Top 3 Hiring Process Tricks to Get the Right VA

Many small business owners are now looking to control overheads by using Virtual Assistants to perform roles rather than directly employ staff. I have seen many success stories where VAs can have a very positive impact on business performance, but I have also seen some disasters. In most cases, the difference between success and failure came down to the process used to select the VA. In this guest post from Catherine vanVonno you will find the three steps you should take to ensure you hire the right VA.

If you have been scouring the internet for tips about hiring a virtual assistant, you will find a multitude of success stories from both employers and VAs alike. However, being swept away by these testimonials may lead you to have high, if not idealistic, expectations about finding the right VA.

While it is only right to expect the best from your VA, it is also important to understand that the success stories you hear about virtual assistance depends significantly on the compatibility of the employer to their VA.

How do you find the right VA for your business?

Because the success of your business will largely be influenced by the efficiency of your VA, it is only apt that you carefully strategize the selection process for your remote office assistant.

Luckily, this method does not have to be complicated and tedious.

The techniques of finding the right VA can be summed by these top 3 hiring process tricks:

Technique # 1:

Filter the applicants through a series of short but simple tasks.

There are hordes of virtual assistant profiles in job sites. Many of these aspiring VAs send out applications without a full understanding of the job at hand or even the qualifications to perform it. You must check if the applicants qualify right from the start of the recruitment process. Assigning short tasks that do not require a lot of time is an effective way to do this.

If you want an assistant who will help you in terms of customer service, require them to compose an email response to a difficult situation that is likely to occur in your business. This will determine their problem-solving skills.

You can also ask them to record themselves while reading a spiel that you often use in greeting customers over the phone. This will help you decide if they have the right bearing in dealing with the customers.

Asking the applicants to perform different tasks in the recruitment process also filters out the determined candidates from the less serious ones. The ones who are sincerely interested will not hesitate to invest time and effort to complete and pass application tasks.

Technique #2:

Screen the VAs through a test project.

Asking candidates to complete a test project for the next level of application gets you halfway through finding the right VA. While the short, simple tasks on the initial application step only assess their general skills, a test project is more disposed to the work culture of your company.

You can assess the efficiency of the candidates by asking them to use a time-tracking app. If you’re in web design, assign them projects that require the use of tools and techniques unique to your line of business. This strategy will help you see the level of their skill, the scope of their experience, and the creativity that they can breathe into a time-limited project.

Technique # 3:

Get down to the logistics.

What many employers fail to realize is that there is more to finding the right VA than a talent search. A well-organized, experienced virtual secretary may not agree with your pay terms. A resourceful, detail-oriented writer may not be able to put in the hours you require for the work.

Once you have zeroed in on the candidate that has the best skills for the job, it’s time to start talking about the logistics of the employment. Are you considering hiring a full-time VA? Try offering a monthly salary instead of an hourly rate. Do you need a VA for data entry and order placement during specific periods? Make sure your VA’s schedule matches yours.

There are many staffing agencies out there that will help you find the right virtual assistant. Armed with these hiring process tricks, get your pool of candidates from a trustworthy virtual assistance recruitment company and the rest of the selection process will be a breeze.


Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at|

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