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How To Write A Job Description For Your Virtual Assistant

Barnaby

Barnaby Lashbrooke

Founder and CEO of Time etc, author of The Hard Work Myth

9 minute read

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If your business has grown enough that you need to start looking for a virtual assistant, first of all, congratulations!

Whether you're a small business owner juggling multiple responsibilities or a growing enterprise in need of specialized support, hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be a game-changer.

However, the key to finding the perfect VA lies in crafting a compelling job description that clearly outlines expectations, responsibilities, and qualifications.

In this guide, we'll delve into the art of writing a job description tailored to attract top-tier virtual assistants. From understanding the role's scope to defining essential skills and qualities, these tips will help you create a job listing that resonates with the right candidates.

What is a virtual assistant?

Similar to a traditional executive assistant or personal assistant, a virtual assistant (VA) is an independent professional who provides administrative support to individuals, businesses, or organizations, but from a remote location, usually from their own home. Essentially, they act as a virtual extension of their client's team, assisting with whatever tasks are needed to keep things running smoothly.

The beauty of working with a VA is that they don't need to be physically present in the same office or location as their clients. They can efficiently carry out their virtual assistant responsibilities from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a strong internet connection. This allows clients to access the support they need without the overhead costs of hiring full-time staff.

Another major advantage of hiring a VA is the flexibility it offers. Unlike traditional employees, virtual assistants work on a freelance or contract basis, meaning you only pay for the time they spend actually working on your tasks.

This flexibility can be invaluable for businesses, especially with fluctuating workloads and changing needs. For example, if you find yourself swamped with work, you can get the extra help you need without any stress. And if things are quieter than usual, you can easily reduce your monthly support hours.

Hiring a virtual assistant isn't just about completing tasks; they're about providing a sense of relief and support in an increasingly digital and demanding world.

See: Virtual Assistant Vs. Executive Assistant: Who Should You Hire To Help You Achieve More?

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Why do you need to write a job description for your virtual assistant?

Of course, not every company has the luxury of having a dedicated HR department to handle recruitment and hiring. This is especially true for smaller remote companies that may not have the resources to hire a full-time staff manager.

While it may be tempting to skip creating a detailed job description when outsourcing administrative tasks, it benefits both your virtual assistant and you.

It helps you understand what you need

Creating a list of what you want from a virtual assistant is not only helpful for reflecting on your organization's needs and company culture, but it also helps identify areas where you can delegate tasks and responsibilities.

This process also allows you to clearly define the skills, experience, desirable traits, or additional qualifications you're looking for in a way they can easily digest.

Moreover, writing a job description helps manage your expectations. If you're unsure of what you want the virtual assistant to handle, things can get complicated. A well-crafted job description makes sure that you have a clear understanding of why you are hiring them and what specific tasks you need support with.

It helps you narrow down your search

Every industry has its own unique requirements, and it's important to consider the specific skillset needed for your business.

For instance, once you have a clear list of tasks, you may realize that your organization needs someone who excels in writing. By providing this information upfront, you can filter out any applicants who lack the necessary skills or proven experience that you need. You streamline the interview process, save valuable time and resources in the recruitment process, and ultimately, hire someone who brings real value to your team.

You’ll attract serious candidates

Yes, it's true that most people applying for a job are seeking a source of income. But that doesn't mean there aren't individuals who genuinely consider joining your organization.

A detailed virtual assistant job description helps set realistic expectations for both the client and the candidates. It outlines the specific tasks and duties the virtual assistant will be responsible for, along with any essential skills or qualifications required to excel in the role.

Serious candidates who review the detailed job description can assess whether their skills and expertise align with the job requirements, leading to a higher likelihood of attracting individuals who are genuinely interested in and qualified to handle your tasks.

Not only that, but it showcases your company's professionalism and commitment to finding the right fit for your virtual assistant role. It demonstrates that you value clarity and transparency in your hiring process, which can be appealing to high-quality talent.

By investing time and effort into writing a detailed job description, you signal to potential candidates that you take the hiring process seriously and are dedicated to finding a virtual assistant who will really thrive in the role and help contribute effectively to your team's success.

You can showcase your employer brand

A well-written virtual assistant job description isn't just about listing tasks and qualifications—it also serves as a window into your organization. Highlighting your company's culture, values, and team dynamics helps paint a picture of what it's like to work with your team, and invites potential candidates to see if they'd fit right in.

Plus, we all know that a great employee can be worth their weight in gold. Whether they're working remotely or in-house, the best results come from team members who are genuinely motivated and deeply invested in your mission. The more buy-in they have about what you do, the more dedicated and driven they will be to deliver high-quality work.

So, don’t be afraid to include your mission and vision in your virtual assistant job description, as well as any benefits or perks you may offer to help nurture their motivation even further.

See: 6 Expert Ways To Make Your Team Members Feel Respected

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What to include in your virtual assistant job description

If this is your first time writing a job description or having to hire a virtual assistant, coming up with a list of tasks and desirable traits might seem daunting.

We’ve brainstormed a few ideas that might help you narrow your list down, feel free to use this virtual assistant job description template to help you get started.

Sample: Assistant to Barnaby Lashbrooke

Description: This section should explain why the job was created. What is its purpose?

Example: Barnaby Lashbrooke is searching for a virtual assistant to help with administrative duties for his upcoming book launch. We provide daily tips that help our customers organize their lives, and sell products that can help them achieve their goals. We’re looking for someone who understands the need to make life easier for our customers and enjoys organizing work in a fast-paced, but mindful environment.

Responsibilities: This should explain what your virtual assistant will be expected to do with their time while on the clock. What are their essential duties? Are they expected to perform them daily, weekly, or monthly?

Example: Our virtual assistant can expect to perform these and related tasks on a daily and/or weekly basis.

  • Organizing and scheduling meetings in our online calendars.
  • Responding to general customer inquiries (shipping questions, returns, and questions that aren’t listed in our frequently asked questions) via email or our social media platforms.
  • Maintaining a log of our data in Excel.
  • Using software such as Trello to keep track of tasks
  • Proofreading social media copy and other public posts on our company website.

Skills: In this section, explain the everyday skills you expect your virtual assistant to use throughout the course of their job. List technical and interpersonal skills to the best of your ability.

Example: We’re looking for an experienced virtual assistant who is strong in the areas outlined below:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Computer and digital literacy
  • Knowledge of social media
  • Ability to work in G Suite
  • Strong communication skills.

Additionally, consider your company culture in order to narrow down a list of traits you know will help your organization.

Example: Our ideal team member will also exhibit the following qualities.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Detail-oriented
  • 2+ years of customer service experience
  • Fluency in another language is a plus
  • Zest for learning and constant self-improvement

Hours: Mention the time zone in which you’re located, and let your employees know the days/times/time zone you will expect them to work.

Example: We’re based in the United States and work Mondays-Fridays from 10 am-6 pm EST time zone. We will consider remote applicants anywhere in the country as long as they can work during this schedule.

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What's the bottom line?

Whether you're outsourcing market research, social media management, customer support, or any of the various administrative tasks on your plate, the importance of a virtual assistant job description can't be overstated.

By clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and expectations, you can attract the most qualified candidates who are the best fit for your specific needs. Not only that, you also streamline the hiring process and mitigate misunderstandings down the line.

With clarity and purpose at the forefront, your virtual assistant job description becomes more than just a document—it's the blueprint for a successful working relationship, unlocking the full potential of your virtual team and achieving more in less time.

Let us handle it for you

Investing time and effort into crafting your virtual assistant job description is something that needs to be done, but it doesn't need to be done by you.

With Time etc, you can save yourself between three and six weeks of writing job descriptions, reading resumes, arranging interviews, and performing background checks.

We know your time is precious, which is why you don’t need to do any of the heavy lifting.

All you need to do is speak to our expert team and let us know exactly what you need. From there, we'll create a personalized job description that’s tailored to your unique needs. We'll then match you with the perfect virtual assistant to tackle all those repetitive administrative tasks that are dragging you down.

We’ve already interviewed, vetted, tested, and approved all of the assistants in our roster, so you can rest assured you'll only ever work with top-tier professionals. In fact, our 10-stage selection process is so thorough that, on average, less than 2% of applicants who apply make it through.

Our expert team is ready to set you up with a dedicated professional based on the skills and experience you need—at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Get started now!

If you're still on the fence, why not try us out for free?

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About the author

Barnaby
Barnaby Lashbrooke is the founder and CEO of Virtual Assistant service Time etc as well as the author of The Hard Work Myth, recently recommended by Sir Richard Branson. Barnaby is a Forbes Columnist on productivity and is also an accomplished entrepreneur, selling more than $35 million worth of services.

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