In this guide, we will cover:
What virtual assistants do
Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant
How to find a virtual assistant
How much does a virtual assistant cost
Choosing the right visual assistant
Any business has multiple mundane activities that take a lot of time and energy. Instead of spending time on those responsibilities company executives should be able to focus on more important tasks like business development and building a great company culture. Fortunately, there is one efficient way to resolve this problem – hiring a virtual assistant. In this article, we’ll talk about all aspects involved in employing a virtual assistant and show you why a remote helper is a better alternative to an in-office one.
First of all, let’s give a clear definition of a virtual assistant’s job and responsibilities. A virtual assistant is an online professional that helps business owners with administrative, recruiting and other tasks. They work fully remotely and can be based anywhere in the world. Some VAs work as freelancers and others are employed by an agency that provides a professional workforce.
Usually, a VA handles day-to-day business operations and activities like managing email accounts, customer support, internet marketing, content creation, appointment scheduling, making phone calls, graphic design, bookkeeping and the list goes on.
So why hire a virtual assistant? Well, there are 4 top reasons:
1. Great talent pool
As we mentioned before, virtual assistants are based all around the world. That means when considering hiring one you have a diverse range of options that gives you access to the best professionals in the world.
2. Reduced expenses
An online assistant doesn’t need a workspace or any kind of accommodation. So when hiring a virtual assistant you only have to pay for their services. Plus, usually, VAs have an hourly rate, which means they charge you only for the time they spend on your project or assignment.
3. Less workload – more time for core tasks
Business activities like sending emails, data entry and others, though are of secondary importance, still take a lot of time to complete. Virtual assistants take that workload off business owners’ shoulders while providing a professional execution of those tasks.
4. High-quality expertise
Professional virtual assistants can bring valuable insights and expertise on a matter that business owners have no experience in. So with hiring a virtual assistant you’re bringing competence and experience-based expertise to your company.
Once you identified the need for a VA the next question that comes to your mind is “Where to find a virtual assistant?” One of the best ways to do that is through a referral from your network. Use your connections on Linkedln, Twitter and other platforms to find a candidate with the most qualification to handle the job you outlined. Write a post about the tasks you need a VA to execute and don’t forget to include a description of your business and what it does. Someone from your network might know a perfect candidate for you.
Another good way to find a virtual assistant is to use VA agency services. The biggest advantage of this option is that when you hire an online helper from such an agency you get guaranteed support throughout your work with the assistant. Besides management oversight there are other benefits of hiring a VA from a reputed company:
Also, you can hire a freelance virtual assistant. There are many platforms where independent online assistants offer their services. You can see their previous experience, the level of their qualification and what services they can provide. A big advantage of hiring a freelance VA is that you will have full control over the process. Independent assistants are especially good for short-term projects or specific tasks that require a level of expertise. But there are also many freelance VAs that offer full-time and long-term cooperation. The most popular platforms for finding a VA are Upwork, FreeUp, Fiverr and many more.
When going into the process of hiring a virtual assistant one question hangs in the air: How much is it going to cost me? An easy answer would be a specific standard rate, but there isn’t such a thing when it comes to the VA marketplace. The reality is that pricing ranges depending on the VA’s experience, location, area of expertise and other factors.
As previously mentioned, usually, virtual assistants charge you on an hourly basis for the provided services. So you only pay for what you get. It’s worth mentioning that most of the time US-based online specialists have higher rates than those working in other countries. So if you have a limited budget you might want to opt for an overseas virtual assistant.
Because VA rates vary and depend on different aspects it’s hard to name specific numbers. But, overall, the price range can be from $3 to $100 per hour. If we talk about executive assistant services the hourly rate is typically between $15 and $30. For more sophisticated tasks like marketing or financial consultancy, you’d have to pay anywhere between $40-75 per hour.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering how to hire a virtual assistant or how to determine that a person is right for the job. Well, It goes without saying that when considering candidates you should choose someone with previous experience of your niche and proven qualifications. But there’s more to finding the right person. Use the following steps when considering a candidate:
Hiring someone from the internet is hard because you’re not sure who you can trust out there. Asking for referrals and testimonials is a great way to verify a candidate’s information and qualifications.
Working with a VA involves a lot of communication through chat and video calls. So a video interview can give you an idea of how your interaction will be like with a particular candidate if you decide to hire them.
Outline your specific needs and ask a VA during an interview if she or he can meet all of them. Don’t settle for a candidate that can only fulfill a part of your requirements. There are so many different VA specialists out there and certainly many of them will have a full set of qualifications needed for your position.