What is the difference between a PA and an EA? As this is one of the more common questions we hear from candidates during their PA job search, we’re here…
How to Hire a VA
Regardless of whether you’re engaging a recruitment agency or going through the process yourself, knowing how to hire a virtual assistant (VA) is key to successful virtual assistant recruitment. Before you start, follow the steps outlined below to ensure you’re fully prepared.
1. Document Tasks For Virtual Assistant To Take On
If you’re looking to hire a VA prior to writing the job description, it’s important to list down all the important tasks you’d expect your virtual assistant to take on.
Clearly candidate selection is the first step in understanding VA hiring. Define the specific tasks you will want your virtual assistant to manage such as administrative work, customer support or social media management. Managing these expectations early on can help support the longevity of your virtual assistant and help you to understand exactly the type of virtual assistant you are looking for.
2. Create Job Description
It is essential to create a compelling and detailed job spec in your steps to understanding virtual assistant recruitment. After listing down your expectations, start by clearly outlining the primary responsibilities and tasks expected from the virtual assistant, such as managing emails, scheduling appointments, conducting research, and providing administrative support. Specify any required skills or qualifications, such as proficiency in specific software languages, and indicate the desired level of experience.
At this point, you can also provide information about the company, including its mission, benefits, values and work environment. This will give prospective employees a sense of the organisation. Finally, note down the hours and any opportunities for growth and development.
Next, establish your budget and what you’d like to pay your new VA. You’re now in a great position to put together a comprehensive job description.
You’re now in a great position to hire a qualified virtual assistant candidate and find the right fit for your organisation.
3. Post Virtual Assistant Jobs Online
After finalising your job description, you can send it across to your recruiter to create a job advert to post online, unless you’re recruiting directly. A detailed and enticing job ad will give you the best possible chance of attracting talented candidates who are eager to contribute their skills as a virtual assistant.
4. Review Applications & Schedule Interviews
When reviewing applications to schedule interviews, consider the applicants’ experience, communication skills and compatibility with your work culture. When you have narrowed down your options you can then reach out to your top choices and schedule interviews or trial periods to assess their suitability further – unless you’re using a recruiter. In this case, they’ll reach out to the candidates to give feedback and schedule interviews.
5. Choose Candidates for Trials
Asking candidates to complete trials can be a good way to ‘try before you buy’. If you’d like to engage someone in a trial before committing on a long-term basis, review the candidate’s qualifications, experience and skill set in the first instance. Look for an individual who possesses effective communication skills, organisational abilities and a good understanding of technology and virtual assistant tasks. Additionally, consider their availability and flexibility to accommodate your specific needs. If you’re using a recruiter, they can communicate this to the candidate for you.
When conducting interviews or assessments, make sure you create tasks to evaluate their problem-solving abilities, diligence, and ability to adapt to new situations. It is crucial at this stage to gauge their responsiveness, professionalism, and overall attitude during the trial period. Look for candidates who take initiative, are reliable, and can work independently while following instructions.
Lastly, once the trial session has ended, gather feedback from other team members who interact with the candidate during the trial. Their perspective can provide valuable insights into the candidate’s collaboration skills and overall fit to the organisation.
6: Hire A Virtual Assistant
As part of the trial, if other members of the team met the candidate you can ask for their feedback. Once the feedback has been received and you’ve assessed every candidate thoroughly you can begin to draft up your job offer to share with them. If you’re using a recruiter, the consultant can offer the job directly to your chosen candidate.
Benefits of Hiring Virtual Staff
Hiring a virtual assistant offers numerous benefits that can enhance productivity and streamline business operations. A virtual assistant provides flexible support, allowing you to delegate tasks without the need for physical presence. This means you can focus on core business activities while the virtual assistant manages time-consuming administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments, managing emails, and organising documents.
Additionally, virtual assistants can offer round-the-clock availability, ensuring your business operates smoothly across different time zones. By delegating non-essential tasks to a VA, you can prioritise important strategic decisions and dedicate more time to business growth. Finally, by having the option of sourcing virtual staff from around the globe, you’ll have access to a richer, wider talent pool of candidates compared to those who you require to work onsite.
Types of Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can specialise in a number of different areas, each offering a unique skill set to cater to specific business needs.
Administrative virtual assistants
Administrative virtual assistants support tasks such as managing calendars, scheduling appointments, organizing data, and handling correspondence. They are proficient in using productivity tools and possess excellent organisational abilities.
Marketing virtual assistants
Marketing virtual assistants focus on digital marketing strategies, social media management, content creation and SEO optimisation. They have a deeper understanding of online platforms and trends, allowing businesses to enhance their online presence effectively.
Technical virtual assistants
Technical virtual assistants specialise in IT support, website development, software troubleshooting, and database management. Their expertise ensures a smooth operation and resolves technical issues promptly.
Creative virtual assistants
Creative virtual assistants possess skills in graphic design, video editing, copywriting, and content creation. They bring artistic flair to branding, marketing materials and multimedia content.
Customer service virtual assistants
Customer service virtual assistants are adept at handling customer enquiries, managing live chats and providing exceptional customer support. Their verbal and written communication will be second to none, with the aim of providing an exceptional experience to your customers or clients.
How to Manage Virtual Assistants
Effectively managing virtual assistants is crucial for maximising their productivity and ensuring a smooth working relationship. To start with, you will need to familiarise virtual assistants with your business by providing comprehensive onboarding and training. Create detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) to outline tasks and workflows. This not only helps virtual assistants to understand their roles but also enables seamless knowledge transfer if a new assistant joins the team.
First, establish clear communication channels and expectations from the outset. Use project management tools like Trello or Asana, instant messaging platforms like Teams or Slack, and regular video calls to maintain contact and provide feedback.
Clearly define tasks, deadlines, and deliverables to avoid misunderstandings. Trust and delegate responsibilities, empowering virtual assistants to make decisions within their expertise.
Lastly, regularly evaluating the workload and performance of virtual assistants ensures that they are not overwhelmed. Adjust tasks and responsibilities as needed to maintain a healthy work life-balance. By implementing these management strategies, businesses can effectively manage virtual assistants and optimise their productivity and contribution to the organization.
Hire Virtual Assistant
If you are looking to hire a virtual assistant, we can help. Our team has extensive experience in how to hire a virtual assistant. All our candidates are rigorously screened, tested and reference checked.
Our consultants regularly meet virtual assistants with a variety of diverse skills and experience. During the shortlisting process we will consider their professional backgrounds alongside their values, ensuring you are fully informed before the interview stage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find a few of our most frequently asked questions below. If you have further questions about the Business Support staff hiring process, get in touch today!