When you’re growing your business, there’s a lot of tasks that can get in your way. Scheduling meetings, organizing travel, and managing your inbox are just a few of the tasks that take you away from your day-to-day operations and growth plans—tasks that can be managed by a remote personal assistant.
As business owners—especially small business and startups—your main focus should be growing and networking with potential clients. That’s where a virtual assistant can come in. Remote executive assistants provide cost-effective assistance for you to free up your time and experience a greater work-life balance and increased productivity without having to worry about coordinating meetings or missing emails. When you hire remotely, you also open yourself to a greater number of qualified talent and the ability to work in your schedule.
If you’re considering hiring a remote personal assistant—or if you’re not sure if you should—our full guide will cover the advantages, the key skills to look for when sourcing candidates, and how to hire the right virtual assistant for you.
What is a Remote Personal Assistant?
A virtual executive assistant is similar to a personal assistant with one key difference—they work remotely rather than in your office. They are someone who can manage many of your time-consuming tasks that you don’t want to do—like appointment setting—from anywhere, primarily through phone or online. This arrangement is oftentimes more beneficial than hiring an assistant in-office. Not only do you save costs from equipment and other expenses associated with physical office spaces, but you also have greater flexibility to hire the assistant that is the best fit for you.
A remote personal assistant can manage many of the assistant services you need. These include:
Personal tasks: your virtual assistant can help you manage tasks that aren’t entirely related to the business, such as scheduling personal appointments and other daily life tasks.
- Calendar management: perhaps the task that comes to mind the most with assistants is the management of your schedule and calendar. They’ll help you stay on top of appointments, schedule meetings, and help you budget your time more efficiently.
- Phone calls: your remote executive assistant can take and make calls for you. When you’re unavailable or away, your assistant is able to manage phone calls while you focus on other things. This is also helpful if you are away for the weekend or taking a vacation—a virtual assistant allows you to truly disconnect, keeping you in the loop should any emergencies arise, but otherwise allowing you to separate yourself from work for a while.
- Data entry and/or research: it takes a lot of your time to enter data or research something you need. Your assistant can help take these tasks off your plate as well, giving you back more time in your day.
Advantages of Hiring a Remote Personal Assistant
There are many advantages to hiring a virtual executive assistant. The biggest advantage is time management. By offloading many of the office-related tasks that bog you down, you’re able to make much better use of your time—for professional and personal purposes. Other advantages include cost savings, increased productivity, access to global talent, and greater work-life balance.
Hiring a full-time, in-office executive assistant can be expensive. Between salary and benefits, the costs of an in-office assistant can really add up. With a virtual assistant, you not only save on the typical office expenses (equipment and supplies), you also save on benefits costs. If you hire your virtual assistant from a reputable staffing service—like Solvo Global—you’ll save on the cost of benefits because the staffing service manages those expenses on their end. In this arrangement, you get all the benefits of a remote personal assistant without the added costs of hiring them full-time in-office.
Flexible work arrangements lead to increased productivity. It’s estimated that on average, employees are only productive for three hours out of the day. With a virtual assistant, you can see a direct correlation between cost and productivity. Your virtual assistant is able to be more productive because working remotely allows them the flexibility to manage their work schedule to best assist you.
Access to Global Talent
When you hire remotely, you expand your candidate pool to include more qualified candidates on a global scale. You can look for candidates that meet all your requirements without the limitation of a specific location. Hiring remote employees also provides cost savings as different locations have different costs of living and pay scales. Depending on where your virtual assistant is located, you may be able to hire quality talent at a more cost-effective rate.
When you have someone helping you with time-consuming administrative tasks and time management, you can create a greater work-life balance. Your remote executive assistant manages your schedule, takes calls, and helps with data entry, allowing you to utilize your time more efficiently and make time for more personal matters outside of work.
Key Skills and Qualifications to Look for In a Virtual Assistant
Once you’ve decided to hire a remote personal assistant, you’ll need to establish the skills and experience you require. Here are five of the key skills to consider with candidates.
Your virtual assistant will be managing much of your standard office tasks, so having proficiency in administrative skills is a must. Being detail-oriented and organized with skills in email management, record-keeping, travel booking, and multitasking are key administrative skills to look for.
Not only will your virtual assistant need to manage their own time, but they will be managing your time as well. Calendar management, planning, and scheduling are all tasks you’ll need your virtual assistant to handle, so you’ll want to look for these qualifications among your candidates.
Your virtual assistant will be spending a lot of time booking meetings and plans for you, making strong communication and interpersonal skills a must. You’ll want to look for candidates who are proficient in both written and verbal communication. Strong communication skills enable virtual assistants to effectively interact with you, customers/clients, and other members of your team.
Remote assistants will be using technology daily. They should have some experience with communication tools, remote collaboration tools, file-sharing platforms, and more. Technology enables your assistant to be more productive and efficient.
Having strong problem-solving skills allows your virtual assistant to overcome any challenges and obstacles they may face with creative and effective solutions. From analyzing problems and identifying alternative approaches to implementing effective strategies, remote personal assistants with problem-solving abilities can navigate complex situations and provide valuable support.
How to Hire a Remote Personal Assistant
Now that you’ve determined the key skills to look for in candidates, it’s time to hire a remote personal assistant. Follow these steps to ensure the hiring process is as efficient as possible.
Step 1: Create your job description—After you’ve determined the skills and experience you require, include these and all additional details about the position in your job description. Be as detailed as possible with what you are looking for, what your remote personal assistant will do on a daily basis, and all requirements.
Step 2: Set up interviews—Once you’ve received applications for your virtual assistant position, you can set up interviews with your top candidates. Some questions to ask during the interview might include:
- Let’s say your inbox is flooded with messages. How would you prioritize which emails to respond to first?
- How would you handle a situation where you might not know how to complete a requested task?
- What do you consider your core skills and services? Which ones are outside your scope?
Step 3: Hire your virtual assistant—After you’ve determined the best candidate for the position, you’ll want to extend the job offer and hire your personal assistant.
Hire Your Remote Personal Assistant with Solvo
Choosing to hire a remote personal assistant is an important decision to make. If you’re looking to move forward with a virtual assistant, Solvo Global can help. Our remote solutions include virtual assistants. Our professional and proactive virtual assistants will help you manage your calendar, schedule appointments, handle confidential paperwork, and book your travel, allowing you to enjoy a greater work-life balance. We’ll find the right remote personal assistant for your you. Contact us to get started.