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What is a Virtual Assistant? (and why you should hire one)

Hiring a Virtual Assistant

If you’re reading this blog, I’ll take a guess that you are currently exploring the idea of working with a virtual assistant. But before you commit, you probably have a few questions about how the whole thing works, like: what is a virtual assistant? Is hiring a remote employee the right solution for my business? What kind of tasks can a VA handle? Where do I even get started?!? 

So, let me clear those up for you.

What is a virtual assistant? 

A virtual assistant, or VA, is a worker who provides services to a company from a remote location. You can hire them as an independent contractor on a full-time, part-time or freelance capacity. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose to work with a virtual assistant that lives in the same country as you, or for a more affordable option, an overseas location (like, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and South America).  

When I refer to a virtual assistant, I am typically referring to those that are based overseas. Hiring a remote VA is much more affordable than hiring someone in your home country.

What tasks can you outsource to a virtual assistant? 

Virtual assistants can fulfill a number of different roles in your business. As long as the tasks are predominantly computer-based, they can be outsourced to an overseas VA. Here are some tasks that are frequently outsourced to a VA: 

social media posting & engagement 

day-to-day admin tasks 

email & calendar management 

appointment setting 

CRM management 

content creation 

blog publishing 

research 

data entry 

Is a virtual assistant the right hire for your business?

There are two significant factors you’ll need to consider when determining if a VA is the right fit. The right choice will come down to the role and tasks you are looking to outsource.

As mentioned, most roles that are computer-based are ideal for outsourcing. Assignments that are very process-driven and task-oriented are also great. Some of the best things to outsource to a virtual assistant are repetitive tasks that you find boring. I found VAs have a much greater tolerance for repetitive tasks, and typically your time could be much better spent elsewhere. If this is resonating with how you are feeling and what you are looking to achieve, I would definitely suggest a VA could be the right solution for you!

How do you hire a virtual assistant?

There are a few different options for you in hiring a VA:

1. Hire completely by yourself.

If it is your first time, this can be quite daunting, check out this blog on how to hire an amazing virtual assistant

2. Engage a recruiter

You can look at engaging someone who will find and recruit potential candidates for you and let you hire them directly from there. If your biggest hesitation is simply managing the recruitment process, this could be a good option for you.

3. Engage a virtual assistant agency

The final option is to work with a VA agency or a BPO. The benefit of this is that they will manage the entire recruitment process, as well as providing on-going management of the virtual assistant – including payments, training, etc. If you haven’t hired or worked with a VA before, this can be a great way to get started and learn best practices.

That’s all the basics you need to know on VAs – so you can make the right decision and hire for your business. If you’d like to progress to working with a VA, follow this blog for more tips and tricks so you can enjoy an effective, valuable collaboration. 

For more tips, be sure to check out our new book, The Virtual Assistant Advantage


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