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8 step guide

8 step guide to hiring a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be lifechanging to your business but the process of finding hiring one can feel overwhelming so please read my 8 step guide which summarises:


1.     How do you know you need help

2.     Determining what you need help with

3.     Asking for recommendations

4.     Interviewing your potential VA

5.     Setting realistic deadlines

6.     Sharing Data

7.     Test period

8.     Communicating dissatisfaction

1.   How do you know you need to hire a virtual assistant?

  • Do you need to outsource administrative tasks but don’t have resources to hire a full time PA/admin support?
  • Are you struggling in a day to manage your To Do List mainly due to all time-consuming administrative tasks you have?
  • Do you need to outsource administrative tasks but don’t have resources to hire a full time PA/admin support?
  • Do you need to outsource administrative tasks but don’t have physical space to house a full time PA/admin support or don’t want someone intruding in your space?
  • Do you need someone you can trust implicitly with confidential data related to your business /personal life but who you don’t need to spend hours training?
  • Do you think your time would be better spent concentrating on growing your business rather than on administrative tasks?
  • Is your work time eating increasingly into your private time?

If the answer is yes to one or more, you need a Virtual Assistant in your Life!

2.   Determine What you Need Help With

If you are feeling overwhelmed in your business have a look at the Eisenhower Matrix and work out which tasks you can 1) delegate 2) delete 3) complete yourself now 4) complete yourself later. Once you have worked out tasks that could be completed by someone else break them down into categories 1) admin 2) marketing 3) sales 4) HR etc. and then you will have a clearer idea of who you need to find to help you.

3.   How to find a VA who is a good fit

Once you have identified possible administrative tasks that you can delegate out, then it’s time to look for a VA with the right skill set to complete them. Start by:

  • Asking fellow business owners for recommendations.
  • Ask in your local business networking group,
  • Make a post on LinkedIn
  • Ask around in your local coworking space as often you will find VAs working there.

I for example work from the Loft Space, but have also visited and will be running a workshops along with the VA Heroes in 2020 in the Hub coworking space in Newry and at the Hive in Magherafelt.

4.   Meeting your potential V

Once you have identified a potential VA its time then to ‘interview’ them to make sure they have the skills you need, share your values and most importantly that you think they have a personality you can work with. You can arrange a Zoom/ Skype call or if in the same country a face to face coffee meeting. Whatever the format, be sure to think in advance of questions you want to ask them and be clear in

  • Your expectations
  • Your budget
  • Timeframe that you need them for
  • Turnaround of tasks
  • Preferred communication style (email/phone/project management tool system)

Remember like every strong human relationship it is all about communication, honesty, respect and a bit of give and take.

5.   Setting realistic deadlines with your VA

Once you have found a VA you like and think you can work with, then you can determine together

  • What you want them to work on
  • How many hours you need

For every task you set, set and communicate a deadline but be realistic and give advance warning if you know a big project is coming up. Remember VAs often have several clients at once so even though we strive very hard to make you feel that you are the only one, we have multiple deadlines to meet.

6.   Sharing Data

Sit down and think all of the necessary information and systems your VA will need to operate seamlessly within your business . During several periods of my life I’ve temped in businesses where I’ve been parachuted in knowing nothing about the business and expected to be operational immediately. Being a VA is the same we have to learn very quickly the tone and style of your business and values that you hold dear.

If a VA is scheduling social media posts for example you will need to give them access to your social media accounts, logos, brand colours etc. Any VA worth her /his salt will also be thinking ahead and making a list of items they need from you.

7.   Test period

Delegate one task to your new VA to see how they complete it, then give additional tasks and responsibility as you are happy with their outcomes. You will find that experienced VAs will often identity other areas in your business that you might need help that you weren’t aware of. Then regularly review how things are working.

8.   Communicating dissatisfaction

It’s then equally important to communicate with your VA if you don’t like a) how they are completing tasks b)frequency of their communication with you c) how they are communicating d) when they are communicating e) tone of communication or e).

Virtual Assistants complete work remotely and using the best technology out there but remember we are still human and like every human if we do something wrong but aren’t told then we can’t change .You may also have to accept that a VA has a better way of doing something so trust their experience that is after all why you are hiring them isn’t it?

Finally, I understand that hiring a VA and giving over some of the reigns of your business can be very scary and I know this because I’m a business owner myself as all VAs are. Relinquishing control is not easy but at the same time ask yourself this, if it is only you working in your business how can you ever expect to grow your empire or how much can you achieve alone?

If you have any fears or questions still about hiring a VA please don’t hesitate to contact me

VirtuAli Administrative Solutions

Email Alison@virtuali.uk

Mobile. 077962 40677

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