The Best Place to Hire VAs, and it ain’t Elance

Drumroll, please…

No, it’s not a porn site.

Yes, it’s legit.

And Yes, you’ll probably snicker when I reveal where I get my best VAs

HireMyMom.com!

I have NO IDEA how I came across this site, but it’s loaded with outstanding American and Canadian Moms who are PRIMED to work virtually FOR YOU.

Below I share why I think these Moms are the BEST choice when hiring VAs.

Who Are These Money-Makin’ Mommies?

Before having their babies, most were professionals in corporate America.

Former paralegals, executive assistants, managers…. you name it.

Since having their baby, nothing is more important than being at home with their new child (or pre-schooler).

What They Want From You

Flexibility to be with their kid(s) is their #1 need.  By far.

My main assistant told me directly: “Tim, I want to build my family.  That’s why I work from home to help you build your business.”

This is common.

Most of the moms I’ve spoken with and/or hired are NOT concerned with money as their #1 motivator.

Neither is career advancement, variety of work, or a fancy title.

By far their #1 goal is time and flexibility to be a Mom, simple as that!

Their secondary goals are:

  • make a few extra dollars to contribute to household income
  • avoid a big, 5-year gap in their resume while they raise their kids
  • have meaningful, adult interaction during the day so they don’t go baby-batty

They Save a TON of Money Working From Home

I pay my Moms $15/hr.

Even though they could make $20/hr – $30/hr in the corporate world, they realize $15/hour is actually still a good deal for them because:

  • they don’t have to pay for expensive child care while they work – this alone makes working for me/you a great deal
  • they save substantial *time* every day – no need to dress up every morning, no need to commute to and from work
  • they save substantial gas money by not needing to drive to work; nor do they need to buy expensive professional attire

Although they might take a 25% – 50% pay cut by working for you, their true “take-home” income may actually increase because of all the time and money savings of working from home.

American Moms Trump VAs in India or the Phillipines

I know of other virtual business owners who’ve enjoyed good success with overseas VAs.

But not me.

YES, I’ve found a handful of stellar contractors for project work.  And one guy I’ve hired month after month for ongoing work.

But – WOW – I’ve had to kiss a LOT of frogs!

Yet HireMyMom.com – and North American Moms in general – are the BEST choice for my close-knit crew of ongoing teammates I consider on the “inside” of my companies:

  • similar / same time zone: I’ve got my VA doing both business and personal tasks for me.  She’s calling prospects to invite them to my live, in-person events.  She’s coordinating our venue, partners, and volunteers for the production of our live events.  In my personal life, she’s booking my house cleaner and inviting friends to my dinner parties.  All of this is WAY easier if she’s in the same (or similar) time zone as me.
  • excellent English – both written and spoken: most Moms from HireMyMom are from the corporate world, so they’re usually quite good with spoken and written English.  This makes working together WAY easier.  My assistant catches spelling errors I make in blog posts, can suggest similar keywords when talking SEO, and can even write and send basic emails on my behalf.
  • reliable electricity and internet: you probably don’t realize how vulnerable overseas VAs are in this regard.  In my earliest (pre-HireMyMom) days, I was trying to work with a VA from India.  Suddenly she went “radio silent” – wasn’t writing or responding to me.  I felt so helpless and clueless on what to do.  A week later she suddenly re-appeared online with a flurry of messages.  Turns out there was political infighting in her region and a corrupt politician had the electricity to her region shut off.  No power = no internet = no VA.  Canadian and American VAs are FAR more stable in this regard.
  • same culture: I tried working with VAs from the Phillipines.  Nicest people on the planet.  In fact, TOO nice.  They were so terrified of offending me, they’d totally shut down if I asked for feedback and/or suggestions on how to improve a process within our company.  They’d rather be “yes-men” and women than take ANY risk (no matter how small) of offending you.  Not productive.  North American Moms on the other hand will (usually) be both gentle and honest.
  • punctual: a few years back a friend of mine – an East Indian – explained to me what “Indian Time” is: “brown people are late for everything”.  I didn’t fully understand what he meant until a few years ago when I hired a half-dozen contractors on Elance.  All were from India or Pakistan, and literally 100% of them were late on 100% of projects, and usually late by 100%.  As in, everything took at least TWICE as long as they quoted.  2 week projects turned into 4 weeks, then 6 weeks very quickly.  They’ll say anything to win your business, irrespective of whether they can actually deliver or not.  North American Moms, though, are generally quite SOLID in their commitments.

The Hidden Cost of Mistakes and Delays

When hiring a VA, it’s easy to just hire the least expensive option.  $10/hr should trump $15/hr, right?

WRONG.

When mistakes, delays, and confusion happen within VAs, guess who has to deal with it?

You and me – the OWNERS of the company.

I dunno about you, but my personal hourly rate is now above $300/hour.

If I’ve got a $10/hour VA from India, and I have to spend 30 mins fixing one of their mistakes, that VA just became a $160/hour VA.  That’s too expensive for me.

My experience of North American Moms – including those from HireMyMom.com – is they’re quite bulletproof.  Especially if you filter the potential VA through a detailed and descriptive job posting.  Scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to download the exact job posting I used.

My main assistant’s been with me for over a year, and – at most – I’ve spent only an hour or two fixing mistakes in AN ENTIRE YEAR.  That’s amazing.

Hope that helps,

Tim :)

Update – Sept 2014…

I got to finally meet my #1 virtual assistant, Sarah, in-person in Chicago!

After meeting through HireMyMom, we worked together for over a year without ever meeting in the flesh.

Then I made plans to fly into Chicago for a marketing conference.

Sarah and her husband drove up to meet me for the first-time ever.  We had a great time!

First we had dinner together, then took in the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game.

Here we are together:

Hire My Mom

P.S.  Leave me a comment and tell me about your experiences with hiring VAs.  How was the experience?  Are they still with you now?

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