Our Quick and Brutal Shortlisting Process

#advice finding clients May 25, 2023
Shortlisting Process

As a virtual assistant (VA) business owner, finding the right talent to join your team can be a daunting task.

When recruiting you'll typically encounter a high percentage of unsuitable applicants. Therefore it's essential to have an efficient and effective shortlisting process in place.

In this blog post, we'll help you streamline your shortlisting process to find the perfect fit for your VA team.

Setting High Standards: Are They Too High?

When sifting through job applications, you may find yourself questioning whether your standards are too high or if you're the problem.

The answer is that your standards are not too high. It's crucial to maintain high standards when recruiting for your VA business to ensure you're building a team of skilled, dedicated, and right-fit individuals.

The Quick and Brutal Shortlisting Process

To efficiently shortlist candidates for your VA team, follow our quick and brutal process:

First Round: Quickly scan through applications, eliminating those with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and bad formatting.

Also discount those who can't follow the exact instructions you provided in your job ad. If you asked them to email you with a particular subject line, and they didn't - they're out. No second chances.

This initial step helps you weed out unsuitable candidates who don't pay attention to detail or take the application process seriously.

If they can't apply for the role following simple instructions and without errors, you can safely assume that they won't deliver quality work for your clients.

In this first round, you don't even need to look at their CV, just how they applied.

Second Round: Dive deeper into the remaining applications, assessing the candidates' skills, experience, and suitability for the role.

Look for specific examples of their work if applicable and achievements that align with your requirements. Have they worked in roles that can transfer to what you require for your clients? If so put them through to the next round.

Third Round: Conduct video interviews with the shortlisted candidates.

This allows you to assess their communication skills, professionalism, and fit with your business.

Look for whether they can use the tech without issues, have thought about their appearance and what's behind them in their background and how well they come across. After all, this is how they'll be introduced to your clients - would it give your client a great first impression?

Avoiding Distractions from Time Wasters and Wrong-Fit Applicants

To stay focused on finding the right talent for your VA team, keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to your shortlisting process and trust your instincts - your time is valuable and first impressions matter.
  • Don't get bogged down by the high number of unsuitable applicants - you don't need to give everyone an explanation about why they have made it to the second round. Use a templated response.
  • Remember that maintaining high standards is essential for building a successful VA team - this is your business and your reputation is on the line.


By maintaining high standards, following a streamlined process, and avoiding distractions from unsuitable candidates, you can build a team of skilled and dedicated people who will help you scale your VA business.

Want the exact recruitment templates you need to grow your team successfully? Join the Scale It! Mastermind so you can confidently navigate the challenges of building a thriving VA team.




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