I belong to a lot of Facebook Groups and I see a lot of posts from small business owners like you looking for either a Virtual Assistant, a Writer, a Graphic Designer, WordPress Specialist, or some other Virtual Support Professional.
I also see what happens when you post the opportunity. Within a matter of minutes, there are tons of responses, DM’s, messages, emails, you name it. Sometimes, I feel sorry for you. It’s like damn! What the hell is going on? You expected a positive response rate, but nothing like this.
You think, “I don’t have time to follow up and respond to everyone, I have a business to run.”
Here are a few tips, that will help you make sure you hire the best possible person for the job.
Make sure your job description attracts the type of support you need
For instance, if you are looking for an employee, make sure your job description states that you are looking for an employee and not a contractor.
THIS IS A JOB POSTING THAT IS OBVIOUSLY LOOKING FOR AN EMPLOYEE (even though it does not directly say so)
THIS IS A JOB THAT SEEKS A CONTRACTOR
Make the application process easy
Don’t have them respond in the comments with a link to their website or PM you. Really? This is a lazy way to seek help. If you don’t have the time to vet and screen your applicants, what kind of person are you to work with or for?
I would suggest you create a Google form that details the skills you’d like the applicant to have. Ask them a few questions, that will require them to type a well thought out response. Also, make sure the form asks for their website address (if applicable), a way to contact them, and most important of all; make sure you provide a link to your website in the job description.
Providing a link to your website or telling them a little bit about what you do will help weed out the good applicants from the bad applicants. A good applicant will take the time to visit your website and they’ll be better equipped to answer a few of your screening questions.
Conduct a Face to Face Discovery Session
Even if it is only a 30-minute Skype session. I encourage you to take the time to at least talk to your top prospects face to face. Some people look good on paper, but you might find they might not be a good business fit.
As a virtual business owner, it’s important that your team has the same goals for your business, that you have. You won’t know this unless you take the time to speak with them, and get to know them a little bit better.
Ask them about their business goals, and tell them yours
It’s always a little stressful when you are trying to figure out what type of support you need and how many team members you want to bring on board.
The easiest way to do this is to map out your business goals for the next 6 months to a year. Will you need one person, or several people? Are you going to start the hiring process in stages, or all at once? Don’t wait till the last minute to start your search for the right team member.
Remember, when you bring a new team member on board, it’s going to take time for them to get up to speed. Even the most experienced person will have to learn your workflow. The two of you will have to develop a rhythm that works. You might feel more productive in the morning while your new team member might be more productive in the afternoon.
Finally, make sure you have a set amount budgeted for support help. It will make finding the right person a lot easier. Rates should be a discussion during the discovery call. Don’t be afraid to talk price.
I hope these tips will help you going forward. HIring someone to help you grow your business should not be taken lightly. Remember, think about where you’d like your business to be in the next 6 months to a year and hire appropriately.
Has your business grown to the point that you need to hire someone to help you? If so, what has been your biggest struggle with finding quality support?