Need Help Keeping Up? Try Hiring a Virtual Assistant

If you’re having a hard time keeping up with all of the administrative responsibilities of owning your small business, then you need to find some help. But how can you hire help, when you can’t even afford to pay yourself?

The answer is to hire a Virtual Assistant.

Many businesses are turning to hiring virtual assistants in the 21st century in order to cope with the steady onslaught of work that they have been faced with. A Virtual Assistant or VA is a self-employed individual who provides professional, administrative, or technical assistance on an as needed basis. These individuals typically work from remote locations and provide a great value to the employer since there is no need to provide them with office space, equipment to do the job, or a full-time salary and benefits. Most VAs work on an hourly or per job rate which proves to be very affordable for the employer.

Now that you know what a VA is, how do you find one to hire? I use Elance and oDesk to recruit, hire, and manage my virtual workforce. Both provide excellent user interfaces that make it easy to find the right VA for your needs. One of the biggest advantages of both oDesk and Elance is that they act as an impartial middle-man ensuring that you get what you’re paying for while protecting the VA as well. There are other services available, I’m just more familiar with these 2 because I’ve used them for awhile.

To start the process you will need to:

– Define the tasks for the virtual assistant

It’s great that you want a virtual assistant, but what do you want the VA to do? You should clearly outline exactly what the virtual assistant’s tasks will be so that you have a clear understanding of what their roles and responsibilities are. In addition, you should outline exactly how long you anticipate each task will take. This way, the person hired to be the virtual assistant will know exactly how much time he or she has to do the job.

– Write a clear job description

Include everything that you want the VA to be able to do in order that any applicants will have a clear notion of what you need and when. This will also give you the opportunity to see exactly what you want on paper, so that you know the limitations of the job you are asking the VA to do. Also indicate how you would prefer to work in this situation, as this will give the successful candidates an exact idea of what sort of working relationship you’re looking for.

– Post the job

Once you have done these two things, you need to post your ad. You can use the various forms of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, or you can hit a range of job boards with your job description. Again, I prefer Elance and oDesk, but you can try whatever you think will work best for you. Take the time and choose where you are posting your ad wisely, though, as you may get responses that you aren’t prepared for.

– Use a filter

You need some way of filtering the applicants you want. You may want resumes, a testimonial about their talents, or very specific presentations in order to see their range of talent. Either way, you need to determine exactly how you are going to cut through the sea of resumes to finally get the candidate you want as your virtual assistant. Professionalism and a quick response time should be a couple of your key considerations when filtering out candidates.

– Make your selection and hire

This is likely going to be the hardest part of the equation for you; you may find there are several candidates that seem ideal for your purposes, and so, it will be a real challenge to find the one that best suits your needs. However, it’s important to remember that you can conduct interviews and paid trials in order to understand exactly who the best candidate is for you.

Hiring a virtual assistant might be a daunting part of your business, but it doesn’t have to be. Following the simple steps above are sure guidelines to get you started on the process.

Good Luck and thanks for reading.