I was part of a huge and lively online debate the other day in one of my favourite Facebook groups, and it was all about the trials and tribulations of employing virtual staff (VAs).
Are you considering taking on someone to help grow your online business?
One of the biggest problems many people face is with unreliable staff, assistants suddenly disappearing, being flakey or just not following instructions correctly.
What a headache!
Just when you thought you had the ideal solution to expansion and online domination…. it could be enough to put you off driving forward with that growth strategy!
But hold on – I have one super simple little trick, which will guarantee you only end up with the crème de la crème of online assistants.
I’ve recruited five virtual assistants in the last few years and they have all been exceptional and cost less than $15 per hour.
I’ve sourced an SEO expert in the Philippines, an adwords specialist in India, two copywriters both in USA and a social media assistant also in the Philippines.
There are a lot of online platforms for sourcing online virtual staff, I’ve avoided fivrr and have stuck to Odesk, Elance and Upwork (who bought both Odesk and Elance).
So, lets get to it. Here is the process I recommend you follow to:
- Guarantee you get the best person for the job
- Save hours searching through your many applicants
Write a short, easy to understand brief that outlines the skills and experience you are looking for, and which describes clearly the tasks you want done.
Write a synopsis of your brief to upload as your advert
Attach a document with the full details of what you are looking for.
Include a line inside the attached document:
When applying for this job please write “[Unique Code Here]”at the beginning of your bid so I know you have read this job description well.
From experience I see only around 10-20% of all applicants manage to follow this instruction!
Which means you can instantly disregard anyone who does not include the [code], saving you a ton of time. Plus this is the part that will separate out the diligent from the rest.
This small but powerful action will make recruiting virtual staff quicker and more affective.
One more important thing to do – once you’ve shortlisted two or three applicants, then be sure to speak to them on Skype.
Doesn’t have to be a fully blown ‘interview’, I find that just a few informal questions is enough to determine if they are a right fit for you and your business.