Remote work is becoming more and more popular, and it’s with good reason. Remote work provides flexibility for employees, boosts productivity, and helps top companies find the most talented employees around the globe.
Remote work also affords businesses and freelancers alike the opportunity to scale business operations rapidly, take on more clients, and make more money.
However, it’s difficult to grow if you don’t have anyone helping you handle mundane tasks.
This article will offer insights into the benefits of having a virtual assistant, what virtual assistants can do for you, and how to write the perfect virtual assistant job description, so you are able to hire the right fit the first time.
What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant?
Technavio’s analysts predict the global virtual assistant market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.60% up through 2021.
Additionally, Intuit predicts that 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will be made up of virtual assistants by 2020. This makes sense considering how many benefits both virtual assistants and employers experience through this relationship.
Some of the top benefits include:
It’s nearly three times cheaper to hire a virtual assistant than it is to hire a full-time employee. In fact, a virtual assistant can save you up to 78% on operating costs each year.
Pay for productive hours only
According to research, most 8-hour employees are only productive for just under 3 hours a day.
When you hire a virtual assistant, you only have to pay for the hours they are actively working for you. In fact, 87.7% of virtual assistants are paid hourly.
Additionally, you can use a time tracking tool to monitor exactly how many hours your virtual assistant is working and how they are spending their hourly time.
You can hire a smart and dedicated VA from another country
Not only is it significantly cheaper to hire an employee from one of these countries, but business English proficiency rates are astoundingly high.
India is the second-largest English-speaking country in the world. You can hire a virtual assistant for better rates in one of these two countries and not risk anything in terms of excellent business communication.
When it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, you have several options.
The cost savings benefits will be significant, you can find someone to handle your mundane tasks, and you can get back to focusing on scaling your business more efficiently.
What do virtual assistants do?
Your interest is officially piqued, and you may be ready to hire a virtual assistant to start helping you with some of the tasks you don’t want to handle yourself.
But, what exactly are those tasks? In other words, what do virtual assistants actually do and what can you expect from them?
They may not handle personal tasks like picking up your kids and doing your laundry (although that would be amazing), but here are some things you can ask of a virtual assistant:
Social media management
Social media marketing is a full-time job—one you probably don’t have time to do.
However, you can’t simply let this task go. It’s not optional anymore considering more than 40% of digital consumers use social media to research products or new brands.
An affordable solution to your social media woes is to hire a virtual assistant to take care of it for you.
That way, you can rest assured that your customers can find you via all social networks, but you don’t have to spend time constantly updating your profile.
Depending on your organization’s goals, company culture, and customer/employee rewards programs, you may be tasked with putting on awesome events.
Again, event planning takes special talent and a lot of work.
To get the most out of an event, it’s better to outsource the management to a skilled virtual assistant. They can take care of booking, reservations, and some of the planning.
Managing calendars, appointments, and emails
How many unread emails do you currently have in your inbox? How many of those are junk emails and how many of them are urgent emails you need to get to right away?
Similarly, have you ever ran into a problem with double booking yourself on one day and having your calendar wide open the next?
When you hire a virtual assistant, one of the main tasks they will handle is sorting through your emails, booking appointments when it makes sense, and managing your calendar.
This way, you won’t run into scheduling problems and won’t miss important emails.
Even the best dashboard tool can’t replace the human touch when it comes to preparing a report. Reporting is a vital function of every department, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to pull the details together yourself.
Don’t worry. You can hire a virtual assistant to help you put together reports. Then, you can use the reports to make better business decisions.
Does your job require a lot of networking that takes up a lot of your time?
You can handle the networking, but let your personal assistant handle booking restaurants and hotels for you and your business partners or clients.
Digital marketing tasks
Marketing is another full-time job you’ll need help with at your organization.
While you may want to hire a full-time marketing professional or outsource to an agency, you can use your virtual assistant to handle simple marketing tasks.
There are several more tasks you can outsource to virtual assistants. The most important thing, however, is properly communicating to your virtual assistant what you’ll need them to do and what is expected of them.
There is no better way to spoil a relationship than to hire someone and then throw tasks on them that weren’t in the job description.
The best way to set the proper expectations from the get-go, and maintain a mutually beneficial ongoing relationship, is to write the perfect virtual assistant job description.
Let’s talk about how you can do that.
How to write the perfect virtual assistant job description
The last thing you want to do is spend more time than is necessary to find the right virtual assistant.
There are thousands of virtual assistants on the market, and you want to find the one that has the skills you need and meshes well with your personality.
The first step in making this happen includes writing a solid virtual assistant job description. Here is how.
1. Write a clear title with relevant keyword
The first element to writing a good virtual job description is writing a clear job title and including the relevant keyword.
Without a clear title that includes your main keyword (job title), it will be difficult for virtual assistants looking for work to find you.
This could include the keyword “virtual assistant” as well as any specialty you may require. Here are some titles to give you a better idea:
- Virtual Assistant/Executive Assistant to the CEO
- Virtual Assistant Needed for Busy Entrepreneur
- Virtual Assistant/Customer Service
- Tech-Savvy Virtual Assistant with Excellent Communication Skills
- Real Estate Virtual Assistant
- Sales & Marketing Virtual Assistant
Instead of just writing “virtual assistant,” these titles give a clear idea of what type of help you’ll need. This will help the people with the right qualifications find you.
It will also help prevent people who are not qualified for the job from clicking on your job description, saving you money.
2. Include a short blip about you or your company
The next section you want to include when writing a virtual assistant job description is information about your company.
This can include your company name, what you specialize in, how fast you are growing, what type of help you need, and more. You can also include information about who you are or what your team is trying to accomplish.
Here is a good example from a job post from Huggable.
In this example, a virtual assistant understands who the company is, where they are located, that they are growing quickly, what their mission is, and more. It’s a great way to attract people who care about your mission as much as you do.
3. Detailed overview of the job position
Getting the position overview part of the job description is an art and a science. You have to convey exactly what the job entails, but do it in a short and concise way.
You can either come up with this information on your own, or you can customize one of the many templates available on the internet. Just make sure that the information is complete, accurate, and descriptive.
In the job description, you can briefly state what the job is, what the primary responsibility will be, who they will be working with, and that they will be able to work remotely.
4. List responsibilities
The next part of writing a killer job description for a virtual assistant is to list all of the responsibilities.
It’s important to get this section right and to be comprehensive, so that your virtual assistant isn’t surprised when you ask them to complete tasks upon hiring them.
Responsibilities for a generic virtual assistant could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Respond to emails
- Answer phone calls
- Prepare customer spreadsheets
- Keep online records
- Organize calendars of team members
- Perform market research
- Create presentations
- Schedule meetings and appointments
- Book travel and arrange accommodations
- Manage and update contact lists
- Address employees administrative queries
- Provide customer service as first point of contact
- And more
Another approach would be to include specifics based on the type of administrative job.
For example, you may have responsibilities that require a specialty including: marketing support, sales support, IT support, etc.
If you are hiring someone to help with marketing specifically, for example, you may consider including all the responsibilities related to marketing as well including:
- Manage blogs, source images, and post on social media accounts
- Create presentations
- Manage marketing analytics reports
- Collaborate with writers, graphic artists, and designers
The most important thing is to be 100% clear on what the job entails.
5. List required skills
After you list the responsibilities, you’ll also want to include detailed information on skills/requirements/qualifications.
Again, this section can vary depending on what you need your virtual assistant to do, but there are a few skills you’ll want to include on almost all virtual assistant job descriptions. These include:
- Proficiency in English
- High school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- Proven experience as a Virtual Assistant or relevant role
- Familiarity with current technologies
- Proficient in MS Office and Gmail
- Knowledge of online calendars and scheduling
- Excellent phone, email and instant messaging communication skills
- Great time management skills
- Unmatched organizational skills
If you require any additional skills (e.g. social media management proficiency, marketing knowledge, IT support, etc.), make sure to include details in this section.
6. Information for applying
The last section to include in your virtual assistant job description is how someone can apply for the job.
If you are using a job board, then simply ask them to apply through the job listing by clicking the link. If you prefer they visit your website or email you information, now is the time to describe how potential candidates can do this.
Hiring a virtual assistant may be one of the best ways for you to get back productive hours and scale your business more rapidly.
However, you don’t want to spend too much time trying to find the right virtual assistant. You want to get it right the first time.
When you write the perfect virtual assistant job description, you can rest assured that your virtual assistant will have the right skills and will know what is required of them.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.