Technical VA 101

Technical Virtual Assistant: What They Do and How To Hire One

Free up your time by working with a technical virtual assistant. Here’s all you need to know before you hire one.

Technical Virtual Assistant: What They Do and How To Hire One

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When running a business, time is a valuable commodity. Business owners and managers often find themselves burdened with an array of administrative, technical, and creative tasks that can impede their ability to focus on core business activities, affecting business growth. 

Pie chart showing the time you spend on daily business activities
Source: Harvard Business Review

A Harvard Business Review study found that desk-based work consumes a significant portion of knowledge workers’ time. Yet many of these tasks could easily be off-loaded to someone else. By delegating non-core tasks, you can free up time for strategic activities.

Who can you delegate some of your tasks to? Many business owners free up time by delegating to virtual assistants—but not just any VA. They hire VAs that have expertise in the business’s technical aspects: technical virtual assistants.

This article explores technical virtual assistant roles, what they do, and how you can hire one to free up some of your valuable time. 

What Is a Technical Virtual Assistant?

A technical virtual assistant is a remote worker with specialized technical skills who provides administrative, technical, or creative assistance. They typically have experience in a variety of technical fields like IT, marketing, or customer service. 

Technical VAs are pivotal in streamlining operations, boosting efficiency, and freeing up valuable time for business owners to concentrate on strategic initiatives. Their diverse skill set equips them to handle tasks beyond that of an administrative assistant, such as troubleshooting software issues, managing digital marketing campaigns, providing customer support, and even assisting with IT-related tasks like software installation and configuration.

A technical VA is a versatile and capable extension of a company’s team, contributing their expertise to enhance various aspects of business operations. Their remote nature allows them to work from any location, making them a flexible solution for businesses looking to tap into specialized skills without the need for on-site hires.

What Are the Main Tasks a Technical Virtual Assistant Can Take Care Of?

Technical virtual assistants handle a wide range of administrative, creative, and technical tasks. These include: 

Administrative tasks

Business owners can delegate time-consuming and routine admin-related tasks to their technical VAs. These include checking and managing emails, scheduling appointments and meetings, creating presentations, and tracking expenses. 

Marketing

Technical VAs often have marketing knowledge and experience. From overseeing campaigns to basic marketing responsibilities, they typically have experience managing social media channels (including creating posts), managing email lists and email marketing campaigns, and developing content marketing strategies. 

Customer service

Some technical VAs may also be skilled in customer service. They can take the tasks of answering customer queries, resolving customer complaints, and providing customer support out of your hands. 

Technical support

Some technical VAs are well-versed in tech tasks and can handle various technical issues. VAs with IT expertise can help you troubleshoot software and hardware issues, install and configure software, and provide IT training to your staff or new hires. 

employer shaking hands with his remote technical virtual assistant

How To Hire a Technical Virtual Assistant

Once you are ready to hire a technical VA, here are the steps you need to take. 

1. Define your needs

First, take the time to define your needs. This will help you find a VA with the skills, experience, and specialized expertise you need to relieve yourself of your “extra” responsibilities. (Time and time again, we see that more time spent on nailing down exactly what you need from a new hire translates into finding the best candidates.) 

Ask yourself what tasks you need help with, what skills and experience levels you require from your technical virtual assistant, and what your budget and timeline for hiring is. 

2. Find a reputable VA company

To make it easier for you to find the best virtual assistants, work with a reputable VA company. There are plenty of firms that specialize in helping companies find and hire VAs to fill their roles. 

Some companies specialize in sourcing VAs for certain skill sets or particular regions. For example, Near specializes in finding the best talent from Latin America, including VAs—which is particularly useful if you are looking to work with a VA in a time zone compatible with US working hours. Other agencies might specialize in finding VAs in the Philippines or VAs who are marketing specialists, for example. 

There are many choices out there. Read reviews, compare prices, and get quotes to help you decide who to work with. 

3. Interview VA candidates

Once your VA company provides a shortlist of candidates that meet your requirements, it’s time to conduct interviews. The interview will help you learn more about the VA and decide whether they suit your company. 

During the interview, ask them about their experience, skills, and availability. Tailor your interview questions to suit what you’re looking for in your VA. We also recommend that you give them a test task to give you a better idea of how they work. 

After the interviews, you can pick the best candidate that meets your expectations and ask your VA hiring firm to start the hiring and onboarding process. 

4. Set expectations

During the onboarding, make sure that you set their expectations straight. This will ensure that you’re aligned about what responsibilities will be delegated. It will also allow your technical VA to adjust to the job seamlessly. 

Discuss what tasks you need them to complete, how often they should update or report back to you, and what communication tools and platforms you will use. 

5. Provide feedback

Onboarding your employee is just the beginning of your working relationship. Every now and then, make sure that you provide feedback to help them become more efficient in their roles. Especially for the first couple of weeks, regularly monitor and check in with your VA and ensure that they’re adjusting to their new roles well. 

You might also want to schedule regular performance reviews to touch base on how the VA is performing, share feedback about their work, outline improvement points, and offer support to enhance your working relationship. 

6. Be flexible

To keep your technical virtual assistant happy on the job, be as flexible as you can about their working arrangements. Try to understand if they need to reschedule a meeting or take a day off. 

Remember that even if you hire a VA with the skills and experience you need, they will still need time to adjust and learn your specific business processes. Support your technical VA and allocate the time to train them on your company culture and procedures. 

Technical Virtual assistant wearing headphones and on a call with her employer

What Should You Look for When Hiring Technical Virtual Assistants?

Technical virtual assistants must have certain traits to be effective and high-performing. Here are some qualities that you should be looking for in your VAs:

Technical ability

Look for someone with skills and experience in software and hardware that your business uses. This will reduce the need for training them on how to use your systems. Depending on the roles and tasks you plan on delegating, you might also want to look for someone with a strong understanding of IT concepts. 

Communication skills

Because your VA will be working remotely, they must be able to communicate with you effectively. Excellent communication skills are a valuable trait that your VA should possess. 

Look for talent that can understand your instructions clearly and communicate their progress or any issues they encounter. 

Problem-solving

You’re hiring a technical VA to free up your time and energy for more important aspects of your business. But if your VA can’t handle problems or bottlenecks on their own, then hiring them is counterproductive. 

To prevent that, make sure your VA can think critically and come up with creative solutions to problems on their own. 

Self-motivation

The work of a VA can be demanding. To be effective in their roles, they need to be self-motivated and able to manage their own time—and, of course, have great organizational skills. 

Look for someone who can work independently and meet deadlines without supervision. That way, you can trust that your VA can get the job done on time and to your satisfaction. 

Final Thoughts

Hiring a technical virtual assistant can free up your time and energy for critical areas of your business. But this strategy only works if you find a candidate with the right skills, experience, and technical expertise that the role requires. 

For a seamless process of finding the ideal technical VA, consider enlisting the services of Near, a reliable partner that connects you with top-tier Latin American talent tailored to your specific needs. Our proven vetting process ensures you find the perfect candidate that matches your requirements and preferences. 

Book a free consultation call to discuss how we can find you the perfect VA.

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