Aug 28 20150 comments
How do I hire a virtual personal assistant (VPA)?
Well the process is very simple.
- You put a job posting on Upwork (this is the one I’m using)
- Screen applications (you’ll usually get around 20-30 applicants within the first 36 hours)
- Interview promising applicants
- Hire the right one and assign first task
Very straightforward, right? Finding someone is very easy. But finding someone good is extremely difficult. If you find the wrong person, you’ll end up redoing all his/her work losing valuable time AND money. It also comes with a huge frustration.
I have seen many people who tried to hire a VPA/creative for a task but ending up doing redoing everything by themselves telling me “Masa, this was a waste of time and money. This whole crowdsourcing thing is not for me.”
The important lessons I’ve learned after working with over 150 freelancers from all over the world are:
You should never settle in finding the right talent.
So how do you make this happen? Here’s a couple of tricks I’ve picked up to make this happen:
- Put in a 10 minute assignment in the job posting which will help you see the quality of the work (you’ll understand through this process that over half will not turn the assignment in).
- Don’t hire just one. Hire every promising people you can find and give out the first assignment.
- If you cannot find anyone good in the initial job posting, close the original job posting and repost another one to get a new batch of applicants.
- Don’t rely on the 5 star ratings rated by former employers. Most employers will not write bad about a freelancer but simply move on to the next.
- Don’t hire based on how cheap the proposed hourly rate is. $2 per hour and $5 per hour doesn’t really make a difference because good people get work done much faster.
The interviewing process is a little tricky so I’ll write about this in a different article.
Hiring and managing a global talents are skills. It’ll require a couple of trials and errors. So if you’re planning a trip to South Africa for the vacation, put out a job posting “Looking for someone in South Africa who can help plan my vacation.” For the 10 minute assignment, ask the applicants to send in places he/she will recommend you to visit.