I remember the first time I had to hire a virtual assistant. I procrastinated it until I didn’t have a choice!
Why? For a few reasons. One of them was that I didn’t want to let go of my work (even though I knew I needed to).
The other reason was that I had never done it before and was scared. But eventually I bit the bullet and hired a V.A. It was the best decision ever.
I get asked a lot about how to hire a virtual assistant, so I’ve asked experienced business owners how they go about doing it. Here’s what several had to say…
*** Success hiring VAs on Upwork ***
“I’ve had success hiring VAs on oDesk (now known as Upwork). I had one for a previous business I ran, and this is my 2nd. I’m very happy with her so far.
“I don’t care about the country of origin. I care about clear English speaking skills, friendliness, and intelligence. All of which come through easily in a Skype interview. I ask behavioral questions in the Skype interview to get an idea of how they would respond in different situations, e.g. What would you say to a customer who calls and tells us the cleaning team didn’t show up?
“Loyalty from the V.A. is not free. I engage them and make them feel a part of my business. I reward them when they do something very good, maybe with a gift card to a coffee shop in their country, or something like that. Just to show I am paying attention to them and truly appreciate their efforts. Loyalty isn’t free, but it goes a long way in making sure the person representing my business does a great job!”
Caleb Wetherell, Founder & CEO – Lemonly
*** Hubstaff Talent – the first place I look ***
Hubstaff Talent has helped me find talented content writers that I can work with on my own terms. As I need more remote freelancers it will be the first place I look.”
Jeremy Reymer – Driving Ambition
*** I hire my virtual assistants from El Salvador ***
“I hire my virtual assistants from El Salvador because they have a neutral accent and are able to speak English and Spanish simultaneously. In addition, these virtual assistants only charge you for the amount of time you use, including calls. So, I can have 12 hours of monitoring calls, but I only pay for the hours i use.
“I hire from Uassist me and I look for virtual assistants that are able to describe their previous experience and understand my business.”
AJ Saleem, Suprex Tutors Houston
*** 3rd Party Service – Freeeup.com ***
“I hire me VA’s through a third party service called Freeeup.com that trains them for me and I pay them a small fee. I tried going through elance and upwork but it takes to much time to hire.
“I hire VA’s for my Consulting company to do busy work that involves a lot of spreadsheets.”
*** GetLeverage.com for U.S. based Virtual Assistants ***
“I love the fractional workforce and frequently hire virtual contractors to help with various projects. For short-term, simple projects I hire freelancers using Upwork.com. The platform is easy to use and the quality has been excellent. I have tried using overseas freelancers on more complicated or long-term projects and have found language to be a barrier and for this reason I limit use of overseas freelancers to small projects.
“For more complicated or long-term work I love GetLeverage.com. They have US based virtual assistants and the model is such that they assign projects to VA’s based on skill set. Instead of having one VA who is a jack of all trade’s, my projects are assigned to whichever VA is uniquely qualified to the task at hand which produces a very high quality of work.”
Emily LaRusch, CEO – Back Office Betties
*** I hire Indians exclusively from Freelancer.com ***
“I run two online e-commerce businesses and have been using VAs for a few months now.
1. We hire them exclusively from Freelancer.com.
2. The preferred location is India because English is the official business language in India. Language proficiency is key in achieving typical VA tasks (online research, data entry, SEO, etc.) for an online business. Also, the typical monthly fee is extremely competitive which we can’t hope to match by hiring VAs from Europe or Americas.
3. Process: We start by posting a small project on Freelancer.com and note that this is a ‘test project’ for a potential VA arrangement. This usually gets us lots of competitive bids. This also gives us an insight into work ethic, the relationship dynamic, style of communication, efficiency with key software suites, etc. If we are happy with the quality of deliverables, we negotiate a monthly fee and start the onboarding process.”
Arash Khurana, Spiffy Spools
*** Very low turn-over with MyOutDesk ***
“We use MyOutDesk for our Virtual assistant hires. We use MODs, because we have found that they have the most in-depth vetting system for their staff. Almost all candidates are highly qualified, have exceptional verbal and written skills, and are very well versed in real estate assistant systems. MOD’s VAs are also very committed. We have had a very low turn-over rate on our VAs, and the majority have been with us over three years.
“We follow the same hiring process that we do for all of our other staff members. We conduct phone interviews, review the MOD’s reports on their behavioral assessments, review their technology report, and have our current VAs meet and interview them as well.
“Additionally, we treat our VAs like regular employees. If our state-side staff members get the day off paid, so do our full-time VAs. We provide them with a bonus at the end of the year and also support their attendance at local MOD’s events in their country.
“The success to hiring a successful VA is to ensure that you have the same rules and systems for them that you do all of the other employees. We do annual performance reviews, provide raises, have accountability meetings, maintain performance standards and goals, and provide coaching and consulting for growth and success.”
Rebecca Shanahan-Galligani, Hergenrother Realty Group
*** I’ve hired over 100 VAs ***
“I hire VA’s very selectively. I use Upwork and OnlineJobs.ph to find Filipino workers. I select that region since English is often taught in schools and a very strong language for them.
“For every position I have I hire around 10 VAs. For one week I test them all out by giving a hard project to see how they work. The task is very difficult and I know they will need help, but I want to see what they do. I want VAs who do not need to be spoon fed, but will ask questions when they do not know what to do. (this saves me time in real life projects).
“I then rate the VAs on a scale of 1-10 and hire the best VA for the job.”
Russab Ali, SMC Digital Marketing
*** I can’t imagine running my business without VAs ***
“Hiring virtual assistants is one of the best things I’ve done for my business.”
“I recommend sites like Upwork for those who are seeking to hire a freelance virtual assistant (or any freelancer for that matter). Different freelancers can bid on your posting, you can easily navigate to their page to see their experience, ratings, and more. It makes the selection process a little less tedious.
“Sometimes I also prefer to hire VAs from virtual assistant companies instead of freelancing sites. Those companies strive hard to provide excellent quality work at affordable cost. The best part is picking a virtual assistant company that suits your needs is a one time task. You can hire as many VAs as you want from the same company based on your requirements.”
Liam Martin, Time Doctor
How do you hire Virtual Assistants?
Do you have a unique way of hiring virtual assistants? Leave a comment below!