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For small-to-medium business owners, having to maximize your resources includes working under multiple roles. While each part is key to ensuring that your business is operational, some tasks drive your business growth more than others. 

Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) allows you to delegate mundane and administrative tasks, letting you and your team focus on core tasks better. If you're unfamiliar with the process of hiring a VA, here are the steps you need to take:

1.    Identify the type of virtual assistant you need

There are two types of VAs: administrative (or general) and specialized. Administrative/general VAs are assigned mundane and repetitive tasks that maintain your daily operations, such as filtering your email inbox or scheduling appointments. A specialized VA has a more specific skill set that allows them to handle certain tasks professionally.

2.    Pick out tasks to outsource

Considering your business needs, you need to decide on the job scope for the VA you are looking to hire. For administrative VAs, having a list of all the tasks and processes to handle is enough. 

On the other hand, it is more helpful to focus on outcomes rather than tasks for specialized VAs. This is because they are already familiar with the functions necessary to fulfill their roles.

Prepare the necessary training materials and guidelines for onboarding to ensure that they can adjust to your business practices as smoothly as possible.

3.    Look for qualified and skilled VA candidates

You can start your search for skilled and qualified virtual assistants by creating a public job listing. This listing should contain the prospective VA's scope of work, expected working hours, salary range, and other information related to the job. Alternatively, you can also partner with an outsourcing provider or tap into recommendations from your networks.
4.    Review and process applications

After the search for applicants is complete, it is time to find promising candidates. Different types of VAs will require different qualifiers to demonstrate their capability for the job. This covers general tasks for administrative VAs or industry-specific experience and certifications for specialized VAs. 

Have a video interview with your selected candidates, as it allows you to observe their communication skills and overall professionalism. It also gives you the chance to clarify and explain the job's details to the candidate, preventing any future misunderstandings.

5.    Test your top candidates

Testing can ensure that your potential hires can deliver their work in a professional and prompt manner. This can be done in two phases: a preliminary exam and a trial hire. The preliminary exam puts the candidate's credentials to the test and can help you determine if they are capable enough to perform the tasks needed for the job.

For candidates who passed the preliminary exam, consider giving them a two-week paid trial. This allows you to evaluate their soft skills further, such as work ethic, reliability, consistency, and compatibility with your business workflow. Successful candidates are then officially hired for the position, while unsuccessful ones are let go.

For a more comprehensive guide to hiring a virtual assistant for your business, continue to the infographic below.