You need help growing your business, but you’re reluctant to take the leap and hire a full-time assistant. You’re in that “in-between stage.” If this sounds like you, keep reading!
Today, we’re talking about what to do between having no assistant and a full-time assistant. Trust me – I get it. Pro REA Staffing expanded from one part-time assistant to five full-time employees over the past four years. And yes, it’s scary every time you add someone to the payroll. You want to do it with thought and care. If you’re not ready to hire someone full-time, you have three options.
1. You can hire a virtual assistant,
2. A part-time on-site assistant or
3. You can share an assistant with someone else.
We mainly place full-time, direct hire placements at Pro R.E.A Staffing, but we’re often asked to find virtual, part-time, and shared assistants. With these various solutions, we see first-hand what works and what doesn’t. Let’s continue with hiring virtual assistants.
HIRING A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
A virtual assistant is simply an assistant who is not physically in your office. They might be down the street or on the other side of the world. When you are just starting out, and you need just a little bit of help, finding a skilled Marketing Coordinator or Transaction Coordinator to work for you virtually is a great place to start. If you don’t know one in your sphere of influence, Upwork.com is a great resource for those roles. If you can employ a qualified marketing professional to manage your marketing activities for you, a very small investment will generate a lot of leverage.
You may need to take on more of a generalist virtual assistant at some point, and that’s an option. Again, Upwork.com may be a resource, but when you’re ready to hire a part-time virtual assistant, traditional advertising sources work well. We love WizeHire.com. Use this link for $100 off your first job ad.
Now, let’s talk about who should be hiring a virtual assistant and who shouldn’t. If you don’t have physical space and need support, hiring a virtual assistant can be your best choice. If you’re coordinated and have sound systems in place and all your services are already online, you can work well with a virtual assistant. Things begin to fall apart when the agent is not an effective communicator, is not a good delegator, and they have challenges staying organized. For such people, working with a virtual assistant is tough.
The following scenario occurs often, too. Somebody calls, and they say, “I need help, but I don’t need full-time help. Can you find me a part-time assistant who will grow into a full-time assistant on my team?”
The sad truth is that probably the answer is no. If a job seeker is looking for part-time work, something else is more important in his or her life. You could be in school; you might have another career, you might be a parent. Whatever “it” is, at some point the thing will brush against your needs. The other thing to note is that, because there are only so many fewer applicants who look for part-time jobs, you undoubtedly would have to compromise on their skills and experience. Therefore, if you are looking for a full-time, fully charged assistant, the person who suits you on a part-time basis is probably not the most suitable person for you.
A shared assistant is our last option. This is a full-time employee who splits his time between two employers. This scenario can work, but it is also built with potential falls. The worst problem is if one agent is good at the assistant and the other agent doesn’t perform well, the one who replaces the assistant will end up losing an assistant they prefer. Both employers need comparable management styles, common needs, and outstanding communication and trust in order to achieve this dynamic.
Be mindful that it is difficult for an assistant to split their allegiance between two agents. Especially if both of those agents are very demanding. Typically, these shared assistant situations are short-term solutions. It’s rare that it lasts more than a year. However, that might be all you need if you can get a great person for 20 hours a week, and in nine months you’re ready for full time, then you can find a new solution for your staffing needs.
After hearing the pros and cons, which of these options do you think would be the right one for you? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I have an excellent tool for you if you are ready to hire your assistant. We have a free guide called How to Hire a World Class Assistant. This is our ten-step recruitment process and we will give it to you free of charge. Click here to download your free report.