Our Virtual Assistants FAQs
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) provides support to businesses, assisting them remotely or “virtually” with a variety of day-to-day tasks.
The advent of super fast broadband and cloud-based software (like G Suite and Office 365), combined with an ever growing number of people working for themselves and looking for a better work-life balance with a more flexible schedule, means the VA industry is rapidly growing.
As you can imagine, a “Virtual Assistant” is a very broad term and covers a range of different skills!
At Virtalent, we specialise in PA support tasks such as diary management and admin, helping with marketing activities such as social media scheduling and sending email newsletters, and other similar tasks which could fall into a “support” category such as assisting with recruitment, offering customer service or dealing with sales enquiries.
Who are your Virtual Assistants?
Our VAs come from a wide range of professional backgrounds – from PAs and Office Managers, to Marketing Managers and Project Planners. They have an average of 15 years’ professional experience before they join our team and the ambition, passion and discipline to work remotely.
All are native English speakers and work across the UK.
What are the benefits of working with a VA?
First, it is a flexible way to grow your team. Employees come with long contracts, a long list of legal obligations and a commitment that is difficult to get out of if your business changes. At Virtalent, we’ll work together on a monthly subscription.
Next is the efficiency and expertise that a skilled, dedicated professional can bring to your company. No one can be excellent at everything and that includes you! Our Virtual Assistants have spent their entire careers supporting business owners and senior professionals, meaning they have developed a skill set which you would be hard pushed to compete with. It would be much more efficient for you to focus on what you are great at (and enjoy!) – anything from doing billable work for clients through to sales meetings – and leave a dedicated VA to take care of the administrative tasks that you perhaps don’t excel in doing.
It also makes a lot of financial sense! Remember, unlike an employee you pay regardless of the output they really generate, we’ll only ever bill you for time spent working on tasks (to the exact minute!). That means no money spent paying for someone to stand chatting at the office watercooler, having endless cigarette breaks or always running late.
Oh, and you also don’t need to worry about National Insurance payments, pensions, holiday cover, sickness payments, training, performance reviews, desk space, laptops, payroll… and the long list of other tasks and costs generated by hiring internally.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is efficient, effective and enjoyable!
When does my VA work?
Though we don’t set specific hours or schedules, as we operate a service supporting small businesses, our VAs generally work standard UK office hours, Monday to Friday. They will always work to ensure you are supported.
If you need a VA available outside of standard office hours (i.e. evenings and weekends) please let us know and we’ll see if we can accommodate this.
Where are your VAs based?
We all live and breathe virtual working (including our Head Office team), so they work from their own cosy home office or a thriving co-working space.
80% of our team live within an hour’s journey of central London (as many used to work there before they grew tired of the commute!).
Some of our competitors base all of their team in one central office, but we always wonder how we could truly understand the way our VAs and clients work together if we as a team all sit in one room. Instead, we all proactively embrace the same benefits of remote working that our clients know and love!
How do you hire or select your Virtual Assistants?
Our VAs must first apply to us and complete a very extensive application form, which includes uploading their glowing CV and submitting a professional LinkedIn profile.
Any VAs who particularly stand out from the crowd then pass through several other stages, including a round of video-based assessments, reference checks, an identity check, and a tough interview with our Recruitment Manager to ensure that they’ll fit in well with our entrepreneurial ethos and growth-focused culture here at Virtalent.
Fewer than 4% of those who apply get to work with our clients. We’re very picky indeed!
How do I know your VAs are capable and trustworthy?
All of our Virtual Assistants must pass a tough selection process (less than 4% of applicants are successful) which checks their suitability using a number of in-depth checks and measures. Each VA truly is handpicked to join our team. We don’t take any shortcuts.
This includes assessing their ability to work remotely: they must have worked remotely before, must have a suitable working space, must have a fast broadband Internet connection and more.
We also carry out a background and identity check (through an independent partner, Veriphy) and we secure at least 2 glowing references from previous employers or clients.
With an average 15 years’ relevant experience, they are also some of the most experienced Virtual Assistants available to hire in the UK. They have worked with clients just like you before.
In short, we put a lot of work into ensuring we hire professional Virtual Assistants you can trust and, if you ever have any concerns, your Client Success Manager is always there to assist you.
My work is quite admin-driven. Will your super talented VAs be happy working with me?
In short – it’s an emphatic yes! Our Virtual Assistants get what growing your small business entails. They know you’re spinning too many plates and get a genuine kick out of helping you succeed. Planning and organisation is a genuine passion of theirs.
Not only are our team flexible and accommodating, but they will always be sent a detailed set of notes from your consultation call – this brief outlines who you are and what you would need them to support you with. We already know them well, but they will always tell us if the help you need isn’t quite up their street.
That means the VA we match you with won’t need to “put up” with what seems like a long list of drudgery to you – they sincerely cannot wait to get started and help make a difference in your life!
What would I do if I’m not happy with my Virtual Assistant? Can I swap VAs?
Fortunately, because of the time we put into our unique matching process at Virtalent, it’s very rare for a client not to gel with their VA.
But humans are well, human. We might not always see eye to eye on how best to tackle your busy day or launch your latest marketing campaign.
But we want you to be happy.
So if you are ever feeling frustrated or fed up, at any point whatsoever, you simply get in touch with your dedicated Client Success Manager and let them know how you feel. They’ll work with you to resolve the situation.
Working with a VA with a different background, skill set or working style is always a possibility – you would never be forced to work with someone you don’t get excited about working with.
How many other clients does my VA work with?
Don’t worry, we’re not running a virtual sweatshop here.
Your VA will work anything from 40 to 160 hours per month with Virtalent, depending on their schedule and existing commitments. That means one VA may fill their entire month with one larger client, but another VA may work with a mix of smaller clients. So unfortunately, there’s no straight answer on this one.
The important point is that there is no software involved – unlike many of our competitors, our manual matching process ensures there are checks and balances in place because each new account is reviewed by a real human at Virtalent (and not an algorithm).
Our “people before profits” approach means we’ll know if Jane is away on holiday this week, or Lucy’s busy legal client is looking for more support from her next month and therefore needs to leave some room in her schedule.
We’ll never recommend one of our Virtual Assistants to you without first ensuring they have plenty of availability to support you and have the flexible schedule you’re looking for.