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Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring a VA

Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) or outsourcing work in the first place, can be a nerve wracking experience. Similarly to hiring an employee, you want to find someone that mirrors all your best qualities, but also has strengths and weaknesses that are required to complete the task at hand. You also want someone, ideally, who is easy to work with, has a great personality and gets along well with others. We could go on forever about the stress and anxiety of bringing someone new into your business. Whether it’s a permanent employee or a freelance/contract worker. To make that process a little less challenging, we’ve rounded up some key questions to ask a VA prior to hiring them for a project.

Do they have the specialized skills that could be helpful in other parts of the business?

This is an interesting one, especially when you’re considering a VA, since they all specialize in different things. For instance, one VA might specialize in social media management and marketing, while another might offer tourism and travel services.

It’s up to you as the business owner to do your research ahead of time on each potential candidate. You don’t want to waste your time (or theirs) by interviewing someone who has no interest or experience doing the type of work you’re requesting. You also want to be sure that they are a reliable source for work.

A good way to test someone’s reliability is to look for any testimonials or reviews on their work. You could also ask them if they have completed any similar projects and if you could get the links to check them out yourself. If the answer is no, it’s up to you to decide if you want to chance their work, or go for someone with a bit more experience.

Another component of this question is what type of goals you have set for your business, and what kind of business you’re running in general. Are there other tasks or projects you might consider outsourcing? How would outsourcing benefit your company?

It’s important to look at your goals, and decide if paying someone else to complete the work is truly going to push you forward, or just jeopardize your finances in an effort to expedite things.

What is their schedule like?

This is something that you would want to ask during the interview process. The thing that draws a lot of people into the VA industry is that they are able to be their own boss, create their own schedule and work from wherever. Is this something that you as a business owner would be comfortable with?

The best way to look at this would be to analyze the project or task you’re wanting them to take over. If it’s something with a strict deadline, would you be better off hiring an employee who will work a specific shift or hours? Or is it something that is a little more flexible, or ongoing work, and can be completed at their leisure with deliverables due on specific dates?

Being as open and honest about your expectations and schedule is a crucial part of the interview so that both you and the candidate can get a feeling of what the work will be like, as well as the working relationship.

Are they open and available to take on more tasks as the business grows?

This is something to be open and upfront about in the beginning as well. You don’t have to necessarily get a set-in-stone answer from the candidate right away, but it’s important to remember that since they are independent contractors, they won’t just be working for you. This means that they’ll likely have other projects with other businesses to handle at the same time.

Another situation to consider is whether or not the candidate is skilled enough to take on the additional tasks you’re inquiring about. If you’re hiring a VA for social media management, but are keen on finding someone in the next 6 months to a year for bookkeeping, then you might need to re-evaluate the candidate or find an additional person for the job.

You also will want to consider what type of business you have, and what your goals are for the future. Do you plan on expanding your business? Would it be worth your time and money to hire a full-time employee that solely works for you?


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