Virtual Assistant:  The superhero who helps you fight procrastination!

Finding the right Virtual Assistant (“VA”) for you can be easy and it can also be difficult. Confused? Let’s take a step back.

When you wanted an assistant in the past, you would call up an employment agency, give them your requirements and ask them to find you the right person.  They would then look at the CVs on file to see if someone fits your requirements. If they did not have a suitable candidate on their books, they would place an advertisement o their website, in print media or on an online job-finding portal. Simple, right?

When looking for a VA, it is a bit more complicated than that.  There are no employment agencies for VA. Who do you ask, where do you look? What if she is based in Thailand? How do you handle the language barrier?

Here are my 5 tips on finding the perfect VA.

  1. Ask for a personal referral from someone in your business network, such as BNI. Do online research and look at their online presence.  Do they have a business Facebook page? Do they have a LinkedIn business page? Remember, unfortunately not all VA’s are reputable and not all have the same work ethics.
  2. Set up an interview, either in-contact or via virtual meeting and chat platforms such as MS Teams or Zoom.  Ask for contactable references. This is most important when hiring a Virtual Assistant. 
  3. Ask what legal documentation is in place that will protect your company’s confidential information. Also ask how they monitor the time they spend on your work. If they use an online time tracking platform such as Toggl, then that is great. Be suspicious of VA’s that cannot produce printouts on the time spent on your work.
  4. Create a task that is consistent with what you would need her to do and monitor the output.
  5. Start with a trial period, give clear instructions on the work that needs to be done and set time limits. 

It is always best to use a VA that is locally based, just in case there is an issue, and you need to track her down physically. Once again, if she is a referral from your business network and is located overseas, then you can trust her more. It is impossible to find a VA between the washing lines in a village in Thailand.

Remember that a VA is not a permanent employee; she is great for assisting with those must-do-I-don’t-feel-like-doing tasks.

When you find the right VA, it can be a long and profitable relationship for you and your company. You can focus on growing your company while she focuses on those time-wasting admin tasks.