There is a booming industry geared towards helping business owners scale faster without breaking the bank.
Let’s dive into the world of virtual assistants - and how hiring one can benefit you and your company in the long run.
You Shouldn’t Have to Do Everything. Let a Virtual Assistant Help.
Running a company is a very demanding job. You are literally in control of what happens to your company.
And sometimes, apart from making all the big decisions that could make or break your business, you are also expected to perform menial organizational tasks.
It can simply be overwhelming.
You might even find that there are not enough hours in the day to do all these.
So, why not let a virtual assistant help you?
New To The Virtual Concept And Have No Idea How This Will Work For You? Is There Help?
If you’ve never tried hiring a virtual assistant (VA) before, it can seem daunting.
Where do you even begin?
Fortunately, we have simplified the process for you.
What Is A Virtual Assistant? Definition & Meaning
As the name suggests, a virtual assistant provides a business with a range of services from a remote location.
Back then, most virtual assistants used to perform mostly back-office tasks for a company.
However, as the industry became more competitive, many VAs have now expanded into various fields, like social media management, customer support, accounting, bookkeeping, project management, etc.
Thus, entrepreneurs hire many of them with a broad set of skills to do tasks for them.
Why Hire Virtual Assistants?
Before hiring a virtual assistant, you should first try to understand what you should look for when recruiting one.
Virtual Assistant Qualifications
When looking to hire virtual assistants, you might want to consider some of the following:
First, their computer proficiency. Of course, most (if not all) virtual assistants will be working on their computers most of the time. But apart from that, make certain that they know their way around various programs and tools needed to run your business.
Second, their communication skills. Your virtual assistants will most likely take over your correspondence with your clients. As such, you need to make sure they can competently communicate your intentions.
Third, their time and organizational management skills. VAs will handle a lot of tasks simultaneously. Thus, they need to be good at determining what to prioritize so they can ensure the timely submission of their deliverables while keeping everything organized.
Fourth, honesty and integrity. You need someone who you can trust to manage your business. Make sure to hire someone who is reliable enough to handle the tasks you need them to take care of while you grow your company.
Signs You Need a Virtual Assistant
Don’t wait until you are knee-deep into your growing pile of tasks before hiring a virtual assistant.
One of the more common signs that it’s time to hire a virtual assistant is when you feel too drained to perform your core functions.
Yes, all tasks are important, but not all of them require your attention. So delegate some of your most tedious responsibilities (like the administrative ones) to your virtual assistant while you handle the tasks that only you can do - or that you do best.
Another sign is when you don’t have the right skill set for a specific task. While we can have talents and proficiencies in various fields, you can’t possibly have them all. You also cannot simply run a company well when you do everything by yourself. Thus, it’s best to hire an expert who knows what they are doing.
Lastly, if you find that you are missing out on great business opportunities or have difficulty retaining old clients because you’ve been bogged down by tedious responsibilities that don’t really move the needle forward, then it’s time to outsource.
Benefits of a Virtual Assistant
One, it reduces your overall operating costs. How? You don’t have to hire a full-time employee to do small-time tasks.
What’s more, if you hire a VA, they are probably working in a place that has a lower cost of living. As such, your US dollars will go a long way when you hire a VA from the Philippines, for instance, while still paying a competitive wage. All these can help you quickly scale your business to meet growing demand - possibly even faster than your competitors.
Two, a VA increases efficiency. CEOs are mostly in charge of decision-making. When a VA handles your critical administrative tasks, you can dedicate more time to fine-tuning your strategies.
Third, you can offer your customers round-the-clock service. This is especially true when you hire a VA that is in another time zone, especially one opposite yours, such as in the Philippines. As such, your business can run 24/7, with VAs from the Philippines providing top-notch customer service the entire time.
Virtual Assistant Duties: What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?
Most business leaders would simply give their virtual assistants the most tedious administrative work.
However, one can argue that this often limits what a VA can potentially contribute to a company.
To give you a clearer insight, here are some of the more specific tasks your VA can do for you and your business.
There are all sorts of virtual assistants on the market, and who you hire depends on what your business currently needs.
For example, there are VAs with excellent executive administrative skills.
An executive assistant (EA) essentially provides support to a company’s management-level employees. As such, their jobs are typically more sophisticated as they might have to anticipate what the executives may need.
EAs can also attend meetings that don’t really require the executive’s input so that they can prioritize high-impact activities more.
Sales And Marketing Support
Apart from the usual backend duties, your VA can also offer you additional sales and marketing support.
They can even help come up with marketing strategies to further boost your sales and attract your target market.
Your VA can also reach out to other companies and pave the way for potential partnerships, thereby expanding your network.
Some of the other back-office tasks that your VA can handle include keeping and managing your records, ordering your office supplies, conducting research, corresponding to emails, taking phone calls, etc.
Personal Life Tasks
Of course, virtual assistant services are not limited to typical office work. You can also let them handle personal errands, especially if you lack the time to do them yourself.
For instance, entrepreneurs often have to go on business trips to meet other business owners. So, your VA can take care of your travel arrangements, such as booking your flights and accommodations. They can also create an itinerary should you wish to include some recreational activities after work.
Your VA can also order gifts online to be delivered to your family members and close friends too - as well as scheduling your appointments, organizing your calendar, and managing your emails.
As previously mentioned, some virtual assistants cater to a specific niche.
For instance, there are VAs who excel in creating content. This is especially useful for capturing your target audience with the right materials that can bring them value. Remember, social currency online is premium nowadays. If you want to bring in the big bucks, you have to start curating your online presence.
There are also VAs with a background in accounting or bookkeeping so they can keep track of your financial records, as well as create monthly, quarterly, and yearly fiscal reports.
Some VAs even have legal expertise! So, truly, the possibilities are endless.
But before going into the whole process, evaluate what your company lacks or what areas need support and start from there.
How Do You Manage a VA?
Of course, one of the bigger questions to ask when hiring a VA is how you manage them.
How do you make sure that the work they put out reflects the hours they put in?
To start, there are two types of services you can avail: unmanaged virtual assistants and managed services.
Let’s tackle each one.
When it comes to unmanaged virtual assistants, you can find them mostly on numerous job portal sites.
Some of these job marketplaces have a system in place that allows you to track your VA's hours of work as well as their actual work progress. However, going into these job boards can be a bit time-consuming.
This is because the bulk of the work will fall onto you. As a business owner, it would be your responsibility to scrutinize the candidates, schedule interviews, and then carry out the onboarding process to make sure your chosen candidate is ready to take on the tasks.
If this all sounds like too much work, take the easier route. Tap a remote staffing solution company and let them handle all the leg work, which brings us to….
With managed services, your life as an entrepreneur is made easier.
You don’t have to worry about looking for suitable virtual assistant services yourself.
When you partner with a reliable and trustworthy staffing company, you will instantly get access to a database of highly qualified professionals who have already gone through a stringent screening process.
Thus, all you need to do is take your pick and they’ll have a VA ready to start within a matter of days.
What Makes A Good Virtual Assistant?
Apart from the qualities mentioned above, a good (if not excellent) virtual assistant should possess impeccable attention to detail.
Your VAs will often be in contact with your clients. So, you need them to review each item beforehand and catch any mistakes before they make or initiate contact. Doing so will give off a more professional impression of your business.
A good virtual assistant should also be resourceful. After all, there is not much room for “hand-holding,” so to speak, in this job. They should be able to learn fast and anticipate what you need as a client.
What Set Up Do You Need to Get the Most Out of Your Virtual Assistant
Here are a few suggestions to enable you to get the most out of your VA’s services.
First, be sure to set realistic expectations. A virtual assistant can do a wide variety of tasks. However, without clear directives, their potential is wasted. So, be very precise (and realistic) about what exactly needs to be done.
Second, don’t forget to show some appreciation. VAs work hard, and a simple “Good job” from time to time can really boost their morale.
Lastly, keep investing in your VA. Giving them access to additional training will further improve their skills or help them acquire new ones, which will be ultimately beneficial for your business.
All these will help establish a strong and secure working relationship with your VA, eventually allowing you to delegate more responsibilities to them, thereby further lessening your workload as well.
Ensuring that Your Virtual Assistant Stays Up-To-Date With the Latest Tools and Techniques
Industries are constantly evolving. If your company wants to stay ahead of its competitors, adaptability is key.
Thus, your virtual assistant must always take the initiative to learn how to maximize new tools and platforms. They must also be proactive in keeping up with industry trends, any tools or software that could make them more efficient and effective at their job, etc.
They should also be forthcoming with you if they believe a particular training program will further enhance their skills and help them be even more productive for you.
Work Environment For Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants will have a variety of work set-ups. After all, these are professionals who are working from their own homes.
Thus, they have the freedom to customize their space depending on their personality and what they find comfortable.
But apart from that, as a staffing services company, Remote Staff ensures that your virtual assistant is well-equipped with a suitable computer and a reliable Internet connection as part of the recruitment process.
If there are any tools or software that would help optimize your business, then you should provide your VA with the right access or a subscription to it.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Virtual Assistant?
The rates of a virtual assistant vary from person to person.
If you hire through job portals, chances are, you may be paying your VA an hourly rate.
However, some virtual assistants might also offer packaged rates for their services, but these are usually common among VAs who specialize in areas like social media management and content creation. Others might also demand project-based payment instead.
What Do Virtual Assistants Charge Per Hour?
One of the most common pricing models used by many VAs is charging by the hour.
As with any other job, there are a number of factors that might affect a virtual assistant’s rate.
This includes their years of experience, their personal expenses (which also often include the equipment they use as well as utilities), and the overall industry standard.
At Remote Staff, we take all these factors into consideration to give you a fair price - while still providing your virtual assistant with a competitive rate.
A Contracting Agency Works If:
While being hands-on with the hiring process is commendable, oftentimes, your presence as a chief executive may be needed elsewhere.
If so, you may need to partner with outsourcing agencies to quickly resolve any of your staffing issues so that your operations continue smoothly.
Doing so saves from going through a long and tedious recruitment process. You can even have a virtual assistant ready to work within a matter of days.
Remote Staff has been in the remote staffing industry for over 15 years now. The company has developed its own unique system of sourcing world-class Filipino talents and has provided this service to countless Australian small- to medium-business entrepreneurs (SMEs).
And now, Remote Staff is coming to the United States to extend the same service to American business owners.
Why Should You Use Remote Staff For Your Virtual Assistance Needs? Go From…
…overwhelmed with staffing concerns to a more efficient and systematic workplace - without the stress and hassle that comes with staffing it on your own.
Let Remote Staff take care of it for you, as the company will pull out all the stops to help small businesses with their staffing needs.
Of course, it starts with the vetting process.
Remote Staff has an immensely dedicated team that scouts individuals that fit the job description.
The company takes the initiative to establish connections with these professionals - before your competitors do.
Remote Staff sources these professionals from all over the Philippines, which gives American businesses access to a larger pool of talent.
The Philippines is also home to a population with a high literacy rate as well as proficiency in the English language. Hence, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone who would fulfill your requirements as well as be a good fit for your company.
For one thing, Filipinos are known to be hospitable and friendly, making them a perfect fit for the sort of customer service that’ll give you an edge over the competition.
Virtual Assistants Who Are Ready To Jump Right In
As soon as you hire them, your virtual assistants are ready for duty.
This way, you won’t lose any valuable business days that could have been used to produce results and profits for your company.
Dedicated Virtual Assistants With Extra Support Services
What sets Remote Staff apart from many other remote staffing solutions is the continuous support it provides to both clients and remote workers even after the initial recruitment process.
Remote Staff has an in-house department solely dedicated to monitoring and facilitating a smooth working relationship between the client and its virtual assistants.
Time Management Nightmares To Blissful Focus
Remote Staff employs a timekeeping tool, which also serves as proof of transparency.
This provides you and your virtual assistant with peace of mind as it ensures that all working hours are accounted for.
Not Enough Hands-On Deck To An Optimized Team
Hiring a virtual assistant through Remote Staff is a cost-effective solution to optimize your team.
This removes the need for you to hire a local professional with a high asking price. Instead, you can get more bang for your buck by tapping into a bigger pool of world-class talent at a fraction of the cost.
It’s All About Productivity And Efficiency
Don’t waste any more of your productivity hours by waiting for your HR department to go through hundreds of applications (or doing it yourself).
Optimize your time, money, and resources by teaming up with a tried and tested staffing services company, like Remote Staff.
What Are Some Common Tasks That Virtual Assistants Have Successfully Handled For Our Other Clients
A VA’s scope of work is extremely broad, and is often determined by your business’ demands.
For instance, here at Remote Staff, we have had VAs focused on recruitment. They’re responsible for screening candidates, making outbound calls for headhunting, and performing other admin tasks.
There are also VAs that specialize in lead generation, telemarketing, email support, appointment setting, business development, and project management, among others.
How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs In Remotestaff
At Remote Staff, we made the process of finding your ideal virtual assistant virtually painless.
How It Works
Our team will reach out to you as soon as you have scheduled a callback.
Once all the details have been ironed out, we will then match you with a short list of two to three candidates looking for virtual assistant jobs. Interviews are then booked based on your availability as well as the applicant’s.
Once you interview the candidates and then select the best one for you, you are good to go!
How To Hire Top Virtual Assistants
Are you ready to hire top virtual assistants for your business?
With Remote Staff, it’s quite easy actually.
Just hop on a discovery call with us to discuss your business needs. Afterwards, we will send you the service proposal, pricing, service agreement, and job order form.
Finding the Right Virtual Assistant for Your Needs
At Remote Staff, filling up the job order form correctly is crucial because it serves as the basis for scouting a VA who can provide the services you need.
Looking for someone to handle your admin tasks? Or perhaps you need someone who can carry out a more specialized role like a bookkeeping virtual assistant or a web design virtual assistant.
You’ll also need to specify their working arrangements. For instance, what are their working hours? Do you need them to work all day or will a few hours a day suffice?
Once these are established, our recruitment services will commence.
We will send the top 3 best candidates that match the job description. However, you can opt to request additional candidates if you don’t find anyone suitable in the first batch.
Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred candidates, we will then coordinate one-on-one interviews based on your availability as well as the candidates’.
After you’ve chosen a VA to hire, we will sign the final agreement. And your VA can start working for you as early as 3 business days after.
How To Shortlist Virtual Assistants
Remote Staff has a roster of highly-qualified virtual assistants - and you’ll have access to all of them!
You can visit our ASL candidate pool and check multiple profiles, recordings, and resumes. And then, you can just shortlist their profile with a click of a button to review later on.
As much as possible, we tailor our recruitment to fit the talent you’re looking for. If you have special considerations, make sure to include them and make them as detailed as possible in the job order form.
Special considerations can mean a specific skill or perhaps even a license or certification.
Whatever it is, Remote Staff will go the extra mile to cater to your needs. Do note, however, that some highly technical virtual assistant specializations might take more time to source.
Keep Track And Monitor Your VAs With Remote Staff
How do you track your VA’s productivity from afar? Worry not, Remote Staff employs highly advanced employee monitoring technology to ensure that everything is in order for both you and your VA.
Track The Performance Of Your Employees
With Remote Staff, you have access to software that records your VA’s attendance, app usage, productivity percentages, desktop screencaps, idle time, accessed websites, and more.
Have Absolute Control While Monitoring
You can even restrict access to specific websites like Facebook to avoid distractions. This way, you won’t need to worry too about your VA getting sidetracked while they’re on your time.
But then, you also have the option to turn off some of these features if you find them unnecessary or intrusive.
Virtual Assistant FAQs
Got questions before you hire your Filipino virtual assistant? We’re here to answer some of your most pressing inquiries and concerns.
Do You Need An Experienced Virtual Assistant?
You probably think that you can take on every task in your business. And you’re probably right.
So why do you need an experienced VA?
Delegating responsibilities opens up your schedule to other valuable tasks. For example, talking to a prospective client or closing a big purchase order will bring in more money than, say, organizing your computer files or curating and scheduling social media posts.
And it’s crucial to focus on these value-adding activities, especially for medium-sized and small businesses looking to scale upwards.
An experienced VA has a diverse skill set for handling your admin tasks. Some even specialize in specific skills like accounting, content writing, customer support, graphic design, project management, and more.
You can also hire a personal assistant to take care of some of your errands outside the business.
From drafting travel arrangements, setting appointments, finding leads, and other more specialized tasks, Remote Staff offers a roster of highly qualified and experienced VAs that you can hire part-time or full-time.
How Many Hours A Week Will You Save?
As entrepreneurs, time is your most valuable asset. Have you checked how long it takes to finish most of your admin tasks? What about tasks that require specialized skills that you don’t have?
Hiring experienced VAs will save you a lot of hours in a week. For example, if you create content for social media and answer inquiries for 4 hours per day, that adds up to 20 hours a week!
Quite time-consuming, right? Especially since you can put that time towards better use.
And if you’re not experienced in social media marketing, those 20 hours might even go to waste. So hiring an experienced VA saves you time and money - while getting you your desired results.
Try listing down all the tasks you can delegate and see just how much time it frees up for bigger opportunities to expand your business.
Or simply free up more time for your family or other passion projects.
What’s The First Thing To Outsource To Your Virtual Assistant?
Deciding what to outsource to your VA depends on your business needs and your priorities. So when delegating tasks, ask yourself the following questions:
- What tasks are taking up too much time but are not directly contributing to your bottom line?
- Do you have any crucial tasks that can be passed on to your VA with proper training?
- Are there tasks that someone else could perform better than you?
The usual tasks that are outsourced by our clients are as follows:
- Administrative tasks
- Social media management
- Lead generation
- Customer service
We also have VAs that excel in real estate, accounting, e-commerce, and more.
Is Hiring A Virtual Assistant Difficult?
Finding the right VA can be difficult. But not with Remote Staff.
We have a lot of expertise in this field.
Remote Staff has more than 15 years of experience in recruiting and matching the right talent for thousands of business owners.
From data entry, calendar management, and administrative assistants to specialized roles in bookkeeping and web design, we have made countless successful matches between an Australian entrepreneur with the best Filipino virtual assistant - and we can do the same for you.
Aside from matching the skills for virtual assistant jobs, we also assess each candidate’s personality to determine if you can work well together. Because we want to find long-term VAs who will stick around and help grow your business with you.
Save time and money sourcing the right talent when you avail of our services.
Are Virtual Assistants Only For Work-Related Administrative Tasks?
Virtual Assistants are known to help you with admin tasks. But the skills of your VAs are not limited to that scope either.
For instance, at Remote Staff, we have a roster of highly-qualified VAs that excel in content writing, real estate, accounting, and more.
Just inform us about what services you need - so we can match the right VA for your business needs.
What If You're Too Overwhelmed Or Don’t Want To Train A Virtual Assistant?
Our virtual assistants are highly qualified. Most likely, you don’t need to do much to onboard them before they can start.
But if you have special needs or unique processes, we highly recommend that you train and onboard them about these so that both of you can get off to the best possible start.
Having Unique Virtual Assistance Needs, Can You Talk To Us About Them?
Depending on your business, you might have unique virtual assistance needs.
We do have a pool of highly-qualified talents you can choose from. But if there’s no one that matches your specific needs at the moment, just tell us all about them in detail and we will use that as the basis for scouting the right talent out there just for you.
Is There Anything Virtual Assistants Can’t Do?
Before the start of your remote working relationship, you and your VA will agree upon the scope of work.
As long as it can be done remotely and does not cross any ethical or legal boundaries, your virtual assistant can produce results.
Should you have additional tasks for them on top of their current scope of work as your working relationship evolves, you can renegotiate the scope of work. Do note that the additional scope might lead to an increase in the rates for their services.
Alternatively, you can also choose to hire another virtual assistant to carry out the additional tasks.
Do You Get A Team Of Assistants That Rotate?
Some clients might need VAs for different schedules and projects. For example, you might need a team of VAs in customer service to cover different time zones.
Depending on your needs, you can hire as many VAs as you want.
How Long Does It Take For You To Be Matched?
After our discovery call, we will send the service proposal, pricing, service agreement, and job order form.
After you send back the signed agreement with the initial deposit, our recruitment services will commence.
Within 6 business days, you will receive 3 of the best virtual assistant profiles matching the job description you have given us. You can also request additional candidates if necessary.
Then, you can schedule interviews based on your schedule and that of your candidates'.
When you're ready to hire your preferred candidate, they can start as early as 3 business days after.
What Happens If You And The VA Don’t Work Well Together?
Unfortunately, not all remote working relationships work in the long run. Sometimes, even the most promising candidate might not always be a good fit for your company. Or maybe, your personalities might simply not mesh well.
Remote Staff has a rigorous process for matching you with the right virtual assistant. Aside from assessing their skills, we also apply a personality compatibility test to determine if you and a candidate can work well together.
But just in case you’re not satisfied with their virtual assistant services, we can match you with other candidates from our roster or seek out an entirely new candidate for you.
How Does Your Virtual Assistant Account For The Work Done? Manage Time Off Or Vacation?
Remote Staff uses advanced technology to track the productivity of your VAs. Through it, you can check their attendance, idle time, desktop screen caps, app usage, productivity percentages, and more.
Do note that you can turn off some of these features if you find them unnecessary or intrusive.
As for time off or vacation, your VA just needs to request your approval. Once you approve their request, we’ll make the necessary adjustments on their payroll for you.
What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect You?
Over the course of their job, your virtual assistant might be privy to sensitive information about your business. Rest assured, we take your privacy very seriously.
We have security measures and stipulations in place in the service agreement when handling proprietary information.
Remote Staff has a team of IT professionals as well that can assist you with protecting your data.
Will You Be Able To Interview The Candidate We Pick For You?
Definitely! A final interview is part of Remote Staff’s hiring process. And it’s important to have a conversation with the shortlisted candidates first to determine who would ultimately be the most suitable one for you.
Just inform us as to when you want to schedule an interview and we’ll set it up for you.
Can The VA Answer Your Phone?
Definitely! Our VAs can answer your phone calls as a virtual receptionist, executive assistant, or other VA specialties.
Just make sure to provide the necessary tools like a VoIP to allow them to answer calls online.
Can The VA Call People For You?
Absolutely! Our VAs can call people for you as appointment scheduling VAs, personal assistant VAs, or other VA specialties.
Just make sure to provide the necessary tools like a VoIP to allow them to answer calls online.
Can The VA Make Sales Calls For You?
Yes! In fact, some of our VAs specialize in telemarketing and can make sales calls for you.
Just make sure to provide the necessary tools like a VoIP to allow them to answer calls online.
Are They Available On The Weekends If You Need Them?
Yes! You can agree on a work schedule that includes weekends when signing the contract. You can also request temporary additional work days on the weekend when necessary.
But if the change in work schedule will be permanent, you can opt to renegotiate to change the scope of work. Or hire another VA to service the weekend schedule.
What If You Don’t Use All Of Your Hours?
As per the service agreement, you will be charged a minimum of 20 hours a week for part-time virtual assistants and 40 hours a week for full-time virtual assistants.
However, if your virtual assistant fails to complete their hours due to tardiness or unapproved absences, you will get a refund for the unused hours.
What If You Want To Bring Your Virtual Assistant On To Your Staff Full Time?
There are instances when you want to absorb your virtual assistant to your direct payroll instead of through Remote Staff.
Just inform your lead accounts officer of your request. Once you settle the corresponding fees plus taxes when you buy out their contract, they can start working for you directly.