By: Katarina Kovacevic

Hiring a virtual assistant can feel overwhelming. It can be nerve-wracking to bring another person into the fold, especially if you’re a solopreneur who’s used to doing everything herself. But hiring a virtual assistant can work wonders on your sanity and productivity, trust us! If you’re considering working with a virtual assistant, here’s a good place to start.

1: Get Yourself Organized

This is likely the hardest step in this entire process! But, it’s important to get yourself 100 percent organized before outsourcing any work. Start by drafting a job description for your virtual assistant, listing out all of the specific tasks and projects you want them to handle on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis. Consider any specific skills, traits or technical training they need to have, or logistical to-do’s that are required (i.e. do you need them to be in the same time zone?). Make sure your job description is as detailed as possible.

2: Post + Share The Job Description

These days, there are a number of places online to search for a virtual assistant. You could check-off all the usual suspects like Upwork, Zirtual and Remote.co, but don’t underestimate the power of your existing network! Emailing the job description to friends and colleagues, posting to relevant Facebook groups or even sharing on your social media is likely to produce quality candidates, too.

3: Review Applications + Schedule Interviews

Yes, this is an obvious step. But what we’re here to say is this: Be honest with yourself when reviewing applications and resumes. It could be tempting to hire your cousin who’s in need of a job, or a virtual assistant whose credentials look great but lacks experience in your industry. Look for the best possible candidate that fits your needs and work style. Narrow down your top three choices and schedule a phone interview where you can really dig into their experience, personality, work ethic and career goals.

4: Run A Test!

Once you’ve completed your initial interviews, it’s a good idea to give a quick capabilities test to your top two candidates. This should be a task that doesn’t consume too much of their time, but that helps give you clarity on which candidate is best suited to meet your personal and/or business needs.

5: Give It A Trial Run

Even though you believe you’ve chosen the best candidate for the job, a paid trial run is a good idea because it gives the virtual assistant an incentive to really shine, plus it offers you both a chance to test the waters and make sure it’s a worthy partnership. At the end of your 30-, 60- or 90-day trial, you can both evaluate whether to continue the work agreement long-term.

Katarina Kovacevic is the owner of Redefined Communications, a company offering blogging and ghostwriting services for women in leadership, and female-focused and purpose-driven businesses. She’s also the founder and editor of RUBY Media, a digital media company that promotes female camaraderie, supports sisterhood and inspires women to make a difference in the world. You can connect with Katarina on Instagram or LinkedIn, or with RUBY on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.