Tips & How To's Archives - Virtual Latinos

Answers From Our In House Expert: Why Should I Choose a Latino Assistant Over Other Options?

Tips & How To's

Our In House Expert Lists Four Reasons Hiring a Virtual Latino Assistant Will Benefit You

Anyone who has operated a small business is well aware of just how many daily tasks are necessary to achieve success. Between financial reports, accounting, hiring, payroll, scheduling, client meetings, and client communications, it can often seem like you don’t have time to sleep at night, let alone get started on the tasks that will actually grow your business. Worse, attempting to be a jack of all trades often leads to the other half of the old adage, “master of none.” In other words, spreading yourself too thin on too many tasks has the unfortunate effect of making you less effective in your efforts on each one.

It’s a scenario all too common for entrepreneurs and other business owners, and one that often has unfortunate consequences: 20% of small businesses fail within their first year; that figure grows to a full 50% by year five. While the reasons vary from poor customer outreach (14%) to an inadequate team (29%), it’s clear that attempting to handle everything yourself does not bode well for the future of your business. For that reason, more and more small business owners are recognizing the value of hiring a virtual assistant.

What to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can help you with any of the daily tasks of doing business – from managing customer communications and handling administrative duties to providing customer support, sales, marketing, and much more. What’s important is that you assess your strengths, your areas of need, and then determine which tasks you’ll benefit from outsourcing to a virtual assistant. Then, you’ll be able to focus on the key ventures that will help you grow your business.

While there are a number of purported top virtual assistant companies in existence, however, it’s essential to choose a legitimate, quality business. When Jaime, our in-house expert, was first starting his own marketing company, he decided to outsource some of the administrative tasks to a virtual assistant; upon a recommendation from a friend, he hired an assistant from the Philippines – a decision that had unfortunate consequences. The virtual assistant had relatively poor English skills, was all but unreachable during North American business hours, and provided almost no return on our expert’s investment. Although we’re aware this doesn’t happen to everyone working with Filipino VAs, it does happen to many (including various existing Virtual Latinos clients).

From this experience – as well as his subsequent, much more successful experiences with hiring Latin American virtual assistants, our expert has agreed to provide his insight regarding how to hire a virtual assistant as well as why you should choose a Latino virtual assistant for your outsourcing needs. Consider these recommendations when making your final hiring decisions:

1. Time zones make all the difference

As Jaime learned the hard way, utilizing a virtual assistant halfway around the world can have some unfortunate consequences; hours of operation differ wildly from those of a North American business, such as in the US or Canada, and you or your customer base may not be able to reach your virtual assistant during operating hours. Conversely, Latino assistants live and work within the same time zones as you do, allowing you full access to develop internal relations, address productivity, provide customer outreach, and more. Better yet, the entire Virtual Latino team is located in the same few time zones, allowing excellent cross-communications via phone, email, or video conferencing.

2. Excellent English skills are non-negotiable

Our experts stress the importance of full English proficiency for any virtual assistant you hire. Besides the obvious advantages of hiring an assistant with fluent, non-accented English to aid in your most crucial client or customer service communications, it’s essential to ensure your virtual assistant reads and writes English flawlessly and can adapt to English-language tech in the virtual age. Virtual Latinos hires only highly English-proficient assistants so that each can handle tasks such as cold calling, sales, tech support, customer service, blog writing, marketing, lead generation, general administrative, and more with ease.

3. True bilingualism is a selling point for your business

With over 85% of US businesses relying on Spanish-language employees to conduct business with America’s growing Spanish-speaking population, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of the business you stand to gain by including Spanish-speaking support options. While proficient in English, Latino virtual assistants can easily switch to Spanish if required in the operations of your daily business. According to Jaime, “Being fully bilingual is an opportunity for businesses to offer Spanish services – having someone who speaks both fluently and clearly is important.”

4. Consider the cost savings

While Jaime’s first Filipino virtual assistant experience was a costly failure, yours doesn’t have to be. In fact, Virtual Latinos offers significant cost savings compared to hiring a US-based assistant. For qualified virtual assistants based in the US, the going rate is $25 an hour on average. If you compare pricing from $5 USD/hour for a Latino assistant, you see a 30 to 80% discount even compared to US minimum wage, which is a huge factor to consider!

Virtual Latinos Is Your Source For Quality Virtual Assistants

Recognizing the benefits of outsourcing some of your daily tasks of business is the first step towards shifting your focus towards activities that will grow your business and hiring the right assistant is the second. Ensure your success with Virtual Latinos – our skilled, fully bilingual and English-proficient assistants from locations like Mexico, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico provide you with expert services at an affordable rate. Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you.

The Growing Trend of Telehealth Options and How a Virtual Assistant Can Improve Your Healthcare Clinic Outcomes

Tips & How To's

How Hiring Virtual Assistants from Latin America Can Help Grow Your US-based Healthcare Business

Now more than ever, we see how global healthcare affects us all. Technology has brought us to the point where even doctors telecommute into patients’ exam rooms and emergency room beds. Imagine being a stroke victim in a rural area, with no on-call neurologists for 300 miles. A doctor can now teleconference directly into your room from a major city to help with your diagnosis and treatment. Patients are more than willing and able to accept this level of care from their doctors. Why shouldn’t we be utilizing virtual assistants just as much, if not more, for much less dire circumstances in health care?

All market reports seem to suggest that the need for virtual assistants in global healthcare is strong and only growing stronger, with extreme growth expected between now and 2028, particularly in the healthcare industries within the United States. Furthermore, with over 40 million Spanish speakers in the U.S., the demand for bilingual services is high and also only growing.

Here are some other trends we’ve identified suggesting the need for global healthcare offices to hire virtual assistants:

  • Multilingual support in health care tools for virtual assistants is increasingly necessary and relevant.
  • There is an increased focus on the development and implementation of conversational virtual assistant tools for ease of communication.
  • The demand for technologically-advanced solutions to our healthcare needs and issues is high.

All these trends indicate that hiring a virtual assistant, particularly in the healthcare field, is not only a smart move, but a prudent investment for health care businesses in the United States.

Benefits of Working with Virtual Latinos

There are many benefits of investing in Latino virtual assistants to improve the outcomes of your burgeoning telehealth clinic or one you plan to start. Here are a few to consider.

Bilingual, Multi-cultural Support for Your Service

All our virtual assistants are bilingual and multi-cultural. This means that our virtual assistants are uniquely qualified to translate among those realms – between patients and their doctors and nurses – who may not all have grown up within the same language or culture or may not talk about their health problems in the same way. This also has an overwhelmingly positive effect for your business, in terms of serving communities that have been historically underserved and misunderstood, which is enormous. It’s also just good business; you are able to reach that many more clients, effectively, organically growing your office.

General Administrative Support

Virtual assistants can do anything a person behind a computer in your physical office can do, without taking up space or resources. They can audit patient charts, establish new medical records, and even do digital intake. These are truly good effort and time-saving procedures to have in place, virtually. Having a virtual assistant who can do this, and in more than one language, only makes it a better investment.

Marketing Tasks and Announcements for your Healthcare Business

Most healthcare workers are concerned with just that: healthcare. There is no reason for most to know how to deal with marketing, promotions, or available services. This is one of the places that a virtual assistant can step in to promote your services. Trust our team to handle marketing. Virtual assistants can grow your business while you care for patients. Updating social media and other content creation are tasks that can be achieved from almost any location in the world.

Phone services

Virtual assistants can always answer the phones for you, in both English and Spanish, to schedule appointments, answer questions, and discuss patient options. Anything your offices do over the phone, can be done via your virtual assistant. marketing virtual assistant

Leverage the Benefits of a Latino Virtual Assistant for Your Healthcare Business

Investing in a virtual assistant from Latin America for any business will open many doors, but that is particularly true for those in the healthcare industry and considering the current state of medical care. A Latino virtual assistant can streamline your daily tasks more efficiently and can open up your healthcare clinic to a greater population. Grow your healthcare business by simply including more options.

Grow Your Telehealth Business With a Latino Virtual Assistant Today

If your healthcare business needs some backup with the constancy of new patients in the present medical environment, get help and grow your business by investing in a Latino virtual assistant. Contact Virtual Latinos today to hire a dedicated virtual assistant for your global healthcare business – whether telehealth continues to be a norm for your business or just a temporary solution to the pandemic that is affecting all our lives, a virtual assistant can improve patient outcomes while growing your base. All our Latino virtual assistants are hand-picked, bilingual, and fluent in English and Spanish. Over 90% have completed a 4-year college degree, which allows us to boast that we have the top virtual assistant services available at Virtual Latinos.

Attorneys: Are You Outsourcing These 10 Tasks?

Tips & How To's

Something you may not learn in law school is that attorneys face a great deal of tedious clerical work in their day-to-day office duties. Many young lawyers who are just getting started are shocked and a bit overwhelmed with the administrative duties that take up the precious time they need to meet with clients, complete their legal research, and provide quality service to those who are counting on them. If this sounds like you, let us tell you how to hire a virtual assistant.

Lawyers Face Many Time-Consuming Tasks

Attorneys do much more than meet with clients, interpret laws and regulations, and appear in the courtroom. Most people don’t consider the day-to-day tasks that come with running a reputable law practice, many of which are important but don’t necessarily need to be completed by an attorney. A respectable legal practice should manage social media, tend to customer service needs, and handle the clerical work of the office. If you have your own practice, you may not be able to afford an in-house receptionist or an assistant, especially when you’re first starting out.

Virtual Assistants Can Help Attorneys

Top virtual assistant services, such as Virtual Latinos, can connect you with an assistant who can perform the administrative office support you need online. You can customize the tasks your assistant completes based on your needs, even if those needs change week to week. Your virtual assistant can help your law office run more efficiently and save you the cost of paying salary to an in-house receptionist or aide.

Outsourcing these time-consuming tasks to a virtual assistant allows you the time to focus on the truly important element of your practice: your clients.

What Duties Can Virtual Assistants Perform for Attorneys?

If the idea of hiring a virtual assistant sounds appealing to you, consider these 10 various responsibilities they can complete for you:

  1. Conduct Legal Research. Not all legal research requires the expertise of a seasoned attorney. There are many instances where a virtual assistant can easily find the facts you need, so you can focus on something that requires your expertise.
  2. Answer Phones. The last thing an attorney needs distracting them from client work is answering office phones and prioritizing messages. A virtual assistant that resides in your same time zone can handle this task with the utmost professionalism and care.
  3. Book Appointments. Scheduling and confirming appointments is essential to keeping your practice busy and successful. A virtual assistant can take this responsibility off your hands, helping you keep your schedule full while avoiding double booking.
  4. Send Emails. Your firm probably needs to send reminders and other communications via email to many people involved in any case. A personal assistant can do this for you and free up valuable time in your day.
  5. Provide Transcription. Transcription services are one of the most tedious tasks attorneys must do. Find a virtual assistant with experience in transcription, and you can get back to focusing on your clients.
  6. Manage Your Schedule. Appointments with clients, witnesses, law enforcement, experts, judges, and various others fill the days of most attorneys. No one wants to miss a meeting and appear unprofessional. A virtual assistant can organize your calendar and help you manage your time efficiently.
  7. Manage Emails. In addition to sending important emails, you need help responding to a multitude of incoming communications. A responsible and capable virtual assistant will provide the assistance you need with email management, so no email goes unnoticed or lacks an appropriate response.
  8. Provide Bookkeeping. Accounting services are essential to any successful business, and a law firm is no different. Virtual assistants can provide an array of bookkeeping services that take the unnecessary weight off your shoulders.
  9. Complete Website Maintenance. Trust plays an important role in any relationship between an attorney and their client. Oftentimes, a law firm’s website is the first opportunity to make a positive impression. Blog posting and general website maintenance helps to build trust with clients. A virtual assistant with English writing expertise, top-notch grammar, and tech skills will keep your website looking fresh and updated.
  10. Manage Social Media. No successful business today will reach their full potential without the wonder of social media. Reaching the greatest audience in any target demographic is a goal that marketing virtual assistants can easily help you to attain.

Hire an Assistant from Virtual Latinos

Virtual Latinos provides virtual assistant services to suit the many varied needs of any law office. Whether you have a small office of your own or work for a large firm, taking the menial administrative tasks out of your daily schedule will allow you more time to focus on your clients and win your cases.

Reach out to us today to find out how to hire a virtual assistant for a law firm.

Virtual Work: 8 Tips for working remotely

Tips & How To's

Workers from across the globe are moving towards working from home as an attempt to stop Coronavirus from spreading.

As a Digital Worker at Virtual Latinos, make sure you are equipped with all the tools required to work remotely successfully.

Check below our shared tips and suggestions to make your home office work a successful experience.

Woman working remotely from her home

1. Set up a workspace

If you don’t have a dedicated home office, try to find an area of your home you can dedicate as a focused work area. If you are using tools like Zoom or Teams You can always use the background blur feature to keep teammates focused on you.

2. Communicate and communicate more

When working at home, possibly while balancing childcare, your core hours may change. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your supervisor, team and clients when you are available. Use message features on your preferred communication tool to let people know your current working hours and availability.

3. Be seen and be heard

It’s important to use the optimal audio and video tools calls and conferences. Turn on your camera and use an external speaker when possible.

To create the best audio experience: ​

  • If you are in a quiet private space, use an external speaker like a USB speakerphone.
  • If you don’t have an external speaker, or you are in a loud or public place, use a headset.
  • If you use the speaker on your laptop, ensure that you are directly in front of and close to the laptop as the speaker may not be bi-directional and people will have a hard time hearing you if you are off to the side.​
  • When you are attending a meeting, remember to mute yourself when you aren’t speaking.​

To create the best video experience: ​

  • Turn on your video camera! ​
  • If you are in public setting or don’t want your background to be visible, you can always use background blur feature. Check your lighting; if you are sitting in front of a window you will be in a shadow. ​
  • For the optimal audio and visual experience, ensure that the internet connection is reliable. If possible, connect via an Ethernet cable for the strongest, most reliable signal. Most of the communication tools will alert you if you have a weak connection and offer suggestions to improve quality, stay alert.
  • Don’t have an external monitor at home? Split your screen!​

4. Connect with colleagues via Zoom, Skype, Hangout, Teams or other.

Use chats, threaded conversations and calls to stay close with your colleagues. Name, pin or hide your chats to stay organized and be sure to adjust your notifications settings to your own preferences.

5. Collaborate with clients and vendors

Chats, calls and meetings will keep you connected with external contacts. Always be sure you apply the right permissions to files you are sharing. Download Telegram Mobile app if you don’t have it already, as it’s an easy way to multitask, letting you chat on one device while searching/working on files on the other.

6. Explore virtual meeting options

If you can’t bring groups of people together physically, explore and learn about available options for virtual meetings, including Teams meetings, Live Events and Broadcasts. It’s important to be able to help your clients and vendors know how to join meetings you have scheduled.

7. Work via your mobile device

Make sure you have all the handy tools and apps on your mobile device to stay connected while on the go. Every day we find ourselves on the go and need to connect, collaborate and create with our mobile devices. Working virtually can often increase this need. So, if you aren’t already using your mobile device for work, now is the time to get started!

Freelance virtual assistant working from home

8. Stay Truly Human

Explore tips on establishing a structure to your day, ensuring you are striking a balance between work and personal time, all at home.

  • Key to staying focused when you are creating and working remotely is establishing a structure and proactively balancing your screen time, finding the right place to work and connecting with people
  • Set a routine to start your day and mentally get into work mode – get your coffee, read your emails + messages, etc., and do what you typically do during a workday.
  • Think about your “virtual dress code” as you will be connecting with people via video.
  • Ensure you have a dedicated place to work that is quiet, has enough space for you to work, and allows you to focus. Ergonomics is important so think about your desk height and your chair.

Avoid working in bed. If you start working in bed you’ll likely get sleepy or have a hard time feeling truly awake. Instead, get up and make your bed first thing in the morning, just like any other day. Avoid the urge to work in your bedroom at all, unless that’s the only space where you have privacy.

If you do have to work in bed, creating a sense of “going to work” will help you. That means changing out of your Pijamas, washing your face, getting coffee, whatever makes you feel awake, do that first. Once you start working, sit up and avoid working in your bed if you’re exhausted.

It’s a good idea to treat your bedroom as a sacred space where you only go to sleep or relax. Once it becomes your office, you’ll find it hard to avoid thinking about work 24/7.

Using mobile devices to work remotely

  • Working from home, or remotely, often leads to increased screen time and less time away from your desk. Take breaks, go for a walk, and get up from your desk regularly. Avoid working where you’ll be tempted or distracted. One of the keys to successfully working from home is to pretend you’re at an office so don’t work somewhere that will tempt or distract you, that means don’t work with a TV on, and if laundry or dishes are calling your name, avoid them! Get your chores done before you begin work and save time for binging Netflix once you’re done for the day.
  • Set boundaries with other people at home.

Working from home with roommates, friends or family present can be challenging. Sometimes if someone comes over and sees you on the computer, they may not register that you’re working. This is true especially if that person has never worked from home before, they may assume you can do whatever you want.

It’s important to set boundaries with people around you in work from home settings. Tell everyone who’s home with you that you’ll be working as a virtual assistant during certain hours and to not disturb you unless it’s an emergency. Put a sign on your door if you must. Doing what you can to avoid interruptions is key to staying as productive as possible.

Take breaks every 75 to 90 minutes, for about 15 minutes per break. Ideally, your break should involve no screens at all and let you get some fresh air. Take a walk outside, play with a pet or talk to a friend. You’ll find that you’re much more productive if you walk away from your desk and computer throughout the day.

  • Connect with colleagues, team members and others. Virtual “water cooler” chats are a great break. Avoid total social isolation.

And when you’re ready to sign off for the day, truly unplug and try to resist the urge to check your messages frequently. Enjoy your free time!

Become an online virtual assistant today.

Your Small Business Market Research Guide

Tips & How To's

Market Research 101: Understand what your customers really desire

Many small business owners have countless things to worry about on any given day. Things like marketing and customer relationship management to often fall by the wayside to make way for pressing concerns like maintaining a stable inventory and employee retention. However, market research is a crucial component of any business’s success.

How Does Market Research Help Small Businesses?

Small business owners who devote time to market research in the earliest stages of forming their companies tend to see the greatest success over time. A small business may have a stellar product and employees ready to provide fantastic customer experiences, but these assets are only valuable if the company can reach its target audience. Market research is about much more than just identifying your ideal customers, however.

Improve Customer Experiences

When you take time to get to know your target consumer base, you can offer them better experiences than your competitors. For example, have you considered expanding your product and service offerings to customers outside the United States, such as the Latin American or South American markets? A small business virtual assistant could help you provide customers in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, or any other country in Latin America with much better experiences thanks to bilingual customer service. Once you research your market base, you can cater to their lifestyles and preferences more effectively.

Set Yourself Up for Future Success 

Market research helps you develop effective strategies for serving your target customers that can carry your business for years to come. Starting your small business strong with effective customer communication and top-notch service cultivates brand loyalty. The customers who have great experiences with you in the early days of your company thanks to market research are likely to keep returning to you in the future.

Market Research Keeps You in Touch

Improved customer retention rates are an undeniable benefit of conducting thorough market research for any company. However, effective research strategies also help brands stay in touch with their market’s trends, needs, and desires. Consumers may feel loyal to you after a few good experiences in your early days, but you can’t expect their tastes and preferences to remain the same forever. A virtual assistant service can be tremendously beneficial in this aspect by taking some of the market research responsibility off the rest of your team’s shoulders and streamlining market research during market upheavals and other developing trends.

Market Research Grows Your Business

As you research your ideal customer types, the best ways to engage with your target customers and develop your strategy for long-term customer retention, you will likely find new ways to improve customer experiences and reach new customers. Hiring a virtual assistant can be tremendously beneficial in this regard; while you work on the major objectives for your business strategy, you could assign your virtual assistant to follow up on potential leads, research new markets for future expansion, and basically keep a running market research strategy going behind the scenes.

Developing Your Market Research Strategy

Every company has different goals and core values. The goal of conducting market research is to identify customers who will resonate the strongest with your core values and find your products and services valuable to their lives. Build an effective market research strategy so you can establish a strong brand identity your customers will trust.

Define Clear Objectives

Any effective market research strategy should have clear goals to guide the research process and keep the team focused. Start by assessing your current market reach and think of ways to grow. For example, if your business is looking to break into new consumer markets in Latin America, target the countries you want to focus on the most and start building a plan to connect with those customers. If this is a new territory for your business, a marketing virtual assistant from Virtual Latinos can streamline the market research process with bilingual customer service and communications.

Identify Your Target Customers

Once you’ve identified your geographic targets, start thinking of the types of customers who would resonate most with your brand, your products, and your services. Develop customer profiles that act as personas for honing your marketing strategy. For example, if your business caters to different age groups, you could develop specialized marketing campaigns that appeal to your different customer demographics. A virtual personal assistant could be a fantastic addition to your team to help with online market research remotely.

Track Customer Engagement Over Time

Construct a mapped buyer’s journey for your target customers. Every customer goes through a journey or process with a brand for virtually every purpose. Map out the interactions you hope to have with your clients, from capturing leads to converting occasional customers into dedicated buyers.

Find Reliable Help with Market Research with a New Virtual Assistant

Marketing is an ongoing process for any business, and while many small business owners think that marketing is the stuff of large corporations, this is not the case. Small business owners can see tremendous growth and increasing success overtime when they devote appropriate resources to market research. An affordable virtual assistant service can be a tremendous asset for any small business struggling with market research.

Virtual Latinos coordinates virtual personal assistant services for countless businesses across the country, providing bilingual customer service experts, marketing professionals, and administrative support professionals to small businesses at affordable rates. Contact Virtual Latinos today to learn more about the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant to assist with market research for your small business.

6 Advantages of a Latino Virtual Assistant Over an Assistant From the Philippines

Hiring, Tips & How To's

See Greater Returns on Your Investment With a Latino Virtual Assistant!

Do you need a virtual assistant for your business?

These helpful online guides are growing rapidly in popularity as businesses look for affordable and accessible labor.

However, many American and Canadian businesses are turning to the Philippines to find virtual assistants – but are the Philippines the right place to look? Read more

Five Reasons to Work With a Latino Virtual Marketer to Grow Your Business

Hiring, Tips & How To's

Choose a Latino Virtual Assistant for Your Marketing Needs!

Affordable, Trustworthy, and Educated

Virtual marketers provide unmatched flexibility, affordability, and high work quality. You can see incredible returns on your investment when you hire one of these workers, especially when you opt for a Latino virtual marketer. Not only will you have the edge over your competition, but you will enjoy greater cultural compatibility and flexibility when you opt for a Latino virtual marketer!

What Are Latino Virtual Marketers & Why Should You Hire Them?

Read more

15 Reasons to Avoid Working With Virtual Assistants Overseas

Hiring, Tips & How To's

For Greater Returns, Choose Latin America

Many businesses are opting for virtual assistants overseas to save on personnel costs. However, the more you look at the reality of hiring an overseas assistant, the more you realize that affordability is the only benefit. There are more affordable and higher-quality options closer to home in Mexico, Central America and South America.

Here are a few reasons why you should reconsider hiring an overseas virtual assistant: Read more

Improve your Workflow: 11 Tasks you should outsource to a virtual assistant

Tips & How To's

Should I outsource to a virtual assistant?  (Commonly also referred to as just a “VA”)

Why not?

If you want to save more time and money, then you should consider hiring a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can save you lots of time and help you increase your productivity.

Since virtual assistants work remotely, there’s no overhead cost and they’re focused on helping businesses like yours to get more done.

Research by ValueWalk shows that remote workers are more productive because they have a better control of their time and spend less time traveling to the office.

Harvard Business Review conducted a study which confirmed that a home-based call center staff finished 13.5% more calls compared to those who worked at their office.

 Improve your Workflow: 11 Tasks you should outsource to a virtual assistant

Note: A Call center staff isn’t necessarily a virtual assistant but they can work from home as a VA.

Read more

16 Steps To Find And Hire The Virtual Assistant You’re Looking For

Tips & How To's

Need help with your business or professional work?

There’s a big chance that you’re in need of a lot of help. Do most days feel like you don’t have enough hours in a day? Can’t get enough done from your ever-growing list of to-dos and tasks? Wish you had someone who could give you a hand and help you with some of those tasks so you can spend more time on growing your business (not managing it)?

Need help with your business or professional work?

Virtual Latinos helps to connect business owners, professionals, and entrepreneurs with college graduates and experts from Latin America who’re looking to work as virtual assistant. Our community of assistants works in the same time zones as the United States and Canada, offer affordable rates and high-quality professional work. Are you open to seeing how a Latino can help your business grow?

If that sounds like you, you’ll probably love having a virtual assistant by your side to help you with everything you don’t have time for – or don’t love to do. I’m sure you’ve thought of hiring someone but were afraid that either a) your assistant would not do the work as good as you do it, and/or b) you wouldn’t be able to afford it. Sounds about right?

Luckily for you, today we live in a world with the ability to hire anyone from around the world. Whether that’s your neighbor from across the street, someone across town, the next state, your neighboring country, or across the world in Asia or Latin America. Thanks to today’s communication technologies, faster Internet, and an unending list of web-based apps – hiring and working with someone remotely or virtually is now not only possible but very normal for many people.

Want to be part of this new global economy of human resources? Then it’s your turn to hire and work with a virtual assistant.

Virtual Latinos helps to connect business owners, professionals, and entrepreneurs with college graduates and experts from Latin America who’re looking to work as virtual assistants. Our team’s goal is to help connect North American companies with local Latin talent from around our American continent. Our community of assistants works in the same time zones as the United States and Canada, offer affordable rates and high-quality professional work. Are you open to seeing how a Latino can help your business grow?

How virtual assistant help you grow your business.

There’s an endless number of tasks and to do’s that an assistant can help you with to grow your business, but I won’t focus on covering them all here. Just to give some context, here are a few areas where a virtual assistant or remote worker can help you:

  • Administrative tasks, and appointment setting
  • Project management
  • Marketing support (Social media management, SEO, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram management, content development, lead generation, etc)
  • Graphic design and branding
  • Website support and maintenance
  • Technical support
  • Product research and analysis
  • CRM management, data migration
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Inbound and outbound sales support
  • E-commerce support
  • Email and chat support
  • Human resources, recruitment, and hiring
  • Personal tasks

15 Steps to find and hire the virtual assistant you’re looking for

After working with virtual assistants for many years, we’ve put together this guide to help you through the hiring process of finding, choosing and hiring your idea virtual assistant.

1. Make a list of all the tasks you’re in charge of at work

You’re probably very busy, and have lots of things to do every day, right? The first step in freeing yourself from having to do everything on your own is making a list of all the tasks you do on a weekly or ongoing basis.

writing down tasks, let your mind run free and write down as many tasks as you can think of. Once you have a list of at least 25-30 tasks, you’ll be ready to start organizing your tasks into categories. Think of 5-10 different types of tasks that you do, and write each of them under a list of categories. These could be things such as “Client management”, “Replying to leads”, “Project management”, “Team management”, etc.

Create a new Google Sheet or Excel document, name column A “Task Name”, and type each task you wrote down into a new row. Then, name column B “Task Category”, and for each row of tasks, assign a category on column B. If a task belongs to more than one category, choose the category that it’s most closely related to. In column C, give the column the name “Time (In Minutes)”, so that you can write down the approximate time you spend on that task on a weekly basis. Then, go ahead and assign a number of minutes for each task on your spreadsheet.

2. Categorize the tasks into 3 groups: High, Medium and Low Priority

Now that you’ve categorized all tasks, it’s time to rank them by how important those tasks are to you and the overall effectiveness of your business. To do that, go to column D on your spreadsheet and name it “Priority”. I recommend that you use the labels “Low”, “Medium”, and “High” to rank your tasks’ priority.

Go through each row again, and type in Low, Medium or High depending on how important the completion of each task is in order to achieve your overall business goals or the goals for the role that you have in your organization. How you rank each task is totally up to you, simply keep in mind how much closer each task lets you get closer to your goals – that’s all that matters

Some of the tasks that you’ve marked as “high” might have the potential to be outsourced to other people, but others might not. That’s for you to decide later on. There might be important “High” priority tasks that maybe only you know how to do, but there may be others that are also “High”, but you may be able to teach someone else how to do them – so you can assign the task to someone else and get more of your time back.

3. Define a list of the top 10 tasks you spend the most time doing

Now, go through your spreadsheet and find the top 10 tasks that you spend the most time working on every week. To do that, you can “sort” column B (Time) from high to low, to show you the top 10 tasks you invest the most time in.

This top 10 list will give you a very clear view of which tasks you’re spending the most time working on. Some of these tasks may be marked as “high”, some as “medium” and some as “low”. In some cases, some tasks that take a lot of time to do may be marked as “low”, yet they’re very time-consuming things you spend time on, while other tasks that are “high” don’t take as long.

Virtual Assistant

As a general rule, anything that is in your top 10 list of time-consuming tasks that are marked as “Low” or “Medium”, are things that you should probably re-assign to someone else, by outsourcing the work to a virtual assistant or remote worker.

4. Create a list of tasks you can outsource to your virtual assistant

Keep the list sorted by “Time”, showing you the tasks that take the most amount of time towards the top. Now, name column E on your spreadsheet as “Person responsible”. On this column, you’ll need to decide whether you’re the best person to work on the task, or whether you should re-assign the task to someone else. There is no formula for the best way to do this, and only you can decide what tasks you absolutely must continue to work on – and are a good use of your time – and which ones are not.

Go through the list of tasks again, row by row, and on column E type in either a) your name, b) the name of one of your existing team members or colleagues, or c) “Outsource”. This should be a fairly easy task, and shouldn’t take you long to complete. All task that bear your name, you’ll continue to do, all task assigned to either other team member or labeled “Outsource” will be tasks that you’re willing to give up and let others do.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to probably spend some time training someone – either in person, video-chat or through some type of recorded media, on how each of the re-assigned tasks should be performed and completed.

Letting go is very hard, especially after years of doing things your way and on your schedule. Yet letting go is a very good thing to do, as it will liberate you from doing things that don’t help you grow your business – as they may be a low priority, or very time-consuming.  Learning to delegate tasks is for sure NOT easy, and I’ve struggled with it for many years. There’s a reason there’s a saying that “If you want to do something right, do it yourself”. Although that is true in many cases, “doing it right” is not always the best way to do things – sometimes “Just doing it”, but not perfect is better. Yes, it won’t be perfect, but you can always coach someone on how to improve things – as long as they’re willing to take feedback and actually be willing to improve their work.

Once you’ve completed labeling column E for “Person responsible”, you’ll have a pretty complete list of task that you can probably re-assign or outsource to someone else.  You’ll be surprised at how helpful going through this exercise is, and how much insights you’ll get about your work habits.

Next step, let’s define what type of remote worker or virtual assistant you’ll need.

5. Write a list of the must-have skills and ideal qualifications you’d like from an assistant

Now that you’ve completed making a list of tasks and to do’s you’d like someone else to help you with, it’s time to define what type of skills that person should ideally have.

Go through the list of tasks you’ve decided to re-assign to someone else, and for each of them, write down one or more skills that are needed to successfully complete the task. Create a new Word or Google Docs document called “My Assistant’s ideal skills and qualifications”, and type in the list of skills there.

Once you’ve finished listing all the skills required, make a new list called “qualifications”, and start writing down a list of things that you’d like your assistant to have. These can include things such as education, certifications, training, job experience, and other types of qualifications.

By completing this document, you’re halfway through creating the new job description for your assistant

6. Create a job description: Combine a list of skills, qualifications, and tasks to be performed

By now, you should have completed making a list of the ideal skills and qualifications you’d like your future assistant to have. Well done! Now it’s time to create a complete job description.

A job description is usually composed of the following items:

  • Job description, a short introduction to the job opportunity.
  • Jom summary, including more details about the candidate or virtual assistant being sought. This section usually also includes the minimum skills required, ideal qualifications and other details
  • Tasks & job duties: details of the responsibilities of the job.
  • Job details, including things such as work hours required, compensation or salary, location, team and culture, training, office space, etc.
  • Company introduction, a short description of the company or individual looking to hire.

If you’ve never yet hired someone else, I recommend you to spend some time browsing job portals to see how other companies have built their job descriptions. Look for positions such as “marketing manager”, or “sales assistant”, or whatever type of person you’re looking for. There’s no need to include the terms “Virtual” or “remote”, as the job descriptions are usually the same whether a job is local, or remote (virtual).

Once you’ve browsed through several existing job descriptions it will be easier to write your own complete job description. You probably shouldn’t just copy someone else’s existing job description, but it’s totally fine to take a few ideas and turn them into your own.

7. Build a job application online form

Once you’ve completed writing your job description, don’t forget to add the words “Virtual” or “Remote” to the title of your job position. This will ensure you’ll attract people who are interested in working as remote or virtual workers. As an example, a job with the name “Digital Marketing Assistant” should be changed to “Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant”.

Be sure to review your job description a couple of times before publishing it anywhere online. Once you’re happy with the job description, you’ll be ready to publish and promote it all over the web. But first, I recommend that you create an online job application form, so that interested applicants can go to fill out a job application to formally apply. There are many ways to build an online job form, and there’s no magic formula on the best way to create it. Yet, I’d like to share with you some tips from my personal experience.

  • An online form, if built right, will help you to easily filter out candidates that aren’t your ideal fit, as well as those who aren’t truly interested in working with you.
  • Build a multi-page form, so you don’t have all of the questions in a single page or form. This will help “hide” how long the job application form is – and will likely get only serious candidates to complete it.
  • On the first page of the online job form, only ask for simple information. This may include full name, email, phone number, current employment status, available start date, their portfolio, their LinkedIn profile URL, and an area to upload their CV.
  • Use an advanced form builder, who can help you “show” certain fields only when certain answers to other questions are chosen. This will help you keep the form visually shorter, while still having the flexibility to ask many questions.
  • Ask open-ended questions where candidates can type long format responses. These multi-line fields give candidates the ability to answer whatever they want, which gives them the freedom to be creative, show their writing skills, organization skills, as well as how detailed they are. Those who don’t have much to say keep answers short, those with more experience usually have more to say.
  • Ask one or two “trick” questions, or make them complete a short task to prove they’re able to “go the extra mile”, know how to follow instructions, and can actually get a task done. The task doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, as the only goal is to show if they pay attention to detail and if they’re willing to do the extra work in order to complete your job application.
  • Ask questions about their personal life, interests, how they spend their free time, and their short-and long-term goals. The more you know about what inspires people to work, the easier it will be to see if that person aligns with your goals and your company’s goals.
  • Be sure to make important questions “required fields”, so people can’t skip them.

Want to see a sample form? Visit our company’s Job application form

8. Promote the job opportunity and find virtual assistants or workers online

If you’ve completed all the previous steps, you should now have all the ingredients you need to successfully hire the best virtual assistant or worker to help you grow your business faster

As a short recap, you should  now have the following items ready:

  1. List of tasks you’d like to outsource to a virtual assistant or remote worker
  2. A complete job description for each person you’re looking to hire
  3. A job application online form

You’re now ready to start hiring!

It’s time to get the word out there, and to look for candidates that match your job description, and who qualify to help you complete the tasks that you need help with.

Follow these steps to start publishing and promoting your new job opportunity:

  1. Find web portals and directories that specialize on hiring virtual assistants or workers. – You can find portals to search for people worldwide, or by specific regions such as in the US, the Philippines, India or Latin AAmerica.- If you prefer someone that’s more affordable than in the US, has the skills you need, and lives within 1-3 time zones from you, check out Virtual Latinos. – Select the top 2-3 portals that you’re interested in hiring from, and compare them. Then select the portal that best meets your needs, and create an account with them (Some offer a free account, but may require payment if you’re interested in actually contacting the virtual assistants listed).
  2. Login to your new account, and go the “Jobs” section and create a new job or project.
  3. Copy the information from your job description into the online portal and publish when ready.
  4. Once published, either a) the virtual assistants or workers will find your job and will apply to it, or b) you can browse the directory, choose people you find interesting and invite them to apply to your job.

9. Carefully review all job applications, select the top 20-30% of them

Before you start reviewing any applications, I suggest that you allow 1 or 2 weeks to pass since the date you published your job. This will give everyone interested the opportunity to find your published job, and/or enough time to reply to any personal messages that you’ve sent them through the online directory or hiring portal.

Although this is totally up to you, I think it’s best to spend one or two days reviewing all the applications at once, rather than as they come in. This way, you can focus half a day or a few hours to this task – as opposed to interrupting your regular work every day.

Here are a few tips on how to review job applications:

  • First, initially ignore anyone who didn’t apply through the job application form – those include anyone who may have sent you a personal email, or completed your website’s contact form. These people didn’t follow directions. *NOTE: Go back to all of these applicants at the end, and use your judgment wisely, as some may have tried to “go out of their way” to show you how interested they have in your job opportunity.
  • To better focus on this task, put aside a half a day or full day to review everyone’s applications.
  • Read everyone’s application in full, don’t skim or skip sections. Everyone who invested their time to complete the full application is a serious candidate, so you owe it to them – and you – to read each person’s application. * NOTE: If within the first few answers you do see that there are too many spelling errors, missing capitalizations, or answers that are too short the candidate might not be qualified. At this point, you might want to scan the application and decide whether to put it in your “unqualified” pile.
  • If you’re reading the applications in your E-mail client, you can create labels or tags to easily sort your applicants are “unqualified”, “qualified”, and/or “top applicant”, etc. You can then easily go back to revisit all of the qualified applicants and choose the most interesting ones.
  • Who you select as your best or top applicants is totally up to you, your hiring experience, and your “gut” feeling as you review everyone’s application.
  • Select the top 20-30% of them, and mark them or tag them as “Request interview” in your E-mail client or CRM (contacts relationships management) system .

10. Interview all of your top applicants through a live web meeting

It’s now time to meet your selected applicants in person – or more specifically virtually, but face-to-face. The best way to really get to know someone is by talking to them, and not really by just reading their job application or CV. That’s only the first step to get them through the door to get to talk to you, but ultimately you’ll find out from talking with them face-to-face whether or not they’re the right person for the job, as well as to be the one working with very closely as your personal assistant, marketing assistant, or executive assistant – or the person you’ll train to simply take over your time-consuming, low-priority yet still important tasks.

To interview your top applicants, follow these simple steps:

  1. Draft a short email template congratulating the candidate on advancing through the hiring process, and mention that you’d like to schedule a live web (online) video meeting. Be sure to explicitly mention whether you’d like to meet on Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and whether it can be done on a mobile phone or a desktop computer. Otherwise, you might be surprised how many people will easily choose their mobile phone for a video interview – which I don’t personally suggest at all.
  2. Send an individual E-mail to each applicant that you’ve selected for requesting a live interview. Be sure to send it from your personal email, and not an E-mail marketing software. This will ensure they’ll get it in their inbox, and not their spam or promotions tab.
  3. To help you and the candidate select a time that’s convenient for both of you, I suggest you use a scheduling app such as Calendly , or AgileCRM’s scheduling tool . These scheduling apps sync with your online calendar and give you the flexibility to choose specific days and times of the weeks when you’re willing to have people book appointments with you.
  4. Once someone books an appointment with you, manually send an e-mail confirmation (even though the scheduling app sends one too). This ensures that you both know that the interview will take place on the chosen day and time.
  5. Before you start any interview, ensure your computer, microphone, camera, and speakers are all working. Otherwise, you’ll look unprepared when interviewing applicants – and that won’t make you look like a true professional. Remember that applicants are also judging you and your company, as ultimately they also get to choose who they want to work with.

Learn more about how to conduct an effective job interview at Harvard’s website

11. Select the top applicants for a second interview

Once you’ve interviewed everyone on your list of initial candidates, pick the top 3 to 5 applicants for a second interview. In this second interview, you should plan on spending around 45 to 60 minutes per candidate. The goal of this additional interview is to help you get to know the candidates even better so that you can more easily decide which candidate you’ll choose to work with.

During the second interview, ask role-specific and behavioral questions to find out how candidates have reacted to past situations. For example, you could ask “Tell me about a time when you were assigned to multiple projects with the same deadline. What did you do?” – this helps you find out how a candidate is likely to act in a much more specific situation. Then, to better understand if the person is the right fit to work with you or your team, ask “How would you describe your best relationships at work? How would you describe the worst?”, the answer to this should include the type of communication methods the person prefers, the order in which they respond, how they handle interpersonal relationships and much more. Additionally, here are a few other tips I can suggest. Use as needed on a case-by-case basis

  • Provide specific, even real challenges you or your clients are faced with, and ask the candidate how they would approach it.
  • Ask candidates for specific actions they would take within the first few weeks of being hired and their reasoning behind it.
  • If relevant, ask if the candidate would be willing to complete a short project in order to showcase his/her skills. Even if you don’t end up asking them to really do anything, they’ll at least show you their willingness to prove that they’re the right candidate for the job.

12. Define a small 1-2 week project that you can assign to the top two candidates

The best way to find out if your assistant will be the right person for the job is to spend some time working with him/her on a project. For this reason, I recommend that you come up with a small project or job that you can assign to your top two (2) candidates to work on. Then, after they complete the project or job, you can evaluate their work, communication skills, attention to detail, creative thinking, deliverables, or whatever else you think you’d like to review.

When it comes to figuring out how small the project should be, I recommend that you define a project that can be completed within 1 or 2 weeks of work or within 10-20 hours of work. There’s no rule set in stone, so it’s totally up to you what you come up with.

13. Allow top candidates to perform the assigned projects

Once you’ve assigned the project to your top two candidates, wait for them to complete the project. Yet, before they start to work on anything, it’s important that you provide them with some direction, guidelines, and make it very clear how they can get in touch with you if they have any questions. Remember that hiring a virtual assistant is just like hiring any other employee or freelance contractor – they’re human, and they’ll need guidance. The more time you invest in clearly defining the project goal, your expectations, and explaining what you expect to receive from them, the better the output of their work will be.

Once they complete the small project, be sure to immediately pay them for their work. Keep in mind that candidates looking to work for you as virtual assistants are also evaluating you and how you’ll treat them if they decide to work for you. Always keep in mind that working with a virtual worker is a 2-way relationship, and it’s important for the assistant to know that you’ll pay them as promised, and on time.

14. Pay your virtual assistants for their initial work

Once they complete the small project, be sure to immediately pay them for their work. Keep in mind that candidates looking to work for you as virtual assistants are also evaluating you and how you’ll treat them if they decide to work for you. Always keep in mind that working with a virtual worker is a 2-way relationship, and it’s important for the assistant to know that you’ll pay them as promised, and on time.

15. Evaluate their work performance, organization, and communication

Once you’ve paid them, spend a couple of days evaluating their work and request follow-up calls or video interviews to discuss their work, etc. Whether or not you decide to hire both top candidates or not, I think that it’s important that you spend some time writing down both all your feedback, including areas where there is room for improvement. Use a Word document, Google doc, or E-mail and provide feedback to each candidate in writing. You can also follow up with a call to discuss, but writing your feedback down is super important for them, as well as for you and to keep for your records.

Keep in mind that this was a small project, and the work results may not be 100% perfect or exactly as you imagined them. That’s ok. The goal of the small project or job is to help you see how the assistant works, how they organize themselves, how they communicate with you, if they’re self-starters or not, if they are able to do research and work on their own without having to be supervised or micro-managed, etc.

16. Choose the best virtual assistant and make them part of your team.

This is the last step, you’ve made it! By this point, you probably already have a great idea of which of the top two candidates will be the best fit to work with you and/or your company. Yet, you might also realize that each candidate has different strengths and weaknesses, so it may be also possible to hire both of them (Maybe give half the work to one, and half to the other). The option is obviously totally yours.

 Be open to learning from you assistant, hear their ideas, let them work independently, manage them as you see needed, give them opportunities to show you their talent, and most importantly: Make them feel like they’re a part of your team – better yet, DO make them part of your team – that’s the goal!

When I hired my own assistants for our marketing agency, I ended up hiring more than one person, as I wanted them to fill different roles, and each had a different sets of skills and expertise. Keep in mind that you’ll probably never find the “perfect” assistant, as no one is perfect, and all of us as humans have our imperfections. Be open to learning from you assistant, hear their ideas, let them work independently, manage them as you see needed, give them opportunities to show you their talent, and most importantly: Make them feel like they’re a part of your team – better yet, DO make them part of your team – that’s the goal!

When choosing the virtual assistant that’s right for you and your business, you’ll quickly see the many positive outcomes of their work and how they’ll help you grow your business faster.

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