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There are a myriad of ways you can hire a virtual assistant, including browsing sites online, using bidding sites, or contacting a virtual assistant association. The tactics you use will depend on your individual needs and preferences required of your new assistant. You can also hire a local assignment who is willing and able to perform duties from his or her own home. This way you could have him or her come into the office on occasion if needed, but the bulk of work would still be done virtually.
A virtual assistant is a professional who works with a business or independent professional who performs various office-related tasks. He or she may be responsible for the same duties as any in-house assistant, but the work is done from his or her own home computer instead. The assistant may type paperwork, write, file, transcribe materials, make phone calls, schedule meetings, and other common tasks.
You can start looking for a virtual assistant by either browsing online to find the websites of various assistants, or by going through a virtual assistant organization. There are pros and cons to both methods. If you find an assistant yourself it can sometimes cost less money, both up front and in the long term. There may be fees to find assistants through a professional network, and you may wind up paying your assistant more money since those who are certified by a particular organization are often more highly trained than others. This is not always true, of course, and you can likely find a qualified assistant who is not an association member.
If you choose to hire a virtual assistant through an association, you will be guaranteed that he or she is well-trained in certain areas since assistants have to meet certain criteria for joining an association. You may want to go with a lower-priced option instead, such as online bidding sites. On these sites you can often find assistants for very little money, but be away that people from all over the world can bid on those sites. This isn't necessarily a problem, but if you need someone who speaks a certain language fluently or should have a set standard of writing skills, be specific about this up front.
It is also possible to hire a virtual assistant you may find in your local vicinity by either going with a former assistant of yours or finding a local professional who is willing to work remotely. There are many stay-at-home parents who would be happy to find a work from home job. If you don't want to hire a virtual assistant in any of these ways, you can also post ads on jobs boards and let applicants come to you.
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