You’ve probably arrived here because you’re thinking about hiring a Virtual Assistant. We can also confidently guess that at this very moment you’re probably feeling a mixture of emotions about this.
There will definitely be an overwhelming sense of relief that you’ve bitten the bullet and made the decision to seek some much-needed support. You may also feel excited at the prospect of soon having more time and opportunity to dedicate to growing your business. But also niggling away in the background, there’s probably a slight nervousness. Driving this apprehension is one big concern – how do you make sure you choose the right person for the role?
In this post, we aim to reduce any trepidation you’re feeling about hiring a Virtual Assistant. We’ll do this by giving you a plan – a series of questions that will help you obtain the information you need to find the right person to support you and your business.
What you need to ask when hiring a Virtual Assistant
These are some of the key questions we suggest you ask to help you find the perfect candidate for your position.
Q1: What tasks do you want to outsource to a Virtual Assistant?
This first question is one to ask yourself. Before you even start the process of hiring a Virtual Assistant you need to be 100% clear on what you are asking them to do.
For example, do you want help with repetitive, recurring tasks each month? Or do you need a self-starter who is going to proactively manage your inbox with little guidance? Read our ‘What support do I need?’ post if you want our guidance on figuring this out.
Q2: Tell me a bit about yourself?
This may feel like idle chit-chat but it can be a really simple way to establish whether you’re a good fit for each other. Often what you’re looking for in a Virtual Assistant is a carbon copy of yourself. But as cloning is currently still confined to the realms of science fiction, you may have to make some compromises. The answer a candidate provides here will give you an insight into their priorities and personality. This can help you make a judgement on whether you will work well together.
Q3: What type of work are you skilled at and most enjoy? (And what do you prefer not to do?)
This question is aimed at uncovering whether a Virtual Assistant has the right experience and interests to help you. Consider their answer – does it suggest the type of work you’re looking for is something they do regularly? Also, if their answer reveals their passion for social media planning and event organisation, when you need someone to manage your inbox, it may be a red flag.
Q4: How do you like to communicate?
Working with a remote assistant means communication is very important. You need to feel confident that they will be responsive and also communicate in a style that fits with your needs and preferences. This isn’t just about the technology they use (telephone, email, Zoom, WhatsApp, Slack, Microsoft Teams etc) but also how much communication they expect with you. Are they comfortable working proactively and independently with minimal contact, or will they wait patiently for you to delegate tasks?
Q5: What time do you have available to work with me?
You need to know an assistant can commit to the right hours to deliver the tasks you need. Not every Virtual Assistant works a standard 9-5 or has a regular schedule. Some VAs tend to work into the evening, while others start early in the morning. If you need a VA to be working for you during set times, it’s important that you make this clear and understand their availability. Also, always check their time zone.
Q6: Tell me about what professional provisions you have in place?
There are certain things a Virtual Assistant needs to have set up to provide you with a professional service. Yes, it takes more than a secure internet connection and home office space to be a good Virtual Assistant. For example, at Virtually Priceless, all our VAs have professional indemnity and cyber security insurance. We also confirm their ICO registrations and carry out checks to verify their background and experience as part of our pre-screening processes.
Q7: What happens if there’s an emergency?
Computers crash and technology has an irritating habit of failing. That’s life. Your Virtual Assistant should have procedures in place for when things don’t go to plan. Also, what happens if your Virtual Assistant is unwell and unable to work for you at short notice? Who is responsible for finding cover when they take a holiday? It’s important you’re clear on the back-up and business continuity plans your assistant offers. For example, at Virtually Priceless, at least two members of the team are fully briefed on each of our clients. We also have standard operating procedures that make sure work can be picked up by another VA at short notice if needed.
We’re here to answer your questions
Let us help you to find a Virtual Assistant that is the best match for you. Book a free 30-minute consultation and we can have a chat about who in the Virtually Priceless team could best support your business.