Hiring your very own virtual assistant is a great way to not only keep costs under control but to also get the job done perfectly while you focus on other important matters. One of the important benefits about hiring a VA is that you don’t have to worry about accommodating yet another employee physically in your office. In other words, a VA is like a genie who works for you only when you want her to.

But how do you find the perfect virtual assistant who understands your style of working and who can make positive contributions to your business? Working with someone you haven’t met in person can be challenging at the beginning, but over time, this working relationship will only get better. In this two part article, we look at a few important factors you need to weigh in before taking a call and actually hiring a virtual assistant:

  1. Decide if you would prefer to work with a freelance virtual assistant or hire the services of a virtual assistant agency instead. Hiring an agency affiliated VA usually means better professionalism, quicker delivery of completed work and more accountability. In case, your personal VA is on leave or unable to work for a short period of time, most agencies will assign a stand-by VA for you so that your work does not get hampered.
  2. Most VA’s work for multiple clients on a regular basis and only you can decide if you are more comfortable with a VA who works only for you or one who delivers work on as – needs basis. Having said that, you also need to decide if you would prefer to recruit a VA who is in the same time zone as you are (which will make communication easier for the both of you) or if you are comfortable with the idea of hiring a VA who is based in another country. Some clients insist that the VA have a thorough knowledge of certain language styles such as UK English, and such preferences may be better addressed by a VA who resides in the same country.
  3. What work do you plan to assign to your virtual assistant? Most VA’s are comfortable in all areas of business and claim that they can deliver great results irrespective of what the job actually entails. However, if you are sure that you want a VA to specifically work on data collection, a business proposal or admin related work, you would be better off hiring a VA who has the right expertise and proficiency in one specific area. For instance, if you want a VA to help out with HR related activities, check the resumes of assistants who have done an HR course and who can relate examples of prior HR work for clients.

In the next part of the article, we look at a few more factors which will help you hire the right VA.