Time is an incredibly valuable resource for growing businesses. But when you can’t create more hours in the day, how do you carve out the time needed to focus on the core activities that accelerate business growth?
One effective way is to hire a virtual assistant.
As well as reducing the number of hours spent on time-consuming tasks, virtual assistants help boost business productivity.
In this article, we review what virtual assistants do and the impact they can have on your business, as well as providing a step-by-step guide to hiring the best candidate for your needs.
Table of contents
- What is a virtual assistant?
- What are the business benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?
- Boost business growth by hiring a virtual assistant
- ✅ Make skills testing part of your recruiting process
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is an administrative assistant who works remotely. They generally perform tasks such as calendar management, accounting and bookkeeping, document and file management, email monitoring, and organizing travel arrangements.
However, there is no limit to a virtual assistant’s responsibilities – businesses can hire virtual assistants any task they want to outsource. From product research and graphic design to transcription and technical SEO services, businesses can find virtual assistants with the right skills to perform any task they need.
In short, virtual assistants are the remote versions of executive assistants and personal assistants. Many businesses hire virtual assistants to take on routine administrative tasks that are key to keeping a business functioning but don’t add much extra value to their core business offering.
What are the business benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?
Hiring a virtual assistant saves you time spent completing low-level administrative tasks, but it also provides you with a broad range of added benefits. Here are the top five advantages of hiring a virtual assistant.
1. Maximize productivity and efficiency
One of the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant is that they’re hired to do whatever you need them to do – and only that.
Manual or repetitive tasks like those mentioned above can become time-consuming, reducing your ability to focus on activities needed to grow your business. In a world where job descriptions are often ambiguous and overloaded with tasks and responsibilities, virtual assistants will carry out specific, routine functions.
Whether you need them to monitor your email inbox, manage employee schedules, take care of invoices, or manage your social media channels, their job is to perform a particular task without other responsibilities holding them up.
Plus, when you hire a virtual assistant, you’re hiring an individual with skills tailored to the areas in which you need assistance, so you don’t need to spend too much time on training or onboarding processes.
2. Decrease operational costs
Hiring a virtual assistant enables you to access the skills you need without also paying for common overheads associated with new hires. This can include office equipment and space, increased maintenance costs, and additional taxes and employee benefits.
Moreover, recruitment costs for virtual assistants are significantly lower when compared to personal assistant recruitment processes. Many businesses use freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and People Per Hour to advertise their open roles for virtual assistants, significantly reducing recruitment overheads.
However, before you hire a virtual assistant, assess their skillset with pre-employment virtual assistant tests to make sure that they have the competencies you need.
3. Gain access to top talent around the world
Virtual assistants work remotely, which means that you can hire the best candidate without worrying about geographical restrictions.
For example, if your business is based in Canada and you’ve found the perfect candidate based in Mexico, you can hire them as a contractor without needing to onboard them as a full-time employee.
This significantly widens the potential talent pool for your business.
4. Scale up and down as needed
Flexibility and adaptability are key drivers of business growth. And since you can hire virtual assistants on a task or project basis, it’s easy to scale workloads up or down as necessary.
Whether your company is going through a busy period or you need to focus your resources on other aspects of the business, virtual assistants offer the flexibility you need to increase or decrease their hours according to your business needs.
Before you hire a virtual assistant, be upfront about the possibility that their workload may change from time to time. That way, you can find an individual who can accommodate the fluctuation in the number of assignments.
5. Only pay for what you need
Another great benefit of hiring virtual assistants is that you only pay for the tasks you need completing, which will save you money in the long run that you can allocate to optimize other business operations.
Rather than hiring an administrative assistant – who usually performs a wide variety of responsibilities – virtual assistants will bill you either on an hourly basis or for the scope of the project that you’ve agreed upon.
Before you hire one, however, make sure that you create a budget for the role and make a plan to avoid scope creep by defining your specific requirements from the start.
Boost business growth by hiring a virtual assistant
A good virtual assistant can help your business by enabling you to focus on the high-level objectives needed to boost and accelerate growth.
Skilled virtual assistants give you the breathing room you need to scale your business by taking on tasks that eat into your busy schedule.
Whether you’re hiring a virtual assistant to manage your email inbox, maintain your WordPress website, or perform data entry tasks, make sure you hire the right person for the role by incorporating skills testing into your hiring process.
If you’re looking to hire your next virtual assistant, check out TestGorilla’s pre-employment virtual assistant tests that can help you evaluate applicants and find the best candidate for your needs. Get started for free today.