Are you feeling the pain of burnout? Well, maybe because you have been investing all your essential hours in unimportant tasks. Know the difference that making phone calls, scheduling appointments and meetings are not your primary job. These tasks are just stuff that diverges your attention from your core job. Therefore, you need someone who can manage this for you so that you can focus on your core business.
Now you can ease your work by getting help from virtual assistant companies. If you are desperately waiting to give full time to your core business, then no way is better than having a virtual assistant to do so. However, before you start your search for virtual assistant companies, below we have listed a few important things to look for while doing so.
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- Set clear expectations and make a list of all the tasks over a week for which you may require a virtual assistant.
- Your virtual assistant should be proactive and resourceful.
- They must possess good communication and time management skills
- They should be reliable and responsible
- They must know how to navigate different communication channels.
10 Things you must consider while hiring a Virtual assistant
With abundant options out there, you may feel the need to create a checklist to refer to while hiring a virtual assistant. This checklist will have all the essential qualities that a virtual assistant must possess. It will not just make your search easy but will help you get the best virtual assistant. Let’s check out what these essential qualities should be:
1. Set clear expectations
Since you are looking for someone to off-load tasks on, you need first to determine the tasks you want your virtual assistant to handle. However, a week to determine your all-day tasks will help you identify the tasks you need to handle by a virtual assistant. A good virtual assistant will help you figure out these things.
For instance, take a week and sum up all the tasks other than the core business that keep you engaged all day. Prepare a list of them and then start your search.
2. They must possess the qualities you’re looking for
Recruiting a virtual assistant is almost the same as hiring an employee for your company. You need to make sure they possess all the qualities that your job description demands. The interview must be directed at identifying how the candidate will handle a particular situation rather than just hiring them based on their prior work experience.
STAR – Specific situation, Task, Action, and Result method is one of the best ways through which you can identify how an individual will respond in a particular situation. In this method, you discuss a specific situation with the candidate and assign them a task, then check their action and the final result they come up with.
For instance, ask the candidate what their role in their previous job was if they have worked in a team. Ask them questions like, if two clients want to have a meeting at the same time, what will you do in that case, and how will you schedule meetings with them without disappointing any of them?
3. Know the skills you cannot compromise on
When you pay someone, make sure you are paying them for the right things. While looking for a virtual assistant, you must ensure that they possess the necessary skills that you require in them to manage your tasks.
For instance, make a list of tasks from most essentials to the least essentials. If making PowerPoint presentations is a must, then the candidate should have prior experience in that. If managing accounts is their primary task, then they must have prior knowledge about Quickbooks and other accounting software.
Reliability is crucial when looking for a virtual assistant. No matter how qualified and skillful the individuals are, if they are not responsible, any of those things don’t matter. Since virtual assistants are most likely to work remotely, they must exhibit a sense of responsibility. They need to be someone who you can rely on with your business duties. If they fail in that, they shouldn’t be hired for the job.
For instance, they must keep you in the loop for what tasks they are performing daily. They must answer your emails and work progress reports on a timely basis.
5. Communication skills
Communication skills are essential in every job. For the job of a virtual assistant, it is uncompromisable. There are so many businesses that have shut down due to miscommunication problems. The inability to communicate properly would lead to misunderstandings and generate extra business costs.
For instance, before extending your offer to any virtual assistant company, make sure they are aware of different communication channels like emails, text messages, ms teams, or project management software. They should know how to respond promptly.
6. Resourceful and proactive
The last thing you as a business owner would want is a virtual assistant who just goes through the checklist to finish the tasks without investing adequate time in it. The whole point of recruiting a virtual assistant is to have a helping hand with your business activities. You can find anyone who can complete the task but very few people you will find who can provide quality work on time.
Secondly, a virtual assistant should be resourceful. They should have a learning approach. They know how to solve problems and satisfy clients in every way possible.
For instance, if a client demands you to provide them with a spreadsheet organized in alphabetical order. If your virtual assistant doesn’t know how to do so, he/she must be at least smart enough to google it and learn how to do it.
These are the requirements that one must look for in a virtual assistant. Below we have listed some top Virtual assistant companies in the US. Let’s check them out one by one:
4 Top virtual assistant companies in the US
Your business needs attention and time. Get in contact with an appropriate virtual assistant company that could help you realize your business goals. Below we have compiled some top-rated virtual assistant companies for you.
1. Time etc
With a diverse range of services and pricing models, Time, etc provides the best unbeatable virtual assistant services on the market. The company has been operating for 12 years now. Their services include:
- Data input
- Social media
They give free demos to their potential customers. Once you finalize the deal with them, then they will start charging for their services. Their pricing model is based on monthly charges. The more work hours you assign to them, the less they will charge.
Prialto offers the best deal for solopreneurs who want to concentrate on their core business operations rather than stuck up in administrative tasks. The company’s headquarters is located in Portland, Oregon. They have an expert team who have proven experience in popular software programs including Salesforce, Hubspot, Asana, and Mailchimp. Their services include:
If their Virtual Assistants are not familiar with your company’s software, they will train them without charging a buck from their clients. Their membership plan starts from $1200/month. They do not compromise on work quality and therefore keep a backup team prepared to ensure your work success.
3. Up Work
Small business owners often require multi-skilled people for administrative and other operational tasks. Up work has aced in that. It is a huge platform where you can hire virtual assistants for needed tasks without making a monthly contract. The platform is home to people who offer services like:
- Design and video editing
- Content writing
- Web and software development
- Other services
Their pricing model is assistant-specific. You will get workers from all over the world with varied skills. However, you may have to keep quality checks for hires that are unverified.
4. Fancy Hands
Fancy Hands is the best bet for those who require on-demand tasks. Ted Roden founded it in 2010 to provide VA services for both personal and business needs. They have to provide customized services to their valuable clients. Some of their services include:
- Lead management
- Research and data collection
- Virtual assistance
- Document formatting
They are single task specialists with varied pricing models. They can conveniently integrate into your Trello and Asana accounts that will ease up your work.
Hiring a virtual assistant company to manage your day-to-day business activities is not a piece of cake. It is as complex as hiring a candidate to manage your core business.
Since every business has its unique needs, hiring a virtual assistant varies from business to business. A smart recruiter would understand his/her business needs first before starting his/her search for virtual assistants. The above-mentioned list of qualities for virtual assistants includes the primary attributes that work for every company. After that comes the specific tasks for which you can also train the candidate with time. Lastly, to make this guide a complete solution for you, we have listed the top companies in the US providing quality virtual assistant services to several successful companies. You can consider them for your business operations assistance.