4 things you should do before hiring a virtual assistant


With a growing number of entrepreneurs and self-employed Canadians, it’s no surprise “virtual assistant” has become a bit of a business buzzword.

Running a business is not easy! Virtual assistants, or VAs, can perform any number of tasks, from administrative duties like managing your calendar, to providing customer service, to helping with your bookkeeping. Many business owners are turning to VAs instead of hiring employees – a more cost-effective solution since VAs can work remotely from anywhere in the world, without overhead or staff costs.

If your to-do list keeps growing or you need a little extra support with your business, outsourcing may be just the ticket! But where should you start? It’s important to find the right person – VAs have different skill sets, expertise and work styles, so you need to find a good fit for your business.

We’ve compiled a list of 4 things you should do before hiring a VA:


1. Figure out the tasks you want to outsource.

Of course, this will depend on your specific business. Spend a week or two writing down your everyday tasks and what takes you away from the most pressing elements of running your business. Note the tasks you don’t want to spend time on and the skills required for those tasks. Are there any tasks you could automate? Where could a VA fit in?

If you’re not clear on the tasks your VA will be responsible for, your search will likely be fruitless.

2. Determine your budget.

VA prices tend to vary based on a number of factors, including the services required and years of experience. 

Consider the value of the tasks required. If you need a VA with a highly specialized skill set, the cost will likely be on the higher end. If your budget is low, pick a few tasks you tend to struggle with or lack the expertise to execute yourself.

3. Create a job description that’s an accurate representation of what will be expected, along with any required skills or qualifications.

Conduct research and review similar job postings online for inspiration. Then, let the search begin! 

There are plenty of freelance platforms like Upwork where you can find virtual assistants, or you can look at more traditional job boards or agencies. Don’t forget about posting to social media! Use those networking skills;  fellow entrepreneurs may be able to refer you to an amazing VA.

In the interview stage, ask lots of questions to get to know the candidates and ask for testimonials or references.

4. Consider a trial run.

Before committing to a long-term contract, offer a trial period that will allow the VA to get settled into the role and for you to see if it’s a good fit. If you work well together, great! It might not work out and that’s OK! Don’t be discouraged if a VA isn’t the right fit.   

Of course, make sure you properly onboard the VA during the trial period, ensuring they’re well-versed in your processes and expectations. There will be a learning curve as they grasp your business and its needs, so be as specific as possible and check in regularly so they feel supported. 

To summarize, ensure you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, do your research and create an accurate job description, interview candidates thoroughly and engage in a trial run. 

Don’t hinder your opportunities for growth because you don’t want to delegate tasks. A VA can save you time and money, allowing you to focus on the bigger picture! 

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