Whether you are the founder of a charity, or the owner of a coffee shop or web design company, you most likely need an assistant. Most start-up and small organization leaders are overworked and usually underpaid. If you are a business owner, I’m sure there have been several times when you have wished that you had an assistant who could take some of the burden off your shoulders. Lack of funding, no office space and several different reasons are probably preventing you from hiring the in-house staff that you need however.
If I just described your situation, then you are probably in desperate need of a virtual assistant! These assistants work remotely, and can help you with your organizational or even personal needs when you need it. A few of the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant:
- Cost-effectiveness. Hiring in-house full-time or even part-time staff can be expensive! Most virtual assistants have very affordable rates, and you pay for the work that you need done.
- Flexibility. You can hire an assistant for one project, one month, to help you with marketing, writing or selling. There’s no end to the possibilities.
- Free time! Who knew such a thing existed? With a virtual assistant helping you with everyday tasks that probably consumed a lot of your time, you can finally focus your energies on your long-term strategies and operations, or just take a much needed nap.
There are many, many more great reasons why hiring a virtual assistant could be right for you. But, with all that being said, you want to make sure that you hire the RIGHT virtual assistant. Hiring someone who isn’t right for your team, or can’t meet your needs, would just end up hurting you more than helping you.
Part of hiring the right assistant, is asking the right questions during the interview process. You want to find out exactly if that person would be the best hire and why. Here are the top five questions you should ask when interviewing potential virtual assistants.
1. Do you meet the professional requirements for the position?
This supposes that you KNOW your OWN requirements for the position. NEVER hire someone without knowing what you want them to do, and always find out if they can fulfill what you need done.
2. What is your availability?
Time zone differences can sometimes make working with a VA difficult, and just figuring out your schedules together, can be challenging. Make sure that your virtual assistant’s schedule is one that meets your needs and aligns with your own. For example, if you need projects handed in on Fridays, but they can only work weekends – that might not be the best choice for you.
3. May I contact your references?
Never underestimate the importance of checking references. Find out for yourself if this person is who they say they are. Knowing how a person worked in the past is a great way to find out how they will work in the future.
4. What are your fees?
Obviously you want to know how much you are going to pay for this person. Follow up with finding out, if these fees are negotiable. Be frugal but FAIR.
5. What are your current work obligations?
This is important because you probably don’t want to hire someone with ten other clients. Your needs will be placed in a production line, the quality of the person’s work may not be great because they are overworking themselves and not able to give you the best.
There are several other questions you should ask. You need to know who you want to hire, and ask the right questions to figure out if that person is fit to be your new virtual assistant.