The Role of a Virtual Assistant in the Functioning of an Organization
Hiring virtual assistants could give you tremendous benefits in the management of various routine tasks across divisions or functions. But hiring a virtual assistant is not as simple as hiring a regular office employee, as a VA will function remotely. In many cases, their work revolves around supporting an individual such as a manager or a top executive.
These roles include personal online assistants, virtual personal assistants, or remote personal assistants. These roles are not limited to scheduling appointments and making travel arrangements. There are virtual assistants who offer services such as blog writing, professional social media accounts management, graphic design, bookkeeping, strategic research and documentation, business intelligence reports analysis, and a variety of other tasks. It is about identifying opportunities that benefit your business from an efficiency, costs, and value perspective.
The way businesses and organizations manage their various business processes, and different work-based activities have undergone tremendous changes in the last decade. The traditional concepts of employment and manpower management were restricted to physical workspaces, local talent availability, and how managers supervised work.
Modern work management is about finding the right talent from anywhere in the world and compensating for the services offered in terms of actual hours worked and outcomes provided. The trend of hiring virtual assistants and personal online assistants grew in this context and has expanded across sectors and geographies.
A virtual assistant is a self-employed worker who specializes in offering a specific type of service to clients from a remote location, usually a home office. Although many big organizations hire personal assistants virtually, the trend of hiring virtual assistants is getting a wider acceptance in the small- and mid-level business sectors.
Virtual or personal online assistants help organizations significantly cut costs. These are professionals who serve as independent contractors, and employers do not have to provide the same benefits, salaries, pay taxes, and provide workstations and facilities that they would have to for in-house employees.
According to some articles published by Forbes, the trend of virtual assistants started becoming popular around 1990 but has never been so popular as in recent years. Virtual assistants and remote employment seem a common employment practice in the techno-savvy world.
How Hiring Virtual Assistants Could Offer Great Advantages
Virtual assistants are professionals who manage a specific number of tasks, working from a remote location, and are paid based on the hours of work put in and the outcomes.
You could hire a personal assistant-virtual for managing your social media accounts, that is, writing your blogs, responding to comments, posting messages as you want them, etc. You could hire a personal assistant for doing all the bookkeeping work if you have a small business, or managing the various e-commerce tasks for your online store, serving as an executive assistant to provide analysis of various business reports, etc.
The tasks you can outsource to personal online assistants cover a wide range of activities. Some of the benefits are explained here
1 . Optimize Process
Hiring a virtual assistant could help you optimize the entire process of managing and handling specific functions. Before hiring a personal assistant, you already make a framework of activities, timeframes, productivity expectations, and other matters.
Competent virtual assistants will always make efforts to increase productivity and get maximum work done each day, as their remuneration and incentives are tied to outcomes and performance. As these are trained professionals, you need not invest much in continual training, nor do you have to be involved in micro work management. Personal online assistants invest in technology systems that help them improve accuracy, efficiency, and productivity.
2 . Improve Task Management Outcomes
A virtual assistant is a highly-skilled individual in his or her domain or service areas and has the ability to manage work with minimal supervision and guidance.
If you have hired an efficient personal online assistant to take care of your administrative tasks such as email management, calendar management, client follow-up, etc., the professional will frame the work structure and handle task management on their own in a very capable manner. All you need to do is find timely reports and updates and offer new instructions or corrective feedback when you see fit.
From writing product marketing emails and social media messages to managing your personal investments and financial updates, you can get a lot of tasks managed with a focus on performance standards and outcomes.
3 . Track Performance Efficiently.
In traditional employment scenarios, work is done largely in an unstructured manner, as a lot of data is stored in unstructured ways, and it is difficult to track errors, quality, problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and other aspects of work.
When you hire a personal assistant or virtual assistants for any function, whether it is website data analytics or database updates and data entry, you get accurate reports every day, and work management is done in a structured manner for efficient monitoring. This is one of the reasons why thousands of SMEs and startups find virtual assistants a great asset.
You can easily hire virtual assistants on a short-term basis and hand over your extra workload to improve performance efficiency. Small enterprises that find increased workloads during peak seasons benefit a lot when they are able to hire personal assistants to handle the extra workloads.
4 . Reduce Training and Operations Costs
Traditional employment scenarios involve a lot of investment in training and learning, and development. With changes in technology and business process management methods, continual training programs are required.
But when it comes to a virtual assistant, you hire professionals who upgrade their learning and knowledge continually on their own to cope with changing work trends. Training is limited to making them understand your unique work scenario, practices, technology systems, and expectations. It can be managed through a thorough onboarding process involving virtual tutorials. You save a lot on the training and related operational costs.
5 . Gives Managers More Time For Strategic Thinking
A virtual assistant can easily shoulder a range of routine and repetitive tasks that consume a lot of time, especially if you have a small team of workers or if you are a solo entrepreneur who needs to get a lot done in a minimum time.
A virtual assistant is a useful asset if you wish to keep the administrative aspect of your work running without investing much time in it. Doing so allows you the time to invest in strategic thinking and business improvement. Recruiting a virtual assistant will provide you with the extra helping hand as and when you need it.
6 . Get Access to Expert Help for Specialized Functions
When it comes to expert help, it is not an easy task to find knowledgeable and experienced individuals or a team of individuals in a particular field, especially if you are looking for experts from a certain region.
A virtual assistant can be an expert in a certain field, such as website analytics, lead generation, graphic design for digital marketing, business intelligence, accounts receivable, etc. These professionals can work from any corner of the world for your organization. You need not be affected by the lack of local talent availability.
7 . Scalability and Flexibility
Scalability refers to the capability to cope and perform well under changing workload scenarios-increase or decrease in the scope and quantity of work, operations, and manpower needs. An e-commerce site might need extra hands during festival seasons, or an accounting firm might need more professionals to manage specialized work during the end of semesters and fiscal years.
Hiring full-time staff could become a costly affair and add to payroll, taxation, and other compliance tasks, while hiring virtual assistants who can handle the functions could increase your ability to scale up and down with ease. You can request the services of a virtual assistant as and when required. You could have your own unique talent pipeline of virtual assistance, and professionals can be hired whenever you need to scale up certain activities.
8 . Enhance Overall Work Efficiency.
The end results of giving your business the opportunity to hire virtual assistants are immense. With improved tasks management, performance management, scalability, and optimized work management support, you are smoothly increasing overall operations efficiency. The comparative advantages also increase in terms of costs, resource management, and infrastructure investment.
Here is a list of some Dos and Don’ts while hiring a virtual Assistant to maximize the benefits
While recruiting a virtual assistant, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. These things will help you hire more qualified, skilled, and smart virtual assistants.
Hire On Trial Basis
It is wiser to hire your virtual assistant on a trial basis first. Invest in initial training and learning to adapt to your company’s technology and work systems. Find out how much the chosen candidate is able to adapt to the work demands and the capacity to gradually improve outcomes.
By implementing a cordial work relationship and corrective feedback, you could easily motivate a candidate to understand your expectations, work methods, and reporting styles. Once you are fully sure the candidate is capable enough to take up the job, you could offer the contract.
Following the signing of a contract, it is essential to organize a more competent onboarding and orientation program, which involves helping the individual to understand goals and targets and know the different stakeholders who would be associated with work management.
You could create virtual tutorials to help the individual understand company policies and things like data protection and confidentiality, cybersecurity, work hours and time management systems, etc.
Orientations should also be about equipping the virtual workforce with the required knowledge to understand how they will be assessed and ways to get incentives.
Put In Place Clear Communication Channels
The communication between an employer and their employees needs to be clear and understood by both parties. Remote assistants are no exception to this rule.
For smooth communication, you need to set up multiple communication channels for real-time communication and document sharing. You could always make use of social media platforms. The remote employee could be provided a list of points of contact for things like online server issue troubleshooting, query resolution, etc.
Offer Bonus Payments for High Productivity Levels
Who doesn’t like bonus payments? Be it a full-time office employee or a virtual assistant, being appreciated for work in the form of monetary gains boosts not only confidence but also maintains loyalty towards your organizations. It makes your virtual workforce work harder that ultimately benefits your business.
While having personal online assistants or virtual assistants could give you significant benefits, the outcomes depend on how well you go about the entire process, from identifying functions that can be outsourced to finding the ideal candidates. Worry not! Alliance Recruitment Agency is at your service.
With more than a decade of experience in virtual assistant recruitment, we are able to find you ideal candidates for various virtual assistant roles without hassles and delays. Our agency also offers a free consultation that allows you to identify the best approach to going about hiring virtual assistants. We help you hire personal assistants or virtual assistants with ease and efficiency.
Connect with us and find out more about how you could get the most out of virtual assistants hiring!