Finding a virtual assistant that’s a good fit for your business is not as hard as you might think.
One thing you want to do is avoid huge VA companies that pay their VAs pennies while taking dollars from you. Instead, find an independent virtual assistant who either works alone or has a team who works under them. If you can find someone in your own country, or who speaks your language, that’s much better.
To find the right VA for your business, do the following:
List the Tasks
It’s important to make a list of all the tasks that you need the virtual assistant to do. The VA you hire will need to know what’s involved, and you can’t hire someone until you can make a list of all the things you need them to do. What do you spend time on that would be better spent elsewhere? You may discover you need more than one VA if your list comprises a lot of different business areas, or consider hiring an Online Business Manager that will make sure specialists are involved in every aspect of running your business. This is often the best way to go because it saves you time on finding the best candidates, and money because you don’t have to pay for traditional employee benefits and expenses.
Write a Request for Proposal
Using the task list, write a request for proposal (RFP). An RFP lists all the things you want the VA to do, as well as the compensation range and other expectations you will have of the VA. Remember not to expect too much in different business areas of your VA; most VAs specialize in one or two areas. This is yet another reason why hiring an online business manager can be to your advantage.
Post on LinkedIn
Post your list and job description on LinkedIn, and set a budget. Sign up for a paid account and check their references, check their work history, and do not pick the lowest bid. You can even restrict bidding by country. Consider times zones, language barriers, and look for someone who is willing to learn. Don’t rule someone out just because they don’t have a degree or aren’t certified, look at their posts, causes, and background. You want to look for someone who will fit with the mission and ideals of your company culture. This often proves to be more important than someone who has an impressive resume. Peter Schutz, the former CEO of Porsche said, “Hire character, train skill”.
The International Virtual Assistants Association is a great place to pay to post your completed request for proposal. They have high quality paying members who are serious about building their VA business. iAssist Virtually is a member and the other members are quite involved in learning, best practices, and the highest level of service. You’ll likely get some very good bids from proactive virtual assistants if you post your RFP there.
Your Groups and Organizations
If you are part of any group or organization, you can post your needs for a VA there. They will likely have plenty of recommendations and even recommend their own VA for you. A word of mouth referral is sometimes the best way to find a new VA.
You can post your RFP on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. You’ll get applicants as well as recommendations from others about who to hire. Often, this will work out well because virtual assistants who are already following you, and likely, know a lot about your company, will be the first to apply. Tag your posts with #virtualassistant, #hiring, #va, etc. and ask other companies in your industry to share. One of our favorite Facebook groups for finding virtual assistant is The Virtual Assistant Tribe Job Board.
Colleagues and Contacts
Send notifications to your circle of influence, mentioning what you need to achieve and that you want to hire a VA. They’ll then recommend people to you, or send out the notice to their circle too.
If you’re careful, know what you want and stay proactive with your VA, you’ll end up having a great experience, improve your business, and make more money. If you’d like to talk more about what a VA can do for your business, contact us with your needs!