How To Hire A Virtual Assistant

A lot of attention has been paid to the rise of the virtual assistant in business news and entrepreneur resources. When you want to hire a virtual assistant, however, the process can be a bit overwhelming. It is not complicated but many companies have raced to present services but you have little way of knowing if they can deliver what you need.

Before you make a commitment to hire, learn more about the ins and outs of the benefits of having a VA.

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

To start with, a virtual assistant means more than just someone who is not located in your office. You can hire a virtual assistant on a per project, temporary or full-time basis. You can even hire a virtual assistant by using a retainer for services so they are there when you need them at a price that you have negotiated and works for you.

The term “virtual assistant” can encompass many roles and skills. There are virtual administrative assistants, virtual personal assistants, sales assistants and so on. There are also some types of virtual assistant roles that are more broadly defined and can act as your office or business manager. A virtual assistant is a freelance or independent contract worker that provides services according to the project or job needs that you have. It is not accurate to equate a VA with an office temp worker as they can do much more to help you with your business.

How Will A Virtual Assistant Help Me?

The advantage of a VA over an office temporary worker is that when you hire a virtual assistant, you are hiring a professional for whom providing virtual assistant services is their career. Very often, office temps are in transition. While an office placement agency will try to match you with an appropriate temp worker; you are not going to get the commitment, experience and high level skills you will find when you hire a virtual assistant.

Having a VA can allow you to grow your company by giving over the management and organisation of the operations details, customer service, fulfillment tracking, creative services and technical support to a professional that does what you need done without you having to pay them until you have more for them to do.

Are Hiring VAs More Expensive Than Hiring Temps?

Depending on the type of work needed and the speed that you need it done with, the average cost of a virtual assistant can range from $25 to $45 an hour. When you compare that to hiring from an office placement agency it is less expensive because you aren’t having to pay agency fees and you also have more flexibility with the contract terms.

The other way that you will save when you hire a VA is that you are guaranteed to find a person with the skills that you need. An office placement agency can only offer you the skills of people located in your area, which may not include what you need and wind up costing you more in mistakes, omissions or having to have two different people work on a project that should only need one.

What If I Don’t Need To Hire A Virtual Assistant Full Time?

You can hire a virtual assistant full time, part time, by the hour or request a bid on a specific job. There is much more flexibility with contracts when you are hiring through a virtual assistant database as you are working with independent contractors.

It is very common for companies to find a virtual assistant that is perfect for them, and then to negotiate a price per project. This way you are not paying for downtime but you do know the person is there when your business needs them. This last aspect is revolutionising business and allowing smaller businesses to grow faster while letting larger businesses streamline their operations budgets.

Because a virtual assistant can work on an as-needed basis, but you can contract for commitment, you can get better service more affordably then with trying to find someone to hire full time for your office that fits your budget, but may not have the high level skills you need.

What Are The Best Virtual Assistant Companies?

The best virtual assistant companies are the ones that work within a network that offers training and support. This is different from companies that promote a set staff. The reason this is what defines all of the best virtual assistant companies is it means there is an ever evolving pool of skills and talents to choose from, plus more competition from VAs and freelancers for your contract. The competition you want is between the freelancers for your project, you don’t want to get involved with a site that puts the company projects in competition. You should also take the time to look at the type of information that a VA directory has provided, the more complete it is – the better the site.

How Do We Pick The Virtual Assistants On Our Directory?

For the most part, we don’t pick the VAs we want to work with; we have built a system that trains and mentors them. This means that by providing good quality training and support structures, the community of businesses that use their services can self-select from virtual assistants according to their service delivery and skill.

Companies that do heavy screening often get people who can pass a test but have little critical problem skills and creative experience, which is what you want when you hire a virtual assistant. You don’t want someone who knows how to push buttons; you want someone independent enough to decide which the best ones to push are.

The best virtual assistant is the one who is self-motivated, knows the value of ethics and reputation and is always improving their skill levels. You will see that reflected in their history or past client testimonials. VA Placements also have a code of conduct that is monitored by a professional standards panel.

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