The Major Five Skills Needed for Virtual Assistants

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The advancement of Information Technology has made it possible to work remotely as an outsourced service provider or Virtual Assistant (VA) on a nearshore, onshore, or offshore basis. As the client company expects effective and efficient performance from the service provider or VA, as they have many choices to select from, VAs should be well equipped with the necessary skills for the service. The skills contain technical skills as well as soft skills in a remote work environment as follows:

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1. Excellent Communication Skills:

Communication is the key in any work environment to perceive the needs and perform the tasks.

Verbal Communication: Depending upon the required job description and nature, top verbal communication skills with a professional level of English is a must. A professional level of language skills is expected to converse about the job, make phone calls, give presentations, or even for clear and concise discussions in meetings and other conversations.

Written Communication: A Professional level of written skill language is necessary for even common day-to-day work in a corporate environment for emailing, chatting, reporting, managing projects, and using various tools and techniques professionally.

Besides, the VAs should be professional in listening and reading skills as well. The four language skills i.e.; listening, speaking, reading, and writing are essential for a competent VA to understand and follow instructions, convey information effectively, absorb and respond to information thoughtfully maintain professionalism.

2. Technological Proficiency:

Virtual Assistants work in technology-driven platforms remotely for clients i.e. Individuals, SMEs to Multinational Companies with decent practices in the corporate environment with familiarity with technology tools and platforms mentioned below:

Software and Tools: The knowledge and experience of common software and online tools used in remote work environments are essential for a Virtual Assistant. The tools may cover project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, Trello, and Jira, communication tools like Slack platform and Zoom or Google Meet for remote meetings, File-sharing platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive, and commonly used CRM platforms and ERPs, graphic design tools and social media management platforms.

Adaptability to New Technologies: Virtual Assistants work independently which needs resourcefulness and good at research to cope with the rapidly changing new technologies. The adaptability makes them flexible and dynamic to adjust to different industry or company-based technologies, ERPs, tools and techniques, and workflows and environments.

3. Strong Organizational Skills:

The exceptional organizational skills of Virtual Assistants, make them effective and hireworthy which are stated below:

Time Management: VAs have scores of tasks and deadlines to manage crucial to the time with pace and calendar which are to be prioritised, set realistic deadlines, and accomplished to mitigate the clients' expectations.

Work Prioritisation: Prioritizing multiple tasks with deadlines and significance with the help of checklists, calendars, and project management tools, is a very professional skill of VAs admired by clients. The VAs’ capability of micro-managing complex tasks and delegating them on time as per necessity makes them special.

Communication Management: Communication management differs from VAs but the common correspondence of emails, telephones with messages and inquiries, or any other media like chat-bots, messengers, portal reviews etc.

File/Database Management: VAs should be knowledgeable to manage the systems efficiently to store, scratch, screen, name, and organise relevant files for properly locating and retrieving them when necessary.

4. Problem Solving Skills:

Resourcefulness: VAs are expected to collect needed information and find solutions independently. They can take help from online resources, reach out to friends or aids or seek guidance quickly if necessary. VAs are also supposed to work independently to proofread or edit documents, presentations, and other materials. Accuracy and precision are also synonymous with the VAs at the professional level which need proper attention to detail. Hiring the VAs means getting quality services in the needed field. Therefore, the clients should be assured of the quality of the work they seek through the highest degree of professionalism and improvement from the timely feedback.

5. Professional and Self-Motivation and Discipline:

Professional Demeanour: Virtual Assistants are an integral part of any business in the modern corporate world seeking the etiquettes of politeness, responsiveness, and agility in communication to intra and inter-organizational matters. They should also have the highest level of professionalism while dealing with sensitive data with utmost confidentiality.

Self-Motivation and Discipline: A high level of self-motivation and discipline is required for the VAs to work remotely at different stages. They should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) in their performances along with their trackable progress and results for client satisfaction. VAs should be self-motivated to manage distractions and maintain focus and work-life balance. The VAs should also maintain their self-discipline taking ownership of tasks as they would be working without supervision and leadership to take initiative.

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