What steps should you take to getting a virtual assistant? Hiring somebody with skills is only a part of the process. There are other things to consider when looking for a qualified candidate.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are real people who are equipped to perform certain job roles and responsibilities to support you and/or your business growth. They work remotely from home or anywhere there is a stable Internet connection. They perform jobs that may or may not be in your field of expertise, as well as tasks that consume the most of your time daily.
Applicants seeking a virtual assistant position possess varying skill sets, personalities, and experience. The important thing is to identify first what you need to advance in hiring.
Take the Quiz: What Kind of Virtual Assistant Do You Need?
STEP 1: Identify the tasks you do daily
What are the tasks that you do on a daily basis? Make a list of the things that you do and assign energy levels to each of them. Identify those that give you excitement and those that do not.
Next, rank them from most to least important in relation to your primary job role. You may find this difficult considering the multiple hats you wear to keep your business running. This first step in the hiring process alleviates the pain of confusion when delegating tasks later on.
It sifts your current workload and points out the tasks that need more of your attention. It also tells which tasks to delegate. These may include mundane tasks, such as managing your inbox and scheduling appointments.
STEP 2: Prepare your workflows
Workflows are step-by-step guides of how responsibilities are performed and completed. They tell virtual assistants what to do, where to go, and who to stay in touch with. Workflows provide them with a more specific way of handling the job.
Identify the tasks that you want to delegate and create a workflow for each. Make sure to keep it simple and easy to follow.
Related Post: Challenges of Managing Virtual Teams
STEP 3: Prepare the job role
Now that you have the tasks and workflows available, it is time to map out the job role. The keyword here is accountability. Name the core responsibilities of the job and list them down.
Next, write a job description that outlines the job specifics. It may state the expertise you are looking for, the number of hours required in the shift, the main responsibility, as well as the purpose of hiring. This sets the expectation for the virtual assistant and boosts your chances of finding a suitable candidate.
Effective communication is another aspect to consider before getting a virtual assistant. As you prepare the job role, also determine the best way to stay updated with the virtual assistant. Ask yourself questions, such as how often you will meet and what collaboration apps you should use.
STEP 4: Set goals for smart $$ investment
Goal setting streamlines the delegation process and avoids costly unexpected consequences. Evaluate your current workload and set goals that you want to accomplish with your virtual assistant.
Create a timeline to work around and update from time to time. It will guide you to the next thing you need to do after hiring. It may cover the training period, goals to achieve in your business, and an opportunity to bring another person on board.
Related Post: 5 Key Areas to Train Your Virtual Assistant
STEP 5: Realize the need for training
Understand that you will never find another person to replace YOU as the business owner, but you can find somebody who could work with you in growing your business. Virtual assistants have different levels and areas of expertise.
Training allows them to know your business better, regardless of their experience. It also equips them with the information they need to maintain your brand integrity.
Draft a plan of how your work week should look. When is the best day of the week to meet with your virtual assistant, and how often should you meet? The answers to those questions depend on your availability and purpose for the meeting.
We also encourage all our clients to prepare a ‘contingency plan’. What do you do if your VA wants to go on vacation, is sick, or does not show up for work? Once you have created your contingency plan, share this with your VA in both a verbal overview and have them sign off on a document so both parties understand what is expected.
Getting a virtual assistant is an investment opportunity that requires preparation. More than the qualifications or the actual search for a suitable candidate, you have to consider your preparedness to onboard, train, and work with another person in your team.
Free consultations are available if you are unsure about your decision to hire. Consultations address questions about your fears, capacity to hire, and other things which you might want to know.
Take the time you need to develop your workflows and systems in place. Hire when you are ready. Meanwhile, have fun trying this quiz to determine the right kind of virtual assistant for your business.