How to Hire the right Virtual Assistant?

According to a study, US Employees waste almost 2.9 hours at work everyday. With people claiming that often less than 60% of their work day is actually spent doing something productive.

This trend is usually common where employees and business owners handle try to juggle their core activities and other clerical tasks at the same time. Not only does the worker get exhausted and burnt out quickly, but the business literally loses out on money as the employee’s time is spent doing menial tasks.

If you are looking to save yourself some time, but don’t want to pay exorbitant sums for a secretary or an accountant, outsourcing that job to a virtual assistant might be your best course of action. But with Virtual Resource agencies being dime a dozen, how do you pick the right candidate?

The Right key needs the Right Lock

If you’re stuck trying to decide how to find the right Virtual Assistant for your business, you must first decide what specific task you would like to delegate. There are multiple different roles a virtual assistant can perform, and finding a expert in a specific field is better than hiring a jack of all trades who might not be as good as the others.

  • Hire Personal or Administrative Assistants if you are looking for someone to handle your emails, schedule meeting with clients and keep track of your appointments. A virtual assistant can also make sure your calendar and to-do list will be organized, ensuring that you keep on schedule and never forget an appointment or meeting. You can also forward all the calls you don’t want to take or don’t have time to answer to your Personal Virtual Assistant.
  • Hire Accounting and Bookkeeping Assistants if you need someone to help you with paying your taxes, maintaining balance sheets, invoicing, and monitoring accounts receivables. You can streamline different aspects of your everyday operations and run a more effective business by simply hiring a virtual assistant to help you with recordkeeping remotely.
  • Hire Data and Business Analysts to delegate the research to someone with the experience and skills, so that they can chart the best course of action for your company. The growth of your business depends on research, but doing it yourself takes time and is, most all, uninteresting. Your staff members already have a full schedule. Spend your valuable time on the larger-scale duties that will expand your firm by delegating research to your virtual assistant.
  • Hire Customer Service Specialists to build a better rapport with your existing customer base by answering their queries and solving their problems. These Virtual Assistants can really help you expand your customer base and acquire new clients for you, especially if you are a business that provides a particular service.

Now that you have decided which type of Virtual Assistant would be best suited for your needs it is time to decide how to hire the right candidate for your business.

What should you look for when Hiring a Virtual Assistant?

Whether you’re hiring a freelancer from any one of the hundreds of sites, or you decide to go with a remote hiring agency, here are some of the key points you need to keep in mind before finalizing a candidate.

  • Has Effective Communication Skills – When outsourcing any job to a foreign country, communication skills play a big factor in a business’s consideration. Not everyone speaks English, and not everyone that speaks it does so properly. When interviewing candidates make sure they are fluent in the language your business operates in, since regular communication between you and them is crucial to keep your operations running smoothly.
  • Is Experienced in the role you need – Just as we established earlier, there are a plethora of roles a Virtual Assistant can perform. However just because someone is experienced as a Virtual assistant doesn’t mean they are experienced in the domain you are looking for. My friend Timothy who fixes the air conditioning at NASA is not the ideal candidate to be sent on an excursion to the moon.
  • Has Multiple References – One of the best ways to ensure that the person you’re hiring is up to your standards is by knowing what his previous employers and colleagues think of him. A candidate who is experienced must have had at least a few places of employment. A sparkling recommendation from his previous bosses and co-workers is a great way to set your mind at ease about the quality of the talent you are hiring.
  • Understands your vision for your Business – If you are a business owner it can be pretty hard if your employees are not on board or as enthusiastic about the future of your company. If someone is working for you just for the pay check and doesn’t actually enjoy being there, they are quickly going to cast a damper on everyone’s mood. Make sure the Virtual Assistant you hire is excited to work for you and is eager to support you as you grow your business.
  • Is Capable of Working on their own – It isn’t going to do you much good if you hire a virtual assistant and then have to spend your every waking minute trying to supervise them. That defeats the entire point of hiring them and saving you time to do other important stuff. Make sure the Virtual Assistant that you hire is someone you trust is competent enough to work on their own and will be needing minimal instructions and supervision to do their job effectively.
  • Is Compatible with your Time Zone – One of the biggest drawbacks of outsourcing is not being on the same time as your remote resource. You may be going to sleep when it is just midday for them. This causes an absolute nightmare when it comes to communicating and scheduling check ins. To avoid situations like this, try to make sure that the virtual assistant you hire is capable of working in a time zone that suits the needs of you and your business.

And last, but certainly not the least, you need to make sure that the Virtual Assistant that you want to hire

  • Fits within your budget – The entire point of hiring a virtual assistant over hiring someone in house is to get someone with necessary experience and skills at a relatively lower cost. If the resource you want to hire is twice as expensive as someone in your country then there is no point in hiring them, unless you are facing a severe lack of talent in your own city or country.

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