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Virtual assistant

While working remotely, now might be the best time to hire a virtual assistant. You may not have thought about hiring one before, but efficient support staff can streamline your work and make your days more productive.

Virtual assistants can help you with administrative tasks from a remote location, often their home office. You can hire them as a contractor on an ongoing basis or for a specific project. Here are just a few of the tasks a virtual assistant can help with:

  • Scheduling appointments

  • Making phone calls

  • Managing email or social media accounts

  • Setting travel arrangements

Why a Virtual Assistant vs. Onsite Help?

Wider talent selection. Hiring an assistant to work in your physical office means your talent pool is limited to people in your general area. With virtual assistants, you can interview and hire from a talent pool that spans the globe.

Cost-effectiveness. Virtual assistants, who are usually independent contractors charging an hourly rate, are relatively cheap, especially in countries outside of the U.S. With virtual work, you can eliminate the extra costs associated with hiring an in-person employee, like office space.

Time management. Administrative work can eat up time. When a virtual assistant can take care of the busy work, you have more time to focus on what suits your skillset and makes your business thrive.

How Do You Find a Virtual Assistant?

If you’re ready to look for some virtual help, start with your network. Does a colleague or personal contact have a virtual assistant they love and would be willing to share? Maybe that person can share his or her experiences working with a virtual assistant and help you set the criteria for finding yours. Either way, start with people you trust and work from there. A quick post or text might be all you need.

Once you’ve identified a potential hire, you need to ensure he or she meets your specific business needs. Here are five steps you can follow to make the right choice:

  1. Compile a list of tasks you need help with. This will help you shape your idea of the type of professional you’re looking for. It’s also a great exercise for any business in terms of prioritizing time and goals. Once you have the list, figure out which tasks are the best use of your skills and time and which ones can be outsourced to someone else.
  2. Write a job description. This will attract the type of talent that can help with those tasks, along with the expectations of that position.
  3. Market the position. Spread the word by posting your job description on job websites and your social channels. The more, the better when it comes to reach. Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, and Indeed are just a few places to start.
  4. Review applications. Interview at least your top three candidates before making a selection. You might get fatigued reading resumes, which might make you lean toward one of the first candidates you look at. Remember that hiring the right person will save you time and money by avoiding replacement costs.
  5. Set up a trial period. Once you think you’ve found your ideal virtual assistant, hire them for a trial period. You’ll know if you’ve found the right person for the job when they start doing it. This gives them some time to see if you’re the right fit as an employer as well.

With the knowledge of what a virtual assistant does and how to hire one, you’re ready to start working smarter, not harder. To get connected, visit