Anytime you’re hiring a new team member, you’ve gotta do your due diligence. That said, hiring someone who will report to you AND only do work with you is a heck of a lot simpler than hiring someone who will support other contractors.
So, for instance, if you’ve decided to hire a virtual assistant to help with your administrative tasks and it’ll just be the two of you working together, that VA only needs to gel with you.
If you need a VA to coordinate projects across a multi-person virtual team and support more than one person, things get tricky.
Luckily, I’m here to help! And I’ve got 6 simple steps to interviewing and hiring that absolute best-fit virtual assistant for your unique team.
Virtual Assistant Hiring Tip #1: Be Clear on Expectations
If you are considering hiring a VA, you must need extra support in certain areas.
Which specific projects or workloads do you envision outsourcing to this person?
Which other team members will your VA support?
Make sure you have clarity on these questions AND articulate them clearly in the job description so all applicants know what to expect.
Also detail any desired outcomes for the position.
- Do you want someone who will stay at least a year?
- Are you hoping for a VA who will transition to another position on your team?
- Does your team need someone who can serve as a hub of communication?
Make everything you want and expect as crystal clear as possible!
Virtual Assistant Hiring Tip #2: Screen All Candidates
It’s never a bad plan to collect references from colleagues, but just because a certain virtual assistant is ideal for your peers doesn’t mean she’ll be a perfect fit for YOUR team. So create an application that all candidates must fill out to be considered for the position.
This will help you screen them for experience, skills, and knowledge that you know you’ll need.
If possible, create a section in the application that asks them to rank themselves on familiarity with the platforms and processes that they will be using.
This is a truly fantastic way to let the best applicants rise to the top.
Virtual Assistant Hiring Tip #3: Only Interview Top Applicants
Once you’ve vetted the candidates based on their applications and eliminated any that don’t fit your criteria, identify your top 3.
These are the ONLY ones who need to be interviewed!
Your time is limited and precious, so don’t feel obliged to spend it interviewing VAs who aren’t incredibly close to being a perfect fit! If you always struggle to create effective screeners, peek at my list of 25 Interview Questions to Ask a Virtual Assistant!
If you end up with more than 3 applicants who show boatloads of promise, consider having another team member interview them first. Use their input to winnow down the list and discuss other positions or projects these applicants could support, even if they don’t get the VA slot on your team.
Virtual Assistant Hiring Tip #4: Create an Audition
Study after study has shown that the BEST way to find out if someone will excel at a job is to test them on the actual job duties. So consider providing a test project to your top virtual assistant candidate. Pay them for their work, make the project short and well-defined, and give them lots of feedback.
And, of course, give all of your top candidates the SAME project so you can compare their results!
Virtual Assistant Hiring Tip #5: Determine Team Fit
Since you’re the business owner, your team’s virtual assistant must be a good fit for your needs above all else. But again, if this VA will work with other contractors, she needs to gel with the whole team.
If at all possible, have top candidates chat with other key team members to see if anyone clashes. Full interviews aren’t necessary; quick, 15-minute video chats will suffice.
You just want your current, trusted team members to have a say in the hiring decision. (And raise any red flags you might’ve missed yourself!)
Virtual Assistant Hiring Tip #6: Start the Relationship Strong
Once you’ve chosen your new VA, send the offer along with a note of warm welcome. But also outline the expected outcomes at 30, 60, 90 days and get started scheduling meetings for these dates.
You want to make sure your virtual assistant is excited to join your team, but also continue to be clear and direct about your expectations.
This sets the tone for your whole working relationship, so don’t be afraid to be open, straightforward, and precise as you get the ball rolling.
A great virtual assistant can be the glue that holds a team together, and a terrible one can be the spark that blows everything to bits. When you’re hiring a VA who will work with your contractors, use these six tips to ensure she’ll be the best possible fit for everyone!
PS. If you want to make interviewing your next virtual assistant a breeze, click here to download my 25 interview questions to ask a virtual assistant.