Top Qualities and Skills in a Virtual Assistant & How to Hire

Top Qualities and Skills in a Virtual Assistant & How to Hire
  • If you are looking for an experienced and efficiently working virtual assistant to help you carry out your day-to-day tasks, then there are multiple very important traits you should pay attention to.
  • Having a virtual assistant helps out a lot if you are the stressed-out business owner who has a lot to do on a daily basis. But you need to be careful before choosing one.
  • Here are some of the most important traits to take into account while looking for a good virtual assistant for your business.

There are many traits that you might look for in a virtual assistant. These can be dependent on the role that you would like them to perform. They may also be dependent on your requirements for your business, along with your vision and the goals that you would like to achieve. 

Let’s take a look at some simple steps in outlining these to find your perfect virtual assistant. 

How to Find a Virtual Assistant 

Below are three steps to follow when beginning your search for a virtual assistant:

  1. Determine your vision and goals 
  2. Decide what to outsource
  3. Consider what experience and skills you need in a VA

1. Determine your vision and goals 

Do you have a clear picture of where you want your business to be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, etc.? If you have your goals set, your virtual assistant will be keen to work towards this goal with you to help achieve your long-term vision. These can then be pulled down into smaller measurable goals, which will lead to your big picture goal so when more team members come on board, everyone can work towards the same objective.

2. Decide what to outsource

The ventures that you should be focused on are the expert tasks that only you can perform, such as;

  • building your business,
  • interacting more with your customers and subscribers,
  • building strategic alliances within your industry,
  • expanding your reach to get your brand to new markets and planning for future growth.

While you are developing these growth projects, your virtual assistant and potentially other team members can handle the remainder day-to-day tasks. 

To decide what to outsource, the first step would be to write down the tasks that you spend time on but you don't need to. These tasks are usually monotonous and can take a long time for you to do. They can easily be outsourced with a process to a virtual assistant that, as an expert in their field, will get them done quickly and efficiently.

3. Consider what experience and skills you need in a VA

To hire the best virtual assistant possible, you will need to find the right fit for your business. No two virtual assistants are the same and they all come with a range of experience and expertise. So once you have defined your goals and vision and written down the tasks that you would like to outsource, it is time to find the perfect VA. 

Have a think about what type of experience you would like the virtual assistant to have according to your current task list, i.e:

  • basic,
  • intermediate or
  • advanced experience. 

Now it's time to look at some of the traits that the virtual assistant should possess to fulfil your vision and current tasks. Which are the most important to you?

Top Qualities and Skills of a Virtual Assistant

Here are some of the top qualities and traits in a great virtual assistant:

  1. Can-do attitude: The virtual assistant is not scared to jump in and give it a go.
  2. Forward-thinker: They see the whole picture and offer ideas and ways to implement tasks to help you reach your goals.
  3. Self-motivated: They are proactive go-getters. They don’t wait until the last minute to start a project.
  4. Dependable: They ensure that the work is completed as requested and delivered on time.
  5. Trustworthy: The virtual assistant is someone that you can build a relationship with and someone that is trusted.  
  6. Initiative: If they see something that needs to be completed, they get it done without being asked.
  7. Resourceful: If they don’t know the answer to something or how to do something, they know how to find it or learn it.
  8. Organised: Highly organised virtual assistants normally use project management tools such as Asana to stay organised and to also help you stay organised too.
  9. Efficiency: Efficiency is a must in business and can be the difference between getting a sale or not.
  10. Good communicator: Good communication reduces confusion and errors. When they can clearly see your vision and what you want to be completed, the virtual assistant can quickly get to work.
  11. Professional: They conduct themselves in a professional, self-confident way.

While thinking about the traits for your virtual assistant, you may want to take it a step further and consider the type of personality it takes to do the job. For instance, if your VA is talking to your customers, they’ll need to be friendly and great on the phone.

If they are sending emails and correspondence to your customers, a great typing speed, attention to detail, along with being confident at writing correspondence is a must.

Case Study 1

Joe is a Health Professional in his own practice and is after a virtual assistant to answer the phones, transcribe letters to start with.

Although Joe didn’t mention it, he will essentially need someone to book appointments in his diary so the virtual assistant will need to be able to manage an online diary for appointment bookings and have experience in transcription. The most important trait that Joe will need is for the virtual assistant to show empathy, compassion and understanding while speaking with clients. The virtual assistant will also need to be dependable to answer calls in a timely manner.

Case Study 2

John is the main presenter and speaker of his training company. He requires a virtual assistant to help with social media, newsletter, adding articles to his website, updating website pages, following up with customers and booking students in on training events.

The main traits that John should be looking at for a virtual assistant is someone that is tech savvy and has experience with his website platform. A VA that is proactive and dependable to develop content for social media and his website. John should also be looking for someone that is professional on the phone, a good communicator to speak with his customers as well as super organised to ensure that course information and events are organised in a timely manner.

As you can see, John essentially needs a virtual assistant with a little more experience and high level skills for his business. John is not necessarily looking for a clone of himself but someone who is approachable, friendly, uses initiative and is quite tech savvy. 

Lastly, finding the perfect virtual assistant can be hard, there are many VAs out there that have many traits. The best way is to speak with a few virtual assistants and start building a relationship with them. 

Long-term virtual assistants become a part of your team. You can start with small tasks and build up to a full task list once you become more confident with them and trust in their ability. You can check a virtual assistant testimonials and even look through references to give you some background information and an idea of their traits. 

Many testimonials and references cover these in detail.

Susan Wilkin

Director and Senior Virtual Assistant at