To many businesses and e-commerce retailers these days, a virtual assistant (VA) provides many services from remote locations. There’s a lot to keep track — from digital marketing, to appointment scheduling, basic administrative tasks, human resource management, event administration and down to personal activities. VAs can be trained to perform virtually (pun intended) any task.

However, in an ocean of highly qualified candidates, you might find choosing a virtual assistant a headache. Having said that, keep the following criteria in mind so you can sift the best from the good and hire the virtual assistant fit for your business needs:

1. Reliability

The dependability of a virtual assistant is crucial. You’ll lose business if people do not trust you, regardless of how qualified you or how cost effective your services are. As a result, most business owners look for talent where they could ‘set it and forget it’. In other words, when you give someone a task, you want them to finish it independently and with minimal help or supervision.

VAs are meant to make your life easier, and if you keep an eye on them all the time, you won’t be able to focus on your clients. They should also be proactive in solving unforeseen problems. Your VA should know how to contact your NBN provider when you’re encountering internet issues or looking to upgrade your plan, remain calm when dealing with rude customers or investors and keep backup copies of your business’ important documents.

2. Professionalism

Professionalism is a trait that every employee, virtual or otherwise, should possess. Someone who’s there to work knows why they are there and will do their best to fulfil the tasks set for them. An expert knows how to finish a job quickly and successfully. They expect to receive wages and complete prescribed tasks and contribute to the client’s success.

3. Integrity

In terms of time and effort, virtual assistants are expected to be self-sufficient. They’re paid for the time they spend on allocated tasks. Despite them being on the other side of the world, you should rely on them to execute their tasks while you’re away. As a result, you’ll need a virtual assistant with high integrity — someone who’ll work when they say they would and won’t charge you for time spent on personal errands or other hobbies.

4. Efficiency

To begin with, a virtual assistant should help you focus on essential tasks. As a result, selecting someone organized and efficient in their work is crucial. Routine tasks should be handled by your VA so that you can concentrate on more big-picture stuff. In a nutshell, employing a virtual assistant should free up your own time for bigger responsibilities like getting more clients or doing research and development.

5. Resourcefulness

Not only should your chosen virtual assistant keep you updated frequently with your business’s progress, they should also communicate with you efficiently. They must be proactive and resourceful to accomplish their obligations efficiently. If there’s something they don’t know, they should conduct a quick search to find out the answer instead of waiting on your response.

While you shouldn’t expect your VA to know everything right from the start, they should eventually solve and figure out how to do tasks on their own, even if they are unfamiliar with them.

6. Detail-oriented

A fantastic VA would have an incredible capacity to focus on small details. Virtual assistants get in touch with clients frequently, book appointments and answer emails. You want someone who’ll look for and correct problems diligently, going above and beyond to ensure that every aspect is excellent.

While everyone makes mistakes now and then, hiring someone precise with details can save you the trouble of having to go back and double-check their work. You want your VA to be meticulous even with the smallest details. A reliable VA doesn’t have to know everything, but they should know how to ask questions and ask clarifications to do their tasks well.

Hiring Your First Virtual Assistant

7. Effective

VAs are paid hourly in most cases. As a result, you’ll need someone informed, experienced and productive in the sector. The level of experience your VA has will influence how quickly they can do tasks. This way, you’ll be able to make the most of your and your VA’s time.

8. Kind

Your VA must retain a professional approach when interacting with your clients. In some ways, your virtual assistant acts as a storefront, giving clients their initial impression of your company. If your VA is rude, this will reflect poorly on you and your company. Look for someone who puts people first and can gracefully navigate difficult situations.

9. The Ability To Multitask

Multitasking is frowned upon in a wide range of professions. On the other hand, the ability to multitask is sought after in a virtual assistant. VAs must schedule meetings, coordinate tasks and handle many clients simultaneously. A virtual assistant’s multitasking abilities allow them to keep the ball rolling and the business moving forward.

It’s also beneficial if the virtual assistant knows how to use productivity tools, task management software and time management software. It boosts productivity, reduces errors and keeps processes running smoothly.

10. Genuine And Dependable

While no one wants to hire a dishonest employee, honesty is even more critical when working remotely. Your VA, like everyone else, is bound to make an error or a mistake now and then.

On the other hand, a skilled virtual assistant will keep you informed of any hurdles or delays that may prevent them from finishing the work on time. To maintain track of their VAs’ work and ensure they clock in on time, several companies use a screen-and-time-tracking system.

11. Hardworking

You have a dedicated assistant if your VA can gather information independently and routinely meets deadlines. Rather than settling for the bare minimum, VAs should strive to exceed expectations. A dedicated virtual assistant is just what you need on your team if you’re the type of entrepreneur who discourages mediocrity.

12. Excellent Listening Skills

Keep in mind that communication is a two-way street. One critical skill a VA must have is the ability to listen. People prefer to speak with someone rather than use a chat box when they have a problem. The ability to listen is a vital attribute of an excellent virtual assistant. These abilities will also equip the VA to cope with circumstances that require empathetic listening in a customer service setting.

13. Willingness To Learn

One of the most challenging aspects of hiring a VA is that most of them may not be able to adapt to change. Someone willing to learn a new way of doing things is the ideal virtual assistant. Those who aren’t will express their dissatisfaction and eventually cause you trouble.


If you haven’t already hired a virtual assistant, be sure the person you choose has the qualities listed in this post. Don’t be fooled by a dazzling portfolio from someone who seems unreliable. As the cliché goes, a person’s attitude defines their character.