hiring a virtual assistant
Hiring a professional Administrative assistant is part-6 of an interview from Stefan from Germany, who lives the Four Hour Work Week lifestyle in Thailand.
- Look for a professional administrative assistant, who is willing to get himself trained.
- “I will find a way. Let me research that. I will find a way.” These are the words every employer wants to listen from a virtual assistant.
- Often virtual assistants from the Philippines are very sensitive and you have to treat them really well in order to work with them for a long time.
Start of the Interview:
I am going to show you how I normally go about hiring a virtual assistant on oDesk.
First of all, you need to be logged in. Then, go to the recruiting table (top left) and you’ll see several options:
- Find a contractor
- Post a job
- Different job postings already opened by you.
Since you’ll not have posted any job until now, there will be no open job posting.
The best way to go about it, before you click to post a job and write the work descriptions, is to click on the dropdown menu and find a job that is similar to yours.
There might be other employers on Odesk which have explained exactly the same task in a job opening to another person – way better than you might able to do. Use this existing knowledge for your advantage. Just type in some keywords which relate to your job.
- Simply hiring a virtual assistant for regular transcription jobs.
These transcriptions could be used for blog writing. So, I’ll want a person who knows about transcription and possibly blog writing. This is what I will put into my search field and will search for it.
Then, choose 5-10 good job descriptions and study them closely. This will make the task of writing your job description much more easy. Also, you will get a feeling of how much money people are willing to pay for a certain service. You will be able to orient yourself with this information.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant with an Eye-Catching Job Description
This one, for example, looks very sharp at the first glimpse.
It shows an interesting job description. It is clear to read and it has bullet points. There are clear responsibilities and everything is greatly described:
- It’s an hourly job,
- How long it will be required,
- The feedback score which is expected
- and everything clearly laid out in advance.
You can see how much money people want to be paid who apply for this sort of job and at which rate this employer is interviewing the candidates.
You can also see the old work history of the employer. If he has a lot of good feedback you’ll know he is a “good” boss from whose job descriptions you can learn something.
This other job description below also catches the eye, because of the SHOUTING with the capitals. Let’s examine both of them.
The 2nd job description is also pretty well suited to hire virtual assistants. It is very clear and has high expectations of the providers.
Write a little about you and your business
Also, it is good to talk a little bit about yourself, so people who want to work for you will have a clear vision of what you are about.
- Are you a blogger or are you an owner of a big enterprise?
- Are you a private person or a college student?
- For which reason and tasks are you hiring a virtual assistant?
All this makes a huge difference on which is your perfect match as an ideal virtual helper.
A good work description has specific tasks numerated with explanations, one after the other.
If I was a virtual assistant, I would want to apply for this job after reading the job description.
But let’s ask my VA for his advice…
Thanks for your opinion!
What I also like is this person explains up front that he is happy to receive calls and emails but he cannot always respond immediately and that he is open to feedback and suggestions. Many providers are afraid to give feedback and directions.
But still this work description seems a little bit long for the amount of money people are applying for.
Therefore, I’ll look for other information which will make it possible to me to get a low-cost but optimal transcription expert on my team.
Your job is to first read different job postings. Then, you’ll be ready to post a job yourself.
Looking for the right people when hiring a virtual assistant
Choose the right category for your provider. If you need a writer, post a job to the writer’s category.
Many providers will only apply to the jobs in the right category. So check for the first category which you think is right and then in the sub-category if you can find the right stuff. (Be sure to look at the screenshot!)
Here, it is “Administrative Support” and then “Transcription” which is the right category for your job posting. Then you’ll see a preview just under the Subcategory about how many possible applicants you might have on Odesk.
Do you see a big number? Don’t panic!
You will not interview hundred of thousand applicants.
Make a catchy job title and make a great job description. You can also read some good tips on the right side of your description right on the odesk page for best practices of hiring a virtual assistant.
You can also put a link to an explaining video or a website within the job description.
Do not promote any services there, as it might be against Odesk’s terms of services. You can however use a link to a screenshot recorded by a screen recording software which further explains what you are looking for.
Under the “Skills Required” box write whatever skills you want. As you write your desired skills you will get propositions of what might be the right choice. Choose from those suggestions. You can also enter more than one desired skill.
- A fixed price job is well suited for an assignement of transcribing one hour of audio for a given price.
- An hourly work might be more suitable for transcription if you want to hire a virtual assistant that is reliable and works regularly for you.