You’ve hit that beautiful, exciting and somewhat terrifying point in your business where there is just too much work coming in for you to be able to manage all of the day-to-day administration and operations of your awesome biz on your own. It’s time to find yourself a sidekick. Helper. Other awesome human. Let us give you the 411 on how to hire a virtual assistant – AKA a VA.
First of all, getting a VA comes with perks such as the obvious time to focus on what you actually love about your biz. But you’ll also get the chance to find the best of the best because you aren’t limited by postal code. If they’re willing to work in accordance with your hours and have reliable internet, you have pretty much the entire world to explore for possibilities! So. What do you need to look at to make sure you find the best person for the job?
What do you need them to do?
This may seem like a silly question, but before you take anyone on, be very clear with yourself what it is you need from your VA. Are you looking for a more general VA to help with processes and daily tasks like replying to emails? Or are you in need of a specialised VA who can keep your books neat and tidy or do all of the video editing for your marketing rollout? The more specific the better, this way you know going into your search what you’re looking for from abilities and knowledge to costs and hours logged.
What’s your budget?
Know what your cap is going into your hiring process. Know how many hours you can afford to pay, how many hours of work you need to take off of your plate and hand over and what rate you’re not willing (or able!) to surpass.
Look for Experience
How much experience is enough for you? Have a #realtalk about their experience and know, going in how flexible you’re willing to be. Maybe they ask a lot of questions and have amazing ideas that you could implement, but they’re lacking in other ways. Do certain benefits outweigh the ‘lack’? Know what you’re willing to lose in order to gain in other ways, or keep it simple and draw a line as to where their experience level needs to sit going into the job.
References and Trial Runs
Call references. So many people just. Don’t. Do it. Even though most people will probably say great things, knowing the applicant has done their part to prep their reference (because they want this job!) and giving the reference the benefit of the doubt can add an extra level of confidence in your selection.
Another way to get a clearer picture? Give them a trial run. Whether it’s for half a day to get a feel for how they communicate and gauge how proactive they are, or if it’s a month-long paid trial agreement that can be revisited upon completion, this is a great way to test the waters.
An airtight agreement, friend!
When the time comes to sign on the dotted line, make sure you are clear what their role is, where the scope of their work lies, hours, time frames, who owns the IP, the list goes on. Your agreement needs to be solid and cover all the bases so you don’t end up in the lurch.
Let’s be clear, this is only a small scope of what you can and should look at when you’re hiring a VA for your business. Ultimately, you need to put in the leg work to make sure that whomever you hire is the absolute best person to have on your team as you build your freaking empire! Need a little more insight? To wrap your head around it a little more from here, consider grabbing our Guide to Hiring a Freelancer or Virtual Assistant.
We’d also recommend checking out this freebie for further insight (you can never be too prepared to take your business to the next level, right!?): 5 Things to Think About Before Hiring Your First Team Member.
It’s an exciting time. Don’t forget to celebrate, too, when it’s all said and done! Good luck and God Speed. X
PS! When you’ve found your VA and you’re ready to hire (yay!), check out our Independent Contractor Agreement or jump on a consult with one of our very-not-scary lawyers, so we can point you in the right direction.
PPS! If you’re a VA reading this, check out our VA Agreement!
Riz McDonald is an e-commerce business owner, business coach, podcaster and a lawyer for over 16 years. She’s also a mum and a lover of good wine...she only ever drinks the cheap stuff when she’s stoney broke.
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This article is for general information purposes only and should be used solely as general guidance. It does not and is not intended to represent legal advice or other professional advice.
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