What Does a Virtual Assistant Do Exactly? Everything You Wanted to Know

HR Management
Guy Lalzary December 30, 2021 8 min read

Hiring a virtual assistant can be an easy task if you know what you’re doing. In this article, we cover what you should know before, how to hire a virtual assistant and how to tell when the time is right.

how to hire a virtual assistant connecteam

Quick Guide

    As a business owner, you’re only too aware that there are 24 hours in the day, and even that these aren’t enough. 

    With everything you need to do – employee hiring and management, admin and making sure your business is running profitably, you just don’t have the time to do everything 100% to the best of your ability. 

    Nor should you! 

    One of the easy solutions for a situation like this is to hire an assistant. But if there isn’t room in the budget for a full-time assistant, a good alternative is to hire a virtual assistant.

    But, it can be difficult to know exactly how to hire a virtual assistant, as well as the finer points regarding what a virtual assistant does. Allow us to clear up some of these issues by going into detail about how a virtual assistant can help your business.

    Why and When Do You Need to Hire a Virtual Assistant? 

    For the most part, there’s never a bad time to hire a virtual assistant, so it’s always better to hire one just before it becomes absolutely necessary! 

    Virtual assistants can take on so many different tasks and help in such a wide variety of ways, helping you to reduce your workload. By delegating the tasks that you don’t really need to do, you’ll have more time to focus on the core of the business rather than getting bogged down with time-consuming work.

    Hiring a virtual assistant can also be a good idea for any business that’s in the process of scaling. This is always a hectic time for a business, which means that it’s inevitable that important tasks will get lost in the shuffle. But having a virtual assistant can help ensure that details don’t get overlooked and that everything remains on track during this busy period.

    What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

    So, “what does a virtual assistant do?” you might be thinking to yourself. It’s a rather open-ended question. In one sense, this depends on the type of virtual assistant you hire because there are a variety of specialisms. But it’s also up to you to decide what it is you want your virtual assistant to do, and then see that the virtual assistant you hire can do anything you need them to (as well as will be a good employee for your business).

    To be more specific, there are a variety of tasks that most virtual assistants will be able to perform for you, to increase your workplace productivity

    • One of the most fundamental duties is managing your schedule, as well as all of your job scheduling needs. With a virtual assistant, it’ll become easier to schedule, confirm, and receive reminders about all of your appointments, saving you a lot of time and helping you be more efficient.
    • Internal and external communication is another area where virtual assistants can provide a lot of help. A virtual assistant can manage contact lists and screen emails, only passing along those that need immediate attention. With help from a virtual assistant, it also becomes easier to send mass emails to clients or employees and track down an email address that you need.
    • In some cases, virtual assistants will be able to do some accounting work and help manage your company’s books. This can mean reviewing transactions in your business’ bank account, sending invoices, or following up about payments that haven’t been received. Needless to say, this can save a lot of time and effort since most of this work is monotonous but needs to get done.

    How to Hire a Virtual Assistant

    how to hire a virtual assistant
    Photo by visuals on Unsplash

    In many ways, knowing how to hire a virtual assistant requires the same skills as filling any other position in your company. Of course, you still have to tailor the process; hiring a CEO is different from hiring a frontline worker, so you need to really tailor the hiring process – the test, the interview questions, even the locations you source candidates from – is tailored to hire a virtual assistant.

    Here are a few quick tips: 

    1. Determine the tasks you want your virtual assistant to do. Take stock of your needs and outline the tasks that you want to outsource to a virtual assistant. With that in mind, you’ll be able to write a job description for what your virtual assistant needs to do while on the job. In short, you need to know ahead of time what you’ll ask your virtual assistant to do.
    2. The job tasks you write down will be at least in part related to the next step, which is determining your budget. After all, you can’t ask too much of a virtual assistant without offering proper compensation for those tasks. The budget you have will help determine if you hire a full-time assistant, a part-time assistant, or if you want to hire a virtual assistant on a task-by-task basis, which can be an option as well. Remember, you want to leave some of your budget earmarked for employee development, including that of the virtual assistant if you can see them staying with your company for the long-term. 
    3. After finalizing your list of tasks and your budget, you can post your job description and wait for the candidates to find you. From there, it’s all about reviewing the candidates, conducting interviews, and doing your due diligence to find the best virtual assistant the way you would for any other job.

    When you hire a virtual assistant, it’s a good idea to narrow down to a shortlist of candidates and then give them a test to see if they can handle the job. You’ll want them to hit the ground running, so putting together a test will help ensure you find the right person. Once you believe you’ve found the right virtual assistant, it’s important to set expectations for what you expect to receive from the position, as well as an onboarding checklist of what you want your new virtual assistant to achieve. This will likely coincide with the original list of tasks that you want to be outsourced. But it never hurts to reiterate why you hired a virtual assistant and what you need from that role.

    Why Hire a Virtual Assistant? 

    After the entire process you go through to hire a virtual assistant, it’s important not to forget why you needed one in the first place. Keeping this in mind will help to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your virtual assistant, make sure you have the right person for the job, and that you’re providing the best direction and management possible.

    For starters, you have hired a virtual assistant to save time on certain tasks. But you have also done so to save money by reducing some of the overhead costs associated with traditional in-house employees. It’s also possible to hire a part-time virtual assistant, a remote employee, or hire someone who just performs the tasks that you need, which can also save your business money.

    Hiring a virtual assistant is also done to free up business owners’ and managers’ time to focus more on big-picture measures that can improve the business rather than spending too much time on day-to-day operations – the classic ‘working on your business, rather than in it’. Those day-to-day operations should be run more efficiently, which will, in turn, free up time for the owner and managers to be more efficient with how they spend their time. If that’s not happening, it might be necessary to reassess the need for a virtual assistant or how the tasks assigned to the virtual assistant are getting done.

    Business and Employee Management Software: Your All-In-One Digital Assistant Management Tool

    But, if hiring a virtual assistant seems daunting, you could always use an intuitive, easy way to manage your virtual assistant, and easily manage and delegate some of your most time-consuming tasks: by using an all-in-one employee and business management app, like Connecteam.  

    Imagine a world where you can simply tell your virtual assistant what to do, and have them take care of everything from there (while giving you complete oversight)? Everything you’re most likely to delegate can be taken care of through the Connecteam app – it doesn’t even require any training! 

    Imagine a world where your – 

    • Virtual assistant can onboard themselves at their own pace, via the digitized remote training features
    • Repetitive tasks like employee scheduling can be easily automated, meaning no more scrambling around trying to work out who’s available to work, and worrying if you have any scheduling conflicts.
    • Employees can clock in and out themselves, via their smartphone (and even from a specific, geofenced location). 
    • Company-wide communication can be as simple as posting an update on an app, and then sending automated reminders to anyone who hasn’t yet seen it. 
    • Streamline workflows and manage projects in a more efficient way, with the in-built task management tool.

    With no training needed, a forever-free plan and 14-day free trial of all paid plans, there’s a reason that 20,000+ businesses love to use Connecteam to manage their virtual assistants, employees and business. 

    Try Connecteam today, and see how it can help your virtual assistant hit the ground running, making your business run better, faster, stronger and help you scale! 

    Your All-In-One Digital Assistant Management Tool

    14-days free trial, no credit card required. Try Connecteam today!

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