Selecting the Best Candidate: 9 Tips for Hiring Your Virtual Assistant


There is a common phrase that “Good help is hard to find”. Although this statement may be true, the hiring process is your responsibility. There are many skilled Virtual Assistants, but the challenge is finding a Virtual Assistant who is an excellent fit for your business.

You are not alone in finding the hiring process somewhat tricky. The Metlife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index surveys small business owners to get a sense of how small businesses are performing in the country. The recent survey found that 67 percent of business owners who participated reported difficulty finding candidates with the skills they needed. As a result, 81 percent have had to work more extended hours to fill the gap.

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners are finding it hard to find the right talent. We have provided a list of helpful strategies you can use to find a VA from Latin America who will be the best fit for the business long-term.

Create Detailed and Clear Job Descriptions For Your Virtual Assistant

Make sure you describe exactly what you are looking for in your job descriptions. Many times, the job descriptions we see can be too general and not clear and concise. Use this document as a way to describe all your expectations, the skills you need, and even discuss what they can expect from you. This step ensures that you are receiving applications from Virtual Assistants who know what you are looking for and are prepared to step right in.

Pay Attention to their Resume

You can learn a lot from an individual’s resume. Is their resume neatly organized or not? Do they describe achievements and milestones instead of just rattling off duties? Are you able to understand their English? You can answer many of these questions by scanning their resume or LinkedIn profile. While this may not automatically determine if they are the right fit, you can get a sense of the skills, qualifications, and grasp of the English language just through a quick scan.

Keep an Eye on their Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

This step can apply to the resumes as well as email or instant chat conversations you have with your candidates. You want someone who is going to complete every task with attention to detail. If they have difficulty with their grammar or spelling, then this may be someone you might want to pass on. It can reveal that they do not have a good grasp of the English language, or that they are not too concerned with how their communication is coming across to you. They will likely have to communicate with clients and partners that you work with, and their communication represents you and your business.  So, be sure that you hire someone who takes spelling and grammar seriously in their writing.

Be Upfront regarding Salary

We have all been in this position. We hear about a job that excites us, and we want to apply. However, we get through the interview process only to find that the salary does not match our expectations. That is why it is so important to be upfront about the pay from the start.

Conduct Multiple Interviews

You want to ensure you are hiring someone who is committed to your business’s vision. This individual should be the right fit and have the skills you are looking for. As well as have the same work ethic and personality. So, take as much time as you need to evaluate each candidate through the interview process. Each time you have a conversation with this candidate, you will get a sense of how well they would perform for your business.

You will want to conduct multiple interviews. Get a feel for their writing and communication by interviewing them over email. Then use Skype to read nonverbal cues and get a sense of how well they speak English and how they come across over video conferencing. Both of these methods (including phone interviews) can give you a good understanding of how well they fit the position you are looking for.

Be Clear About Expectations

One way to be sure you are hiring the right person for the position is to take a moment and be honest about what you expect from them. How many hours are you expecting them to work? What kinds of duties will you assign to them? How much collaboration is involved? Be very clear about what you are going to ask them, so there are no misunderstandings. Your potential Latin America hire should know exactly what they are saying “yes” to. It is a great idea even to sit back and allow them to ask you questions. Show them examples of previous work hires have done, and give them scenarios of real on-the-job situations that they can expect. You want to ensure that you are hiring the right person. So, be as forthcoming and descriptive as possible during the interview.

Test their Skills

After you have scanned the resume and conducted the interviews, it is now time to see how they work. A great way to get a sense of this is to set up a paid test. Be sure to try to create a test that would allow you to see how they would handle a task that is vital to what you do. For example, if you need a virtual assistant to help manage your meetings and professional schedule, test them on their proficiency with Google or Outlook calendar. See how well they can use these tools needed to organize your day.

Another example could be giving a writing assignment to a potential virtual assistant who is a content writer. You could check their performance on grammar, spelling, clarity, and efficiency. The whole point is to create a situation that is as close to the real thing as possible. Be sure to be specific about what you are looking for, your expectations, and the deadline for this procedure.

Please note, that with trial tasks, it is fair to pay people for their time. Do not expect people to work for free just because you are promising to hire them full-time. If you are averse to paying a person because you are not sure that they can do the job, then perhaps you need to interview someone else and find another candidate who can demonstrate through their experience that they can do the tasks that you require.

Check their English Test Score

On ProsMarketplace we offer a free English test for all Virtual Assistants that sign up on our site. It is not a mandatory test but If you are still a bit unsure about their grasp of the English language, you can request that candidates take the English test on our site. Many phone or video interviews can be enough. However, if you know you need someone with native proficiency for jobs that require a lot of writing or direct correspondence with native-speaking clients, then asking them to take our English test if they haven’t yet might be appropriate.

Become Familiar with Your Virtual Assistant by Checking Their Social Media

You can find out a lot by taking a look at a potential candidate’s social media profile. You can learn about their hobbies, work experience, and culture. However, it can also inform you of crucial aspects of their personality and sets of beliefs that are vital for you to know.

For example, you may find out that a potential Virtual Assistant is involved with a controversial organization or has harmful ideas that conflict with the principles of your business. Remember, your employees represent your business. Therefore, it is vital to find individuals who are going to put your business in the best light. So, take a moment to do a quick search of all social media platforms to see if there are any important details you should know about before hiring them.

Final Thoughts

Good help isn’t hard to find if you use the right tools and methods to engage potential candidates. The hiring process should allow you to be as descriptive and forthcoming as possible regarding what hires expect, while also getting a feel for what they can bring to the table. Build in multiple opportunities to interact with them and see their work. Creating a comprehensive and strategic hiring process will allow you to erase any doubt about whom you are hiring.

So, use this as a process to get to know your potential hire from Latin America and then you can select the best person.



As the CEO and spokesperson for Pros Marketplace, my role involves connecting Latin American professionals with remote job opportunities worldwide. Anyone can create an account, apply for jobs, and secure employment without any charges. With 30 years of corporate experience, I am committed to carrying my son's legacy forward by contributing to progress and innovation in our society. A portion of our earnings goes towards organizations supporting spinal cord injuries to make the world a better place for all of us. Let's connect and become part of the Pros Marketplace family.
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