Finding an Administrative Virtual Assistant: The Four-Station Route

Finding an Administrative Virtual Assistant: The Four-Station RouteMany roads lead to the path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice.

This seemingly famous road quote from the 6th Century Buddhist monk Bodhidharma provides a basic answer to many of the business owner’s questions. These people often stumble upon their business processes and are sometimes left blinded from the fact that having the right people and doing the right practice can actually lead them to success.

With business process outsourcing at its peak there is only one way to get to the clearer path for your business. Meet your administrative virtual assistant and discover your road-builder towards business success!

Finding an administrative virtual assistant to take care of your business and treating it like their own is like travelling on a long winding road with four checkpoints. Take a look at these:

  1. Finding a virtual administrative assistant. This is your usual first stop when looking for someone to handle your outsourced repetitive business duties whether it be part time or full time. You can find a right-fitted administrative virtual assistant in two fast and easy ways:

    • Browse the Internet. The World Wide Web is the ultimate home of many online job hunters like a virtual administrative assistant. All you have to do is to Google for “administrative virtual assistant” and you will get thousands if not millions of results. You can also search for reliable outsourcing companies that offer virtual assistant services to fish for certified virtual assistants.
    • Find an online company that offers large selection of candidates. Three of the most reputable companies that are considered as the largest providers of virtual assistants globally are O-desk, Outdesk and Craigslist. These three provide a complete back office solution to locate, interview, hire, and pay virtual assistants of all types.

    With these websites, you can look for your virtual assistant in three simple, not to mention free, ways: 1) post your virtual administrative job and wait for applicants; 2) actively search for applicants that match your requirements and send them invitations to apply to your job; and 3) a combination of both strategies.

  2. Interviewing your virtual administrative assistant candidates. Now that you have chosen a virtual administrative assistant who you think is qualified to deliver high quality results to your company it is time to test their knowledge, skills and attitude. Here is a short but strategic guide for you.

    • Conduct a phone interview. This is the best method to determine your virtual administrative assistant’s understanding and command of the English language. Of course you want to hire a VA who can clearly understand your instructions before jumping into the assigned task.
    • Finding an Administrative Virtual Assistant: The Four-Station RouteDetermine your virtual assistant’s knowledge of the Internet environment and computer applications. Since most of your communication is through web technology your virtual administrative assistant should be computer and Internet proficient. Knowledge of phone and fax messaging, Skype chat, and email messaging are all important requirements. Your virtual administrative assistant should also know how to use various Microsoft applications like Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
    • Ask for samples of work and references. Aside from the resume and cover letter you have to ask for sample outputs and references from your virtual assistant. Go over their work and let them describe it. If still interested you can then call the references they provided to validate everything.
  3. Working with virtual administrative assistant. Now that you have hired your road builder you are ready to assign tasks to them. Prepare your list of tasks complete with descriptive instructions. You can either list down all the individual steps necessary to complete the assignment or if you have the time record a short instructional video. A FAQ manual can also be of great help.So what are these tasks that you can outsource to your virtual administrative assistant? Here are some:

    • Answering phones and faxing
    • Scheduling appointments
    • Internet research
    • Emails and newsletters campaigns
    • Social networking
    • Word processing
    • Calendar management
    • Document scanning
    • Customer service and follow-up
    • Travel arrangements
    • Sending holiday and birthday cards
    • Data entry and database management tasks
    • Desktop publishing
    • Event planning or management
    • Translation and language
  4. Paying your virtual administrative assistant. After all the hard work and high quality results delivered by your assistant a good compensation should follow. Costs of virtual assistant services vary. Some set an hourly rate while some want to be paid on a project basis. No matter how they want to get paid the compensation you give depends on the qualification of your VA, the kind of projects you give them, and the amount you both agreed upon. The most common payment options are either through PayPal money transfer or through a credit card.

Now that you’ve covered all of these four important stops or milestones in finding a virtual administrative assistant expect to have free-flowing business transactions. With your training and constant guidance they will always be your helping hand for administrative duties. Simple, right? You will be happily surprised at the end of the day that there’s a person right for you and your business.

Start with the first step now. Search for an outsourcing with a good reputation. You can start HERE!