Create a List of Specific Tasks for Your VA
- Before contacting a VA service, or posting a job on a freelance site like Upwork, take some time to write down what you need your virtual assistant to do for you. Be specific. Create a list of detailed tasks such as maintaining your calendar, creating your business schedule, overseeing payroll, managing social media campaigns, or even making business travel arrangements.
- The ultimate goal of hiring an experienced, attentive VA is to make your life a little easier. By delegating specific tasks to your virtual assistant, you’ll have more time to focus on business growth and expansion, generating more leads, and overall making sure your clients / customers are happy. In any case, having a thorough understanding of your requirements and being able to communicate these effectively is the first step in hiring the person most suitable for the job.
Determine Specific Communication Requirements
- Do you need a VA who’s available during regular business hours? Or would you rather send your VA a list of tasks for the week? Since most VAs work on an hourly basis, you’ll generally receive daily or weekly reports that demonstrate the completion of tasks. How you decide to work with your VA is up to you of course, but you should let your VA know what you expect of them beforehand. For example, if you need to communicate with your VA during the day or more specifically, during office hours, consider hiring a VA within your time zone.
Ask Specific Questions during the Interview
- During the interview process, get to know prospective hires by asking questions about their background. Ask questions about their education, work experiences, hobbies and maybe even go so far as eating habits – for instance do they focus on a plant based diet or live for BBQs?
- If your company relies on specific software, apps or databases to conduct business, ask the VA about their expertise. In some cases, you may want to offer software or database training, but if you’re looking for someone who can start immediately without too much fuss, look for someone with adequate experience in the types of software, systems or programs you’re currently using.
- If you’re not very experienced with hiring VAs, you’ll probably want to make sure you ask for an updated resume and list of work references. While it may be tempting to hire someone based on one interview, you should verify that the VA is being honest about their experiences – especially if you require prior knowledge of specific software, systems or programs.
As you can see, being as specific as possible about what you need from a VA is essential to hiring one that will benefit your growing business. As you become more comfortable working with your VA, you may want to expand their role by delegating additional tasks. This is precisely why maintaining clear communication when working with your virtual assistant helps you create a long-term, mutually beneficial working relationship.
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At Breathe and Delegate, we provide professional services for small business owners, and we always take the time to make it personal. I see myself as part of your business, sharing in the wins, struggles, and I’m a great “pseudo” therapist more times than you’d think.