The Exact Steps I Use to Hire My Virtual Assistants
7 min read
I’ve been pretty lucky – I’ve hired and kept my very first virtual assistant on our team for over a year now!
I’ve been told that this is rare, however, I still like to think I just have some awesome skill of picking out awesome employees because I’m just that cool 😉
Really though, I think I really lucked out and am so happy to have my employee.
I’ll keep his name unspoken, but he’s been with me long enough now that we have a good understanding of one another.
Stability like that goes a long way in being able to focus on other things other than training two months in for the second time.
I don’t know whether these techniques are actual techniques that a Fortune 500 company would use (likely not at all) or even any other small entrepreneur, in fact.
However, I can say that I did this with no other training than maybe reading some posts online and watching a Youtube video (which I’m sure I did at some point).
It’s important to note that you need to make sure that you are stepping it up as a supervisor for your employees. You will want to make sure you are acting as a strong leader to them and realize that as a leader, most problems start with you – which may be hard to hear!
If there is a misunderstanding, it’s important to analyze why and determine if the task wasn’t explained properly, or maybe they weren’t prepared.
Alright, off my soapbox now – here is my article on how to hire a virtual assistant!
1 | Choose a Virtual Assistant Company
First, I decided on a company to work with.
I personally chose Upwork when I hired my first VA, and I like it because they require a screen capturing program, which lets me verify the work being done.
They also automate payments, so I never have to worry about doing payroll for my VA each week, it’s already automated and taken care of.
It’s also super easy to send bonuses and set hours for particular projects.
Their on-site messaging system is great as well, and it’s easy to send and attach files if needed.
2 | Create Your Job Post
Then, I create the job post
My job post says these things:
- Job Title
- Introduction to our company
- Short job description
- List of job tasks to be completed
- List of technical skills needed
- What the job schedule is like
- A litmus test (have them enter in a word into their application such as, say, ‘apple pie’ at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of their application)
- What their next steps are to apply
- Questions I require them to answer such as:
- What are their current commitments?
- What hourly wage do they expect?
- Why did you leave your previous job?
- What didn’t you like about your previous job?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Explain a time that you had a difficult task in which you didn’t understand or didn’t have the right resources. How did you react? Did you get the task completed on time?
3 | Vet The Applicants
After I post the job and receive applications, I vet the applicants
I quickly eliminate those that didn’t pass the litmus test (remember, apple pie). This shows that they either didn’t read the entire job posting or failed to follow the instructions. In either case, you will save yourself a lot of headaches if you decline these applicants.
Then, I look at their answers. I have had applicants that only wanted the job for the money, and those who wanted to just be lazy (yes, really, I have had someone who mentioned that in an application)! Decline any applications that don’t jive and fit with your business based on their answers.
Lastly, I look at their spelling and overall English speaking skills. I usually am hiring for more complicated tasks that require you to look at complex spreadsheets and sort data using software. For these jobs, it’s very important that they have a good attention to detail and can easily understand the language I’m speaking.
4 | Give your VA Applicants a Test Task
Then, send a test to the applicants
Once I have narrowed down my potential employees, I contact them and thank them for applying. I then request that they do a short task for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
For example, if I were hiring a VA to source for products on Amazon, I would tell them to go to Amazon, search for a product, take and send me a screenshot of the rank, and make sure that it doesn’t have Amazon on the listing, as well as any other details I want them to follow.
The ones who did the highest quality of work within a reasonable amount of time are the ones I am happy to proceed with hiring.
5 | Complete a Live Interview For The Virtual Assistants
After I receive test results, perform a live formal interview
After receiving test results and thanking those who participated, I speak with them live via chat or via camera or phone.
Although this may depend on your own individual job circumstances, I am hiring for a long-term employee, for many reasons. I don’t care to find an employee that is only going to be with me a few months at a time.
This may be different for you depending on what job you need them to complete!
I want to be the best boss, leader, and manager as possible, and I genuinely want to know them on a personal level, because this is where your foundation will lie when growing your business. Being able to understand your employee and to speak with them on a personal level builds that relationship from the beginning. I think it’s vitally important if you are looking for someone long-term to speak with them and ask questions before you hire them – communication is key!
I want to know:
- Why they left their past job
- What did they not like about their previous job and boss?
- What are they looking for in a job?
- What do they hope to enjoy doing with this job?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
After that, I encourage them to ask me any and all questions that they have during their training process. I want them to understand that they can come to me anytime with any concerns, without fear of retribution or getting in trouble.
It is MY job to set them up for success.
6 | Hiring Your Virtual Assistant
Then, I choose my applicant!
Once I decide on my applicant, I congratulate them and welcome them to our team. I send them my welcome packet, any information they need, invite them to any Trello boards or software we currently use, and let them know their first scheduled work day and tasks to complete!
Remember to be patient with them as they first learn, and to be clear and descriptive in your wording and instructions.
So that’s it! It’s very simple to hire a virtual assistant, although I take more time than most online entrepreneurs to make sure my virtual assistants are happy working with me and that the fit is right.
The process essentially goes like this:
- Post job description and questions
- Vet applicants
- Give a test project
- Vet applicants
- Do a small short interview
- Hire applicant
- Send welcome packet
Just as easy as that!
Have you hired a virtual assistant yet? What is your hiring process? Do you have any questions for me on my process? Let me know!