How To Hire a Virtual Assistant

How To Hire a Virtual Assistant

Is it finally time to hire a virtual assistant? Are you wondering how to get started?

It's a big step whenever you decide to hire a virtual assistant for the first time. As a busy entrepreneur or small business owner, it means your business is growing and you need more help. You might be finding that you forget small but important tasks when you get busy with other projects and work. For example; Who’s going to answer your emails? When will you update your social media accounts? How will you make time for those phone calls you keep forgetting?

Hire a Virtual Assistant and Get Help

A virtual assistant is a person who can help you with administrative and support work. He or she should be able to complete tasks according to your request OR find creative solutions to free up your schedule. However, if you are already overwhelmed, the last thing you want to try and figure out is how to hire a virtual assistant. The following tips can help.

What's the Deal?

Before you begin looking to hire a virtual assistant, the first thing you will want to do is outline your job details. Without a clear project summary, your Virtual Assistant ( or VA) can’t work efficiently. He will also have a hard time completing tasks. Here are things you need to put in your job details to make sure your VA delivers solid results:

What tasks will your VA be doing?

Before you hire your first assistant, you will want to have a clear idea of what tasks she could do for you. Try to keep track of repetitious time-consuming tasks you do every day, and which ones can be outsourced. Once you’ve determined these, you’re ready to create a work description.

What you expect her to do for each task?

Make the job description as detailed as possible. Don’t leave your VA confused and try to specify each task. Instead of writing “post on my company’s Facebook account”, include more details like how often and how long the posts should be.

How many hours do you want your VA to work?

 Estimate time needed to complete the tasks. Mention the number of hours you want your assistant to work in a day or week.

What is a reasonable deadline?

 Remember that your virtual assistant likely has other clients. If you want a rush job, be prepared to pay for it. One to two weeks is usually reasonable for routine tasks.

What specific skills are you looking for?

 If most of your tasks are administrative or email related, you’ll want to hire a VA with expertise in that area. If you need your VA to conduct phone calls, you’ll want someone with good verbal and communication skills.

What work values are you looking for?

Picture your ideal candidate. Do you need someone who’s easy to work with, dependable, and professional? Don’t forget to mention this on your work description.

Looking, looking...

Once you’ve outlined your project description, you can now proceed to Step 2 to Hire a Virtual Assistant, finding candidates.

One of the great things about hiring a virtual assistant instead of an employee is that you don’t have to worry if the best candidate lives across the state or on the other side of the world - thanks to the wonders of email and video chat, you can communicate with your VA on a regular basis.

Turning Over the Rocks

There are many sites and communities across the web that can help you scout for and hire a virtual assistant. Through these sites, you can post your job description and choose the best candidate among the applicants. Sometimes you'll need to look on each of them to find the right prospect.

  • - It’s the largest platform for all kinds of freelancers.
  • - Another massive and rapidly growing site like Upwork without the frequent service interruption and hassle when finding the right candidate. has been in business for over 10 years.
  • - A great place to find reliable freelancers without the high payment processing fees. You can build long-term relationships and your own dedicated remote team.
  • - Suited for clients looking for freelances with web-related expertise such as virtual assistants, content writers, and graphic designers.

Tell Them More

Once you've decided on the place or places you'd like to search for and hire a virtual assistant, the next step is to create the job description. This is where you'll want to take all the details you determined when you outlined the project and put them into a paragraph to advertise the job. The more details you add to your description, the more likely you will be to find the right fit.

Be as specific as possible and focus on hiring for the task. Attempting to hire a single virtual assistant for all of your work rarely ends well. It's better to have multiple virtual assistants that work in specialized areas rather than a Jack or Jill of all trades.

What About the Interview?

After you have posted your job description, you will begin to receive applicants for the job. Review these carefully to determine which one or ones will be a good fit for the job you are wanting them to hire. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when interviewing Virtual Assistants.

  • Know what you are looking for.
  • Be sure to ask relevant questions.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for a sample of their work.
  • Review their feedback and reviews to determine what others are saying.
  • Have a little patience. Sometimes the best applicants come in within 24 to 48 hours so don't hire the first person to apply.
  • Ask follow up questions to engage in more communication.

You can also read our article on 13 Virtual Assistant Interview Questions to Ask.

Take a Test Drive

After you hire a virtual assistant, it’s always a good idea to start with a small project, and then add to her workload as she progresses. It’s probably best if you create a system before you hand off tasks to your VA. Think of this like a procedure manual. If you’ve been doing something for a while, you can create a tutorial on how to do it. This can help your VA follow through faster.

If you’ve got more time to spend, consider a quick trial project for your VA. This will help you get a better sense of the candidate’s work style so you can determine if she’s the right fit. It doesn’t have to be a difficult task, just a simple one that can showcase the applicant’s talent.

Here to Help

Finding the best virtual assistant can be a catch 22. You need to hire a virtual assistant to save you time but you don't have time to find, hire and train a virtual assistant. It isn’t simply a question of talent, nor is it all about choosing someone who’s only good at a certain skill. Virtual A Team shines at handling the entire process from outlining the project details to management of your team of virtual assistants.

With the right candidate(s) who are committed to your project’s success, you can free up time to do the things you’ve always wanted. The more time you have for the important things, the faster your business can expand and develop.

Note: This article was originally published on August 08, 2017 and updated March 5th, 2024.