Virtual assistants are the unsung heroes of the work-from-home era, helping executives, business owners, and other professionals to stay efficient and focused on the core business amid a very unpredictable pandemic environment.
In this article, we list down the top virtual assistant skills that businesses need to keep an eye on when hiring one.
1. TIME MANAGEMENT
Virtual assistants must have the capability to deal with multiple clients and schedules all the time. Without proper time-management skills, it is easy to miss out on important details which may result in lost productivity. It will be best if the aspiring virtual assistant has knowledge of cloud-based calendars and scheduling tools.
2. DATA ORGANIZATION
Information is king in the digital age, and for virtual assistants, dealing with bulks of data can be difficult without the proper tools and skills. Knowing how to keep files in a properly labelled, cloud-based storage is crucial in making information readily accessible when needed. Top-notch virtual assistants also know the importance of having secure storage for details like account IDs, passwords, client information, appointments, birthdays, and other information that can be crucial in a project.
3. ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Important communications, information, memos, and documents would always go through virtual assistants. It is important that virtual assistants have a keen eye for factual and typographical errors, off messaging formats, and other possible mistakes before they become public. Virtual assistants can literally save businesses by having a keen eye for details.
4. ADEPT AT PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
Online calendars, scheduling platforms, automation tools, cloud storage – it seems like every task has a tool for it these days. It is true and a lot of them can be learned easily through online courses. Applicants with knowledge of the latest productivity tools, including those in the Microsoft, Google, and Apple ecosystems will have an easier time adapting to the role.
5. BATCHING INSTEAD OF MULTITASKING
There are better ways to handle multiple assignments than traditional error-prone multitasking. Batching is one of the top skills of a virtual assistant that allows for more efficient work. Instead of doing multiple tasks for each of the clients’ need, seasoned professionals lump together similar tasks at certain parts of the day. For example, instead of responding to emails as they come, top-notch virtual assistants can set a time in a day for email correspondence, enabling them to have better focus.
6. RESOURCEFULNESS AND RELIABILITY
Once in a while, virtual assistants will find themselves in a dead-end, especially when tasked with finding solutions to the client’s needs. Some would find themselves giving up, but for resourceful people, these dead ends are new beginnings. Virtual assistants that can be relied on to work independently save business owners a lot of valuable and helps for a seamless workflow.
Crucial instructions can be lost in translation if a virtual assistant is not fluent in your language. That’s why one of the top skills of a virtual assistant that most businesses are looking for is communication. Virtual assistants who have good written and verbal communication skills will have an easier time adapting to your business needs.
8. TIME FLEXIBILITY
Working remotely can be a drag if your virtual assistant is not in sync with your work hours. Anything big can come up within business hours and virtual assistants who cannot work within the same schedule will have a big problem with many tasks. But with a global talent pool, businesses can look for virtual assistants that have no problem adjusting to their time zones for better flexibility.
Virtual assistants will continue to be in demand as the world embraces the digital age. Typical tasks a virtual assistant might perform include scheduling appointments, making phone calls, making travel arrangements, and managing email accounts. Some virtual assistants specialize in offering graphic design, blog writing, bookkeeping, social media, and marketing services.
For an employer, one advantage of hiring a virtual assistant is the flexibility to contract for just the services they need, and outsourcing will be key in finding the right talent for your business. Outsourcing virtual assistants will free you up for strategic thinking while reducing overhead costs. More time on the core tasks means faster growth for the business.
This article originally appeared in Accountants in 8 Virtual Assistant Skills That Make Businesses More Flexible