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How To Hire a Virtual Assistant

The process of finding a great virtual assistant can feel overwhelming, so it’s important to make sure you know what traits you’re looking for and how to screen for them in the interview process. 

In this episode, BELAY Director of Talent Madison Morgan will share an overview of BELAY’s proven process for hiring great VAs. She’ll also explain how partnering with BELAY can save leaders an enormous amount of time and stress. 

Listeners should leave this episode with an understanding of what it takes to hire a virtual assistant, as well as the benefits of working with BELAY rather than hiring someone on their own.


Here are some takeaways Madison shared:


1. Put your money where your mouth is.

The first thing you should think about doing is establishing a budget around sourcing. What do you want your costs per hire, and maybe even applicants to be? 

Strategically manage your budget across various platforms to help attract a diverse pool of quality and quantity applicants. At BELAY, some of our top-performing jobs are typically going to be posted on LinkedIn, FlexJobs and Indeed.

When you’re thinking about hiring a candidate, the salary is not the only thing to take into the equation of what it might cost you to bring someone on board. We’ve seen at BELAY that there is a drastic dip in the quality of our applicants when we are not posting on these types of sites.

Once you have those postings, you still have to put some money behind that.

You have to put your money out there and wait on the data to show you where you’re getting the most ROI and which job platforms perform best for your industry or the job you’re trying to fill.

2. If you want to truly identify the best talent, a resume and interview alone aren't gonna get you there.

We’ve developed a question in-house that we believe gets to the heart of what we’re looking for in a Virtual Assistant candidate. We have them record a one-way video response. This shows us how a candidate would show up in a virtual setting, how they would show up for a client and conduct meetings, and it also hints at some of their essential soft skills as well as their technical skillset.

If you want to truly identify the best candidate, a resume and interview only are not going to get you there. 

At BELAY, we have both a behavioral and skills assessment that we also have our candidates complete in order to get a holistic picture. You’ve got to have varying approaches to see what this candidate is bringing to the table. 

Think about our behavioral assessment in three parts —  the briefcase, the heart and the head. 

The briefcase is going to be the resume, the application and previous experience.

The heart is the interview. You’re getting to hear about who they are and what makes them tick, what’s their why, why do they wanna be at your company and why do they want to be in this role? 

The head is the assessments that give you good insight into their intelligence and their ability to produce good work.

3. Focus on soft skills over hard skills.

Who are the people in your organization that you would consider to be the rockstars? 

Who are those people that are performing, not because of the experience they brought to the play, but because of their desire to roll their sleeves up, to get in there, to be resourceful, to find answers, to be a team player?

Those are all soft skills. 

Make sure when you’re looking for a candidate that you don’t forget that you don’t want to hire the person who on paper looked great, but they aren’t a team player. They’re just there to get a paycheck. They’re in and they’re out. They aren’t going above and beyond.


In this Bonus Next Step, Madison shares two characteristics that set a great VA apart from the crowd during the interview process.


1. Confidence is the biggest thing that sets great Virtual Assistants apart.

Confidence is the number one trait that’s gonna lead to a successful admin.

Look to see if your candidate seems to have the confidence that is needed to dive into ambiguous situations, to lead up and to show up with a presence that says, ‘I got this and I got you.’

2. When you find a confident VA, you're set.

If you find someone confident, even if they’ve never used your systems or tools, they’re going to go learn. 

They’re going to roll up their sleeves, and they’re going to figure it out because they’ve got the confidence to do so. 

They believe in themselves that they can do this job well.