Are you feeling rundown by the mundane tasks at work?
Do you wish you had someone to help you answer emails, book tickets, and run simple operations at your company?
Do you wish you had an assistant, but aren’t sure where to find one?
Maybe you know where to find an assistant, but are afraid you can’t afford one.
If this matches your description, then hiring a virtual assistant in India may be a great option for you. You may have never considered hiring a remote worker, let alone a remote worker in another country, to help you with daily tasks, but there are several reasons why it’s a good idea.
It can help save you time so you can focus on work that is vital for you to do. It can save you money on benefits and other office and overhead costs when you hire someone to work virtually. It can also help ensure you get the little things done every day.
This article will present how you can go about hiring a virtual assistant in India…one you know you can trust to get the job done.
Tips to find a good virtual assistant
Before delving too deep into how to hire a virtual assistant in India, let’s talk about things you should do to prepare for hiring a virtual assistant and how to find a great virtual assistant.
Ask for recommendations
When it comes to finding any good employee, asking for recommendations in your network is the way to go. The same is true for hiring virtual assistants.
If you are worried about finding the right person, ask around within your network and see who gets recommended. Recommendations from trusted colleagues go further than picking at random.
If you don’t have anyone that can offer good recommendations, you can always turn to reviews and testimonials on the Internet. It’s not quite as reliable as a personal recommendation, but it’s better than nothing and will give you insight into how a particular virtual assistant or company may work for you and your firm.
Scour the internet
In the event you don’t like the recommendations you get from colleagues, or if you don’t get any, then take the time to do the research on the Internet.
There are plenty of places to find virtual assistants in India, but not all of them will offer the same excellent services. Before you hire someone, do the research to make sure the site you are hiring from is reputable.
There are some companies listed at the bottom of this article that will be good to look into and a great starting point for anyone new to hiring a virtual assistant.
Prepare to offer fair pay
Virtual assistants that will accept nearly next to nothing might not do as good of a job as a virtual assistant that asks for a fair rate.
When you hire a virtual assistant from India, you will already save a huge chunk of change. It’s worth it to spend a little extra and hire a professional.
Remember, you can pay by the task, by the hour, a retainer, or any other way you agree with your virtual assistant. It’s not important how you agree to pay, but it is important that you offer a fair wage if you’re looking to get great work.
Review resumes and ask for a writing sample
As with any job, a virtual assistant should be able to provide you with a resume and a writing sample.
When you review their resume, make sure they have experience with the type of work you are requesting of them. That way, you cut down on any potential learning curves.
A writing sample will also help you determine how well they communicate. This is especially important if you are going to ask them to write emails or correspond with clients.
Engage in a trial task
There is no need to commit to a particular virtual assistant from the get go.
Instead, offer a small paid trial task and see how they do. If they do well, you know it’s a fit and you can work together. If not, then pay them for the trial task and move on to another option.
Sometimes one task isn’t enough to determine whether or not your hire is a good fit. You can offer a one month trial period to try things out. If at the end of the month things are going smoothly, you can extend the contract.
Speak over the phone
Virtual assistants may also need to engage with you or clients over the phone. To make sure they are up to the task, set up a phone interview. You want to make sure they have great phone connections, language fluency, and are approachable over the phone.
Ask for references
Sometimes it’s not possible to hire someone that has been recommended to you, but that doesn’t mean you have to hire blindly.
Most virtual assistants will have references you can call to ask about their character and work ethic. Make sure the references are a previous client so you can ask about job details.
This is one step you don’t want to skip.
Make them take tests
Another smart move is to require your potential virtual assistant to take online proficiency tests for skills they must have.
For example, if your virtual assistant is going to be doing a lot of typing, then you need to make sure they can type quickly in English. Online tests are a great way to ensure your potential hire possesses the skills they say the do.
What to look for in a virtual assistant
Now that we have talked about tips for finding a good virtual assistant in India, let’s talk about what you need to look for in a virtual assistant. After all, there are several virtual assistants you can hire, and you want to make sure you are finding the best.
One of the most important tasks for hiring a virtual assistant is to make sure they are fluent in English. This means they can both speak and write with near native ability in English.
Remember the majority of the tasks you will assign your virtual assistant will require strong language skills, so look for this from the very first phone interview. You may also want to exchange a few emails or engage in chat conversations to test fluency.
The whole purpose of hiring a virtual assistant is so they can take care of some of the mundane, yet necessary, tasks for you. That way, you don’t have to spend precious time doing them yourself.
When hiring a virtual assistant, look to see how responsive they are. You want to hire someone who quickly responds to your messages and delivers results quickly. Otherwise, you will end up doing those mundane, yet important, tasks yourself.
Attention to detail
Imagine getting to the airport and realizing your airline ticket is booked to Portland, Maine instead of Portland, Oregon. How big of a disaster would a tiny screw up like that end up being for you? It would be huge.
When hiring a virtual assistant, make sure they pay attention to small details. This is especially difficult when you are communicating with someone virtually and in a different country, but the good virtual assistants will demonstrate they are up to the task.
Your virtual assistant may run across important and private information concerning you, your company, and sometimes your clients.
Ask them about how they handle sensitive information and what discretion means to them. The more systems they have in place and the more policies they are willing to follow, the more you can trust them with more sensitive details.
Someone who asks questions
When hiring a virtual assistant, opt for the person who asks questions about the job and their responsibilities.
This shows that they don’t think they know everything, that they care about you, and that they want to make sure they are doing the job to your liking. A virtual assistant that asks questions about their duties is a virtual assistant that will deliver better results.
Someone good at time management
A virtual assistant needs to work quickly and efficiently. If they don’t, then you are essentially paying them to do something you could just do yourself.
You can watch for this on your trial run, but the best option is to use a time tracking software like Time Doctor. Time Doctor will show you how many hours your virtual assistant worked, how they spent their time, and even allows you to monitor their screen.
Not to mention, you can even pay your virtual assistant with Time Doctor’s payroll integrations.
When you are hiring a virtual assistant in India, it’s important to know you have a time difference.
When you interview, make sure you ask your virtual assistant if they will be available to you during your working hours. If it’s a priority for you to have someone available immediately, then make that clear in your contract.
You don’t have to hire a writing professor, but you do want someone that can put together sentences well. This is especially important considering many of your communications will be via chat and email. Additionally, they will have to write emails to clients and take care of business by writing.
You can offer a writing test, ask for writing samples, or assign a paid writing assignment to them. Again, the writing sample doesn’t have to be a piece of great literature, but it does have to reflect that they have a decent command of written language.
Willing to use project management software
The purpose of hiring a virtual assistant is to make your life easier and more productive. One way to do this is to streamline the tools all of your remote employees use.
Your virtual assistant should be well versed in Google Apps, Slack, Skype, Dropbox, and be willing to learn any other project or task management app you use to conduct business.
A great project manager will already know how to use many different project manager software programs or be willing to put in the time to learn.
Willing to use time management software
Not only do you want to make sure your virtual assistant will use the project management software you use, but you also want to make sure they are willing to use time management software.
Using time management software will make the job easier for both you and the virtual assistant. It will show both of you how the virtual assistant is spending time, generate reports, and help you increase productivity over time.
Where to hire a virtual assistant
Now that we have talked about tips for hiring a virtual assistant and basic things to look for when hiring a virtual assistant, let’s talk about where you can go to hire a virtual assistant. Here are some of the top places to look:
- Serve Team
- The Teams Hub
- Premium Help
- Connect Center
- Mechanical Turk
- Fancy Hands
- Task Virtual
Each of these virtual assistant companies is good to look into and will provide you with services you need. It’s worth it to take some time on each site and determine what it is you really need help with, what services each site offers, and which one is the best match for you. If you want to go deeper and look at more options, we have evaluated the top virtual assistant companies in a previous article. You can check it out.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to get that extra bit of help you need to keep your company running smoothly and to focus on the work you have to get done.
Remote workers can help you, but you also need to make sure you find the perfect match.
Do this by following the tips for hiring a virtual assistant, reviewing what to look for, and checking out the recommended websites listed above.
Good luck with finding the perfect match in your new virtual assistant in India.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.