Finding a virtual assistant is not as hard as it seems when you first think about it, however if you are going to utilize the services of an off shore virtual assistant you should avoid those companies that pay their virtual assistants pennies while charging you premium rates. Instead find an independent virtual assistant that works either alone or as part of a small team. You can also find someone in your own country, which I might add has some major advantages as they generally speak and understand your language and customer expectations much better. To find the right virtual assistant try the following.
List all of the Anticipated Tasks
It’s important to make a list of all the tasks that you would like your virtual assistant to do. The VA you hire will need to know what’s involved, and you can’t hire someone until you can make a list of all the things you need them to do, so that you can ensure the VA you hire can also actually complete the tasks. It is also sometimes beneficial to hire more than one VA, especially if the skills required are in different business areas.
Create a Request for Proposal
Using the task list you have already created, write a request for proposal (RfP). An RfP lists all the things you want the virtual assistant to do, as well as the compensation range, deliverables and other expectations you will have. Remember not to expect too much in different business areas of your VA; most VAs specialize in one or two areas only so try not to push your VA to work outside of their skillset.
Post your list on upwork.com, and set a realistic budget. Sign up for a paid account and restrict the bids to people with paid accounts. Check their references and I do mean check them, check their work history, and do not pick the lowest bid. It’s also worth pointing out that some people on these websites are desperate and will often lie in order to secure work, so do your due diligence. Similar sites such as peopleperhour.com offer similar services.
This is a great place to pay to post your completed request for proposal. They have high quality paying members who are serious about building their VA business. You’ll likely get some very good bids from proactive virtual assistants if you post your RfP there.
Your Groups and Organizations
If you are part of any group or business organization, you can post your needs for a VA there. They will likely have plenty of recommendations and even recommend their own VA for you.
Seems obvious doesn’t it but you’d be surprised how many people don’t. You can post your RfP on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms, and you’ll get applicants as well as recommendations from others about who to hire.
Colleagues and Business Contacts
Send a message to your circle of influence, mentioning what you need done and that you want to hire a VA. They’ll most likely recommend people to you, or send out the notice to their circle too.
On WAHM.com there is a VA message board where you can post your RfP. There are many good VAs who frequent this message board who will answer your RfP, but you should be aware that there are also questionable people, so as always do your own due diligence.
If you’re careful, know what you want, do your due diligence and stay proactive with your virtual assistant, you’ll end up having a great experience, improve your business, and get much more productive work done.