Customer service, bookkeeping, graphic design–growing and running your business means wearing many hats. But juggling these tasks can often be too much for one person to handle. If you’re feeling burnt out or generally overwhelmed, it might be time to hire a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants, or VAs, work from anywhere in the world and cover general operational tasks. Their responsibilities might include tasks like responding to emails, creating content, answering calls, and managing job posts.
And what does this mean for you?
Working with a VA gives you more time to focus on the heart of your business.
Virtual assistants can be particularly useful for nanny agencies, as these businesses require constant management of job candidates, clients, and administrative details. If you’re interested in hiring a VA for your agency, we’re here to help you take the leap.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant will strengthen your agency’s operations and boost overall efficiency. While each business owner will allocate tasks according to their own needs, there are plenty of general benefits of hiring a VA.
Improve Customer Service
Communication is central to customer satisfaction. A virtual assistant can answer phone calls and emails quickly, making your business more accessible to your clients. You might even consider hiring a VA in another time zone to communicate with clients outside of your business hours.
Free Up Your Time
Business owners often spend most of their days on administrative tasks, only to neglect the more creative and collaborative parts of their job. The same goes for managers and top-performing employees. Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to reclaim your time, so you can innovate and represent your business.
Build Online Relationships
Remote work has become the norm in the past year, so many professional relationships have gone online. The time is now to work with a virtual assistant. Hiring your first virtual assistant opens the door to building even more online contacts to take your business to the next level.
Lower Operational Costs
Virtual assistants can perform the same tasks as an in-person assistant–but for a fraction of the cost. While wages vary around the world, many international virtual assistants charge a lower hourly wage than those in the U.S. For example, the average wage for a virtual assistant in the Philippines is between $3 and $7 per hour. So, you can hire an educated, English-speaking VA while maintaining your bottom line.
Maintain Online Marketing
Keeping up with content creation can be one of the most challenging parts of running your agency. Daily social media posts and weekly blogs often take a backseat when your calendar fills up. A virtual assistant can kick up your online marketing game by creating content, writing blog posts, keeping up with social media, and managing reviews.
Whether sending interview confirmations or screening resumes, a virtual assistant can boost your business’ operations and save you stress.
Websites to Find Your Perfect VA
Once you decide that a virtual assistant is right for you, it’s time to start the search for the right candidate. The online world of job posting sites can be overwhelming. So, here are a few tried and true options to get you started.
OnlineJobs.ph is a reliable website for hiring virtual assistants from the Philippines. You can interview talented candidates who speak English and have experience as a VA, narrowing down your options by availability, skills, and expected salary.
If you want to broaden your pool of VA candidates, UpWork is a great option. This website connected employers with virtual contractors in the U.S. and abroad. Candidates are able to apply for your job posting, and you can consider several candidates before hiring a VA.
Other websites to hire a VA include Fiverr, Woodbows, Virtual Staff Finder, and Freelancer.com.
Top Tips for Your VA Search
Establishing a long-term professional relationship with a talented VA starts on the above websites. There are a few best practices to keep in mind when searching for a virtual assistant.
Create a Clear Job Description
You can narrow down your potential hires from the start by crafting a clear job description. Include a list of the exact tasks that the VA will be performing, as well as job requirements like education and experience. You’ll want to be clear about the hourly commitment and pay as well. Offer interviews to candidates who match your criteria.
Stick to Video Interviews
An interview provides a picture of a candidate’s communication skills. And you’ll get an even clearer picture over video. This format allows you to make a face-to-face connection and pinpoint the candidates who will mesh with your business culture.
Consider a Trial Period
Remember: You don’t need to jump into a full-time contract with a virtual assistant right away. A trial project can be a great way to vet a candidate’s skills before hiring. A trial task could be drafting a newsletter, sending emails to candidates, or creating a content calendar for social media. This test can confirm that a potential VA is the right fit for your business.
Onboarding for Success
Found the perfect VA? Now it’s time to set them up for success. Remember that even though your VA has experience, they will need to learn the ins and outs of your agency. This requires a training period. Pair your VA with various employees to train them on your everyday tasks and introduce them to your agency’s brand. Video training resources like Loom can be helpful for this process.
It will take time for your VA to learn your technology and establish a workflow. However, you can move the learning process along by providing clear guidance and remaining available for questions.
Hiring a virtual assistant can be a transformative step for your agency. While the VA manages administrative tasks, you can focus on building your business and supporting your employees. Your physical presence matters for your business. So, it’s time to let a virtual assistant take care of the rest.
Katie Provinziano has been helping families find outstanding nannies, newborn care specialists, and private educators for over a decade. A former nanny, and now mother and nanny employer herself, she is the founder of Westside Nannies and has a very personal and unique insight into the industry. Looked to as one of the nation’s leading nanny and childcare experts, Katie’s thought leadership has been featured in The New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, Fast Company, Business Insider, E! News, and Entertainment Tonight, as well as dozens of local and regional outlets. Katie is widely hailed as industry pioneer – developing and re-imagining the way nanny agencies operate and developing new, modern business practices that have been adopted by agencies across the country. As a nod to the agency’s innovative role within the industry, Westside Nannies was awarded the coveted APNA Innovation Award. Under Katie’s leadership Westside Nannies has grown year after year and continues to be considered the preeminent domestic agencies in the country.