Virtual Assistant with headset

The tawk.to complete guide to hiring a Virtual Assistant

Social posts … the inbox … payroll. For small business owners wearing multiple hats, getting to the bottom of the to-do list can be daunting. It’s no wonder more business owners are turning to Virtual Assistants (VAs).

A VA can give you the support you need to stay organized. You can delegate your tasks while reducing employee costs. Best of all, you can finally stop wearing All The Hats and spend more time focused on the higher-value work.

If you’ve been thinking about hiring a VA and still haven’t taken that step, this guide will get you started and on your way to reclaiming your time. 

What does a Virtual Assistant do?
Common misconceptions about VAs
Why hire a VA?
What tasks can I outsource to a Virtual Assistant?
Here’s how to hire your first VA
Setting the schedule for your VA
The easiest way to hire a VA
Communicating with your VA
Assigning tasks to your VA
Performance review
Transitioning to a new VA
How much does it cost to hire a VA?
Hire a Virtual Assistant


What does a Virtual Assistant do?

A VA can fill just about any role that can be handled remotely, including those you might expect to be in-house. An administrative VA can help your day go more smoothly, keep your appointments organized and allow you to work without interruptions.

You can even hire a VA with specialized skills for accounting, web development, graphic design, or IT support — any gap in your business where you’ll benefit from additional time, confidence or expertise.


Common misconceptions about VAs

Clients often expect working with a VA to be different from working with an internal team member. It’s not. A VA is an integral part of your team and wholly dedicated to your business — not a shared resource working out of a call or service center.

Another common misconception is that VAs need to be locally based. Your VA can work with you from any location in the world! At tawk.to, our VAs cover businesses in time zones worldwide. And with free international calling and conferencing, distance is no barrier to checking in for meetings and updates.

One last misconception is that our Virtual Assistants are bots, since the term can also refer to AI-powered digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Virtual Assistant. We’re happy to report that the tawk.to VA service is human-powered.

Up arrows — benefits of remote work

Why hire a VA?

Adding a VA to your team can save you up to 78% of the cost of hiring an onsite employee.

You save on infrastructure — you expand your team without moving to a bigger office, without purchasing additional equipment, and without paying more in utilities.

Research from Owl Labs and Stanford University found that working remotely improves employee retention, work performance, and job satisfaction. And a CoSo Cloud survey shows that 51% of remote workers spend more time with significant others.

With employees that stay, you spend less time and money recruiting and training new hires. And when you do recruit, you can hire a tawk.to VA through a monthly subscription service — with no contracts, employee taxes, holiday pay, sick pay, retirement benefits, payroll costs or long-term commitments. Easy.

Virtual Assistant at desk with task icons

What tasks can I outsource to a Virtual Assistant?

VAs can save you time by covering everything from tech support to working directly with your customers. They often fulfill the functions of an executive assistant, including calendar management, appointment-setting and making travel plans.

When hiring a VA, it’s important to have a clear idea of the tasks you want to assign to your VA and how those will support your business and personal goals.

Here are some of the roles a VA can fulfill 

  • Bookkeeping
  • Appointment Setting
  • Graphic Design
  • Human Resources
  • Administration
  • Customer Service phone support
  • Podcast Transcription
  • Personal Assistant
  • Sales
  • Telemarketing
  • Dedicated Chat support
  • Web Developer
  • Phone Support
  • Blogger/Content Writer
  • Data Entry
  • Marketing/Social Media

What else can a VA do for your business? Check out these 221 tasks you can assign to a VA.

Business owner with recruiting checklist

Here’s how to hire your first VA

If you’ve never hired a VA before, you may be wondering about the best way to get started. Let’s look at the steps to finding your perfect match.

First, take out a sheet of paper, open a doc, or get out your phone and make a list of all the tasks you do every day in your business.

Then, answer the following questions:

  • Which tasks do you need to do yourself?
  • Which do you look forward to?
  • Which do you avoid because they’re not in your field of strength or expertise?
  • Which tasks feel like busywork?
  • And which would be easy to hand over to someone?

Take note of any places where work could be automated or completed by someone else. Then, use this list to create your VA job description.

Be sure to add the hours you want your VA to work, any software or hardware required, preferred education and experience, references required and preferred methods of communication.

Monthly schedule for a Virtual Assistant

Setting the schedule for your VA

Do you need your VA to cover the same hours every day? Consider which days, hours, and time zones you want to schedule.

For example, if you’re hiring a VA for 20 hours per week, does the VA need to be available for meetings during weekday business hours? Will they serve clients in more than one time zone? Or is the schedule flexible as long as tasks are finished on deadline?


The easiest way to hire a VA

Working with a tawk.to VA gives you access to our one-of-a-kind subscription service. That means you get a dedicated team member without being locked into a long-term contract. There are no complicated employment or tax forms. And you’ll always have a manager available from our support team.

Here are the steps:

1 – To get started, simply fill out the form below with your contact information and requirements. Our employment specialists will then search for the candidates best qualified for your needs.

2 – Once our team has reviewed our pool of applicants, we’ll provide a short list of the top candidates. You’ll be able to review their details and qualifications. Then we’ll set up an interview where you’ll meet your pre-screened and qualified candidates.

3 – Once you’ve found your match, we’ll kick off the onboarding process by sending you a schedule request.  Let us know the hours and days you need. We’ll provide the agent with an email address you can use to reach out to them directly and a VA manager who can answer any questions or concerns you have about the VA. You can also request a free virtual telephone number for your VA and an email address for yourself.

4 – Our HR team will introduce you to your VA and set up your first meeting. Then, you take it from there.

You’re off to a great start!

We’ll be in touch to make sure everything is going smoothly. We assist with performance management and support each VA to meet and exceed expectations as critical assets to your business.

You can reach out any time to let us know if you have any questions or need support. Let us know if you need to expand your weekly hours or even your staff.

With no contract, you can upgrade, downgrade or cancel the service at any time. All we ask is that you provide us with a one-week notice period so we can find the VA a new position.

Hear how the tawk.to team sets VAs up for success from day one with smooth onboarding: How to onboard your Virtual Assistant for success

Communicating with a Virtual Assistant

Communicating with your VA

Once you’ve found your perfect match, it’s time to get to work! A successful working relationship starts with clear communication.

Set a regular time to check in with your VA each week and follow up with action steps. Be sure to set clear expectations for any tasks you assign and give your VA access to any tools they need to get the work done.

Let them know how to reach out to you with any questions or clarifications. Which works best for you and your VA: messaging, texts, email, or a video call?

Finally, share your mission!  Your team members will be motivated to do their best work when they can see the big picture and how they’ll be making a difference in the world.

Get our top five tips for effective communication with your VA: Communicating effectively with your virtual assistant

Project management software for working with a Virtual Assistants

Assigning tasks to your VA 

Have a system for keeping tasks organized with assignments, notes and due dates. Then, be sure to give your VA access to any relevant accounts or documents.

Here are some popular options for managing work. Which works best for you? 

  • Asana
  • Jira
  • Trello
  • Spreadsheets
  • Google Docs
  • Monday
  • Basecamp

At tawk.to, we also generate a daily End-of-Day report allowing you to track the performance of your VA on key tasks.

See how it works: The End of Day Report: Meet our new tool for improving remote team management

Performance review chart for a Virtual Assistant

Performance review

Once your VA has started working in their new role, it’s time to take a moment and reflect on what’s working and what can be improved.

At tawk.to, we’ll give you the opportunity to let us know how things are going. We’ll also give you the chance to hear from your VA, so you know where they need clarification or support to do their best work.


Transitioning to a new VA

Sometimes circumstances change or a qualified candidate is simply not the right fit for your business.

Whatever the reason, you’ll need to find a replacement. The good news is that you already have a system in place to recruit and work with a new VA.

At tawk.to, if you need a new VA, we’ll put your subscription on hold at no cost to you while we find a new match. We’ll prescreen the most qualified candidates, taking into account any new information or requirements you share with us.

As before, you’ll have the opportunity to meet your new applicants so you can choose the one best aligned with your business and goals. And we’ll only restart the subscription once we’ve found an appropriate replacement.

Virtual Assistant salary comparison chart

How much does it cost to hire a VA?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an administrative assistant is about $20 per hour or $40,990 per year.  Recent data from ZipRecruiter shows the average annual Virtual Assistant salary to be more than 50% higher at $67,115.

Factor in the cost of recruitment, screening and job postings. And if your VA is full-time, you may be required to cover health insurance and other benefits.

With our unique subscription service and pricing structure, it’s super simple. You don’t have to think about contracts, tax forms. or benefits. There’s just a flat monthly fee saving you from $3800 to $4300 or more per month over hiring your own VA.

Your first step to freedom

We hear it every day — a sigh of relief. Skip the searching, recruiting and complicated paperwork.

Why not take off those extra hats you’re wearing, crush your deadlines and experience the freedom of having your own VA?

Simply fill out the form below to find your new VA.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

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