As with any hiring decision, finding the right virtual assistant for you and your business is not a light matter. In fact, it might be even more difficult that hiring an in-house assistant because you may never meet this person!
But I’ll make it easy for you and break it down into a 4-Step process.
Step One: Be Very Clear On What You Need an Assistant to Do
This will help you find the virtual assistant that has the right skill set. If you need a virtual book keeper who can also help with customer service, you won’t want to hire someone with no experience in those areas. It is also helpful to know what level of skill the virtual assistant will need to accomplish the tasks you want to outsource.
Step Two: Know Your Compromise Comfort Levels
Remember, you will be outsourcing to another person tasks that you’ve been doing yourself. How will you feel if the person does the task differently than you would? What about quality of work? What about timing? You need to know what things will be deal breakers for you.
Step Three: Know the Going Rate for Those Types of Services
You don’t want to pay through the nose, neither do you want to pay so little that the help you receive is so bad, you end up working even harder than before! You want to hire someone who is skilled and priced reasonably. (I’ll go into this topic a little more deeply on Friday.)
Step Four: Do Your Due Diligence
Before hiring … or even interviewing … someone, check them out. Visit their website and check for signs of poor quality, such as misspellings, bad grammar, inconsistencies, etc. If the assistance is overseas, find out more about virtual workers from that country. You’ll want to pay particular attention to cultural differences and English proficiency rates. But only if it applies to the task you want to hire them for. Sometimes being fluent in English is not a prerequisite. You’ll also want to know the going rates for someone from that country so you don’t get scammed.
When it all comes down to it, you’ll need to weigh all these steps and find a balance that works best for you. Sometimes you’ll need to pay a premium for the quality of work that you wish done. You’ll also need to be careful not to hire based on price, for hiring the cheapest help can actually cost you more in the long run.