Having your own business as a solopreneur comes with many perks. You get to make decisions faster, work at your own pace, and retain 100 percent of your earnings. However, when you have to do everything on your own, you may be wasting valuable time that you can dedicate to activities that contribute to the growth of your business. Fortunately, hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be an excellent way to take the repetitive manual tasks off your shoulders.
But how do you hire the right virtual assistant as a solopreneur?
Before looking for a virtual assistant to help you out, consider what kind of skills and experience you'll need to get the job done. If, for example, you are hiring a virtual assistant to manage accounting work, you can consider skills like; proficient spreadsheets and QuickBooks and excellent typing skills.
Trying to find a virtual assistant without a clear plan or a detailed list of the tasks you want to outsource will only lead to a fruitless search. Therefore, determine the skills you need so you can develop a detailed job description and identify the best resume outlines from candidates.
Finding and contracting a virtual assistant can be challenging, especially if you have never hired one before. Luckily, there are now websites and forums dedicated to the outsourcing sector.
You can advertise the VA job vacancy on your website or blog or outsource from sites such as oDesk, Upwork Guru, and Elance.
If you are employing a virtual assistant, it is crucial to consider their pay. Some virtual assistants charge per hour, while others charge per task. It's essential to scrutinize the advantages and disadvantages of each payment option before making a final decision.
You should note that virtual assistants have different skills and levels of experience. Although some are more expensive than others, a lower price tag does not imply a lower level of expertise and vice versa. A good rule of thumb is to determine your budget before making a choice.
When looking for a virtual assistant, it's critical to do your due diligence and thoroughly vet each applicant before deciding the best fit for your company. You need to ensure that the candidates have the skills required to execute the jobs you assign them.
Additionally, make sure that you hire someone who matches your unique personality and business needs. While vetting the right virtual assistant for your company will take time, the effort is well worth it when you get the right person.
An interview is an excellent way to learn more about your potential hire. Since you cannot conduct face-to-face interviews, you can interview your candidates on Skype as it allows users to make calls, chat, and send files.
Before the interview, prepare a list of questions in advance of the interview, and then ask follow-up questions depending on the applicants' responses.
More importantly, ensure you learn about all factors that could influence your working relationship. These include the candidate’s work experience, environment, expected rates, and skills.
Some candidates may shine at the interview because they are good communicators and can market themselves well. However, you may not be able to spot their weaknesses during the interview or in their resume.
Before making a formal offer, it is a good idea to check the references your applicants have provided. Get in touch with these references and verify the most crucial facts to determine if the candidate is right for your business.
Individuals who appear good on paper may not be good performers in real-life situations. Therefore, before you make a final decision to hire a VA, give your top three applicants an assignment to perform as a test so you can determine who the ideal candidate is.
Ideally, pick a task they would have to undertake regularly and see how effectively they will complete it. Doing that will help you get a candidate who is ready to hit the ground running.