How to Get the Best Virtual Administrative Assistant for You

How to Get the Best Virtual Administrative Assistant for You

Download this toolkit in pdf

Share This Post

7 minutes

Time is money, so spend it wisely, as the saying goes. When you’re a small and overworked team, this becomes acute. Often, startups and small companies get overwhelmed by the number of tasks they must accomplish, and hiring a virtual administrative assistant would be a game-changer for them.

Keeping your spending lean is a must if you’re a new business, and the costs of inefficiency could set your growth back. When you hire a virtual administrative assistant, you’re taking care of both these things. You’re hiring reliable, flexible help for less, which means no longer worrying about your tedious must-do tasks.

Having a VA will help small teams sort out their schedules, freeing them from time-consuming activities and allowing them to focus on their core duties.

There are Many Sources for VAs Today

The thing is, though, there are so many great sources for VAs today–in 2019, the global outsourcing industry amounted to US$92.5 billion. If you’re considering hiring a virtual administrative assistant, you’d naturally want to get someone who could be a great addition to your existing team.

But if you don’t know the first thing to look for, you might not find the best VA for you. Here are some choices you might make and things to consider when you’re looking for a virtual administrative assistant.

Type of Virtual Administrative Assistant

The first thing you need to decide is which type of virtual administrative assistant you need. There are two types of VAs: general VAs and specialized VAs.

A general VA can do a variety of tasks, from managing your email inbox to booking your travel arrangements. On the other hand, a specialized VA focuses on a specific area, such as social media marketing or accounting.

So ask yourself, do you need someone who can do a little bit of everything? Or would you prefer someone with more expertise in a particular area? Which type of assistant would bring you closer to your goals?

Choosing between a general and specialized virtual assistant will help you find somebody whose skills match your needs perfectly. It’ll also save you time down the road as training will be easier.

Managed or Freelance Virtual Administrative Assistant

Another big decision you’ll need to make is whether to hire a managed or freelance virtual administrative assistant. Here are the pros and cons of each option:

Managed Virtual Assistants

A managed VA is an employee of a company that specializes in providing VAs. The benefits of working with a managed VA service include:

  1. You have access to a team of VAs, so you can hire more assistants if you're ramping up your efforts, or hire fewer if you're scaling down
  2. The company will handle all the administrative tasks related to managing your VA, such as payroll, taxes, and insurance
  3. You’ll get a dedicated customer success manager who will help you match the right VA to your needs and act as your liaison
  4. VAs are vetted and highly skilled since they’re screened by a company

The downside of working with a managed VA service is that it can be more expensive than working with a freelance VA. When you hire from a service that leverages global talent, though, you’ll sidestep this concern. For example, you can hire Wing’s highly trained, managed, and dedicated VAs full time for $899/month.

Freelance Virtual Assistants

A freelance virtual administrative assistant is somebody who works independently. The main advantages of working with a freelance VA include:

  1. There’s no long-term commitment–you can end the agreement at any time
  2. You have more control over the hours your VA works since they’re not an employee of a company

It’s important to note that these advantages are also present for Wing VAs. When you hire through Wing, you pay a flat monthly fee–no contracts or commitments. You can also specify the hours your VA works.

Meanwhile, the disadvantages of working with a freelance virtual administrative assistant include:

  1. There’s no guarantee of quality – many freelance virtual assistants have little to no experience, so you’re basically betting on your hired assistant
  2. You’ll have to handle all the administrative tasks related to managing your VA, such as payroll, taxes, and insurance
  3. If you want to scale up or down, you’ll need to find a new VA each time, which can be time-consuming

So those are the main considerations you need to make when deciding between a managed and freelance virtual administrative assistant. It comes down to what’s more important to you–cost or convenience.

The Virtual Administrative Assistant’s Coverage

The next thing you need to think about is the number of hours your virtual administrative assistant will work. VAs can work part-time or full-time, depending on your needs.

Some business owners prefer to hire a part-time VA so they don’t have to assign 40 hours’ worth of tasks every week. This can be a great option if you only need someone for a limited number of tasks. On the other hand, hiring a full-time VA gives you more flexibility and allows them to get more done since they’re working more hours.

It all depends on your specific needs as to whether you should hire a part-time or full-time VA. But keep in mind that the more hours your VA works, the more tasks they’ll be able to complete.

The Virtual Administrative Assistant’s Skills and Experience

Now that you know what to look for in a VA, let’s take a closer look at the skills and experience virtual assistants typically have.

First, let’s look at the skills an experienced VA would possess:

  • Technical skills – Your VA should be comfortable using technology and should have experience with the tools you use for your business, such as your email client, CRM, project management tool, etc.
  • Communication skills – A great VA is an excellent communicator. They should be able to communicate clearly and concisely, both in writing and verbally.
  • Organizational skills – A good virtual assistant is organized and detail-oriented. They should be able to keep track of deadlines, appointments, and meetings.
  • Time management skills – A VA needs to be good at managing their time so they can get tasks done efficiently.
  • Multi-tasking skills – A virtual assistant has to juggle multiple tasks at once. They need to be able to prioritize and switch between tasks quickly and easily.
  • Creative thinking skills – A good VA is creative and resourceful. They should be able to come up with new ideas and solutions when needed.

Now let’s look at the experience your virtual assistant should have:

  • Administrative experience – The ideal candidate for a VA position would have some administrative experience. This could be from working as an administrative assistant, executive assistant, or office manager.
  • Customer service experience – It’s helpful if your virtual assistant has some customer service experience. This way, they’ll know how to deal with customers and handle customer inquiries.
  • Technical experience – As we mentioned before, your VA should be comfortable using technology. They should have experience with the tools you use, such as your email client, CRM, project management tool, etc.
  • Project management experience – It’s a bonus if your virtual assistant has some project management experience. This way, they can help you with tasks like creating project plans, tracking milestones, and keeping projects on track.

Of course, you’d like to hire a VA who knows what to do when working for a client. But while it’s good to get someone with experience in being a VA, it’s also okay to get someone who only has the skills and not the experience.

No matter the skill level of an assistant, though, they would need onboarding and training. You'd have to orient your assistant so they can hit the ground running.

Location of Your Virtual Administrative Assistant

Another thing to consider is where your VA is located. Some assistants are based in the client’s country, while others are based elsewhere in the world.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a US-based VA

The main advantage of hiring a US-based virtual assistant is that they’re familiar with American culture. This can be helpful if you need someone to deal with customers or clients who are also from the US. They’ll be able to understand them and communicate effectively. Which isn’t to say VAs located elsewhere can’t understand and communicate US-based clients! It’s just that it could be a little easier to US-based VAs.

Another advantage of hiring a US-based VA is that they’re likely to have the same time zone as you. This can be helpful when it comes to scheduling meetings or calls.

However, there are also some disadvantages to hiring a US-based VA. One of the biggest disadvantages is that they’re likely to be more expensive than a VA from another country. This is because they have more experience and skills, and they’re in higher demand.

Another disadvantage of hiring a US-based VA is that they may not be available at the times you need them. This is because of the time difference. If you need someone who can work late at night or early in the morning, a US-based VA may not be the best option.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a VA from Outside the US

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a VA from outside the US is that their rates are likely to be more affordable than a US-based VA.

Another advantage of hiring a VA from outside the US is that they may be more available to work beyond office hours. This is because of the time difference. If you need someone who can work late at night or early in the morning, a VA from another country may be a better option.

However, there are also some disadvantages to hiring a VA from outside the US. One of the biggest disadvantages is that they’re likely to be less familiar with American culture. This can become tricky if you need an expert in dealing with customers or clients who are also from the US.

No matter where you decide to hire your virtual administrative assistant, make sure you take the time to find someone who has the skills and experience you need. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect VA for your business.

Get the Best Virtual Administrative Assistant for You

If you’re looking for a virtual administrative assistant, there are a few things you need to consider. You need to think about the skills your VA needs to have, their location, and their rate. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect person for the job.

When you don't have time to go over all of these considerations yourself, it's good to hand off the vetting to a managed VA service provider like Wing. We take over the screening and hiring process, enabling you to start right away with a highly qualified assistant. Get in touch with our Sales team to know more!

Table of Contents

Virtual Assistants to Make Work and
Life Better

Wing is a fully managed, dedicated virtual assistant experience designed to help startups and SMB teams offload time consuming, yet critical tasks and focus on things that matter.