As a business owner, you are constantly considering ways to cut costs without the cost-saving measures adversely affecting your company’s performance.

Hiring a virtual assistant has become increasingly popular, especially since hiring virtual assistants is far less expensive than employing a full-time salaried staff member.

However, businesses rush into hiring the first virtual assistant they can find and don’t do their due diligence before hiring.

This article explains the essential steps you need to take to ensure you get the most out of a virtual assistant.

Let’s take an in-depth look at things you must consider before you hire virtual assistants in 2023.

Prioritise Admin Tasks To Outsource

You must evaluate which administrative tasks you want to outsource and prioritise them by importance.

Many businesses hire a general virtual assistant to perform basic tasks like making and answering phone calls and dealing with data entry. This is fine, but they aren’t making the most of their virtual assistant.

When you fully evaluate what tasks you need your virtual assistant to perform, you can ensure you hire someone with the specialised skills to perform the functions to a high standard.

For example, finding a specialised virtual assistant to manage your social media accounts will prove invaluable as it frees your other in-house staff to get on with their roles.

Modern businesses are on multiple social media platforms; therefore, managing and performing social media marketing tasks takes considerable time, effort and skill.

Emply your virtual assistant part-time until you judge their suitability for the role. This allows more time to identify what you need to outsource.

When you hire part-time, you can quickly increase or decrease the workload as and when needed.

List Out Supporting Skills Needed

Before you look for a virtual assistant, you must identify the required skills first.

For example, a virtual assistant for a social media management role must be highly skilled in working on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

Hiring a virtual assistant with the skill and knowledge to easily navigate the murky world of social media is essential for any forward-thinking company.

Also, a virtual assistant with a sound knowledge of project management tools will prove an advantage.

However, a reliable virtual assistant will always have to possess the following skills: 

  • Great communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Perform tasks on time

The skills needed differ depending on the tasks you need them to perform. Still, if the person you hire displays excellent leadership potential, you must consider investing time and effort into making them a virtual executive assistant.

Post A Job Advertisement

When you advertise for virtual assistants, you must ensure your job posting is clear, and the job description is fair and accurate.

Having identified what tasks you want to outsource, you need to list them in an easy-to-understand format so that candidates can look at the job description and know if they are suitable for the role.

Always highlight which skills are necessary for the position you are advertising. For example, if you require the virtual assistant to have outstanding skills using project management tools, you must state this in your advert.

Also, appeal to potential candidates with experience providing administrative support to multiple clients within your industry.

When posting your job advertisement, use well-known online job platforms like LinkedIn, UpWork and Fiverr.

These websites are used by individuals looking to provide virtual assistant services and have millions worldwide users.

Qualify The Applicants

First, look for any spelling mistakes made by the applicant. If their cover application letter needs better grammar and spelling, you can immediately remove them from the process.

Do a Google search to see if you can find the applicant’s Twitter and Facebook profiles, which helps give a good indication of the type of character the candidate appears to be. 

For example, if they are bad-mouthing their former boss or saying that they were always late for appointments, then this is a red flag and shows that they would not be a responsible person for you to hire.

Also, always reach out to former employers to establish if the candidate had a good work ethic and what type of skill set they had.

It is also an advantage to get examples of previous work and always read references properly to establish if the reference is correct.

You must qualify all applicants to avoid hiring someone unsuitable for your company, despite them having loads of experience and a suitable skill set.  

Set Up An Interview Process 

You can start the interview process by narrowing the virtual assistant candidates to five people. Sometimes the number of candidates can be three, depending on the quality of applicants.

outsourcing smart virtual assistantThe interview process can be daunting for the interviewer and the candidates, so try and make the process as straightforward as possible.

For example, ensure you prepare the right questions to get thorough answers from each candidate. Do a mix of questions based on skills and experience, industry knowledge, career ambitions and general information about themselves.

During the interview, it is always an excellent idea to set each candidate a knowledge test based on your industry and a practical mock test on how fast they can input data correctly.

Many virtual assistants will say they are professional when dealing with clients. However, conducting a mock telephone or Skype interview with another staff member acting as a client will indicate their professionalism.

Once you have decided on the person you wish to hire, it is an excellent idea to ask them to do a few days of paid trial work to be sure they are the right person for the role.   

Hire And Train The Ideal Candidate 

When you hire someone to provide a virtual assistant service, it is standard practice to have a trial paid period of two to three weeks to establish if the person you hire is suitable for the role.

When you hire a virtual assistant to provide administrative support, you must provide the proper training and support to enable them to carry out specific tasks.

For example, every company has their way of doing things, be it daily tasks such as data entry or how to use your company’s network system; training must always be provided to a high standard.

Even the most ideal virtual assistant will need training on how your company deals with customer inquiries to ensure excellent communication skills are always followed.

Most virtual assistants are keen to upskill once hired because it benefits them and the company they work for; therefore, always try to identify when remote team members display genuine enthusiasm for a specific task.

Let Us Help You With The Hiring Process

Hiring a high-class virtual assistant, who can perform more than just mundane data entry tasks, comes with pitfalls.

Often business owners make the mistake of hiring the first person who applies for the role or find they don’t have enough time and resources to train their new virtual assistant adequately.

Encountering these problems is always about saving extra money and not correctly going through the proper processes.

To avoid these mishaps, call us today to find out how we can source, hire, train and manage the perfect virtual assistant for all the tasks you haven’t got time to do.