The word ‘virtual’ is likely to make entrepreneurs and employers believe that a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a robot, but that isn’t actually true. The VA is a real person, but his or her duties can be carried out from a remote location. All Virtual Assistants look to set themselves up from any location, with the help of necessary infrastructure.

Phenomenal growth has been witnessed in the VA industry over the last decade. Several businesses have started looking for best Virtual Assistant companies, with an aim of making it easier to do business. One can find a VA for just about any industrial sector, making it really easy to sign up the professional. Although employers were not sure of their efficiency when they first came into the picture, the situation has changed over the years. Once the assistant is able to understand the nature of business, getting remote work done becomes simpler and less costly than regular employees.

Top advantages of hiring a VA

There are some VAs who are adept at handling mundane and routine tasks, there are others with the training and expertise to complete creative, technical, and other specialized jobs. Here are some of their well known advantages:
  • They provide the best solutions for any kind of work. A lot of time is lot while completing routine tasks such as attendance, which can be handled by them.
  • They are not as expensive to hire as full time employees. An employer pays only for the work that they complete.
  • One does not have to provide equipment or a desk to get them to work
  • No overhead costs are associated with a VA
  • The VA might just get a chance to become a full time employee
  • More time is available on hand to look at business expansion
  • One’s business will become more popular as a flexible company

Support for the business

When a business is on the lookout for an affordable helping hand, it is the time to recruit a VA. It will not just help to streamline overall operations, but also give a chance to handle daily operational problems. It may not be possible to hire an entire team right at the initial stages of a business, and that’s where a VA can be an excellent resource. Of course, one can look at hiring them in greater numbers, which may also assist in taking critical decisions at various levels.

Tips to hire a Virtual Assistant

It is unfair to expect a VA to be able to do all the tasks in an organization. Instead, a business would find it beneficial to go through the following guidelines while hiring a VA:
  • A minimum tenure of 2 years- More than the work experience, companies value commitment and longevity. One must be aware of how much time they had spent in their previous companies. Such individuals are likely to be more loyal and will not start job hopping at the slightest opportunity. Anyone who has not even stayed in a company for six months is a definite red flag.
  • Look for vertical skills- Vertical skills are said to be procedural, discipline-specific, and procedural. This is a little different from lateral skills that move across specialist categories. There is a huge depth to vertical skills. Since vertical is linked to skills in the same field, there is greater potential to mastery. For example, it is likely to be more difficult to teach a website technician to do customer support than it is to train a pre-existing customer support team member (exceptions are always there).
  • Make interviews experiential- It would be helpful to test the VA candidate on realistic job scenarios. By asking about the steps they would take, the interviewer can understand various patterns of behavior and determine the best one.

A VA can be trained on almost all aspects of work in a particular organization. However, one skill that cannot really be taught is work ethics. It includes:
  • Showing up for the interview and subsequently to the office on time
  • How well has he or she been able to communicate with superiors?
  • What kind of a response does he or she generate in a high pressure scenario?
  • Is the person capable of showing up for meetings on time?

Certifications are important, but they definitely aren’t the be-all and end-all decision makers in this scenario. The VA’s job involves a lot of practical thinking, and most of it cannot be taught via different kinds of degrees and certifications.

Demand for Virtual Assistants in Healthcare

One sector which requires a huge number of VAs today is healthcare. It is because many of the medical centers are present in remotely accessible areas where it is very important to have efficient clinical workflows. They can also complete regular tasks like accessing patient records here.