‘How to recruit a VA?’ is one of my most commonly asked questions. And it isn’t necessarily straight forward. You’ll need to look at the bigger picture to get the support you need.
Recently, I received a response to a newsletter I wrote about how to build your virtual team. One of my clients, Peter, had written me an email asking, ‘Where should I go to get trusted VA, or virtual assistant, support? Do you have an AI company you recommend?’
This is one of the most common questions that I’m asked – ‘how to recruit a VA?’ And while I’m always happy to share my contacts with my tribe, in this case, the answer isn’t as straight forward as sending through a virtual business card. First, we have to look at the bigger picture.
Why is Recruiting the Right Support Important
Being a good delegator is an important indicator for success. A Gallup study of the entrepreneurial talent profiles of 143 CEOs shows that those with a high delegator ability had a three-year growth rate of 1,751%, 112 percentage points greater than those CEOs with a low delegator ability. High delegators also generated 33% more revenue and created more jobs at a faster rate.
As Richard Branson said, ‘If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.’
Although it’s essential to delegate, getting good, trusted support around you and your business is one of the biggest challenges to your business growth.
The Challenges Around How to Recruit a VA
When it comes to how to recruit a VA, the thing most people struggle with is letting go. The challenges arise when it’s time to start trusting other people. You’re giving them access to your brand and to your inner workings, and, in many cases, they’re going out in the world as a representative of you. It’s important that you make sure that you’re working with somebody you trust and who is going to look after you and your brand.
There’s a secondary challenge, which arises when it comes time to undertake the actual recruitment. Because personally-branded businesses have grown so quickly, rapidly overtaking and outrunning the virtual assistance industry, there’s a capability gap between the expert knowing what they need, and the VA support that understands how to help. That means that being able to get help quickly is complicated.
To combat this capability gap, I created the Expert to Influencer Online Program. In this course I help high achievers make the most of their potential – and that includes sourcing the right kind of support to help them achieve business growth.
The Expert to Influencer Program is fantastic but in the meantime, if you need to recruit virtual assistant support, there are four different types to consider.
Four Types of Virtual Assistant Support
When you outsource your virtual assistant support to a local VA you’re getting someone with local understanding and generally a higher level of initiative. They’ll be able to think beyond the brief they are given to help support your business in a wider way.
However, when you hire locally, you’ll of course be paying local (more expensive) prices. Another disadvantage is that often local VAs will be juggling more than just your business. You might find their time won’t always be able to be spent on you and that could lead to some complications.
If you decide that a local VA is right for you, be sure to ask for recommendations from friends and business associates to find the right person with the right set of skills for your business.
Offshore Direct VA
Hiring an offshore VA directly, rather than through an agency is cheaper than a local VA or a VA hired through an agency. And these workers will often be very processed based – meaning they can execute your briefs to the letter. However, they won’t have as much initiative and they will be missing that local touch.
You can find offshore VAs directly through websites such as Upwork or onlinejobs.ph. However, in my experience Upwork is a better source as they have a transparent process for ensuring the success of your potential hire. Whatever site you use, you’ll want to have a trial run with your new VA before fully committing to the ongoing employee relationship. Just set a simple task for them to complete. Once you assess this, you’ll have a better understanding of their abilities and how they might support you in your business.
Offshore Agency VA
When you recruit a VA through an offshore agency you have the advantage of leaving the actual legwork to them. The agency finds the right fit, engages the assistant and organises their pay. This means that it’s more expensive than hiring offshore directly. But it’s still less expensive than hiring a local VA.
You’ll want to ensure that you have a good, thorough conversation with the agency owner about your goals and the kind of support you’re looking for. The more they understand about what you need, the better they’ll be able to find the right support. Finally, make sure you’re very clear on what your payment covers. You don’t want to be out any hidden fees or costs.
Local Agency VA
There is also the option of staying local, and hiring a VA through an agency here in Australia. There are some great advantages to this. One is that you are staying local, which feels good. Also, he agency will be able to find you the right fit. And they’ll keep their team member focused and engaged on your business. This is an excellent solution before you’re ready to hire a full time VA or business manager. You’ll get someone who has more initiative and back end support, as well as local knowledge. You also won’t have to employ them for more hours than you want or can afford.
As with the offshore agency, you’ll want to make sure that you’re upfront about all your goals, and that you clearly understand what your payments cover.
Have you recruited a VA? I’d love to hear your thoughts….
Jane Anderson is a strategic communications expert, speaker and the author of eight books including the upcoming Exceptionality. With over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently, she is obsessed with authentic influence and human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. She delivers Women with Influence, Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.