Are you thinking about hiring your first VA but not quite sure where to start? Or maybe you’ve outsourced in the past and felt frustrated by the process — maybe you felt uncomfortable reaching out and hiring, or maybe you brought someone onto your team and they didn’t deliver in the way you expected.
If any part of this seems to hit home, I want to share some easy tips that can make the hiring process a hell of a lot easier. After all, you’re bringing on a team to support and uplift you — not to drive you crazy!
#1 Write a clear job description
My first tip when hiring your first VA (or second… or any other team member for that matter!!) is to get really clear on what you need them to do. Take some time to go through all of the tasks in your business you’d like to outsource. Write them down! Try breaking it into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and then create a section for any project-based tasks (like an online program launch or website redesign).
#2 Figure out what you can afford
The two most common questions I get after telling people to create a job description are:
- How do I figure out how many hours this will take?
- How much will this cost?
Once you have a clear job description, you can request a proposal as part of your application process. Ask them to give you a total time estimate for all the tasks and a breakdown of how much time they estimated for each task. (For example, calendar management will take one hour per week.)
The more description the better.
The more information you can give to the applicant upfront the more accurate their proposal will be, so don’t be afraid to over-explain.
For example, I recently increased the hours for my VA. One of the tasks is helping to on-board new clients. Currently, I’m not taking on new clients but I know this will change in the future, so I detailed that process and asked for it to be included in her proposal.
Once you’ve provided the details, encourage applicants to ask follow up questions. They might think of things you don’t or spot holes in your processes that they can fill, and will want to include those in their proposal.
Once you receive their proposal you’ll be in a great position to evaluate the cost and value of adding them to your team.
Remember, it’s ok to start small and then add on more hours later. If their full proposal is outside your budget, look at the breakdown of tasks and pick your top priorities. As your cash flow improves you can expand their responsibilities or even grow your team by adding another VA!
#3 Prepare for a good interview
My third tip for hiring your first VA is to prepare for the interview!!
This means actually reading their application and doing some research on their website or LinkedIn profile. Take a deep look at everything — experience, testimonials on their website, social media platforms. You’d be surprised at the amount of information you can get from a very quick search, I’m talking 15 minutes max.
See if what you find matches your needs. If you’re looking for someone who wants to be a VA long-term and then you see that they have another business (maybe they’re also a health coach, for example), you want to bring this up during the interview — I see you run another business too. Is this the direction you want to continue in? What is your long-term vision?
I LOVE asking about their vision — how do you see your day structured (at home/in an office/traveling?), what are the qualities that are important to you in a client, do you see yourself growing your VA business? What are your plans?
During job interviews we tend to focus on me! me! me! It’s important to learn more about THEM. I mean, let’s be real, you’re going to actually work with this person, so you might as well get to know them and see if you even like them.
Prepping for the interviews in this way will help guide you during the interview. You’ll be able to get a good sense of not only the person’s experience and qualifications but also their personality. And the applicant will really appreciate that you took the time to get to know them.
Remember — you want this to be a good fit for your business but you also want it to be a good fit for them, because it’s that type of partnership that will LAST.