Before hiring a Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA), it’s important to get a good feel for the VPA and to make sure they’re the right fit for you. You may prefer to hire someone you click with straight away, or you may feel that the click will come once your VPA has learned your needs and how you like to operate. Either way, it’s good to consider the following points as your Virtual Personal Assistant will be representing you after all!
1. Matching Skill Sets – Virtual Personal Assistants come with a variety of skills, backgrounds and experience levels. Some may have backgrounds in bookkeeping, others in Information Technology, and others still in diary management. You will find that they are all highly skilled, however you need to ensure that the Virtual Personal Assistant you employ has the skill set that will assist you with the tasks you need help with.
2. Complementing Work Styles – If you prefer a structured work style, random telephone calls are not going to cut it for you. Alternatively, if you are more laid back, having a Virtual Personal Assistant who prefers to work with a strict structure could cause disharmony for you both. Question your potential VPA’s on their work style and choose one with a similar work style as yourself.
3. Availability – You need to determine the hours you want your Virtual Personal Assistant to be available to you. If there are set hours you need them available for answering emails or your VoIP service, this needs to be discussed at the recruitment stage. It is probable that your VPA will have other clients, but you also want to be sure that your deadlines are met and your work is done in the allocated time frame.
4. Find a payment structure that suits you – Payment structures vary in the Virtual Personal Assistant industry, from hourly rates, to project rates, to monthly retainers and packages. The best way to determine a payment structure that suits you is to consider your cash flow. Does it suit you to pay an hourly rate or on a project basis, or would you prefer to allocate a certain amount of money per month and use the hours allotted?
5. Be prepared to let your VPA do the work – avoid micromanaging! If you’re not ready to let go, you’re not ready to hire a Virtual Personal Assistant! To save money and save time are the two biggest reasons cited for hiring a VPA. A big mistake many hirers make when first employing a VPA is to micromanage them, thus wasting time and the precious money they’ve spent! To combat this, we suggest you consider establishing a set of deliverables with deadlines and ask for weekly updates. But the easiest way to tell if your Virtual Personal Assistant is working is to simply keep an eye on the results.
If you take the time to consider these things before hiring a Virtual Personal Assistant, you are more likely to find the right one, first time!
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, book a discovery call to discuss your personal support needs.