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Where and how to find good virtual assistant?

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AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
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42
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I am new to this and considering outsourcing some of my current work to a virtual assistant. Some of the tasks I may need the VA to work on are:

1. Reply to support email for those common questions. Let me know when questions are too technical for them to reply.
2. Reply to app store (Apple and Google) reviews. Similarly, direct the more technical questions to me.
3. Manage my Facebook community Group by liking and replying to all comments. Similar tasks to (1) and (2).
4. Consolidate and update all feedback/suggestion from the emails/reviews/comments to a shared spreadsheet.

Where is the best place to find a VA and how much am I expected to pay? How should I assess the candidate for VA?

Thanks in advance for all inputs. :)
 

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OP
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AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
Another question I have is how do you usually let your virtual assistant handle your support email? Do you pass them the credential to your support email address?
 

David 964

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 10, 2019
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35
29
Los Angeles
Good post,

I have been considering VA as well. I will look for info and post it when I find out. My question to those who use one would be how long have you spend training VA so they can execute tasks properly?
 

Andrej

Contributor
Jul 11, 2018
16
39
23
My suggestion would be JobRack. It has a great base of eastern-european freelancers (goldmine) for a lot of different jobs.

Standard hourly for what you mentioned above it between $5-7
 
OP
OP
AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
My suggestion would be JobRack. It has a great base of eastern-european freelancers (goldmine) for a lot of different jobs.

Standard hourly for what you mentioned above it between $5-7
How do you determine the number of hours required for the job? Or this will be determined by the VA?
 

Andrej

Contributor
Jul 11, 2018
16
39
23
How do you determine the number of hours required for the job? Or this will be determined by the VA?
Well, that's something you need to do.

In order to outsource any task (the right way), you need to have detailed SOPs. If you don't, the deliverable will (more often than not) suck.

In order to get those SOPs, you'll need to do the work first. That way you'll know how much time is needed for the task.

There are no shortcuts. If you don't have the SOPs, you'll never be happy with your VA because they can't read minds.

Recently, I started doing video walkthroughs + written checklists for almost everything I outsource and the results have been really great. It's time consuming and kinda annoying, but you'll save a lot of time and money by creating procedures for every part of your business.
 
OP
OP
AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
Well, that's something you need to do.

In order to outsource any task (the right way), you need to have detailed SOPs. If you don't, the deliverable will (more often than not) suck.

In order to get those SOPs, you'll need to do the work first. That way you'll know how much time is needed for the task.

There are no shortcuts. If you don't have the SOPs, you'll never be happy with your VA because they can't read minds.

Recently, I started doing video walkthroughs + written checklists for almost everything I outsource and the results have been really great. It's time consuming and kinda annoying, but you'll save a lot of time and money by creating procedures for every part of your business.
I will do that. Thanks!
 
OP
OP
AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
Just signed up for an account at onlinejobs.ph. Seems like you need to pay to contact the worker. But since there is no other admin charges thereafter, I guess it will be relatively cheaper than getting someone from other freelancers site like UpWork if we are looking for someone that will work long term for us.
 

SolopreneurGrind

Contributor
Feb 26, 2019
29
46
19
I just hired my first "VA", but I decided against the full outsourcing model and just found one in my home city. I considered finding ones online in other countries that I could get for 1/3 of the price, but because of how "important" the admin work I want to outsource is, the fact that I wanted same timezone and considering the fact that I wanted 1 individual to stay with me for (hopefully) a long time, I went with someone here that I could meet in person (they work remotely but wanted to meet as part of the "application process").

Anyway, really happy with my decision 2 months in. The VA is very detail oriented, responsive and picked up tasks fairly quick, which is why I think the screening process is so important (I wanted to find the right fit and I'm not sure how easy it is to do that with someone online?).

Also, a big suggestion is to create systems/processes/guides for everything you want them to do. For example, one of the main tasks I wanted to outsource was sending bills, invoices and proposals. So in one file I have templates for each, and a "guide" for each which explains exactly what to do, in what order and how.

So "open folder named X", "update the date, then the client name, etc...", "export file as PDF and save in client folder as...".

Writing out these guys takes some time, but has saved me hours already and they can be used for future hires as well! I also have my VA update the guides as we discover new steps/nuances that will help them get their work done quicker.

Happy to discuss other areas if needed as I've had a great experience so far.
 

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OP
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AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
I just hired my first "VA", but I decided against the full outsourcing model and just found one in my home city. I considered finding ones online in other countries that I could get for 1/3 of the price, but because of how "important" the admin work I want to outsource is, the fact that I wanted same timezone and considering the fact that I wanted 1 individual to stay with me for (hopefully) a long time, I went with someone here that I could meet in person (they work remotely but wanted to meet as part of the "application process").

Anyway, really happy with my decision 2 months in. The VA is very detail oriented, responsive and picked up tasks fairly quick, which is why I think the screening process is so important (I wanted to find the right fit and I'm not sure how easy it is to do that with someone online?).

Also, a big suggestion is to create systems/processes/guides for everything you want them to do. For example, one of the main tasks I wanted to outsource was sending bills, invoices and proposals. So in one file I have templates for each, and a "guide" for each which explains exactly what to do, in what order and how.

So "open folder named X", "update the date, then the client name, etc...", "export file as PDF and save in client folder as...".

Writing out these guys takes some time, but has saved me hours already and they can be used for future hires as well! I also have my VA update the guides as we discover new steps/nuances that will help them get their work done quicker.

Happy to discuss other areas if needed as I've had a great experience so far.
Thanks for sharing. I started the process of documenting all the tasks I wish to outsource. It is a lot of work and not fun but I believe this is essential before even trying to put up a job listing for a VA.
 

JasonR

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I've found great people through Upwork and Onlinejobs.ph

Often, an excellent screening process is required to weed out bad candidates and find a good fit for your company.
 
OP
OP
AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
I've found great people through Upwork and Onlinejobs.ph

Often, an excellent screening process is required to weed out bad candidates and find a good fit for your company.
Could you share briefly how you did your screening especially over at OnlineJobs.ph? Are you hiring them as full time employee?
 

JasonR

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Could you share briefly how you did your screening especially over at OnlineJobs.ph? Are you hiring them as full time employee?
You need to create your own screening process for your own business and for what role they will be in. But I can share an example of what I did that got excellent results (amongst a bunch of horrible candidates that I was able to weed out quickly.

When I was looking for someone to do admin and customer service, I listed the job requirements carefully - but most people don't even read them. At the end of the description I wrote three specific questions. If the person didn't answer them, they were immediately rejected. The third question was the most important one.

Basically, I gave them a difficult customer service problem, and asked them how they would solve it and how they would respond to the customer. I had a specific answer I was looking for. I granted interviews to those that answered it correctly.

Only three applicants qualified for interviews, and one candidate stood above the rest. I hired her immediately, and began training her.

I hired part time initially, and then she became full time as she proved to me that she was an excellent employee. I also gave her raises - and was paying her above the average wage to make sure she was happy and didn't look for something better.

Over time I gave her more responsibility such as inventory management, forecasting, etc. She was one of my best employees.
 
OP
OP
AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
You need to create your own screening process for your own business and for what role they will be in. But I can share an example of what I did that got excellent results (amongst a bunch of horrible candidates that I was able to weed out quickly.

When I was looking for someone to do admin and customer service, I listed the job requirements carefully - but most people don't even read them. At the end of the description I wrote three specific questions. If the person didn't answer them, they were immediately rejected. The third question was the most important one.

Basically, I gave them a difficult customer service problem, and asked them how they would solve it and how they would respond to the customer. I had a specific answer I was looking for. I granted interviews to those that answered it correctly.

Only three applicants qualified for interviews, and one candidate stood above the rest. I hired her immediately, and began training her.

I hired part time initially, and then she became full time as she proved to me that she was an excellent employee. I also gave her raises - and was paying her above the average wage to make sure she was happy and didn't look for something better.

Over time I gave her more responsibility such as inventory management, forecasting, etc. She was one of my best employees.
Thank you for sharing! This is very useful for me. :)
 
OP
OP
AppleUnited

AppleUnited

Contributor
Jan 26, 2019
39
42
99
For those using OnlineJobs.ph, are you guys paying your hire? Is it through their EasyPay payment system?
 

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