Depending on what your needs are, there are many avenues in which you can hire a Virtual Assistant. Some prefer to post on sites such as Craigslist or other online public posting platforms. This is closest to how you would traditionally post a wanted for hire advertisement on say, a notice board or in the classifieds section of a newspaper. Others will go to platforms that specifically post wanted for hire advertisements only such as jobs.com or glassdoor.com.
However, the most efficient way to indeed find the Virtual assistant you are looking for is by going to platforms that are specifically dedicated to posting and hiring Virtual Assistants or by approaching a Virtual assistant Firm.
There are several types of Virtual assistant firms, but in this post, we are focusing on a website called UpWork. UpWork’s story began over a decade ago, but you can go to their website and find out what their story is all about. A few noteworthy things to know though; UpWork was a merger between two major platforms offering similar services called Elance and Odesk. This merger was announced in 2013 and finally came to fruition in 2015. With the launch of Upwork, the oDesk platform was upgraded and rebranded, and the company announced that the Elance platform would be phased out within a couple of years, resulting in a single freelance marketplace.
So, what is UpWork? UpWork is a platform where job seekers and employers can hire Virtual Assistants in Freelance status and capacity. Job seekers create an extensive profile that enlists their educational background, work experience, and skill sets. A potential employer can then search for freelance Virtual Assistants, based on their specific needs by posting a job order that details what they need, length of time, price, etc. A job seeker can then apply to work on projects short or long term, that they feel they are a good match for. Employers can check out the profiles of their applicants aside from the requirements that they ask for. Vetting can be quite simple as UpWork has a feedback system where previous employers of said Virtual Assistant leaves them scores which can be a reasonable basis on whether they perform well or not.
Pros of using a platform like Upwork
There are quite a few advantages to hiring from a company like UpWork. First of all, their talent pool is quite colossal. There are so many talented individuals with broad skillsets; you are sure to find someone who is a perfect fit for the job. Another pro is the fact that you will be able to find someone to work at any cost, meaning no bid is too big or small, there will always be people willing to do the work at the budget that you set! With UpWork’s system, hiring can be as easy as one click of a button. What sets UpWork apart from other similar platforms is the fact that they have their own productivity monitoring system.
Cons of using a platform like UpWork
The biggest pro of using UpWork can also be its biggest con, with the number of people vying for projects and work, it can get time-consuming to comb through all the applications to find just the right person. Another con is that basically anyone can sign-up on UpWork to be a freelancer. This means that although you can personally vet your applicants, there is a high probability that you will find unreliable people. Since UpWork is a very “hands-off” type of system, there is nothing they can do to help when your virtual assistant doesn’t show up or doesn’t do the work. Sure you won’t be paying them but the loss of time can never be recovered. You do not have any real support that can give you peace of mind that you aren’t just working with a blip in the void.
UpWork- Yay or Nay?
So, at the end of the day, you’re probably asking-“Is UpWork a good option for me or not?”.
An easy answer is—it depends. How much time and resources ARE you willing to risk when seeking out to hire a Virtual Assistant? If your concern is that you don’t have much more for them to do beyond a specific project, maybe you should take MyOutDesk’s Sticky Challenge, to see where you could stand to gain more leverage. We have many clients who, after spending so much money, wasting a lot of time and getting extremely frustrated, finally decided to go with a Virtual Assistant Firm like us instead, whereas we know that there are so many out there satisfied with their UpWork Virtual Assistants too.
It all boils down to you really figuring out what you need and what that means for you.
If you wish to speak with us, you can schedule a Double Your business Strategy Session so we can discuss your needs and how we can potentially give you the leverage that allows you to work ON your business instead of IN it.