When your SMMA begins growing, it’s important to know how to hire a virtual assistant. You need to know how to write a job description, interview, and onboard. Going through this process can be very simple as long as you go in with a plan for how you’re going to get it done.
Virtual assistants are an important hire for your company because they can help it grow in ways that you might not even be aware of. A virtual assistant can handle the menial, day-to-day tasks that an SMMA owner is responsible for. When you handle these tasks yourself, they can eat up a lot of time in your day. Freeing up that time with a virtual assistant will give you more time to focus on growth. Time is the most valuable resource to your business, and your time is the most specifically valuable.
With that in mind, when you’re starting to look for virtual assistants you want to look for attributes that will help you to work the most efficiently. A good virtual assistant should be an effective communicator, with great responsiveness. You’ll also want someone who pays good attention to detail, as it’s important that your VA isn’t missing anything important.
Things like how to hire a virtual assistant are important, but often missed steps when you’re learning how to start a social media marketing agency. In this article, I’ll cover how to write a job description, what to look for in an interview, and how to bring a virtual assistant onboard. These are the three most important steps to hiring anyone, even beyond a virtual assistant. (Disclaimer: this blog includes affiliate links. Affiliates are products we love, and these links help to support more content.)
Step 1: Virtual Assistant Job Description And Tasks
When you learn how to hire a virtual assistant, the first thing you need to think about is the job description. Using websites like FreeeUp can give you access to the best virtual assistants there are, but you need to learn how to attract them. You need to know how to describe what you want clearly and concisely.
Here’s what a good job description should include:
- What role you’re hiring for. In this case, of course, you’re hiring a virtual assistant. But if you want to apply this advice to other roles, you’ll need to switch it out.
- A good job description should include a full task list of what you’re looking for. Whatever you need a virtual assistant to help you out with, you’ll need it listed. You might have things come up later, but for now focus on getting everything down that you can.
- Job success parameter. Your job description should include as much about what it’s going to take someone to succeed as possible. You’ll want it to be clear that you have an idea of what them doing well looks like.
- Clear wage outlines. You want to be clear and firm about what you’re looking to pay a virtual assistant. You may negotiate with them, but the wage needs to be fair to both sides.
When you’re writing the job description, there are many things that you want to cover. The most important are the job tasks. Not only should you cover everything that needs to be done, but you’ll want to spend time specifically on what’s important. Tasks need to be prioritized, and you should be clear about what those priorities are.
You also want to show why working with you will be good for them, beyond the pay. Make sure that they know what you’re like and what you’re company is like. Finally, have clearly defined success parameters and an idea of what the reward for those successes will be. If you want a more thorough idea of how to write a thorough job description, look towards our other hiring content for help.
Step 2: Interviewing Virtual Assistants
When you learn how to hire a virtual assistant, or anyone else for that matter, getting the interview right is very important. This is the first time that you’re going to get an idea of what the person is like, and if they’ll be a good fit for you and your company. When you get the chance to sit down with them, you need to quickly determine if that person is worth consideration.
Before you can interview, you need to have people to interview. Hopefully your job post will have this covered, but there are other places to look. First, you can look for classifieds from virtual assistants. Usually, you can find several interesting prospects through this. Otherwise, you can find them through LinkedIn and other sources and reach out to see if they’d be interested.
When you first contact a virtual assistant, learn a little bit about them and then schedule a time to sit down with them. When you get this chance, there are four Qs that you want to get through. These are qualities, qualifications, questions from them, and questions for them.
Qualities covers all of the personal qualities that are important to you. What are you looking for from a coworker? There are also qualities that lend themselves better to the position. For example, in a virtual assistant you might be looking for someone who is quick witted and able to think on their feet.
Qualifications, of course, covers their experience. What makes them prepared for this job? You want to ask them questions about their prior professional experience and how it will apply to your company. Make sure that they are who they say they are.
Then, there are a few questions you can expect to be asked. Be prepared with answers to these questions to make sure that you answer them efficiently. These are the questions you’ll usually be asked:
- When do you expect me to be available?
- How much of a time commitment is this?
- How much can I expect to be paid?
- How often will I be paid?
- What is your company like?
If a prospect doesn’t ask you any questions, this could be a bad sign. It might mean they’re disinterested, in which case they’re unlikely to work well.
And here are a few questions that you might want to ask:
- What are your biggest strengths?
- What working hours do you like to keep?
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
- How do you manage your time?
- What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at work?
- What do you enjoy about your job?
- How do you handle stress?
Your questions should give you an idea of their qualities and qualifications. Don’t take their answer at face value, and ask questions about their questions. Ask yourself how quickly they’re answering the questions, how much confidence they have, and what their answer might say about them.
Step 3: Onboarding A Virtual Assistant
Knowing how to hire a virtual assistant doesn’t stop with deciding to bring them on. Once you’ve found the right virtual assistant for you, you need to bring them onboard efficiently. First and foremost, you need to set and be clear about your expectations early on. Take some time to get them used to working with you.
If you have systems and processes in place for the tasks you need their help with, then you need to get them used to those systems and processes. Remember to stay patient during this process, as they get to know their way around. If you don’t have systems and processes in place, then you might want to consider setting them up.
Additionally, get them used to the metrics and goals that will define success. This includes both personal and business goals, and how they can know if they meet them. You want to ensure that they are set up for success.
In addition to this, make sure that you give and receive feedback as often as possible. Be available for questions, and set up a time to meet with them to go through everything consistently. Make sure that you’re reviewing with them how they’re doing, and providing them with methods to better perform.
There are a few things you want to consider during the review:
- Time. Look to see if they’re doing their tasks in the most time efficient manner possible, and if anything has come in late. Look for ways that both of you can manage time better.
- Comfort. Ask them how comfortable they are performing a task, and why.
- Quality. Look to see where they’ve been good and bad, and how you can get more good from them than bad.
- Errors. Make sure that you catch and clear up any errors as quickly as possible.
That’s how to hire a virtual assistant, as well as many other positions. It’s a relatively simple process that simply requires you to be available and insightful. A good virtual assistant can help you to free up so much time that your business will grow as a result of it. Remember that time is your most valuable resource – there are plenty of ways to make money, but none to make time.