It can be a daunting task hiring someone you have only met through the internet, so I have put together some quick tips to consider to help you make the right hire.
1. Be very specific with what you want
If you need more than one skillset, then chances are you will need to hire two separate people – as it is not often you will find someone who can do both jobs well.
If you have had someone in the position before it would be a good idea for them to write down the tasks they have covered for you and even better the step by step procedure on how to do it.
2. Ask to speak with references
This is not rude, and quite often is the difference between making a bad hire or not. Some questions to ask …
- What is it like to work with them?
- How fast do they turn work around?
- Are they responsive when you need something or do they ask questions?
- Try to get past the “pretty answer” you will most likely get at first.
3. Run them through your policies
It is important they are well aware of what is expected of them before being hired by you. That way both parties are well aware of what is expected so that there will be no surprises after the hire.
- Vacation & sick policies
- Late policies
- Hours of operation
- Work environment
- Equipment / software required
- Monthly hours rolled or not?
- The length of the commitment
You will forget a lot of it, if you do not start using a list. This would be a start but I am sure there would be a lot more that are perhaps even specific to individual businesses.
4. Are they a contributor?
Perhaps this one is not important to you, but to a lot of entrepreneurs this seems to be a big one.
Basically I mean, will the person be a someone who can keep you up to date with certain knowledge … does the person spend a lot of time reading, learning and improving their own individual knowledge and will they be confident passing this knowledge onto you.
For me this one is not a deal breaker, but can and should be addressed.
I have plenty of terrible stories about hiring of virtual assistants, so whilst this is not a major factor it is a good indicator as to whether someone is serious and committed to their profession, or if they just one day decided to hang up a “open for business” sign and call themselves a professional.
6. Give a Standardized Test
This has become a major part in our recruitment process- a standard test in which is the same for all candidates so that we can test and compare them to one another.
We give both an English test here and a skill specific test.
7. Trial period
It could be a 2 week trial, it could be a 3 month trial period, as long as it is made very clear to the candidate that they will be watched very closely for that period with an evaluation at the end of it.
Will give you a time frame in which you can truly evaluate how they perform in the actual working conditions.
Hope this post is helpful to anyone looking into hiring a VA
PS If you don’t have the luxury of time to hire virtual assistants , then just leave it to the two dudes with experience and check out Remote Staff Recruit- our new recruitment service.