7 Signs You Need to Hire a Virtual Assistant ASAP (Plus How to Hire One)

Table of Contents

Get fresh AI and VA news and tips!

We share new guides and tips once a month.

The public health crisis of 2020 exposed just how vulnerable businesses are. From sudden lockdowns to massive workforce shifts, companies were forced to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. No doubt, agility became the key to survival.

One strategic response that got traction? Getting virtual assistants (VAs). In fact, the number of VAs hired through offshore agencies skyrocketed by 41% in 2020 alone. And guess what—they’re still relevant even in today’s business environment!

How about you? How do you know if you need one today? This blog post lists the seven signs that scream “You need to hire a virtual assistant ASAP!” We’ll also go over the steps you need to take to hire one effortlessly so you can start transforming your business.

7 signs you needed a VA yesterday

Virtual Assistant working from a home office with dual monitor focusing on administrative support, calendar management, and managing social media accounts

Generally, a virtual assistant is your ally who will let you do more of what you need as a business owner or CEO—strategic thinking, networking, forging partnerships. But that’s only one of the benefits of outsourcing an executive assistant.

Here’s a quick recap of the benefits of onboarding one:

  • You’ll be able to free your time from all the general office work that sucks your time.
  • Virtual assistants already have specialized skills that can fill the gaps in your own knowledge base.
  • Outsourcing a VA is a more budget-friendly option compared to hiring an in-house employee—moving business functions offshore resulted in over 50% savings.
  • Eliminate worries about hiring and firing cycles and processes.
  • No more mental bouncing between tasks.

Are you feeling interested but unsure if you really need a virtual assistant? Here are seven signs that can validate your situation:

1. You’re getting overwhelmed with administrative tasks.

You find yourself drowning in seemingly endless administrative work and time consuming tasks like scheduling appointments, maintaining calendars, coordinating meetings, managing emails, social media management, answering phone calls, and data entry.

Even though these tasks are necessary to keep your business rolling, they tend to consume huge chunks of your valuable time—preventing you from focusing on the bigger picture for your own business growth. It’s not ideal and experts agree: 46% of physicians say reducing administrative burdens helps reduce burnout.

What a VA can do: A virtual assistant can take over these administrative burdens so you get time and energy back. You can then channel your time and energy for strategic thinking, client relationships, and other core business activities instead.

Sample scenario: You spend two to three hours daily just wading through emails, scheduling meetings, and keeping track of social media posts. By the time you get to the “strategic brainstorming” part of your day, you’re mentally worn out and unable to turn on your creative juices. 

2. Your existing customer support is already inconsistent.  

What does inconsistent customer support look like? Response times might be slow, incorrect information offered, lack of follow-through, or the overall experience might vary depending on who the customer interacts with.

It’s hard to provide top-notch customer service when inquiries and issues pile up faster than your team can deal with them. Now check this out: McKinsey research suggests companies earn more value from their customers when they focus on delighting them. So ask yourself this question: can your inconsistent support help generate profit? 

What a VA can do: Specialized virtual assistants can be hired for customer support. They can be trained on your specific products, services, and brand voice, ensuring a consistent and positive experience for every customer. 

Sample scenario: You handle all customer inquiries yourself between managing inventory and fulfilling orders.  As a result, the quality of your customer service varies greatly. Sometimes you give detailed explanations, while other times, you provide hurried responses. When you decide to hire virtual assistants, they have more time and energy to focus solely on customer service.

3. Falling behind on routine tasks has become your norm.

Your to-do list is out of control. And sadly, this has a domino effect. Delayed blog posts mean missed opportunities to connect with your audience. Neglected social media update is a decline in customer engagement.  And a backlog of expense reports will eventually cause accounting headaches down the line.

Sample scenario: You’re constantly playing catch-up on routine tasks.  Your LinkedIn is sporadic, your blog last saw a new post weeks ago, you are no longer meeting client expectations, and your financial reports could be a lot better. This constant feeling of being behind keeps you stressed. 

4. You never find time to work on long-term strategic planning anymore.

Without strategic planning, your business is just reactive. And that means you’re missing out on sales outreach opportunities and lead generation efforts.

What a VA can do: A virtual assistant can help you invest more time in strategic thinking. By handling general administrative support services and keeping you organized with their excellent time management skills, a VA empowers you to focus on the bigger picture of your ventures.

Sample scenario: Say you run an eCommerce store and are always busy adding new products to your website, responding to customer inquiries, and even implementing social media marketing activities  While sales are steady, you don’t have the bandwidth to analyze your critical business data and think about expansion plans. Everyday has become “business as usual” with no solid plans for growth, diversifying, or even new promotion ideas. A virtual assistant who can also be a personal assistant can help you put more of your energy into higher-level tasks.

5. You keep missing deadlines.

You’re constantly struggling to meet deadlines for projects and client deliverables. Missing deadlines is detrimental to your business because this can damage relationships with clients and colleagues. It makes you look unreliable, and securing future projects or partnerships will become difficult.

What a VA can do: A virtual assistant can be your deadline superhero. They can help you stay organized by managing your calendar, setting reminders for important tasks, and prioritizing your workload. 

Sample scenario: Imagine you run a digital marketing agency. You’re juggling multiple client accounts, each with tight deadlines for ‘social media’, ’email marketing’, and ‘website content.’  The problem is that you frequently miss deadlines. The result? Unhappy clients and rushed projects. Hire a virtual assistant and experience meeting your deadlines and crushing your due dates.

6. You need specialized skills for certain functions.

Trying to handle tasks outside your skillset is inefficient. Your work might appear subpar. In this case, you need specific skills (like graphic design, video editing, data analysis, or coding) and outsourcing remote jobs is your only option.

What a VA can do: A virtual assistant can bring those specialized skills to the table. Virtual assistant services range from generic administrative support to highly-specific skills for specific industries.

Sample scenario: You need to build a new corporate website with a little functionality, but no one on your team has strong web design/development abilities.

7. Your business is rapidly growing and it’s getting harder to keep up.

Your business is experiencing exciting growth (hooray!). But that entails increased workload—you’ll just be stretched thin. Yes, sometimes taking on new clients, expanding your product line, or entering new markets can affect the quality of your work if you’re doing it solo. 

What a VA can do: A virtual assistant can be your growth partner. They can scale up alongside you, taking on additional tasks and helping you manage the increased workload.

Sample scenario: Let’s say you run a successful online course platform and the recent course launch has attracted a surge of new students. This is fantastic news! But it also means you’re swamped with answering student inquiries, managing course materials, and handling technical issues. Doing all of these tasks on your own leaves you physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. Meanwhile, hiring virtual assistants can take these things off your plate. This will give you more room to engage with your students or craft additional material.

How to hire a VA ASAP

A business owner looking overwhelmed with lots of files piled on his desk, ultimately deciding to hire a virtual assistant for personal and professional tasks

Hiring a virtual assistant ASAP doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Once you’ve recognized the signs that you desperately need extra support, don’t hesitate to act. We suggest three simple steps on how to bring on a VA fast:

Step 1: Leverage the top places to find qualified candidates.

The first step to hiring a virtual assistant ASAP is to tap into the best hiring sources. Some of the top places include:

  • online job boards or freelancing sites that you can filter specifically for virtual assistant roles
  • social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook Groups, and X (formerly Twitter) to post about your virtual assistant opening
  • your own network for VA referrals

Step 2: Fast-track the screening of applicants.

Quickly separate qualified and unqualified candidates. Design short, targeted interview questions (not as if you’re hiring for a C-suite executive) to assess skills and suitability. Consider video interviews for faster communication.

Here’s one of our favorite tips: Create a “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” list of applicants so it’s easy to prioritize them according to preference. This method lets you zero in on the most promising virtual assistants to hire ASAP.

Step 3: Accelerate the onboarding process.

Once you’ve made your hire, it’s time for an accelerated onboarding process to get your new virtual assistant up and running efficiently. Condense the onboarding process down in an efficient manner to just the essentials and most time-sensitive items to help the VA get up and running right away without compromising on knowledge and training.

  • Record screen capture videos explaining step-by-step workflows.
  • Schedule virtual training sessions to explain important concepts, walk through examples, and encourage questions.
  • Identify any skill gaps that may require supplemental training resources or documentation.

Optional step: Consider offering a trial period.

Outline a trial period with a defined scope of work responsibilities. Make it clear that if performance meets expectations, this will be a temporary role that can be converted to a long-term position. Don’t forget to do your part in their organizational skills by monitoring them and offering constructive feedback.

Hot tip: Fill the role literally as soon as possible by checking out VA companies like TaskDrive. We’ll match you with pre-vetted virtual assistants (on an urgent timeline) so it’s a fast and hassle-free way to hire competent talent immediately.

5 things to prepare before hiring a VA

A CEO or business owner looking at resumes of potential virtual assistants to hire for providing administrative support, helping with organizational skills, and managing social media platforms

While hiring a dedicated virtual assistant right away is important when you need support urgently, it’s equally crucial to prepare properly for the task. Here is a list of the the five things you should prioritize preparing:

1. A detailed job description

Get crystal clear on what exactly you need help with. Make a list of all the tasks and responsibilities you want to delegate. Be as specific as possible—don’t just write “administrative work” on the job description.

Spell it out! May it be administrative support, scheduling appointments, planning content, data entry, handling all phone calls, or responding to emails. 

Why is this important?

  • It allows you to vet candidates accurately based on the spelled-out criteria
  • A detailed job description gives the hired VA a solid idea of their roles and responsibilities from the start. This ensures that applicants are aligned with your goals—helping everyone to save time during the application process.
  • You won’t want to revise or rewrite your job descriptions because you were attracting unqualified candidates (a situation of 42% of employers)

2. Your key goals and objectives 

Don’t just hire a virtual assistant to check boxes off a task list. Identify the high-level goals and objectives you want this role to help accomplish for your business.

Maybe it’s to improve customer satisfaction scores. Or establish a scalable support system for previous clients. Or to increase your personal productive time for a healthy work-life balance by implementing amazing inbox and calendar management strategies. You can properly evaluate your VA later on when you set concrete goals with corresponding targets and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

3. Technology tools & access

By getting all of the required tools and technology lined up and properly provisioned from day one, you enable your VA to hit the ground running at full speed. OnePoll’s study found that 48% thought better workplace technology would increase productivity. So, make a comprehensive list of the software they’ll need to function well, including your CRM, marketing tools, and other communications platforms.

Other things you need to prepare:

  • login credentials
  • security permissions
  • and internal network or intranet access 

4. Documented processes 

While most virtual assistants here are typically experienced, you might have unique workflows. Take the time to document your custom processes. You can do this by creating simple SOPs or even short recordings and demonstrations via Loom.

To date, only 2% of organizations have modeled all their processes, while 62% have documented parts only. Now be different. Why? Capturing company knowledge shortens the training curve and makes sure the VA can properly execute per your established protocols—reducing guesswork and costly mistakes.

5. Your feedback and coaching plan

A virtual assistant needs consistent supervision and guidance to meet your expectations consistently. Enforce a feedback loop so you can promptly redirect them (if needed) and help them get better. You can do this by implementing daily asynchronous check-ins where they can simply send you a list of what they accomplished and what they’re currently working on. If their tasks are more varied and complicated, you may look into a project management software which you can use as basis when assessing their overall performance.

Stop the signs, start delegating to a VA today

CEO meeting with a virtual assistant to discuss administrative tasks

The pandemic taught us that disruptions can strike without warning. An experienced virtual assistant can help rebuild and retool for an uncertain future. No more being overwhelmed by administrative overload. No more missing critical tasks. No more losing your strategic vision. Just consider them your outsourced key to agility.

For the best of the best, turn to TaskDrive’s expert AI-augmented VAs. Our team is committed to ongoing development and support to ensure our VAs remain cutting-edge. So, you’ll gain a true capability multiplier, equipped with the advanced skills to handle your unique business challenges efficiently. Check us out today by booking a free synergy call

Book a free synergy call

Learn how our AI-powered VAs go beyond traditional support to actively drive your business growth.
Share the Post:

Related posts