How to Find the Right Virtual Assistant – Part 2

By Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Part two in a series on the benefits of a virtual assistant.

Chuck Norris How to Find the Right Virtual Assistant   Part 2Once you have decided that a virtual assistant will increase your productivity and revenue, the next step is to find the right assistant for your needs. Since you will most likely be hiring someone without ever meeting them face to face, it is important to spend time during the recruiting process to find the right person for your small business marketing needs.

Determining the Skill Set

Review your list of tasks that you would like your virtual assistant to perform, then write a second list of all the skills your VA needs to successfully perform the job. Are there specific software programs that they need to be proficient in? Do you need someone with experience in customer service? Since many VAs specialize in specific industries, decide if you need someone with experience in your field, or if you require an assistant with more general administrative skills.

Recommendations and Job Boards

One of the best ways to find a great virtual assistant is to ask others in your field if they have any recommendations or use a VA. “I’ve found my VAs through a referral from people I trusted as well as through websites. I recommend starting by asking your own referral network for recommendations,” says Laurie Erdman, founder of Chronic Wellness Coaching.

If you are unable to get a personal recommendation, there are several job boards dedicated to virtual assistants, such as Virtual Assistants Forums and VA Networking.  Business owners who are looking for VAs can also take a look at discussions on the various LinkedIn virtual assistant groups to see who is savvy in their fields.

The Phone Interview

Since the candidates will be working remotely, you will most likely have to conduct a phone interview; but PhoneINterview How to Find the Right Virtual Assistant   Part 2if someone lives locally, be sure to meet him in person. Russ Hearl, founder and CEO of Evertalk, has found that using Skype for video conferences works well for interviews. “Even though a VA could be on the other side of the country, or planet for that matter, you want to make sure that you can envision this person working well with you and your team,” says Hearl. “As with almost anything, it comes down to communication, so make sure your communication styles are similar.”

Since the expectations and tasks for virtual assistants vary greatly depending on the client, describe in detail your specific needs and the expectations you have for the virtual assistant. Find out her availability and determine if she would be able to meet any deadlines that you have.

“Discuss the virtual assistant’s accessibility, whether you can contact her through phone calls, online or by texting,” says Jan Udlock, an experienced virtual assistant specializing in working with writers, speakers and coaches. Although skills and experience are important, many owners find that the most successful VAs are the ones whose work style and personality fit within the company. Be sure to check references and then extend an offer to your top candidate.

To establish a marketing attack, download “The Infusionsoft Guide to Sales & Marketing.”

ICON14: Small Business Conference
  • smallbusinessadvice

    learned quite a bit reading your advice! thanks for sharing

  • alexanderqgreen

    I have started using VA for almost 2 years so far it’s beed a great experience. They have a web development and SEO team also working along with the VA’s so that basically takes care of all my business needs. I guess that’s one advantage of working with a VA company. Will let you know if my opinion changes about them though, but so far so good.

  • johnycruz04

    Thanks for sharing this post ! Really, Virtual
    assistants are becoming increasingly popular. A best virtual assistant can handle work
    professionally. A professional virtual assistant can showcase his
    or her skill and can satisfy the expectation of their clients.

  • Joanne Salve Pion

    A high-quality Virtual Assistant is usually tech savvy and will have the necessary skills, knowledge and education to provide your business with top quality service.