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How to Hire a Virtual Assistant

my virtual assistant

After deciding you need to hire a virtual assistant, finding the right one can be a challenging task. You need someone reliable, professional, and coachable, but sometimes good work is hard to find. Here are some steps to follow to help you in your search for the perfect virtual assistant:

List out the tasks you need them to do

Before looking for a virtual assistant, you need to brainstorm exactly what you need your virtual assistant to do. Generalists aren’t always as effective as specialists.

For example, a virtual assistant that handles all tasks under the sun may not be as effective at social media tasks specifically because that’s not their area of expertise. If your goal is to grow your social media following, someone with that speciality will probably be a better investment.

Write out your job description

Now that you have some tasks in mind, write out the job description to show to candidates. List out what you need them to do, what experience they should have, and how many hours a week you need them to work.

Be honest with yourself: Are the tasks that you need done something that can be taken care of by one person? Can the person who’s managing your content calendar also manage your bookkeeping? Maybe or maybe not.

You may discover that you need two separate people for the different tasks that you have in your job description.

Come up with your budget

The next stage is figuring out how much you can afford. Virtual assistants generally charge per hour but some charge by task.

Figure out how much per week you can spend and then divide that by the amount of hours you need them to work. This math will help you arrive at the hourly rate that you can manage.

There are virtual assistants that charge a few bucks per hour and others who charge $25 and up for their services. You get what you pay for in the world of virtual assisting. Simple data entry and other easy tasks are ones that you may be able to give to a lower priced virtual assistant.

When it comes to tasks that involve interacting with your customers, managing emails, or creating social media content, you probably need someone of quality who may not be the cheapest possible option.

Start your search

Ideally, you want to have all the ground work done above before you start actively seeking help. A person won’t succeed in a role if you don’t have an understanding of what you need them to do.

Start looking for virtual assistants in your network. Your virtual assistant doesn’t technically have to be someone you find online. Maybe your child, niece, nephew, neighbor, mother, or cousin is looking for some part-time work and they can help you.

Another way you can find a virtual assistant is through referrals. Ask other business owners if they can recommend an assistant. If you can’t find anyone through a referral, you can put up a job alert on a site like Upwork. Besides Upwork, you can look at Fiverr or Freelancer.

Screening candidates

After getting a list of potential candidates, review their experience and credentials to see if they’re a good fit. You may want to hold a short interview as well because you’ll be working closely with them. An interview gives you a sense of the candidates personality to see if it’s a good match.

Final Word

It’s always good to take the hiring process step-by-step. If you bring on a contractor haphazardly, it can cause more problems than it’s worth. Lay out the tasks you need done, create your job description, and hire someone after a vetting process.

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Personal Finance Writer
Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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