What to consider when hiring a VA

There are a number of factors to consider when hiring a VA and one thing I have noticed lately is that it is similar to a job interview however, the interview actually goes both ways! Remember that they are business owners too with their core business providing you with professional service.

Not only will you be checking that they are the right fit for your business but, they too will be just as inquisitive to see if it can work for them. We have come up with some helpful tips to assist you in your interviewing potentials and hope that this helps you come to the important decision of who to entrust to compete your outsourced work.

Should you have any questions at any stage, we are more than happy to have a no-obligation chat to get you on the right track, it can really help put things into perspective for you.

1. Introduction​:

  • Try where possible to meet face-to-face or via skype (or similar) to conduct the meeting.
  • Tell them about your business, what industry you are in, how long you have been in business, the size of the business, what your target market is, what your vision for the business is.
  • What is the vision of the business and both your short, medium and long term goals?
  • Why you are looking for a VA and what are some of the immediate tasks you need attention to?

2. Purpose:

  • Once the introduction has been completed, Ask the VA if this is something which they are able to assist with.  From here, you will start to gather a solid ‘feel’ for the person.  One really important note to look for is the impression of a business expert or employee; a business expert should really come into their own at this point and start leading and probing for more information, an employee perspective might wait for more ‘interview questions’ from yourself and not show assertiveness, if this occurs – be aware that they may not be suitable to take the initiative/lead and may need a lot of future guidance or micro-management.
  • Questions or discussions you should be looking for the VA to ask are things like: What is the project timeline?, What systems, tools or software do you use?, Is there a budget?, What are the KPI’s which need to be achieved?, Is there templates which need to be used? Is someone in the business currently completing these items already?

3. Solution:

  • At this point they should be feeding relevant and specific information back to you and showing you how or what they can offer the business and be able to complete the tasks quickly and efficiently.
  • Make sure you find out what experience they have in this field, whether they have done it before, have they completed any training previously in this area and what examples they might be able to show you.
  • Ask the VA what is their availability for completing your work and what their average working week looks like – this will give you a great impression on whether this will fit with your needs, that time zones are suitable and what capacity they actually have to complete the work.  At this point I would also recommend enquiring if it would be just them completing the work or is a team working in the background as well… may sound unusual but in many instances, they could be ‘farming’ the work to others rather than completing independently (happens a lot overseas) and this can add all sorts of challenges!
  • Ask how they like to communicate with their customers and what their invoicing/payment systems are that they currently operate, if based in New Zealand – ensure that they are GST registered (for your tax purposes).  Ask for an estimated time frame on how long the task or project might take and what an estimated cost might be – if they are experienced in this field, they should be able to provide a verbal price quickly and follow up with a formal quotation.

4. Commencement:

  • Once you are happy with the VA and the quotation provided, they will (or should) have contract and agreements for you to sign and accept.  These are there primarily to protect you and ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times. These are effectively a sub-contractor agreement which ensures that both parties are covered and more importantly, should the business relationship discontinue for any reason, all commercially sensitive material remains confidential and is returned to you without delay.
  • Be aware that working with VA’s in another country than yourself can be very different, for example the law’s and tax/finance etc.

It may seem overwhelming at first but I assure you that when you get the foundations right, it can lead to a long a prosperous relationship for both of you.  Happy to answer any questions you may have by email tara@5staradmin.co.nz or visit our Contact Us Page to complete the online enquiry form and I will be in touch!

Happy searching.