What Is A Virtual Assistant? Everything You Need To Know In Becoming Or Hiring One

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Are you looking to find virtual assistant jobs or wondering what a virtual assistant is? Do you need to hire a virtual assistant? Here you’ll find everything you need to know about this popular remote job.

What is a virtual assistant?

A virtual assistant or VA is someone who can perform assistant tasks from a remote location. Nowadays, almost all necessary functions for a business are accessible from any place on the planet. And a VA can perform these functions for you without them being present in your physical office.

Most VAs are independent contractors or freelancers who provide services as non-employees. Depending on the type of service or tasks they perform, virtual assistants can be paid project-based or at an hourly rate.

What does a virtual assistant do?

The job description of a virtual assistant can vary depending on the type of business and requirements of the client or hiring manager. In addition, a VA’s background or the specific tasks and duties they perform can also determine what type of work they do.

A virtual assistant can work as an administrative assistant, executive assistant, or personal assistant. Many virtual assistants can perform administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, making phone calls, and sending or answering emails. VAs can also be tasked with data entry, making travel arrangements, managing personal finance, and providing administrative support.

Other virtual assistants have the background and skill for specialized tasks such as social media management, search engine optimization (SEO) and content management, web or graphic design, accounting, and lots more.

Related: Remote Accounting Jobs: Hiring Virtual Assistants For Accounting

Benefits of a virtual assistant

Becoming a virtual assistant or hiring one for your company comes with compelling advantages. This is evident in the increasing number of virtual assistants and the rising demand for them.

Working as a virtual assistant gives you more flexibility in your work hours and your choice of the type of work you take in. As a freelancer, you can take in multiple clients and increase your income. In addition, you can work from home, saving time and money traveling to and from an office.

Hiring a virtual assistant is also beneficial to clients because it’s cost-effective. You pay only for the services rendered, and the VA’s working hours are flexible to the amount of work you need. This means that there’s no need to pay the fixed full-time hours like you would a full-time employee. In addition, your business can also save on paying employee benefits and office overhead.

Moreover, having a virtual assistant frees the business owner, manager, or entrepreneur from doing administrative work. Thus, virtual assistants work to give you more time to focus on expanding the business and increasing income.

How to become a virtual assistant

The first step to becoming a virtual assistant is to understand what it means to be one. Next, you need to start searching the internet for open positions and sending your application. But to become an effective and successful virtual assistant, we recommend you do the following steps:

1. Consider your qualifications and skills

Knowing what you can do will make it easier to find the ideal virtual assistant job for you. Study your background and skills, listing everything that can help you be a valuable virtual assistant to your clients.Do you have excellent communication and organizational skills? Are your time management and computer skills effective? If you work in web design or content writing, do you have a portfolio of your past work?

2. Identify your services

Once you’ve identified the things you can do as a virtual assistant, it’s time to set the details of your services. This way, it’s easier for potential clients to assign tasks and set the hours or projects for you.
What common tasks or specific duties can you perform? Do you work full-time or part-time? What are your working hours and rate? Do you want to get paid at the end of every project, weekly, monthly, etc.?

3. Prepare your work setting

This step is where you organize and set up your physical and virtual working areas. Just like in any office space, virtual assistants need the necessary equipment and tools like computers and high-speed internet connection. In addition, VAs who need to make calls also require effective calling devices such as headphones, microphones, web cameras, speakers, etc.

You should also consider the necessary tools needed for your virtual office. You will likely need email, messaging, and web calling accounts for communicating with your client or co-worker. Most virtual assistants also use work management tools for collaborating and sharing work with clients and co-workers. Some work tasks may want you to use additional tools and online platforms.

How to hire a virtual assistant

With the number of work-from-home freelancers increasing yearly, it’s easy to find and hire virtual assistants. Before you start looking for one, it’s essential to understand what a virtual assistant is and what they can offer your business.

The following is the process for hiring the best virtual assistants for your company.

1. Consider your business needs

Before starting your search for a VA, you need to have a clear idea of what you need a virtual assistant for. It helps to know what your business requires, so you’ll know what virtual assistant skills to look for.

Does your business need online marketing and will benefit from a virtual assistant with social media management experience? Do you need someone with writing and SEO content skills for your website? Do you need someone to provide administrative support and assist you with everyday tasks?

2. Write work instructions

A detailed description of a virtual assistant’s tasks helps maintain a smooth working relationship with them. This way, you clarify your needs, eliminate false expectations, and prevent conflict or unsatisfactory results.

Do you need your virtual assistant to run your emails and drafts with you before sending or posting them? Are they required to produce a certain quota of tasks or outputs? To track their work progress, do you want them to give regular updates or use time-tracking tools?

3. Evaluate your budget

Determine if your business can afford the added cost of a virtual assistant salary and set the salary range you are willing to pay. Also, ensure that the cost of hiring a virtual assistant produces more revenue or faster business growth.

Will hiring a virtual assistant result in more sales for your e-commerce business? Can a decrease in your workload lead to faster project completion and increased income? Can a virtual assistant help launch your business earlier and with a higher chance of success?

4. Post your job details

From steps 1-4, you can now prepare an effective job posting and find the ideal virtual assistant for your needs. A great way to find candidates for your posting is by asking for referrals from your network. Other ways are posting on social media and freelancer sites or enlisting the help of web-based virtual assistant agencies.

For a referred applicant, are they capable of handling more clients, and is there a potential conflict of interest between you and their other clients? Will you post on freelance sites and select applicants to interview, or have outsourcing agencies recommend candidates for you?

5. Interview and hire

If you did steps 1-4 right, selecting the best virtual assistant candidates should be a breeze. It is recommended that you choose the first three candidates to interview for the position. You can select another set of interviewees if you don’t find the ideal virtual assistant from the initial set. Select the ideal person for the job by considering their skills, past work experiences, and ability to adapt well to your work style. Hire a candidate that you are sure will work well with you and can help you achieve your goals.

Related: Virtual Assistant Interview Questions & Ideal Answers

Remote Raven for remote support

With the “gig economy” experiencing a boom in the past years, virtual assistants are increasing in number. And with the rise in the number of startup companies and online markets, the demand for VAs is also growing at the same rate.

Whether you are looking for a virtual assistant position or considering hiring a virtual assistant for your company, you have come to the right place. Remote Raven is the ultimate in remote worker staffing, with its years of experience connecting employers and their ideal professionals.

If you are a virtual assistant looking for remote work, Remote Raven can provide you with clients that fit your qualifications and skills. You will also receive training and assistance to help you land the job. Remote Raven considers your skill and experience level and will negotiate the best salary rate for you. As an experienced and well-connected virtual assistant agency, Remote Raven acts on your behalf with your best interest and protection in mind.

If you are looking to hire virtual assistants or are interested in learning more about what a virtual assistant is and what she can do for your business, Remote Raven can assist you by vetting the best candidates, sparing you hours of unsuccessful searches. Using a simplified hiring process, Remote Raven can guarantee you’ll find your ideal virtual assistant in no time. And because Remote Raven manages the VAs for you, you need not worry about processing their timesheets and payments.

Send your resume to apply or request a free consultation to hire today!