5 Best Websites for Hiring a Virtual Assistant
As a creative, it can be challenging to keep track of your work. Projects from different clients pile up. Invoicing becomes a chore. To top it off, you’re on the hunt for new business at all times. So, how do you keep track of it all?
A virtual assistant can keep your business on track so you can focus on what’s most important: creating stellar designs and content.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants (VAs) are remote-based professionals that assist with technical, administrative, or creative tasks. A virtual assistant might be making phone calls, responding to emails, or finding new business on any given day.
VAs are especially appealing because they allow you to spend more hours of your day in a creative headspace. Meanwhile, they can take on repetitive tasks that eat into your workday.
In this post, we’re going to look at where you can find a virtual assistant, as well as mention tools you can use to manage your VA.
Finding the best virtual assistant for your business
Admittedly, a creative-minded VA is a bit more difficult to find. While most virtual assistants need to be well-versed in using Excel, payroll systems, email, and other business tools, you might need your VA to have additional skills depending on what you do for a living.
Fortunately, 60% of virtual assistants are college graduates. This means that you can find some professionals who have received formal training in:
However, to find the perfect virtual assistant, you’ll need to know where to look. Keep reading to learn about the best websites for finding a VA.
Where to find a virtual assistant
If you’re looking for a virtual assistant, you might have already put up job posts on websites like Indeed and Monster.com. You might find some success on these websites, but there are better platforms that specialise in exactly what you’re looking for.
At Hubstaff, we’ve found that most of our time tracking customers search for VAs on sites that specialise in remote and freelance work.
With that said, where is the best place to find a talented virtual assistant?
1 – Upwork
Upwork is the biggest freelancing platform in the world. Hundreds of thousands of virtual assistants use it.
Upwork is pretty simple to use. You post a job, review applications, and then choose the best person for the job. Keep in mind that virtual assistant job postings attract many applicants. Be prepared to sift through a large number of applications.
You can also invite specific freelancers to review your job posting by going to their profile page and clicking the Invite button.
Once you hire someone through the platform, you can use Upwork’s software to track your VA’s time and pay them.
Upwork charges businesses a 3% payment processing fee every time they pay a freelancer through the platform. If you’re on the Basic plan, that’s all you’re going to pay (along with your VA’s fee).
There’s also a Plus plan, which comes with premium customer support and talent sourcing assistance. It costs $49.99/month.
2 – Delegated
Delegated is a virtual assistant company that focuses on providing businesses with trained virtual assistants. All of Delegated’s VAs are US-based and college-educated.
Their virtual assistants can help you with:
- Front office tasks (e.g., scheduling, call taking)
- Back office tasks (e.g., data entry, proofreading)
- Personal tasks (e.g., making travel arrangements)
According to the Delegated website, their assistants can’t help with the following:
- Anything that requires a professional license
- Physical errands
- Artistic or creative work
- Outbound sales calls
If a VA under-delivers, Delegated promises to credit the time used back to your account and assign you a different virtual assistant that will do the job right.
The company will also assign you a backup team that will be ready to jump in if your virtual assistant becomes unavailable for any reason.
Before getting started, the Delegated team will ask you a few questions and then match you with an assistant that fits your needs.
You’ll then create a workflow using the Delegated platform and choose how you want to communicate and work with your assistant.
The VA will be available to you from 8 AM to 5 PM your local time.
Delegated offers three subscription plans:
- Lite (25 hours/month): $1200/month
- Ramp (50 hours/month): $2400/month
- Pro (75 hours/month): $3600/month
3 – Boldly
Boldly is a virtual assistant platform designed for solopreneurs, small businesses, and enterprise companies.
The company’s virtual assistants are all trained individuals with ten to fifteen years of experience in the field. According to the Boldly website, their virtual assistants are skilled at:
You can choose between the US and Europe-based VAs. They also provide you with a trained backup VA to cover vacations and sick days.
Boldly’s subscription plans include:
- 30-hour plan ($1470/month)
- 40-hour plan ($1960/month)
- 50-hour plan ($2450/month)
- 60-hour plan ($2940/month)
You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.
4 – Zirtual
Zirtual is part of the Startups.com platform. It offers virtual assistant services from US-based and college-educated VAs.
Zirtual’s virtual assistants can help you with:
- Email and calendar management
- Expenses and invoices
- Social media strategy
- Data entry
- Content marketing
- Event planning
- Travel booking
- Website maintenance
Zirtual guarantees a 2-hour response time for all their VAs. This means that their VAs are also able to address any urgent needs you may have.
The platform offers the following subscription plans.
- Entrepreneur plan ($449/month for 12 hours of work/month)
- Startup plan ($749/month for 24 hours of work/month)
- Small business plan ($1099/month for 36 hours of work per month)
- Team plan ($1499/month for 50 hours of work per month)
There are no contracts involved, so you can upgrade or downgrade whenever you want.
5 – Hubstaff Talent
Hubstaff Talent is an online platform for finding the best remote talent. It’s home to more than 140,000 skilled freelancers.
The platform lists thousands of virtual assistants available for hire. You can filter VA profiles by availability, hourly rate, experience, and country.
There’s also the option to search for virtual assistants with specific skills, such as SEO, writing, or proofreading.
The best thing about Hubstaff Talent is that it’s completely free to use. The platform doesn’t charge businesses any fees for hiring a virtual assistant. The only cost businesses need to cover is the VA’s hourly rate.
Managing your virtual assistant
Once you hire a VA, you’ll need the right tools to help you manage them. Here are a few solutions you should consider.
Slack is the premier communication and collaboration tool you’ve probably already heard of. But are you using it as a task manager or just for instant messaging?
Integrations with apps like Todoist, Evernote, and Zapier can help you automate the most menial work so that you can focus on more critical tasks. Of course, you’ll need someone to configure this automation — that’s where your VA will come in.
Make sure you list Slack in any job descriptions related to hiring a virtual assistant. Finding someone who can master this simple software can help you maximise productivity.
Some conversations are best had over a video call. This is where Zoom can help.
It’s the most popular video conferencing solution by far, and for a good reason. Zoom has all the features you’d expect from this type of tool, including screen sharing and call recording.
It also supports advanced privacy features such as passcodes and user authentication. This ensures you’ll be able to discuss sensitive information with your VA during calls safely.
Zoom is very easy to use and offers a free version that’s enough for most people’s needs.
Depending on what you need your VA to do, you’ll likely need to give them access to one or more of your online accounts. LastPass is a password management solution that allows you to safely provide your virtual assistant with necessary login information.
All you need to do is save your login details in LastPass and then add your VA to your LastPass account. Once added, they’ll be able to log in to accounts you give them access to without having to type in login details.
If you and your VA use LastPass, the Teams plan ($4.65/month) will be more than enough.
Process Street is a workflow management solution. You can use it to create checklists and standard operating procedures for your VA.
This will reduce mistakes and ensure that they’ll satisfactorily complete all your tasks.
Process Street has an intuitive user interface and allows you to create process documents quickly. Once created, you can assign a checklist or process document to your VA with one click.
They’ll get an email notification and will be able to get started on the task straight away. You can track their activity from the dashboard and get notified when they complete the task.
After the task is complete, you’ll be able to review and approve their work from within Process Street.
Process Street offers a free plan that’s limited to five workflows. There’s also a paid plan that costs $25/user/month and includes unlimited workflows and team members.
Hubstaff + Hubstaff Tasks
Whether graphic design, web development, or content creation, it can be challenging to quantify how long the creative process takes. Fortunately, there are tools VAs can use to keep track of this time for you.
Time tracking software helps you track time, measure activity, and pay your team. Most feature a simple start-and-stop timer that helps you see exactly how long your projects are taking you.
Tools like Hubstaff track time, measure keyboard and mouse activity and can show apps and URLs visited. These features are customisable, and users will get alerts to know what the software is tracking and why.
To track your VA’s progress from afar, Hubstaff lets you enable optional screenshotting. This allows you to check in from time to time to ensure that they work exclusively on your tasks when clocked in.
Hubstaff becomes even more powerful when combined with Hubstaff Tasks, an Agile project management tool. You can use Hubstaff Tasks to create and assign tasks to your virtual assistant, manage projects, and have an overview of everything your VA is doing for you.
Get more done by hiring a virtual assistant
By hiring a virtual assistant (and equipping them with the right tools), you can save yourself considerable time and money, as well as boost your productivity.
We’ve already discussed where you can find virtual assistants, but it’s also important to consider where your virtual assistant will work from. If you hire overseas, you will deal with limited time overlap. You can have someone on duty around the clock. Ask yourself:
- Are you strict about what hours your virtual assistant will work?
- Are you going to outsource work to VAs overseas?
- If so, will you allow for asynchronous collaboration or require them to adjust to your work schedule?
- Will you be able to work around their schedule when necessary?
Once you have answers to those questions, follow these steps to hire a virtual assistant:
- Assess your needs – What do you need help with? Write down all the tasks you want to outsource to a virtual assistant.
- Decide on a VA platform – Check out our list of VA platforms above and decide on one. Starting with a platform that’s free to join, such as Upwork or Hubstaff Talent, is a low-risk option.
- Hire and train your virtual assistant – Once you’ve hired a virtual assistant, you’ll need to spend some time showing them what you need help with and how you want them to handle different tasks.
Have you tried hiring a virtual assistant already? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.
Author Bio: Austin Connolly is a blog writer at Hubstaff, where he writes content on time tracking, productivity, time management, and more.