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What To Look For When Hiring a VA

  1. It’s becoming much more common to hire VA’s to outsource tasks or “departments” of your business, but there’s more to it than just hiring the first VA you come across!

Virtual Assistants, or VA’s, come in all shapes and sizes, and their services vary just as much. Depending on your industry, its uniqueness will determine the type of VA that you need. Or perhaps, going to an agency as a one-stop shop is your best bet if you have a wide variety of tasks you want to offload.

Generally, VA’s will list their services on their website or suggest you contact them to see if they’re willing to take on additional tasks that aren’t listed. But much more importantly, you need to have the RIGHT connection with your VA, as you want to enjoy working with them and have that space for trust to grow, which just makes it easier to delegate to them!

Here are a few things you should consider when looking to hire a VA:

  1. Are you actually ready for one?
    1. You need to have this conversation with yourself first to determine if you’re ready to spend the time properly communicating with them and helping them learn your unique business.
    2. You also need to be prepared to trust them and delegate tasks to them, without micromanaging them.
  2. Decide What You’re Wanting to Outsource
    1. Knowing from the start everything that you’re wanting to outsource will help you find the best VA for your business! Start by taking some time and listing out all the tasks you find better suited to someone else. You’ll be surprised at how long this list will be!
    2. Myth: Not all VA’s provide Social Media services! Most commonly, it is assumed “we all do that” – FALSE! If part of what you’re wanting relates to social media, make sure you find someone who excels at this and who ENJOYS it !
  3. Do you have systems in place?
    1. It may be worthwhile writing out some high-level instructions on the tasks that you’re wanting to be done, or even creating a How-To video (we like to use Loom!) to get them started.
  4. Set Your Budget
    1. In our VA world, budgets are crucial. We need and rely on them for our business just as much as those who are hiring us. That is why knowing what your VA budget is before hiring one is so important. Whether you have a monthly maximum or it varies week-by-week, knowing your limits from the start is best.
  5. Establish Your Communication Needs / Styles
    1. If you’re wanting constant communication and availability, make sure that’s communicated before you hire someone, as not all VA’s provide that style of service. You may want to try communicating via Slack or email, with a meeting or two throughout the week as they’re getting started to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  6. Performance Tracking
    1. A major quality of a great VA is someone who will take those annoying day-to-day tasks off your plate. “They should know how to prioritize different jobs and multitask without missing the deadline. They should also value your time and ensure you have an agreement on the timelines.
    2. Using time trackers, such as Toggl, is a great way to evaluate how their time is being spent on various tasks and where there is room for efficiency improvement. At first, scheduling a brief check-in meeting once or twice per week may be necessary, but that should reduce to once every week or two once the foundation has been laid.
    3. If you’re not 100% sold on a particular VA, purchase a certain amount of hours (generally there are hourly packages available) and use those as a test run before jumping in on a monthly contract. And if you still aren’t sold – there are PLENTY more out there to choose from!

Lastly, be willing to work with them. Yes, you are hiring them to do a job, but the quality of work that is produced when you enjoy the people you work with is SO much better. Plus, they’ll be able to keep you more organized and updated if you allow them to implement some of their systems and procedures in a project management tool, such as Asana.

If you know you’re ready to outsource certain tasks, but are unsure of where to start, you can always reach out to us for some suggestions!

Photo: Alex Green

 

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