Every business owner wants to be more productive, work efficiently, and expand their brand. But the big question is, how would you do this without burning a hole in your wallet? To Increase productivity and cost-effectiveness, you can hire a virtual assistant as a start. This post aims to cover the most important aspects of virtual assistants, give insights about why you need them, and provide suggestions on the best way to go about hiring the right assistants.
Why do you need to have a virtual assistant?
Even if you think that there is no need to hire virtual assistants, we suggest you give it a try. If you are a young entrepreneur and do not have experience managing people, working with virtual assistants is a great way for you to practice the ropes. By working with virtual assistants, you will learn how to assign tasks and create easily understandable instructions. You can also practice:
- What kind of jobs you need to assign:
- How to lead an organized team and structure them
- How to be productive while you keep efficiency factor high
As you learn those skills, you can develop keen instincts about employees, hire the right people, and become a prolific leader in the future.
What are the tasks that virtual assistants can complete?
There are numerous tasks that a virtual assistant can help you with. You probably think that some of the functions are important and only you can perform them well. Though, the reality is that, if you delegate those tasks to other people and teach them some fundamentals, they can replace you and manage those tasks under your provision. For instance, if you hire a virtual assistant and he/she can deliver tasks such as:
- Editing the writing
- Order foods and supplies
- Set up meetings for you
- Organize your business development pipeline
- Make phone calls; write emails on behalf of you
- Do the research and analyze the given data
They are just a handful of possibilities, though there are several tasks that you can delegate to your Virtual Assistant and make sure that they complete them well enough.
Include a Test for Applicants
You need to create a task that is consistent according to the tasks that you ask from a virtual assistant to do for you. For example, you can ask from potential VA candidate to complete tasks such as:
- Find three Nobel Laureates that live in New York City and provide me with their email addresses
- Find Ten English Schools in Madrid, Spain and rank them according to the quality of education
If the potential virtual assistant candidates are not able to complete these tasks in a few minutes, then you would know that they are not suitable for you. This test is also very useful for business owners because while doing so, they get a chance to see who are lazy, and identify who puts extra effort to finish this type of tasks successfully.
How to find and hire a virtual assistant?
To hire virtual assistants, you need to find them in the first place. How to do it? The easiest way is to search for online platforms that offer these virtual assistant services. For instance, one of the freelance platforms that we recommend is an online virtual assistant. In this site, you can filter your search results according to your needs and find an assistant who can manage the tasks that you delegate to them. In OVA, you can find freelance online assistants who can help you with web design, web development, data entry, content creation, search engine optimization, and many more services. If you are not experienced enough in hiring freelance assistance, below mentioned guidelines can help you to do that.
Hide a Litmus Test-inside Your Job Application for Better results
While you post job descriptions, try to be tricky and see which applicants read descriptions carefully and which are not. You can ask applicants to call you by another name or nickname. Besides, you can ask them to mention irrelevant words phrases such as “unicorn,” or “apricot” on their response. By doing so, you will see who is attentive enough to see these words and reply accordingly. It gives you an insight into the applicant. You can identify the ones who are applying for a bunch of jobs and the ones who read descriptions, and think that he/she can be a good fit for a particular position. You can save time if you use this tactic, and almost two-thirds of irrelevant applicants can be ignored.
Interview the Virtual Assistant
Since you will get several applications from different countries, the best way to assess them before you hire an online personal assistant is an interview. You need to make sure that those virtual assistants have a good command of the English language (or the one that you ask for) to communicate with you quickly. Quick audio or video call is excellent for both the interviewing process and assessment. In the interview, you can talk about their backgrounds, get to know each other, and briefly discuss the duties and responsibilities of the potential candidate for a virtual assistant job.
Start with Trial
If you hire a virtual assistant candidate, let them know that they are on trial for two weeks. This trial period is paid based, and it is only for testing out their abilities on specific tasks. During the trial period, applicants need to prove their skills and reliability to get hired. It is better to start small in these trials and see the progression. You do not need to outsource everything right away to the virtual assistant. You can start with small tasks such as management of your emails, doing research, ask them to do outreach, write some content, set up a website, and more.
Write a Description for the Applicant and Clearly Explain What You Want him/her to do and How
Virtual assistants know their job and responsibilities. Though as an owner of a small scale home business, you would like to prefer how you want him/her to do the tasks. The best way to work with freelancers after you hire a virtual assistant is to give him/her explicit directions. So that they can learn how you like to make things done. You need to create a manual that outlines all the related tasks of your job. To make things clear, video screenshots are a great tool that can help the VA to understand visual instructions.
Determine Working Hours
You need to determine how much time your virtual assistant needs to separate for the tasks that you delegate them. In the beginning, only a few hours for a week could be enough. Though, after progression, you can add more hours to their daily work schedule. It is essential to know the working schedule before the time that you hire a virtual assistant because you need both efficient and effective virtual assistant services. As you start working with a virtual assistant, you will learn which tasks take more time and which can be quickly done, so you can avoid losing your time and resources.
It is not easy to cope with all the deadlines, tasks, and administrative work all by yourself. That is the main reason why business owners need to hire a virtual assistant who can deliver quick and effective results. If you are frustrated with the workload, do not hesitate to find a reliable virtual assistant and start working with him.