I’m so happy you made it to part 4. By now you should have posted your job description on social media, been through your responses and shortlisted 3 to 5 candidates. Now we need some questions to ask a Virtual Assistant.
The first step is to arrange a call with each candidate. Something to consider here is; will the candidate be proactive and take the lead in setting the call up? A good Virtual Assistant should do this, as they are hoping to be picked to make your life easier, this is the perfect place to start.
Zoom is good for a first call as I find face to face interaction helps to build a stronger connection. Once these are set up you need some questions to help you hire a Virtual Assistant as you need to dig deep. Part of the success of finding and hiring a Virtual Assistant comes from asking the right questions.
Let’s make a start.
1 | How did you end up where you are today, tell me about your business?
A great way to start the conversation and to find out their history and experiences to date and why they set up as a Virtual Assistant.
2 | How long have you been a Virtual Assistant?
It’s good to find out what they were doing before and whether they come from an admin background?
3 | What are your primary skills and what do you enjoy doing the most?
Find out what they specialise in and what they are most passionate about. Hopefully they love doing the things you don’t – a perfect match!
Remember, if you want someone to do a particular task for you, like design a website or create newsletters, you need to make sure you’re hiring the right person. As such, you should determine if a prospective VA is qualified to assist you and has the specific skill set that matches the job description you posted so this is a vital question to ask.
4 | What software and tools do you use/would recommend?
Make this an open ended question and see what she recommends. The candidate might have some good suggestions to help you work smarter and more efficiently.
5 | What is your preferred method of communication?
Communication between you and your VA is vital and should be clearly defined at the outset. If you prefer to communicate via text/phone but the VA only communicates via email which you don’t like, that might cause difficulties.
6 | What are your working hours?
Knowing the best times and days you can contact your VA is essential to your business. If you need support 9 to 5 and the VA works only in school hours this might not work.
7 | How quickly do you respond during working hours?
This is an important question to ask as it lets you know how long it will take your VA to get back to your email. It will help you decide whether or not they can give you the time you need to complete the tasks you outsource.
You will also be able to find out if they have any support, perhaps they use an Associate VA?
8 | What kind of tasks are you currently working on?
A good question for the VA to share what they are currently working on. Some might be relatable to you that you hadn’t thought of. Add to your outsourcing exercise sheet.
9 | What is your hourly rate and payment terms?
We all want to know how much something costs before we buy so this is a very important question. If the hourly rate is more than you’d hoped, remember that hiring a VA is an investment. This is also a good opportunity to find out if she offers packages which can help with monthly budgeting.
10 | Do you have any references I can contact?
Whilst most VA’s will have recommendations and testimonials on their LinkedIn and website, it is still important to contact the applicant’s previous clients or employers who can vouch for her professionalism so you can validate her claims.
If there is any sign of hesitation on the applicant’s end when you ask this question, you might want to think twice before hiring that person.
The next step
Once you’ve been through your questions to ask a Virtual Assistant and you’ve spoken to each candidate, you should have a pretty good idea who was your favourite. When you know, you know.
When you go back to the candidate to give them the good news, it’s really down to them to do their on-boarding process e.g. send their contract , T&C’s, on-boarding form etc. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, signing a contract is very important, especially one that contains clauses about confidentiality, data, GDPR etc.
Next up you’ll be asked to share your logins and passwords for the various programmes you use e.g. your email account, Mailchimp, Hootsuite etc. I use Lastpass for this as it’s safe and secure.
Starting work with your new Virtual Assistant
I always say to new clients it takes a good 2 months to really settle in and get used to each other and the business. It’s like starting a new job, you can’t be expected to know everything on day 1, it takes time to learn and get used to different systems and ways of working
Once your Virtual Assistant is up to speed and fully confident in her ability to get tasks completed for you, you’ll find yourself outsourcing more and more.
I’m sure you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted and getting those time sinking tasks off your hands will feel great, freeing up valuable time for you to focus on client work, growing your business and getting new client work in.
To conclude, hiring a Virtual Assistant or any freelancer for your business is a huge investment which is why it is so important to make sure you do it right the first time.
I hope this blog series has been helpful and if you got to this stage and you’ve found a Virtual Assistant who is the perfect fit I wanted to say……
🎉WELL DONE & CONGRATULATIONS.
Having someone to pass work to when you don’t have the time is going to be life changing.