You know how some restaurants have big menus and serve all kinds of food, while others, like your favorite barbecue spot or pizza place, are just focused on a few items?

As a business owner, especially a small business owner, you’re like the restaurant with the big menu – you have to handle all kinds of tasks, you have a wide scope of responsibilities.

And you have to be capable and knowledgeable about all the parts and pieces of running your business. To put it another way, you’ve got a closet full of hats and you wear them all day, every day.

But unless you’re a solo operator (and hats off to you, if you are. . .), you have an employee or two or ten that assist you in certain areas of your business, they take specific tasks off your plate.

Your employees are like the pizza place or the BBQ spot – they usually only wear one or two hats and they become specialists in their departments.

One of your main challenges, as a business owner, is deciding what tasks to delegate and who you’re going to delegate those tasks to.

That’s where HireSmart Virtual Employees can really help you out.

We spend our time finding great virtual employees and we know exactly what skills they have and what tasks they’re prepared for, or capable of learning how to do.

We know all this because our hiring process has written tests, verbal tests, personality tests and we even train & certify every virtual employee for forty hours before they start working with the client.

When you contact HireSmart Virtual Employees to make a new hire, or inquire about our services, we always start with some version of this simple question – what tasks and responsibilities do you want to take off your plate?

Once we answer that question and get down to the nitty gritty, we’ll send three candidates your way who are specialists and who are capable of handling those responsibilities, plus a whole lot more.

I realize you might be new to the world of virtual employees and not even sure what’s possible to delegate.

These are just a few of the time-saving tasks our clients' delegate to their virtual employees:

Any task that can be completed on the computer or over the phone can be handled by a virtual employee with the right set of skills. If you have an open position or realize your time can be better spent by delegating a portion of your tasks to a virtual employee, click here for a free consultation.

The community association management industry is facing a serious drought: qualified community management professionals simply cannot be found. They are overworked and underpaid and yet still somehow cost management companies a small fortune whenever a new hire does come on board. But there is a solution. This series will cover the roles a virtual assistant can easily and affordably take on to help your staff take back their workday! This article will talk about why a HireSmart Virtual HOA Management Assistant could be the best choice for your management company.

 

Community Association Managers Are More Than Human Fire Extinguishers

Community Association Managers (CAMs) are the face of your management company. For many boards of directors and community members, the manager is the sole representative of your management company that they see day in and day out. And that’s why the burden on your community association managers is so high.

As the primary representative of the management company, all duties, and deliverables for the communities they manage are funneled through them, from accounting issues to violations, to maintenance coordination, to coordinating multi-million capital improvement projects. Even for the items they can delegate, there is still a LOT on CAM’s plate:

It’s no wonder that managers get burned out!

 

A New Way to Expand Your Association Manager’s Capacity: Virtual HOA Management Assistants

Alleviating the burden on your community association managers isn’t as simple as just hiring more managers. Even if you can find and hire new people to manage a portfolio of communities, it takes time and effort you don’t really have to train them and get them up to speed with all of the issues facing the community associations they will be managing.

Instead of hiring new managers, consider adding HireSmart Virtual HOA Management Assistants to expand the capacity of your existing management team. Keep your existing management team as ‘executive managers’ with boots on the ground in your community, while your team of virtual employees assists them remotely.

 

How a Virtual HOA Management Assistant Can Support Your Management Team

Remote management assistants can take some of the burdens from your community association manager’s shoulders and help them put out fires before they become a raging inferno.

Your virtual management assistant can take on your manager’s bulging inbox to help identify and handle or delegate tasks as needed, such as:

With a HireSmart Virtual HOA Management Assistant, you can expand the capacity of your existing community management team and your community association managers can take back their workday to better represent your management company.

 

Let HireSmart Help You Hire Smart

Help your managers stop fiddling with the small things and focus on the big picture stuff that their community really needs. HireSmart Virtual Employees is here to help. Book your 30-min discovery call today to start the process of getting paired with your new HOA Management Assistant.

Remember in that movie from way back, Jerry Maguire, when Cuba Gooding Jr. was always saying “Show me the money!”

If you’re like me and love a great deal, it’s more like saying “Show me the savings!”

Some people get fanatical about trying to make money, and I mean, count me in.

But there’s something about making a great deal and saving big money that just, I don’t know, makes me feel smart.

Wall Street is full of smart people, making money, knowing about how all the markets work. For me, though, I’m from Main Street and I grew up knowing that a penny saved is a penny earned.

Any type of savings has a better return on investment than the stock market. That’s because when it comes to savings, your investment is 0$.

And while it does take money to make money, it takes no money to save money. It’s literally an off the charts return on investment.

Here’s why I call myself a money saving expert. At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we save our clients between $25k and $30k per year for every employee hired through our agency.

Judith, a managing partner at one of our long term clients, gave us this quote:

"The hiring process and training that Anne provides is the best we have found. We have saved over $26,000/year PER Virtual Employee that we have hired. This has been a game changer for us and our business.”

Let me ask you something real quick – what other line item in your budget has that kind of potential for saving money?

If you could save $25k per year on, say travel expenses or equipment, that’s a no brainer, right? As long as the quality is the same or better, as long as your experience using the product is the same or better.

Our value proposition at HireSmart Virtual Employees is all about saving you money on labor costs while providing the same or better quality staff you might find anywhere else.

When you use HireSmart Virtual Employees to hire a full time staff member, you’ll have an extra $25k in your bank account. Where it belongs.

The stock market can give you great returns, but not those kinds of returns.

If you’re thinking about making some staff changes or adding a new employee to your team and you love getting a great deal that saves you money, click here to set up a free consultation.

I can promise you, we’re way more fun to talk to than a Wall Street stock broker.

The community association management industry is facing a serious drought: qualified community management professionals simply cannot be found. They are overworked and underpaid and yet still somehow cost management companies a small fortune whenever a new hire does come on board. But there is a solution. This series will cover the roles a virtual assistant can easily and affordably take on to help your staff take back their workday! This article will talk about why an HOA Accounting Assistant could be the best choice for your management company

Community association management companies are struggling on a lot of different fronts right now. The lack of qualified community managers and other industry professionals entering the workforce is creating a blanket of tension and financial uncertainty. This, plus what experts are aptly naming “The Great Resignation” (people leaving their jobs en masse for better pay, benefits, or quality of life) has hit management companies particularly hard. With a dwindling workforce that seems to be getting thinner and thinner, how are you expected to adequately support your clients these days?

Your Office is Overwhelmed

Chances are every person in your office is feeling the burn from the turmoil of today’s job market. Everyone is taking on tasks and responsibilities that tend to fall under “other duties as assigned” just to help keep things running as smoothly as possible. It’s great knowing that you have a dedicated group of people who are willing to go above and beyond for your clients, but it’s that exact mentality that has caused this Great Resignation movement to grow so quickly.

Loving your job simply isn’t enough anymore for so many people. They’re watching friends and family “trade up” to a new job with a smaller workload and bigger payout. They’re starting to think that they can’t continue to burn the candle at both ends, no matter how much they love their clients or their company. Your accountants especially are underwater, because there isn’t really anyone they can offload the work to except one another. And if your team has only one person handling your accounting, they are feeling the weight of their work. You may start to see this in task completion time –maybe they’re a little late processing late fees, getting monthly financials out, or taking longer than expected to respond to balance inquiries from homeowners. Getting everything done on time and accurately is crucial in any financial role. Helping better distribute some of their tasks is the best thing you can do for your accounting staff members.

Should You Bring in an Expert?

The first step to fixing this issue is lighting the beacons and calling for aid. But the kind of aid you call for is what will make all the difference.

For example, the typical search for help begins by looking for a specially trained accounting professional. Obviously, right? Because if you add to the number of accountants you have on staff, the workload will surely diminish. And that’s true, but it’s also pricey.

A licensed, qualified accountant will cost you a very pretty penny. The Great Resignation isn’t just seeing a mass exodus, it’s also seeing a mass influx of possible new staff members, but they all want the most pay and the most benefits. And they deserve it! But can you afford it? If your staff is buckling under the weight of too much responsibility, chances are you can’t reasonably afford the number of professionally trained accounting professionals it would take to ease their burden.

Choose a Virtual HOA Accounting Assistant

Most people hear “virtual assistant” and immediately assume that to mean an appointment setter or executive assistant. Those are just two of the plethora of functions a quality, English - speaking virtual assistant can handle.

At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we know that your staff is balancing all their most important tasks as well as the seemingly mundane – answering phone calls from clients, managing schedules, or handling reporting. Those skills pair beautifully with the needs your accountants have today. Do they need to process late fees and fines, but can’t seem to find the time? A Virtual HOA Accounting Assistant can cover that, no problem. Generating resale packages is exhausting, let an HOA Accounting Assistant sort that out. Need someone to enter vendor invoices? Or process payment batches? An HSVE Virtual HOA Accounting Assistant will take care of it.

Your accountants should be able to take back their workday so they can focus on the mission-critical accounting tasks that they have the skills to tackle. Giving your team an assistant to juggle the minor tasks is the best way you can ensure they do just that.

Let HireSmart Help You Hire Smart

When the time comes to start onboarding a new support system for your accounting team, HireSmart Virtual Employees is here to help. Book your 30-min discovery call today to start the process of getting paired with your future HOA Accounting Assistant.

While any business can improve their bottom line by using Virtual Employees, we wanted to share with you our personal top 5 Industries that benefit by using Virtual Employees.

Hiring a Virtual Employee or Virtual Staff as we like to call it continues to be a growing trend, although the idea is relatively new to some business owners and professionals. The technology has advanced in such a way that it has become easier and more efficient to use remote staff than have an office full of employees

Businesses are now using cloud-based tools like Skype, Microsoft 365, Docusign, iCloud, and Dropbox, to name a few. This means that there are a lot of tasks that can be done remotely and incorporating a global workforce is the smartest way to go.

Companies leading the race in their respective industry have discovered the benefit of hiring a virtual staff. In a previous post, we talked about the huge cost savings our clients have found 1 year after incorporating Virtual Staff into their organization.

Here are some types of companies that can use the help of a Virtual Employee:

Real Estate Brokers, Agents & Property Managers
As a real estate professional, you can’t continue to do everything and the sooner you realize that you are not superhuman, the better. Considering the help of a Virtual Employee would benefit you in many ways. A Virtual Employee can aid you in filtering leads, setting and managing appointments, posting ads, handling email correspondence, provide general administration & customer service as well as make you look good in social media.

Law Firms
Law firms a notorious for handling a lot of paperwork. It doesn’t matter the type of law they focus on, they all have time-consuming tasks like research, legal transcription, calendar and email management, data entry and communication with clients. A Virtual Employee can take the responsibility of accomplishing these tasks to lessen the burden.

IT Firm
This industry was one of the earliest to discover the benefits of hiring Virtual Employees. From providing world-class quality website development to administrative support, technical and customer technical support and everything in between, technology companies have reaped the rewards of using Virtual Employees.

Accounting and Financial firms
Organizing records, data entry, accounts payables and receivables, calendar management & bank reconciliation are the some of the most daunting tasks for an accounting firm. The presence of a Virtual Employee with the appropriate skills will definitely help lessen the distress

Marketing Firms
In today’s digital age, companies that are looking to perform marketing services for clients can certainly use a Virtual Employee. Social media campaigns, Facebook ads, market research, blogging, finding images for quotes, article syndication, and design. All of these tasks are perfect for a Virtual Employee.

Honestly, any company that provide a service – janitorial, general contractors, architects, and many more can benefit from having Virtual Staff.

As an entrepreneur, the success of your business depends on your actions and decisions you take, use your expertise to grow your business, and get all the help you need for everything else. At HireSmartVirtualEmployees.com we help take the pain of finding those great employee and help train if you need it. Contact us today to determine how we can best help you.

Thinking about hiring, we wanted to give you our 7 steps to hiring quality staff.

The first step is to think about the tasks you need help with. Maybe you need help with social media, customer service, general administration, or possibly sales support. If you aren’t sure, it is very hard to find someone who can help. Start with the end in mind and think about the top 3 things that if could be done but not by you, it would help. Let that be the starting point if your job description.

Once you have the tasks that you need, think about the traits that the ideal person to do the job would need to have. For example, if you want someone to answer the phones for customers, then having a pleasant phone voice and ability to communicate well is necessary. If you are hiring for an accounting position, then ability to be an accurate data entry person would be a requirement. You want to match the position with the personality and skills to ensure a good match.

Now that you have the tasks and the type of person you need, it is important to start recruiting. This is where it can get very confusing and expensive. You can certainly post your position on free job sites, but a lot of time you get a ton of spammy emails and then must wade through the junk to hopefully find a diamond. One of the reasons our clients love our services, is we do all the front-end work for you saving you tons of time and headache. We believe it far better to post an ad on a paid site so that you have better results. Remember that when posting for a position – your headline is your hook for getting people to read the full description so take some time to come up with something interesting.

Now you should have candidates applying for the position. How are you going to decide which to interview and which to eliminate? Again, depending on the position type, you may want to have specific criteria as a pre-screener. For example, if you are hiring for a customer service person who will be handling support via email, you may want to ask for a writing sample. If they are applying for a phone position, have them leave a voice mail so you can hear them. Make the task simple to do and easy to follow, but will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to make a yes/no decision. For a more complex position, I embed instructions into the middle of the post like in your cover letter, tell me your favorite animal and why. If they fail to provide a cover letter- next. If they provide a generic cover letter – next. That will significantly narrow down the prospects to those who can read and follow instructions well.

Once you have a shortlist of resumes, you will set up the interview. Interviews can be done via skype, phone, or in-person depending on the role you are hiring for. Have a set of questions you ask all the candidates and use what I call a tournament ranking system. Assign each candidate a starting rank based on their resume and credentials. Then rank them after each interview from highest to lowest. This allows you to objectively evaluate each on without being emotionally bias. Whoever has the highest score is the person for the position.

Now that you have selected the candidate and made the offer, your work isn’t done. You must have an onboarding process. What tasks are you going to train them on first? The best way to do this is to use the job description that you started with and work on the most important tasks first. We highly recommend having a screen capture software like Camtasia so that you can easily create a library of tasks that everyone on your team can reference.

Finally, how are they going to be measured for effectiveness? Every person wants to know what is expected of them and how they can self-evaluate their progress. Make sure that you have weekly meetings and feedback sessions in the beginning. After 90 days, you can reduce that to monthly as long as you are getting the results you need.

If you are looking to hire full-time staff, consider using our service.  We provide top-notch, quality staff at a price that is easily affordable. Want to know more? Book a free consultation with us to learn more.

Ever wonder why some people have rock star virtual employees and others dump their employee after a couple of months?

With the advancement of fiber networks and technology has increased the popularity of virtual workers.  A global workforce can allow a small business to become a medium business without a significant upfront investment.  With virtual meetings on Skype, have someone halfway around the world answer your phone with VOIP and ability to exchange large files, the use of offshore virtual employees is growing exponentially.

The key to success for onboarding a virtual employee is similar to bringing on an employee.  If you are a good manager then you will have success. If you are not so good a manager then you will still have challenges, only heightened by the distance.

The key is planning.  Having the tasks defined, the schedule required and the training prepared in advance helps have your virtual employee become productive the fastest.

Make certain you allocate time early in the training process to familiarize your virtual employee with your business, who are your customers, what services or products that you provide, the geography of where you serve, how you make money, what your mission is, and your core values.  By teaching your virtual employee all of this, it will help them see into your business and understand the interrelationships of your business and become better problem solvers.

Especially when using a global workforce, they need to understand about American Culture & your business expectations as well as you need to understand theirs. Explaining how we act and think and providing them with a set of expectations or key performance indicators, allows for better understanding & communication. This is one task that HireSmarterVirtualEmployees.com assists client with to help ensure a greater success.

Plan the work that you expect your virtual employee will be doing. You will want to write up those tasks and explain how they fit onto the bigger picture of your business.  We recommend that you break them into categories based on a “to do” schedule of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly tasks.

Once you have the tasks, break them into urgency/priorities. For example, must do immediately like answer the phone, quickly like answer an email, soon like items that need to be done on the day scheduled and as soon as possible like items that can be pushed to the next day if higher priority items fill the day.  This way they can prioritize without you having to micro manage.

Next put together a calendar with when the repeating tasks need to occur. Answering the phone and responding to emails are no brainers as they are done as they occur.  But a research item or file update may be done at close of each week or close of each month.  Build a task list and then feed into the scheduling calendar for your work as well as for the virtual employee and label as such.

For each task develop a process, procedure, and training. Well run businesses have a written process for everything you need to get the job done. A virtual employee will test the strength of that process as they will follow the instructions provided. The better the detail and more complete the process, the better the result. If your virtual employee isn’t getting the results you want or need, look at the training.

These trainings are the key to delegation.  We recommend a combination of video & written documentation that your virtual employee can repeatedly use and then if there is a change of process – having them keep the procedures up to date.

HireSmarterVirtualEmployees.com uses video training extensively. Easy to produce and update, a library of the training is always available to the virtual employee with a subscription to the on-line web service.

Anytime you have a new team member, you need to provide a way to integrate them into your team. Onboarding a new virtual employee is a key step in the process. Here is a short video to explain how we recommend that you get started with your onboarding and training process.

We hope that you enjoy this video and we look forward to hearing about your success!

Meet my granddaughter Aria. She and I had a fun time this Christmas decorating gingerbread men. Sadly I didn’t get a full picture of her masterpiece as it is challenging just getting a picture together.

One of the amazing things about 2-year-olds is that they think their creations are masterpieces. They work very hard to get it the way they want it, and they see it exactly as they want to see it. From their perspective, it is perfect.

As an adult, we see the creations for what they are – a work in progress and a step toward learning motor skills and concepts. We know that the next year we will have better results because she has grown and improved her motor skills, improved her eye/hand coordination, and she is able to sit longer than the year before.

She will have learned from her experiences and be able to apply those experiences for an even better outcome as she grows older and becomes more experienced.

Now you may be asking yourself, what in the world does this have to do with Virtual Employees and hiring staff. You see there are a lot of virtual staffing companies out there to choose from. Many of them are a lot like Aria – not mature in the business, some have never even owned a business, some are like Aria, just starting out. They haven’t learned enough because they haven’t experienced enough of the issues and drama.

At HireSmart Virtual Employeees, we have the depth of experience not only in owning and running multiple businesses over 15+ years but having placed staff for hundreds of clients. We have learned from over 8000 applicants what will and won’t be successful in a wide variety of roles.  Our “gingerbread” VEs certainly aren’t perfect, we are always learning and growing, but we have a proven system with results to back it up.

Don’t take our word for it. Here are some of our clients who share their results and how their lives were improved because of having us as a staffing partner in their business.

Courtney shares this about her Virtual Employee:

“She has taken such a huge workload off Carly, and her day-to-day tasks that we can pass off in automation. We've given her stuff that I never even thought we would be able to give somebody that is in another country. We give it to her, and she does it perfectly, and with ease. She just does it.”

Kent talks about his:

“For us, it was a game-changer. We'd hit the point where I could not grow anymore because I have to sleep at some point and the business was getting that busy. But it wasn't big enough that I could really justify a full boot on the ground fully loaded employee cost at Atlanta rates. It just wasn't there. This was the solution. And Karla has been with me a little over two years. She is awesome. I hope she's with me another 15.”

Are you ready to find out if hiring a virtual employee is right for you? Let’s chat. Click and you can book a time to speak with me.

Sooner or later, your business is going to grow. When you start realizing this, you will also learn that there are some growing responsibilities involved. As this happens, you will be thinking about handing over some tasks to make room on your plate. Passing off tasks to virtual employees is a good move since it will allow you to focus on bigger picture strategies for your company.

If your business is at this stage, then you have reached an exciting time for your company! You are branching out. It may feel like uncharted territory and a bad time to hand the reins of responsibility over to someone else. There will come a time, however, when you will be sitting in an interview trying to make sure your first virtual employee (or tenth) is qualified to work for you.

No matter if you have hired VE's before, or this is your first time, here are 10 helpful questions you should always have ready for your interview to determine if the person is right for the job.

#1 – What do you consider your core skills and services?

This is an important question because it allows your VE to start talking about themselves. It’s here where you give them an opportunity to shine for you and pinpoint some of the key characteristics they can bring to your business.

#2 – How do you manage relationships with difficult clients?

No matter how you try to avoid it, a difficult client will always rear their ugly head. Your VE may be excellent in understanding different responsibilities and roles which are placed before them. It is also important, however, to know whether they can handle these difficult clients when they come their way.

Give them examples of past clients and the debacles you have personally been in and learn how they would approach the problem. While there are many correct ways to do this, pay attention to how they treat the client because this should always be your top priority.

#3 – Where do you see yourself within this company in 5 years?

Asking your virtual employee this question gives them an opportunity to see the future. This is a healthy way to invite them to dream about the open doors you have placed in front of them.

Loyalty is a key factor in any successful business and you want these key people around you while you grow. It’s an ownership of sorts. If your VEs see themselves running particular branches of your company in 5 years, then they own that idea and will run your company with your vision in mind. You can’t get any better than that.

#4 – Can you work the schedule I give you?

One of the many mistakes the first interview makes is not sharing a specific time frame within which you want your virtual employee to work. Determine which time zone your worker is in and, if you haven’t already, have a set time during which you desire them to work. Approach them with this question and learn their schedule and how you both can make it work.

#5 – Do you have a backup plan for your work?

It’s always important to understand your worker’s strategy. If your VE doesn’t have a backup plan for their work, how are they going to make a virtual meeting at 3 p.m. if their internet just went down?

Make sure you implement this immediately and make the worker know a backup plan is needed in case of different natural disasters or other circumstances which would take away the internet, phone, or any other medium, leaving them disconnected from work or clients.

#6 – Where are you most comfortable communicating?

Many people have different ways to communicate remotely. As a company, you probably need several modes of communication set in place to adhere to the different preferences throughout your business.

Learn what these preferences are. Make sure your VE can be contacted through various channels throughout the day, i.e., phone number, Skype, WhatsApp, etc. It’s imperative your VE has an open line to you and the other clients that they service under you so that they can be reached when they are needed.

#7 – Ask them about characteristics that you value in a VE

This is a question where you would fill in the blank. What are you really looking for in a VE? What do you want this person to be? Loyal? Workaholic? Social marketing savvy? Ask them specifically. It’s important to know how to find the people YOU want for this job.

#8 – How would you fix an internal problem with another VE or employee?

Here you will learn how well your prospect can problem solve within your business and if they are easy going, headstrong, stubborn, etc. The internal workings of your business are built on the foundations of people who can problem solve and know when to back down or speak up.

#9 – What do you know about our company?

Asking them this question will determine how much homework they have done on your business. The more they know about you, your core values, and how you conduct business, the better they understand your main goals.

#10 – Do you have any questions for me?

A very important question. This allows your VE to interview you in a way. It opens the door for new conversation and shows that you can be flexible to what they want of you. It’s important to get their questions answered in this interview because it isn’t a one-way street going your way. Both parties must conclude positively that this is the person and job they want to move forward with. It is important to the business that you are both comfortable with your arrangement.

In Conclusion

Hiring a VE doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re just getting started or you’ve been doing this a while, there are qualified workers out there who can do the jobs you have for them and do it all at a high level. These questions will help you weed out people and find the needle in the haystack.

Author Bio:

Wade Harman is a content writing wizard with an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology. He shares social media psychology and other marketing tips online related to cognitive trigger response. He loves to fish and read comic books for fun, to get the creative juices flowing.