A virtual assistant (VA)is someone who works remotely for a company. VAs work on administrative tasks such as client coordination and scheduling, strategic implementation of marketing plans, client research, and database updating through data entry.
They also assist in doing personal transactions such as booking arrangements and online purchases.
Virtual assistants for hire
Virtual assistants can be hired in two ways. They can be hired through freelance platforms where businesses can contact them directly through email, instant messaging, or phone calls.
Outsourcing, meanwhile, is an option where businesses hire a virtual assistant through an outsourcing company.
Outsourccing companies take care of legally employing the staff and providing HR and management support.
Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant
Hiring a virtual assistant has great benefits for any business.
Saves time and effort
VAs help business owners save time and effort on doing repetitive and time-consuming tasks. VAs mainly do tasks such as appointment setting, email management, and lead generation.
They can also be assigned to prepare reports, presentations, and letters for the clients. They may not be able to make coffee for their boss but they can order it online and have it delivered instead.
Outsourcing generates big savings for a business since it doesn’t need extra workspace and equipment to occupy. This can be especially helpful to small business owners who can then focus more on growth.
Freelance VAs mostly work in their homes with a PC, an internet connection, and the tools needed for their job.
Virtual assistant teams hired through business process outsourcing, meanwhile, are managed by the BPO company.
Their work needs are provided from the workspace, PC, phones, internet connection, to their salaries, benefits, and required training.
Since they serve as the right hand of the business owner, their tasks are crucial in running a business. They help promote the business by creating marketing campaigns and running ads.
VAs can also help in assigning tasks to other employees. They help in utilizing their workload so they can focus on accomplishing bigger tasks for the company.
What does a virtual assistant do
Virtual assistants perform a wide range of duties and can have different specializations, it is common for VAs to become generalists as they grow with the client.
Popular tasks that a VA does are:
- Customer service (voice, chat or email)
- Business presentations
- Digital marketing
- Online research and lead generation
- Supplier and vendor coordination
- Calendar management
- Travel arrangements (personal or business)
- Social media management
Virtual assistant salary
According to Payscale, a virtual assistant has a minimum hourly pay of $4. This may increase depending on the individual’s experience and specific virtual assistant skills.
Freelance virtual assistants can be hired through popular platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. Their pay starts at $5 depending on their experience, location, and skill set that they have.
Office-based virtual assistants, meanwhile, work in a managed office and can be hired by outsourcing through a third-party company.
Their rate starts at $8 per hour with their equipment, training, onboarding, and benefits covered by the outsourcing company.
Specialized virtual assistants
Specialized virtual assistants are those who are hired and paid because of their expertise in a specific field.
For example, an employer can hire a VA that is also a certified public accountant or a VA that has experience in software development. Salaries can range between $10-$50 per hour depending on the skill needed.
Virtual assistant websites
There are several virtual assistant websites in the market that people can use. These websites may be based on different locations, but the pay rate still varies depending on the type of VA hired.
Outsource Accelerator is the leading marketplace and advisory for business process outsourcing. We list over 700 BPO companies and offer solutions for brokerage, implementation, and fully managed solutions for small and medium businesses.
Upwork is a freelance platform where businesses can hire a wide range of talent including virtual assistants.
They contact and hire freelancers directly through the platform and monitor them from the start of the project up to the final payment.
Unlike other platforms, FreeeUp doesn’t offer browsing of available virtual assistants. Instead, they let businesses submit a request for a virtual assistant and match them with a qualified candidate to protect them from employee turnovers.
In Fiverr, businesses “buy” a virtual assistant’s “offer” and contact them through the platform. Offers usually start at $5 a project and can be one-off or within a period of time.
Onlinejobs.ph lets their clients hire virtual assistants based in the Philippines. It highlights applicants with updated resumes and guaranteed English proficiency to assure employers that they hire the best VAs for their business.
One of the oldest platforms in the market, Freelancer is a marketplace that offers a wide range of specializations, particularly virtual assistant services.
The platform allows direct contact and hiring of freelancers through the platform as well as work collaboration, monitoring, and processing of payment.
Guru offers freelance hiring solutions for small businesses at low costs. They can manage multiple virtual assistants and collaborate with them through the platform for secure and streamlined work progress.
Virtual assistants in PeoplePerHour offer their services on a per-hour basis starting at $5. Freelancers can also make custom bids for each job posting that businesses will make.
Virtual assistants use work collaboration platforms to track their progress in a project. Some of the most popular collaboration software in the market that you should use right now are:
- Slack is unique when it comes to streamlining projects. The platform uses hashtags to create channels delegate tasks, streamline conversation, and upload documents for a specific project.
- Asana aims to simplify tasks, processes, and objectives by keeping it as minimal as possible. It even has a free version that small businesses can use.
- Trello is one of the unique platforms for organizing tasks. It uses the Japanese Kanban method, organizing projects as sticky notes. These notes form a board where users can have an overview of each project included in there.
- Skype is a messaging platform used to chat with employees and make internet phone calls. Skype enables file sharing, video conference, and screen sharing through the whiteboard app.
- G Suite is a collaboration platform from Google that works like Microsoft Office. It has cloud storage (Google Drive), a document maker (Google Docs), a spreadsheet maker (Google Sheets), and a presentation maker (Google Slides).
Businesses don’t need to worry about paying their virtual assistants anymore. Payment platforms make processing fast, easy, and affordable with minimal fees charged.
- Payoneer provides virtual receiving accounts to its users for an easier transaction. With this, businesses can pay their clients in different currencies instantly with only minimal conversion fees charged.
- PayPal enables its users to receive payments easily with a minimal fee. It is widely popular in e-commerce and online businesses.
- TransferWise offers fast and affordable international transfers. Users can even create a borderless account along with a card that they can use in ATMs worldwide.
- Skrill has made its name as an alternative to PayPal. One of its unique features is its VIP program exclusively available to US-based customers.
- Escrow is mostly used by freelance virtual assistants when accepting payments. Escrow makes a contractual arrangement between the client and the VA where it receives and disburses payment depending on conditions agreed upon by both parties.
Outsource virtual assistant
The Philippines is one of the leading countries in outsourcing, alongside India and other countries in Asia.
Cheap labor costs, high-quality equipment, and a wide range of talent with strong English proficiency are some of the reasons this country is an outsourcing destination.
BPO companies in the Philippines cater to different sectors and ensure high-quality services to their clients. To learn more about this, check out the Top 40 companies guide.