
The cost would be one thing that should dictate your decision.
Although most sites allow you to use their services for free, this usually comes with a few limitations. Most of the time, having unlimited access to candidate profiles and having a number of chances to post different ads come with a price.
Make sure you compare every package, especially if you plan on posting a few job ads and not just one. It’s also advisable to maximize your subscription. Make sure you have unrestricted access to candidate profiles, as this would allow you to make sure you don’t miss out on hiring the best.
When it comes to cost, it’s better to prepare for how much you’re going to pay your virtual assistant instead. Here’s a complete guide on how that’s done.
Convenience is another important consideration.
Look at how their system works. Is it too complicated? How easy is it to use the dashboard? Is the site easy to navigate without supervision?
It’s also important to understand how many hoops you’d have to go through to hire someone from the platform. It’s understandable for some of these sites to have extra requirements to ensure that you’re someone who would pay a virtual assistant as promised. They will also need to check if your business is legitimate.
However, if you’d have to go through a highly complicated process just to complete that step, then it could be a total waste of energy.
Security would also be an important factor.
How much information are they asking for? How will they be using the information submitted?
As much as possible, don’t trust your virtual assistant with highly sensitive stuff like credit card details. Remember that it’s not about how likable a person is — a lot of scammers are likable at first, believe me. It’s about how well you protect yourself so that you do not become easy prey for dirty tactics.
This is a decision that could change the pace by which your business grows. That’s why it’s important that you get started the right way.
If you want to make sure that you hire the right person for the job, we recommend using the services of eVirtualAssistants.
eVirtualAssistants ensures that you get the best virtual assistant that matches your needs. Your security is also a top priority. Because the team wants the best for both businesses and remote workers, the system ensures that you get the kind of service that you pay for.
Excited to hire a virtual assistant for your business? Click here to get started.