With loads of tasks on your to-do list, sometimes it’s frustrating if you missed one or two. Late response on an email of a potential client, misspelled caption on marketing material, missed an appointment — all these mundane things when combined can lead to burnout and disappointment. You can not just compromise your business condition because of small mistakes. And that’s when you need a Virtual Assistant to outsource in the Philippines.

A Virtual Assistant is a person who offers various assistance services in a remote location. He/she usually do social media management, calendar, email and appointment management, report creation, and other tasks assigned. Think of having a secretary but instead of having him/her physically present, he/she only talks to you online.

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But with several qualified candidates, especially in the Philippines, what should you be looking for? What are the essential qualities and skills you must consider?

1. Integrity

Honesty and trust are the foundation of integrity. Any businessmen would want someone who will not trick them and worthy of their trust. There will be a lot of transactions, appointments, and activities with other stakeholders and most of these are confidential and crucial for the company’s economic health. Also, if the Virtual Assistant says he will finish it at a particular time, he/she must be able to live up to that word.

2. Reliable

Of course, that is why you hired a Virtual Assistant because you need someone you can rely on. He/she must be competent and professional enough to handle every task you give.  The last thing you want is to repeat or re-do tasks that you already hand down. Virtual Assistant is supposed to make your corporate life easier. There must be minimal to none supervision or even follow-up when you already gave detailed directions.

The Philippines has been known to be globally competitive when it comes to outsourcing because of an excellent set of skills, that is why the Philippines is one of the top choices when hiring or outsourcing virtual assistants.

3. Proactive

Virtual Assistants are not robots. They may be ‘virtual’  but there are fully functioning humans behind that monitor.

A good virtual assistant is someone who does not just accept tasks but someone who is assertive and knows how to initiate. He/she must be full of ideas. Businessmen are also human who is capable of committing mistakes, so virtual assistants must be there to call things out or suggest ideas.

4. Keen To Detail

Every detail, no matter how small, is important. You’ll never know how much impact it can cause when one detail was missed.

One example would be attention to the language used in marketing materials or campaigns. A simple error or typo could easily destroy the company’s authority and credibility.

5. Resourceful

An excellent virtual assistant knows how to source important references and other stuff. There is no “I can’t find one” in the vocabulary of a virtual assistant. He/she is not required to know everything, but the VA should have a system and a consciousness of how to make a way.

6. Excellent at Time Management

There will be times that tasks will pile up. VAs should know how and what to prioritize and manage his/her time on finishing these. VAs should know how to be efficient and effective no matter how much volume of tasks was given.

Time is gold, yes, time is money.

7. Outstanding Communication Skills

Since the only way of communication is through the Internet, VAs should still be fluent in expression. A simple miscommunication can destroy everything, so one must be careful.

Also, comm skills include excellent writing skills and English proficiency. What if there’s a task to draft a business letter? Or edit a copy? Tasks are unpredictable so he/she must be ready and equipped to handle it excellently.

8. Superb Computer and Social Media Skills

It’s obvious. Don’t ever hire a VA who is computer illiterate.

He doesn’t need to be an IT professional, but a good VA must master the basics of computer and social media platforms. He/she will surely deal with a lot of this.

There are no perfect Virtual Assistants but they should know how to accept mistakes and criticisms and be open to it. There are excellent ones and he/she must tick all the boxes beside what’s written above.