What To Look For in Upwork Virtual Assistant Freelancer.

Tundi Mick

Active member
I am going to show you how to hire a virtual assistant. For those of you that don't know, a virtual assistant, otherwise known as a VA, is a remote employee. One of the advantages to hiring a VA is that you can hire them from anywhere in the world, including developing countries that have a lower cost of living, which means that the salaries are lower than countries likes the United States. And when I say much lower, I mean $3 an hour lower. And while it may sound scary hiring employees, it's really not intimidating at all.

I've got several VAs that work with me and if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be able to run my businesses or scale them. So I very much appreciate the work that they do.
I have use VAs in the past to help me with website design and product research.

These are some of the question you should as yourself before you hire virtual assistant:
  • what website should you use when hiring virtual assistants and how do you use them?
  • what countries should you hire in and which countries should you avoid?
  • which ones are the cheapest?
I think some of the answers here may surprise you. All right, let's jump straight into it.

Question, which website should you use to hire virtual assistants? There is no steadfast, easy answer here. There are lots of websites that you could use.

The first is Upwork. Upwork has a huge user base so you'll have a lot of applicants to select from that have a lot of skills. Plus, it's very safe and easy to use as an employer. Posting a job is easy and free. Just come and click Post Job. Next, you can select what type of job you are posting. When hiring a VA, I recommend that you start with fixed-term contracts. This isn't just for your benefit. it is for the benefit of both of you. This way, you can see if you both like working together. If you both like working together, then you can talk about moving to a permanent, ongoing position. If you've got a previous job, you can reuse that. Otherwise, select a category.
  • Next, type in a title for your job description.
  • Make sure it is very detailed.
  • Next, type in your description.
  • Again, the more descriptive the better.
  • You can add attachments.
I will often add videos that capture my computer screen and show exactly what I need completed. This is, of course, optional.
  • Next, select how many freelancers you want to hire. When you are new to hiring VAs, I recommend hiring just one and getting used to having an employee before you hire any more.
  • Next, select the type of project. Again, I recommend having a fixed-term project and then moving to a permanent one from there.
  • Next, select how you want to pay. For fixed jobs, you'll usually have to pay a fixed price. If you're hiring someone ongoing, you'll pay them by the hour.
  • Next, select what level of experience you want. Now here is where most business owners fall into the trap. They select entry-level. This is a huge mistake.
Someone who is entry-level won't have the experience so you don't know how reliable they will be. Businesses live and die by the talent of their employees. Never take them for granted. I almost always select intermediate or expert. Don't worry about their hourly rates listed. Those are for USA-based freelancers and VAs.
  • Next, select how long you expect the job to last. Since it's a fixed-term contract, it's probably going to be between one to four weeks.
  • Next, select the time commitment.
For this section, I strongly suggest that you select that only freelancers on Upwork can find the job. The reason for this is that you don't want your competitors finding your job postings, which they can if you select it so that the search engines can find your listings.
  • Next, you can add preferred qualifications. I don't usually bother though because it doesn't stop anyone from applying for your job.
  • Next, you can add some screening questions. I strongly recommend that you add some so that you can see if people answer them in
  • their application. If they don't answer them, then they didn't read your application and you can immediately
  • reject it.
  • Next, you can require that they add a cover letter. Cover letters are helpful when deciding between applicants, so I do require it. Once you're finished this, click Post Job and then, you are done. When it comes to hiring people, the process is also very streamlined and beginner-friendly.
In your dashboard for the job posting, you'll see a list of the different applicants for a job, including their proposals. You can then click on each proposal. You'll be able to see what their job history is, including their reviews. Scroll down and you'll be able to read their cover letter. Usually, these are just stock cover letters. That is absolutely fine as most people I know offline and online will reuse a cover letter. If you scroll down, then you'll see their work history and feedback, if they have any. Scroll down further and you'll be able to see their portfolio, if they have one. There is a test section. Upwork provides different tests that VAs can take to prove that they have certain skills, such as a language proficiency test. There is also an optional section in their portfolio for employment history. And there is an optional section for their education history. Quite likely, you're going to want to message candidates that you've short-listed and once you've selected the candidate that you want to hire, the hiring process is also very simple.

On your application, click Hire Freelancer. Here, you'll need to fill out the application. If you want to modify the budget based on your negotiations with them, you can do so Next, you'll need to deposit the money that you've negotiated into an escrow, if it's a one-off job. You can also split the money into milestones. For example, this job is about analyzing 3,000 products. Together, we may have negotiated that half of the money will be released when half the job is finished and then the other half when the job is completed. If the job is ongoing, then Upwork will automatically pay the VA for you, using the credit card you provide. You can modify a description of the project and contract here. Otherwise, by default, it will populate this field with the job description you originally posted.

Agree to the terms of service and then click Hire and you are done. A word of caution with Upwork. While Upwork may be good for the people hiring the VAs, Upwork is not very good for the VAs themselves. This is because for the first $500, Upwork is going to charge them, the VA, 20% in fees. Not you, the VA. So if the contract is for $100, then Upwork is going to charge them $20 in fees, which is huge. Between $500 and $10,000, Upwork is still gonna charge 10% in fees, which is a lot. What this means then is that good VAs quickly come to dislike Upwork and they avoid the platform. So in the future, while it's kind of against Upwork's rules to take the contracts off of the website, I suggest that you do so.