After reading a few posts here on the Jennie Lyon Virtual Assistant Services blog, hopefully you’re aware of what a Virtual Assistant is, what they can do for your business, and why it’s a great idea to outsource your work to one. The next step is to actually find a virtual assistant who you can work well with and is a good match for your needs. You need someone who you can trust with your business, and who has the necessary experience doing the sorts of tasks you’re planning to hand off.
Now, you might be at a loss when it comes to this point. Where does one go about locating a potential virtual assistant? You can’t just post an ad in the local classifieds or contact a traditional recruitment agency. Virtual assistants are part of a new, digitally-based job field that is only just starting to grow. Finding a good match for you can involve a slightly different hiring process than you might be used to as part of a conventional employee search.
How to find potential Virtual Assistants
The “virtual” part of virtual assistant means that location isn’t as big a concern, so you really can hire from a worldwide talent pool. That means your business isn’t limited to the town or city you live in, and you can hire a talented, highly desirable assistant without worrying about whether they’d be willing to relocate.
Considering this, there are a few ways to search for a new virtual assistant:
- Word of mouth – You may know other business owners using virtual assistant services who can recommend a service or individual freelancer.
- LinkedIn – Practically a searchable virtual resume database.
- Virtual Assistant websites – Many virtual services (ours included) have their own websites where you can get a taste of what it might be like to work with them.
What to look for in a Virtual Assistant candidate
Of course, the exact list of qualities to look for in a potential virtual assistant depends on what kinds of work you’re planning to outsource to them. For instance, if you use a certain suite of programs (especially if they’re specialized for your field of work), you may want to hire someone with previous experience using those programs, or at least some transferable skills or familiarity with a similar set of programs. However, there are some basic traits that are necessary to have a successful business relationship with a virtual assistant:
- Punctuality – Waiting on your virtual assistant to have important discussions or receive finished work isn’t very helpful.
- Clear Communication – A virtual assistant should have impeccable communication skills, especially if they’ll be writing any copy for your business which will go out to the public. It’s also important that you avoid miscommunications about work, which can happen more easily if you’re primarily communicating through online channels.
- Organization – Your virtual assistant should always have a system of organization which keeps them on top of the work that needs to be done. If they can’t recommend platforms for project management that you can both collaborate through, things are likely to fall through the cracks.
- Genuine Interest in Your Business – If your virtual assistant isn’t at all interested in the type of work you’re doing, they’re less likely to put in as much effort or produce the quality of work you’re hoping for.
Good luck with finding the right virtual assistant for your business needs! Remember, if you’re on the lookout for a new virtual assistant, Jennie Lyon Virtual Assistant Services offers a free initial consultation and I would be happy to discuss any concerns you may have.