How to Hire Your First or Next Virtual Assistant

As businesses continue to shift more towards online management systems, companies are looking for the perfect virtual assistant (VA) to help lighten the workload.

Whether you want someone to take over 5 hours worth of managing an email inbox, completing admin work or helping plan content full-time, VAs can help you get it all done.

Raise your hand if you could use a little help with your business!

As business owners and entrepreneurs, our jobs can require us to wear many hats. 

From copywriter, to social media manager, to content creator, video editor, administrative assistant, and more – we are being pulled in many directions that prevent us from spending time doing revenue producing activities.

So why not consider a virtual assistant?

A virtual assistant is someone who provides support services remotely, typically in a freelance position. V

Virtual assistants (or VAs) are commonly hired to complete administrative or clerical tasks, but many VAs specialize in skills like social media, bookkeeping, client support, data entry, and more. Some virtual assistants may also specialize in certain industries, such as real estate, weddings, or coaching.

If you are reading this thinking that hiring a virtual assistant might be a good step for you, then you are in luck! We are going to go over some of the top questions people ask before hiring – including;

identifying when it is time to hire,
how and where to hire them,
the cost,
and how to make sure you are prepared before making it official.

We can help you get started on this journey!

How do you know that it is time to hire a Virtual Assistant?

  • Things that need to get done in your business aren’t being completed or aren’t being done well because of lack of time.
  • You are feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.
  • There are projects that you should be working on, specifically tasks in your zone of genius and profit-producing projects, to make better use of your time.
  • You need help but can’t afford a full time employee. (Hint… you can hire a VA to work 5-10 hours per week, so you don’t have to worry about this one!)

There are a few ways to hire and work with a Virtual Assistant. 

  • Most virtual assistants own their own business and work as independent contractors, so they will give you a contract when working with them.
  • You can find VAs on websites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freeeup, or on a multitude of other hiring platforms.
    • Each of these websites has pros and cons, so make sure to do a little research before paying anyone for work.
  • There are also many Facebook groups dedicated to virtual assistants that allow job postings.
  • Just like many other virtual careers, there are also agencies that may train and assist with the hiring process. If going this route, you typically put in a request for a certain skill set and the agency will send qualifying applicants your way.
  • You can also go the more traditional route by putting out a job posting on websites like Indeed.

Cost of Hiring a VA:

  • There are two main routes when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant that would affect the price, and that would be whether you will be hiring a VA from the US or from another country.
    • Typically VAs with the same level of skill and experience will have a very different price depending if they are from the US or somewhere outside of the country. 
    • VAs from places like the Philippines have many VAs with rates of just a few dollars per hour, increasing based on specialized tasks.
    • VAs from the US can start as low as about $10 per hour and up to $50 per hour (most commonly $15-$30 range), also depending on experience and knowledge needed for the particular job. 
    • There are pros and cons to each. Along with budget, you should consider consider:
      • Level of commitment when considering extremely low-priced VAs.
      • Time zones for communication.
      • Any language barriers that may exist if you would need your assistant to be typing any copy for you.

A few other things you will need to consider when hiring a virtual assistant:

  • Level of expertise is the other main factor in determining the cost. A few examples would be:
    • Entry level: Completing simple, repetitive tasks that don’t take much background in the topic or training are usually the most inexpensive.
    • With a specialty: Any VA that specializes in a certain task or field is typically a step up in price because you are paying for their knowledge and training in said skill.
    • Expert: These are typically VAs working as consultants in very specialized fields and can charge high rates depending on their particular set of skills. This is more common in the marketing and financial industry.

What to do before hiring a virtual assistant?

  • You will want to come up with an organized and detailed job listing. To do so, follow these steps:
    • Make a list of all tasks you are completing in your own routine.
    • Categorize these tasks into categories and make note of which ones you would want to take off of your plate.
    • Come up with a list of traits or skills you would want your VA to have.
  • Before hiring anyone, complete a video interview.
    • Ask about their skillset with more specific questions based on your needs.
    • Request testimonials or sample work.
    • Ask if they can commit to the amount of hours that you need (many VA’s have multiple clients).
    • Ask if your preferred method of communication would work for them, whether that be email, Voxer, weekly Zoom meetings, etc. Make sure to outline times they would need to be available for communication.
    • Have them complete a test project or have a trial period before signing a long or expensive contract.
  • Set clear expectations. Especially when hiring a virtual role, job descriptions, company values, and expectations of work are a must.
  • Make sure to read the contract thoroughly before signing, ensuring that it contains needs for both parties.
  • Have patience, especially if this is your first time working with a VA. There may be initial kinks to work out, but typically it is just a learning curve that is worked out quickly.

Having worked with multiple virtual assistants for years, I can truly say that they play an instrumental role in my business. I hope that these tips give you some insight into the world of hiring your first or next virtual assistant and inspires you to ask for help. Trust me… your business will thank you for it.

Once you have made the decision to hire a virtual assitant, make sure to check out The Content Machine™ the step-by-step process of taking one piece of content and turning it into micro-content for the entire week. With these two things, your business will be growing with ease.

What has your experience been? Have you hired a virtual assistant before? Are you curious to try it out?