Before hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA), it’s important to get a good feel for the VA and to make sure they’re the right fit for you. You may prefer to hire someone you click with straight away, or you may feel that the click will come once your VA has learned the ropes of your business a little. Either way, it’s good to consider the following points – your Virtual Assistant will be representing you and your company, after all!

1. Matching Skill Sets – Virtual Assistants come with a variety of skills, backgrounds and experience levels. Some may have backgrounds in bookkeeping, others in Information Technology, and others still in Social Media. You will find that they are all highly skilled, however you need to ensure that the Virtual Assistant you employ has the skill set that will assist you in your business.

2. Complementing Work Styles – If you prefer a structured work style, random telephone calls are not going to cut it for you. Alternatively, if you are more laid back, having a Virtual Assistant who prefers to work with a strict structure could cause disharmony for you both. Question your potential VA’s on their work style and choose one with a similar work style as yourself.

3. Availability – You need to determine the hours you want your Virtual Assistant to be available to you. If there are set hours you need them available for teleconferencing, answering emails or your VoIP service, this needs to be discussed at the recruitment stage. It is probable that your VA will have other clients, but you also want to be sure that your deadlines are met and your work is done in the allocated timeframe.

4. Find a payment structure that suits you – Payment structures vary in the Virtual Assistant industry, from hourly rates, to project rates, to monthly retainers and packages. The best way to determine a payment structure that suits you is to consider your business’ cash flow. Does it suit you to pay an hourly rate or on a project basis, or would you prefer to allocate a certain amount of money per month and use the hours allotted?

5. Be prepared to let your VA do the work – avoid micromanaging! If you’re not ready to let go, you’re not ready to hire a Virtual Assistant! To save money and save time are the two biggest reasons cited for hiring a VA. A big mistake many hirers make when first employing a VA is to micromanage them, thus wasting time and the precious money they’ve spent! To combat this, we suggest you consider establishing a set of deliverables with deadlines and ask for weekly updates. But the easiest way to tell if your virtual assistant is working is to simply keep an eye on the results.

If you take the time to consider these things before hiring a Virtual Assistant, you are more likely to find the right one, first time!

If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.

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Founder and Director, Nicole has been working in the remote support, virtual assistant, outsourcing space since 2007. A professional with multiple certifications, and a specialist in virtual support and ecourse implementation, Nicole is passionate about supporting women-owned businesses in growth and development.

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