How to Hire the Right Virtual Assistant

How to Hire the Right VA Emily Reagan

Do you have any tips for hiring the right Virtual Assistant?

Other than it just “feels right?”

As a business owner I know that 95% of the problem is finding someone you can trust, who you can rely on, who you depend on, somebody who will be resourceful and care about your business.

In my training, my students are learning all of the basics and cornerstones of online business so they can be “more than just a va”.

More than “just a VA?”

Yes, someone who is a business sidekick. Who understands the point, the strategy, and how all the moving components of an online business come together to create sales funnels, nurture relationships, and grow social media audiences.

I have seen it called a “Virtual Executive Assistant” … only that person has to be well versed in the online marketing funnels. So I am calling them Digital Media VAs.

With that said, I KNOW it’s about finding the right person. I feel that answer for “the who” is military wives who have degrees, who’ve worked a ton of different jobs moving around following their spouses’ careers. They’re super smart, cultured, well-educated yet under-employed. They’ll be a good fit.

The big thing to know….

This VA doesn’t have to know how to do all the stuff. If they are resourceful and understand the basics of online business, it’ll be easy to learn. But as business owner, you need to be able to distinguish who is resourceful and who is not.

In my digital media VA crash course, I teach all of my girls all of the things… The basics to understand how to assist a business owner online and know where they need to learn more.

You can’t expect “just a VA” to know all of the things… SEO for websites, blogging requirements, email marketing affiliate marketing and what to do/not to do on social media. Really, I mean ALL OF THE THINGS. After taking my course, they’ll be ready to assist an online biz and niche down to what is really in demand (AND what they are good at!)

How can I tell if this person is resourceful?

Interview this potential hire ON THE PHONE. What does she/he know? How does she/he respond? How does she/he answer questions? Use test questions.

  • Does she/he answer with confidence?
  • Does she answer when she doesn’t know? If this potential hire does NOT know how to do something, does she express concern and be up for to the challenge for finding out the answer. “Let me get back to you on that.” “I’ve never done that before, but I am willing to learn.” “I’m not afraid of that” are great examples. Or is it a just “I don’t know that” end of statement answer.
  • How quickly does she/he get back to you? Her method of communication, her response time and how excited she is to help you in your business will let you know if she is a good fit.
  • Get references of course, but sometimes you have to take a risk on someone who is NEW. Just look at these things, if they’ve never been on the online space, I’d be reluctant. If she doesn’t use social media, I would pass. If she is scared of technology, pass.
  • Ask what her goals are. Cliche? Totally. However, career dreams will guide her in her future choices. If she is wanting to invest in herself and not just looking to collect a paycheck, you may have a winner. If she really wants to learn more about Instagram or SEO or copy writing, you may have a winner. These are VAs you can groom to grow with your business and become your project manager (if you want…)

Let me tell you a story

I have grown my team to include 8 wonderful ladies, all of them specialize in something unique. Each has their different interests and stories about why/how they joined. But one thing is very very common… They are go-getters, challenge-seekers, self-starters and activists. Not one of them waits for the clients to fall in their lap. They love learning. They love being a part of something rewarding. Each one of them I tested with small responsibilities, I gave them all small tasks and watched how they performed.

  • Did I like their work?
  • Did I like their pace?
  • Did I like their attitude?
  • Did they help my business?
  • Did they ask questions?
  • Did they do most of it on their own?
  • Did I want to work with them again?

It was just obvious to me after those first few tasks. And I know that’s how I’ve impressed my own clients… by saying yes and figuring it out … and WANTING to figure it out.

One time I asked a potential hire to do a very simple task for me, if she truly had the skills and desire she could have quickly done this for me and just taken something off my plate. Yes, I knew I could google how to do and knock it out in 20 minutes. Her answer was “I’ve never done that.” Period. I did it myself in 5 minutes. She is not on my team. End of story.

I’m looking for go-getters. I’ll be honest, I’m fairly new at managing a team. But I think in my past 10 years as a Digital Media VA, I’ve developed an intuition for who is the go-getter… and who is not.

I hope you find your person! And I really hope this helps give you confidence to TRY OUT someone who might not have all the experience, but who has the drive.

-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant ..)

PS — If you’re interested in hiring one of my course graduates, you can always drop me a line here:

How to Hire the Right Virtual Assistant

If you’re already hired a VA to help you, did it work out? What did you learn? Please share below!!!! I’d love to know about your experience and what your “test” questions are!

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Meet Emily

Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementor and strategist for a decade for online biz owner clients.

She’s a mom of four, Air Force wife, and founder of the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, where she teaches smart women the in-demand, highly-coveted digital marketing skills to get flexible, online work.

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