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9 Technical Virtual Assistant Skills to Look Out For

You can’t hire a VA if they don’t have the hard skills to back them up. Learn about 9 must-have technical virtual assistant skills in this guide.
What matters more when you’re hiring a virtual assistant — soft or hard skills?

If you pick one over the other, you’re wrong.  

Both are equally essential. You want a VA that fits with your culture and also has the chops to deliver quality work.

We already went over soft skills in a previous article, so this time around, let’s focus on hard virtual assistant skills.

What are “hard” virtual assistant skills?

If soft skills involve emotional intelligence and personal attributes like adaptability and time management, then hard skills fall under the technical side of the skills spectrum. These are learned and may be required to carry out specific tasks.

Hard skills include the following:

1. Strong research skills

Every VA should be great at research, no matter their role.

It’s a no-brainer for content writers who have to turn into subject matter experts almost overnight. For social media managers, it’s a must to create a successful brand awareness campaign.

Exceptional research skills also come in handy for customer service reps who encounter a concern that’s not in the knowledge base, or for an operations manager in charge of proposing new goals for the company.

Here are some benefits of hiring a Filipino virtual assistant with a background in research:
  • They can work independently
  • They’re awesome problem solvers
  • They keep your business relevant by staying up-to-date on the latest trends
  • They help you make data-backed decisions

2. Calendar management and appointment setting

These are among the most common virtual assistant tasks — and for good reason.

If you’re like other CEOs with a jam-packed calendar, then you need someone to help you manage your schedule. And, more importantly, to keep your priorities in check.

This is a huge responsibility that’s best assigned to an executive assistant. Since they’re your right-hand person, they can act as gatekeepers who filter requests for your time. They’ll make sure your calendar is organized, free from unnecessary meetings, and in accordance with your preferences.

Related: How to Hand Off Your Calendar to an Executive Assistant

3. Email management

Have a tough time reaching inbox zero despite spending hours on email alone?

Then you may want to look for a Filipino virtual assistant with email management experience.

Letting them handle your inbox will free up your time and allow you to focus on more important stuff, like growing your business.

The right virtual assistant should know how to:
  • Triage your emails (via the 4D method, for example)
  • Organize emails using filters and folders
  • Respond on your behalf
  • Identify phishing attacks

How to evaluate this skill
  • Require applicants to write sample emails
  • Ask about their experience with email management software
  • Let them share their approach to prioritizing emails

Related: How to Delegate Your Inbox to a Virtual Assistant

4. Basic knowledge of online tools

Without platforms like Google Suite or Microsoft Office, it will be tough for remote teams to collaborate and work seamlessly.

That’s why one of the most essential skills for a virtual assistant is knowing how to use these tools.

Your VA doesn’t have to be a spreadsheet wizard if you’re not looking for a data analyst, but it would be a sweet advantage if they knew basic formulas and functions.

Here are other areas they should have some experience with:
  • Formatting word documents
  • Organizing your digital files
  • Exporting documents or converting them into different formats
  • Sending calendar invites and adding events to their calendar
  • Creating slides for presentations

Related: Essential tools for remote work delegation

5. Reporting

Reporting is another common virtual assistant skill business owners should look for.

You don’t want team members who just state the obvious and read from their presentation word for word.

You need to find people who can:
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Present their data via graphs or charts
  • Explain the relevance of the data
  • Share recommendations
  • Discuss the main areas of their report during a meeting

With proper reporting, your virtual assistant can measure project results, identify areas for improvement, and help your business succeed.  

6. Bookkeeping

To keep your business afloat, you need to know where your cash is going.  

Some companies will hire an accountant to manage their bookkeeping, while other business owners even do it themselves.

But if you want to save both money and time, hiring a virtual bookkeeping assistant is your best bet.

A virtual bookkeeping assistant can do the following:
  • Prepare balance sheets
  • Calculate taxes
  • Pay bills
  • Bank reconciliation

How to evaluate this
  • Ask about their experience with tools like Xero, QuickBooks, and Excel. At Somewhere, we screen candidates for specific skills, including their knowledge of software and tools.
  • Give them a test that assesses their bookkeeping and data entry proficiency.

Related: How much can you save when you hire a remote bookkeeper?

7. Uploading and scheduling content

In the digital marketing world, posting content regularly helps brands avoid vanishing into the black hole called irrelevancy.

So whether you’re hiring a social media manager, content writer, or a general VA, two fundamental things they need experience with are uploading and scheduling content.

It sounds easy, but they need to:
  • Double-check that they’re posting the right content
  • Make sure they schedule the correct date
  • Keep track of different platform requirements
  • Properly format the posts

Other VAs may also have to juggle posting on social media with uploading blog posts on WordPress and setting up emails on Klaviyo. Be clear in the job description about the platforms they’ll be using for content management.

8. Basic customer service

Great customer service is the key to happy, loyal customers — with a study by HubSpot Research stating that 93% of consumers are likely to turn into repeat buyers when their experience is positive.

If your e-commerce business is taking off and you can’t keep up with all the inquiries, a virtual assistant who at least knows basic customer service will be a major asset.

A virtual CS assistant can perform tasks like:
  • Answering customer questions
  • Resolving complaints
  • Fulfilling orders
  • Managing customer records

Since they interact directly with customers, they serve as representatives of your brand. They should be friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about the company and its products. Here’s how you can help your VA master their customer service duties.

9. Project management

Last on our list of critical virtual assistant skills is project management.

Project management covers plotting timelines, identifying potential risks, and ensuring that everyone involved is on track with their assigned parts.

In other words, it’s a massive undertaking.

But for a VA with project management skills, it’s something they can definitely handle.  

If you want your projects to have more direction and your team to work more effectively, then have one on board. You won’t regret it.  

How to support this

Set your VA up for project management success by:

  • Clearly defining the project’s objectives and deliverables
  • Equipping them with tools like Trello or ClickUp
  • Giving them the opportunity to take online courses on project management
  • Celebrating their wins  

Take your business further with a well-rounded Philippines virtual assistant

A lot of virtual assistant tasks require technical skills like research, reporting, and project management.

These are easier to quantify than soft skills, with assessment tests helping you separate the qualified from the unqualified.

But if you really want to guarantee they’re a good fit for your company, you need to factor both hard and soft skills into your hiring decision.

Sounds challenging? Then get in touch with us at Somewhere. We can help you find a well-rounded Philippines virtual assistant at 80% less than local counterparts. Tell us more about your ideal candidate today.

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