Hiring An Administrative Assistant On A Remote Virtual Basis


Hiring An Administrative Assistant On A Remote Virtual Basis


Businesses of all sizes have come to the realisation that management teams can significantly improve their productivity by having administrative assistants take over many daily tasks.

But the problem with hiring an administrative assistant who works on a virtual basis is that there are many different types of roles they can fulfil. And unless you fully understand what you need and what kind of administrative assistant will work out best, you could just end up wasting time and money.

That’s why I want to give you this full guide on how to determine what kind of assistant you need, what skills are required, and how to go through the hiring process.

Why Is Hiring Remote Administrative Assistants A Good Idea?

Opening up positions in your company for remote administrative assistant jobs comes with three important benefits.

Great Cost Savings

Not only will you save a lot of money by not having to do every single mundane task yourself, but by hiring a virtual administrative assistant, you won’t have to worry about all those typical employment costs.

You’ll be paying based on a pre-arranged number of hours and hourly rate. But you won’t have the expense of office space, sick pay, holidays, and superannuation.

And with hourly rates significantly lower in countries like the Philippines, you’ll save even more money compared to an admin assistant on your local team.

Benefits Of Different Time Zones

This is a benefit that many business owners and managers overlook. But once you get into the flow of working with a remote administrative assistant, your management team will see huge productivity improvements from the time-zone effect.

What this allows you to do is create a to-do list for administrative support and fill it up by the end of your day.

Your admin assistant will then be able to see those clerical tasks the next morning. And because their time zone is slightly different from yours, many of those tasks can be completed before you get back into the office.

Free Up Valuable Time

Any kind of virtual assistant will provide a huge benefit in the form of taking administrative tasks off your to-do list. These are often time-consuming tasks like data entry, email inbox management, and updating social media accounts.

But admin assistants can also help out with many other tasks ranging from note taking during meetings, schedule appointments, and manage expenses and invoices.

With an admin or personal assistant taking care of these kinds of things can free up an owner or office manager to work on more dollar productive tasks.

Different Types Of Administrative Assistant Jobs

Before you blindly hire administrative assistants to gain all those benefits above, it’s important to understand the differences in administrative assistant job roles.

Administrative Secretary

A typical administrative assistant job will involve answering phones, responding to email queries, managing a calendar schedule, and making sure that important data entry tasks and organizing files are in good order.

Modern technology has made it possible for administrative assistants to do a lot of these tasks from anywhere in the world.

Administrative Assistant

Typical administrative assistant jobs will involve many of the same tasks as a secretary with some added responsibilities. First of all, they can also function as a personal assistant who is involved in scheduling meetings, taking meeting notes, calling clients and vendors for follow-up information, and even taking care of office management.

There’s even scope for handling office expenses and invoices, as well as ordering office essentials.

Administrative Specialist

These roles will involve all the responsibilities of administrative assistants with multiple tasks added on that involve specialised skills. These admin assistants could be assigned tasks for performing market research, planning larger events, following up with warm leads, and organising office communications.

Executive Assistant

These are higher-end administrative assistant jobs where added communication skills come into play. These admin assistants will have the expertise to deal directly with incoming messages and calls to prioritise the most critical ones for a manager.

They also keep detailed meeting minutes, make travel arrangements, prepare expense reports, and provide daily summaries of project progress.

What Type Of Administrative Assistant Will Work For You?

For most small business owners, it’s going to be best to start with an administrative secretary or personal assistant. The types of virtual assistant will provide a huge amount of administrative support to give you the first experience of all the benefits.

As you become more used to working with the administrative assistant, you can then aim to upskill this person so that they gradually take on more responsibilities from more advanced job descriptions.

The other opportunity you have is to assign such an administrative secretary to another manager and then hire a more specialist admin assistant.

With executive-type skills, this can then free up even more of your time and allow your management team to become a lot more productive as well.

That’s why we recommend starting with one administrative assistant and then gradually building up a virtual assistant team to boost productivity in as many areas of your business as possible.

Finding Great Assistants

Let me show you what you need to do for your first administrative assistant hiring process to be a success. Beware, there are many areas where people make mistakes when looking for remote admin staff.

Where To Find An Administrative Assistant

There are many different websites that allow you to do online research into the profiles of administrative assistants looking for work. The great thing about these sites is that you can refine and filter your search results based on the exact skills and experience you need.

For more basic admin skill requirements, that’s generally a good place to start, but it takes more time on your side to find the people.

Another approach is to post jobs online on boards and services specifically catering to people who work remotely.

You can specify your skill requirements and then screen the applicants.

More on that shortly.

Creating A Job Description

To find the right administrative assistant, you first have to determine what kind of tasks you need them to take on. From there, you decide on what the top skills are to perform those tasks.

You also need to figure out what experience level you’d prefer. Keep in mind that a highly experienced administrative assistant will cost more. For some business owners, it can pay off to hire someone with less experience and then train them along the way.

Now you’re ready to create the job description and get it posted.

One tip I would add is that you should put a request at the bottom of the description for the applicant to start their reply to you with something like what they had for breakfast.

That will allow you to immediately filter out those people who are not detail-oriented.

Screening Applicants

So, the first thing you need to do with all the applications you receive is to check for the answer to the question you added at the bottom of the job posting from the previous step.

If they didn’t add this to their reply, then skip the application altogether.

And don’t worry. You’ll likely receive dozens or hundreds of responses, so you won’t run out of good candidates.

Next, highlight the parts of the response that seem to be relevant to your requirements. A good indication that you have a potential administrative assistant candidate to interview is if they have addressed the majority of your requirements.

Interviewing Applicants

Now it’s time to schedule job interviews with your shortlist of about five candidates. The first part of the interview should be a conversation where you probe them about their experience as an administrative assistant.

Ask questions about their organizational skills, and assess how well their spoken English and comprehension is.

I would also recommend running a test during the interview to see how their written communication skills are. This can be a simple task like writing up an email or a short social media post.

Now, it’s time to hire an administrative assistant from your favourite candidates.

But it doesn’t end there.

Training And Onboarding

The next thing you need to plan for is to allocate enough time to introduce your new administrative assistant to the whole team and your business processes. They need to fully understand what you’re working on, what goals you have, and how you expect them to integrate into your teams and processes.

It’s also important to spend enough time with administrative assistants to make sure they understand your software systems and tools that they will be working on.

You can expect this to last several weeks at the very least, so make sure you make time for this important step.

Managing Performance

Once you get through the training phase for your administrative assistant, it’s time to set some performance indicators and goals. These should be specifically tailored to the tasks they perform.

And it’s vital that you provide as much feedback as possible in the early stages so that your new administrative assistant understands how to complete tasks to standards that will help you and your business succeed.

Let Us Hire Administrative Assistants For You

If you’ve never filled remote administrative assistant positions before, then the road ahead can be time-consuming and costly. And if you make mistakes along the way, you could end up wasting a lot of time and effort.

That’s where our team can support you and make sure that you find a great administrative assistant. We can either make one available from our talent pool, or we’ll take care of the screening, interviewing, hiring, and management process.

As a result, you could have all the administrative support you need within less than a week.

Call us today for a free consultation, and we’ll guide you through the whole process.


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