Hiring a Virtual Assistant Part 2 by Chloe Adler
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Chloe Adler as she shares with us “Hiring a Virtual Assistant Part 2.” Enjoy!
So you’ve read my first blog about hiring a VA, and you’ve figured out what you need them to do.
You’ve made your list and checked it umpteenth times. Now you’re ready for the next steps!
Time for the nitty gritty.
Hiring your VA
Where do you hire them from?
There are several ways and several places. You can ask your friends if they have someone they like and trust.
You can use a website — and I’ll list a few below under the resource section — but my favorite and the one I use is Hubstaff Talent.
There are several reasons why this is my favorite site. It’s FREE. You post a job and get a list of applicants. You’re able to look at each one and check out their portfolio on the bottom right or ask them direct questions about the job. Sometimes it’s easier to weed out the people who take the time to fill this part out. I don’t ask anything too time consuming or complicated.
Then you can email them directly. And did I mention they’re free?
One thing, for me in hiring was cost.
I knew what I could afford and offered that price per hour, starting at $3 per hour. It’s low but there are plenty of people in other countries that can work for the price I can afford to pay and I’ve since given my VA’s raises.
When I first get a list of applicants I speak to some people over email and when I find one I like, I Skype them.
If I still like them and think they will do a good job professionally, I hire them on a trial basis to see if we work well together.
A mentor, Jen Lehner gave two VAs the same project to complete and then picked the person who was faster (he was a lot faster).
On Hubstaff Talent you can post the job you’re looking for (this is what I did) or you can look for applicants and invite them to your job (after you’ve posted one). You can scroll down on the main page and even choose by country if you want.
Tracking your VA’s time and Paying them
For this I use Hubstaff and I love it. There’s a monthly fee which starts at $30 for 3 employees or less. It tracks your employees time and even takes screenshots so you can check and make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
Funny story — I’m an eternal optimist but I’m also a realist, and I just assumed that at one point I’d find someone watching porn. But honestly it was my worst case scenario that I was “sure” would never happen. Except that it did. For real! It wasn’t my VA though, it was someone else who had access to her computer but that was a fun conversation. Not!
Most recently one of my VAs had logged idle time and I had to tell her she probably forgot to turn off the timer. The good thing is that you can delete this time from the hours they worked.
You can also limit the number of hours they work per week, log multiple projects (to keep track) and if they use Paypal, you can pay them automatically through Hubstaff. I don’t do this as I like to see what they’re doing, before I pay them!
I use loom, which is fantastic! And it’s FREE!
Loom records your voice and your desktop. I turn the camera off, but you can record yourself talking in the corner too if you want.
What I did before hiring my first VA is I recorded the tasks I wanted to hand off. I had to do them anyway, so I just talked my way through them for the VA. Then you get a link that you share with them. They watch the video and go to work.
Sharing your sensitive details
LastPass is where you store your passwords and login information, but it’s invisible to everyone else. You then share each specific login with your VA.
For example, I have a VA working on my social media. So she logs in to LastPass and accesses my Twitter or Facebook through their site. She doesn’t see my password or have access to it.
If we stop working together, I simply remove her from the share.
LastPass has a FREE version but I pay $24 a year for the premium version.
Connecting with/Talking to your VA (for project management and collaboration)
I use Skype for the 4 VAs I have. It’s on my phone and computer, and it’s how we communicate (through IM for free).
I make sure they know to charge me (login to Hubstaff) for the Skyping time.
I also use Trello which is FREE. And I have a Trello board for each of my VAs with a list of what I want them to do. We communicate that way daily and I put my loom videos there and a lot of pics/graphics.
I also use shared Google docs to track specific things that need an Excel spreadsheet type layout for another business.
You just have to experiment and find out which one (or ones) works best for you.
All the resources are here
Hiring your VA:
- Hubstaff Talent: this is what I use and love.
- Upwork: Upwork has screen capture and you can pay your VAs through it as well, I found the hourly rates to be much higher and I personally couldn’t afford it but I know several people who have found affordable VAs here.
- Online Jobs (Philappeano VAs only): Jen Lehner loves this site and found her amazing VAs here but it’s $50 per month. You can join for 1 month only. I used this site at first and was overwhelmed with the responses.
Tracking Paying VAs
Project Management and Collaboration:
If you need a thorough walk-through, I highly encourage you to take Jen Lehner’s online course! It’s fantastic!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For the past undisclosed amount of years, Chloe Adler has thoroughly bucked the system. She lives in foggy Northern California with her dead fish Larry and a bouncy bunny rabbit named Fred. After selling her rock collection, she amassed enough money to buy and move into a small motor home where she developed a strange fondness for striped socks.
Prior to her infamous writing career, Chloe was an overachiever, amassing a slew of unimpressive letters after her name. The trouble is that the five people who know what the letters mean, don’t really care.
When she’s not writing, she can be found picking trash up off the beaches, offering rides to the homeless, and roasting her own coffee beans.
Chloe has completed her first paranormal romance series, Distant Edge, which is a genre mishmash guaranteed to rotate heads. If you sign up for her newsletter, not only will you find out more, you’ll also make her jump up and down with joy for at least 3.5 seconds. Wouldn’t that be nice?