Have you ever considered hiring a Virtual Assistant? There are many entrepreneurs who take full advantage of the benefits that VAs have to offer, while others have never explored what a VA can do for them. In this episode, Nathan Hirsch shares a 4-part system for hiring a great VA. Additionally, Nathan is going to be answering the most submitted VA related questions.

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Nathan Hirsch with Everything You Need to Know about Hiring a Virtual Assistant:

Nathan Hirsch started in the Amazon space with textbooks. Until he got a cease and assist letter from his college telling him to not buy and sell their textbooks. He began to try out different products on Amazon and he ended up doing really well selling baby products out of his college dorm room. It began to expand and he needed help so he turned to the remote hiring space, he went to Upwork and hired his first VA and then many more. He decided that the way these platforms were working wasn’t for him so he decided to build a platform himself to find and hire VA’s – FreeUp. It was more of a marketplace than an agency. He took it to market and it was well received by the consumer.

Nathan and his team learned a lot about software with this project and he also learned a lot about online marketing. By year 4 they were making over $4 million in a year. This business ended up getting acquired by one of their clients in 2019. Once they were acquired people began to reach out about their systems and processes which led to them thinking up Outsource school.

When is the right time to hire a VA?

You will never get the day and time exactly right, it will either be too early or too late. I believe that it is better to hire a VA too early rather than too late. My first hire is always a bookkeeper, to keep me out of the day today. My second hire is always someone to keep me out of my inbox every day. This helps me to focus on the business and not just be in the business.

How much does a VA cost?

Anywhere between $5-$10 an hour. This is basic, if they are managing anything it can go up to $20 an hour. At outsource school, we have a calculator that will help you see what you can afford for a VA.

Are VA’s looking for full time only?

No, you can hire someone for just 1 hour a week if that is what you are looking for. There are VA’s that will take any number of hours. But I suggest that you hire full-time as a default. This way if they are a rockstar and you want to increase their hours later you don’t have to worry about them being booked with other clients

Should I hire a VA that is domestic or offshore?

There are 3 levels that you can hire.
Followers – Doers – Experts
When I’m talking about a VA I’m only talking the followers. The followers are there to follow your system or your process.
The Doers are graphic designers or writers. They are not consulting you they are doing what they do on a project basis.
The Experts are high-level freelancers, they can be $50-$1000 an hour. They bring their own systems and processes.
For the follower rolls, I don’t recommend hiring within the USA. This will be a lot more affordable long term. Save the USA hired for the doers and the experts.

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How do you know that a VA isn’t going to share your private information?

Nathan Hirsch believes there is always going to be a risk, no matter what. Even if you hire a friend or family member, there is a risk. If you hire someone from the Philippines, this person is going to be more concerned with keeping their connection with their hiring platform and keeping food on the table for their family. You can have people sign an NDA, but the best way to protect your business is by building a relationship with all of the people who work/with you.

How do I know that the VA will be good at work?

Oursourceschool IOTM system: C.A.R.E. Communication, Attitude, Red flags, Experience
I – Interviewing : Don’t only focus on their experience. See if they are honest about what they can and cannot do. You want someone with a great attitude who is more passionate about their work than money. You want them to be a positive person who can be the bigger person in most situations and be a great addition to your team. Do not do your interviews via audio or video, use email, Slack, or whichever channel that you will be contacting them the most. This will test what their communication will be like on a daily basis with you.
O – Onboarding : People always skip the onboarding process with VA’s. Make sure they are good with the rate that you want to pay them. Then talk to them about bonuses and raises to make sure their expectations are on the same page as yours. Then I take them through the SICC method: Schedule, Issues, Communication, and Culture. This is a 30 minute conversation about all of our expectations.
T – Training : Set expectations up front in the on-boarding. This protects you from wasting time if the VA didn’t know exactly what they were getting into and they change their mind and quit 1 month into the job.
M – Managing : This goes into a lot of different aspects of the business. Managing starts with having meetings. All team meetings, department meetings, and one-on-one meetings. Giving people ownership over the SOP’s.

“Consistent action, creates consistent results” – Christine Caine

Nathan Hirsch’s final thought:

If you aren’t using VA’s yet, figure out how you can get 5 hours back a week. If you can figure out the easiest most repetitive tasks that you do. These are easy tasks that you can hand over to a VA.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

▶ Nathan’s website: OutSourceSchool
▶ Budget for your VA: VA Calculator

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