7 things to consider when hiring an assistant

assistant_2So you’ve decided it’s time to get some help.

Maybe it’s because you’re tired of drowning in your administrative duties. Maybe it’s because things are slipping through the cracks. Or maybe it’s because you don’t have the inclination to learn the technical piece for delivering your services.

Whatever the reason, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to hire an assistant … virtual or otherwise.

Hiring someone isn’t second nature to most of us. Managing someone can be even more challenging. Not to worry, I’ve got it covered. I’ve compiled a list of the top seven things to consider when hiring an assistant.

  1. Get your systems in place – I’m a big believer in using systems to streamline your business processes. When you decide to hire an assistant, your systems will make the transition of duties much easier for both of you. All you have to do is hand over your step-by-step process. She’ll know exactly what has to happen and you don’t waste time and money training her.
  2. Decide on your budget – Reputable virtual assistants tend to charge $30/hr and up. Figure out how many hours you can afford per month.
  3. Define responsibilities – What do you want her to do for you? Start with your most pressing pain point or your most repetitive tasks. Publishing your blog each week is a great way test out your assistant and make sure you’re a good match.
  4. Sign on the dotted line – Most assistants will require you to have a written contract detailing the specifics of your arrangement. This will include things like price, how they will be paid and responsibilities.
  5. Check their references – Do your due diligence. Have her provide at least three references you can contact. You’ll want to ensure your assistant has the right credentials before she gets too far into your business.
  6. Keep it confidential – Depending on the type of work you do, you may want to have your assistant sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent her from discussing your business with anyone else.
  7. Face to face – Choose someone who is willing to meet you either in person or by video conference. Sometimes the only way to tell if they’re the right fit for you and your business is when you look in their eyes.

You may have some other considerations that are important when thinking about someone joining your team. It may be professionalism, technical capabilities, or even availability. A word of caution from those in the assistant business: don’t hire based on price. In many cases you get what you pay for. So do your work up front and it will pay off big time.

What about you? Have you hired an assistant? What kind of work does she do? How did you find her and were you happy with the result? Share your comments below and continue the conversation.

Disclaimer: I took editorial liberty and used “she” throughout this blog to refer to assistants. This was not to imply that all assistants are female – it was just easier to write and easier for you to read. There, I said it.

 

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