14 Skills To Look For When Hiring A Virtual Assistant

14 Skills To Look For When Hiring A Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant requires an understanding of the role and the vast skills required. A virtual assistant business can cover a wide variety of tasks, including handling multiple clients and ensuring business owners are provided with the correct assistance for their needs. Whether you’re looking for someone to assist your business with handling phone calls or providing online customer service, knowing the top qualities and skills of a virtual assistant will ensure you appoint the right person for your requirements.

What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?

A virtual assistant works from home, providing administration duties to a range of clients. Typically, they perform similar duties to a normal admin assistant. However, working remotely enables them to be more flexible regarding the hours and needs of a business.

Some common tasks may include writing blog posts for the company website or undertaking data entry onto a database. Work as a virtual assistant can vary between temporary part-time and permanent full time depending on the duties required. Check out our VA job description here.

Top Virtual Assistant Skills

What skills do you need to be a virtual assistant? If you’re planning to hire a VA, here are some top skills of a virtual assistant to look for.

1. Communication Skills

A good virtual assistant will have exceptional communication skills regardless of whether they have years of experience or not. Excellent oral and written communication skills are vital as emails, reports, presentations and phone calls are all key ways in which businesses converse with clients, customers and employees. Knowing how to write well is always going to be a fantastic skill to have.

2. Project Management

Project management skills for a VA may cover developing and implementing specific strategies, providing support on company projects, writing emails and other marketing content for projects or offering online support, such as web maintenance.

3. Time Management

Being able to manage time is an important skill for any assistant. They need to be well-organised and able to prioritise their workload to meet deadlines.

4. IT Skills

VA duties are performed via computer so demonstrating expert IT skills is a brilliant skill to have. Being proficient in Microsoft programs is a definite advantage, particularly if you’re looking for an assistant to create PowerPoint presentations, documents, reports or spreadsheets.

5. Excellent Attention to Detail

Virtual assistants should be able to multitask well, meaning they require excellent attention to detail. A VA can often be handling more than one task at once, so they need to maintain a high standard of quality throughout their work.

6. Good Decision Making

Virtual assistants will often need to think on their feet so good decision-making skills are vital. If the business owner is not around to answer questions or concerns, a VA will have to judge the right outcome or think outside the box to find a suitable solution. A VA may also have to think fast if a problem arises, demonstrating the aptitude to process information speedily.

7. A Love for Learning

Being a virtual assistant is a never-ending learning process so having a desire to develop skills and absorb new information is a top skill to have. Every day provides the possibility for a learning curve so an assistant should be open to gaining feedback and finding new ways of managing or streamlining their workload to help achieve company goals or KPIs.

8. Social Media Management

Social media plays a central role in any company marketing strategy. If you’re searching for a VA who knows how to use social media, then possessing superb social media management skills will be necessary. This may involve knowing how to use a range of social media platforms, creating social media content and engaging with other users. Understanding how to schedule content and cross-promote it is also a good skill to have.

9. Self-Motivation

Being disciplined is a must for any virtual assistant. Remote working requires motivation, particularly if there are deadlines to meet. Being able to maintain a specific schedule may be key for your business depending on the hours you need an assistant to work.

10. Customer Service

If an assistant is dealing with clients or customers, they’re going to need outstanding customer service skills. This means they’ll need to remain calm in every situation, work well under pressure, be able to communicate effectively via phone or email and go out of their way to create a welcoming experience. Good customer service to your clients or customers helps to enhance your reputation so it’s fundamental that you hire a VA who understands how customer service is vital for both a business and a customer.

11. Data Entry

Data entry is a common VA task so having basic word processing skills is essential. A VA may have to format documents, organise files, undertake research, perform transcription duties or make data look presentable. Quick typing skills are also a great skill, particularly if you require a virtual assistant for data entry duties.

12. Knowledge of Cloud-Based Apps

Having good knowledge of cloud-based apps, such as Google Docs and Dropbox is fundamental if you’re working on business documents and files in real-time. Being able to use and transfer information or data via these apps helps you to work quickly and efficiently so be sure to ask a potential candidate for their knowledge of these.

13. Creativity

How many times have you needed help with brainstorming ideas or creating engaging content? A VA with creative skills can support your business in establishing new initiatives, assisting with ad and marketing campaigns, performing lead generation and so much more.

14. Reliability

You need a VA that is going to show up, perform their skills promptly and consistently grow with your company. You’ll be relying on a VA for essential tasks, including reporting on their progress and how these meet your goals. With a reliable assistant, you know they’re on-hand to help you when you need them.

Are You Searching for Your Next Virtual Assistant? We Can Help You!

If you’re searching for a VA candidate with exceptional office and admin virtual assistant skills, Oriel Partners can assist you. We’re a boutique recruitment agency in London, specialising in PA and administrative recruitment and our curated selection of candidates are waiting to be matched to an outstanding company like yours. Get in contact with us today to see how we can help.

Posted on Dec 20, 2021

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