It doesn’t matter whether you’re an in-house or virtual employee, you want to feel appreciated, you want to feel necessary.  

It’s a bit easier to accomplish with an in-house employee. 

 Casual comments like “You know I really appreciate the effort you put into that report,” or “I couldn’t have closed that deal without your help,” will pretty much get the job done. 

 It’s a little tougher with remote employees, but don’t worry – HireSmart is here with some excellent advice you can use for your business.  

 If your virtual employees don’t feel necessary or valued, they’re probably feeling isolated and disconnected. 

 That eventually leads to decreased productivity and job satisfaction. 

 So, as a manager or team leader, it’s important to make your virtual employees feel necessary and valued. Here are some tips from HireSmart to help you achieve that. 

 Connect your virtual employees to your mission, vision, and values 

 One of the most important things is clearly communicating why your virtual employees are important to your business.  

 They need to know that without them involved and playing their part, the team will struggle.  

 As business expert and author Simon Sinek puts it, "When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute." 

 Part of this is to make sure your virtual employees understand how their work fits into the bigger picture. 

Regular check-ins and feedback sessions are tools you can use to help virtual staff stay on track and feel more connected to the team. 


Recognize their contributions 

 This can be as simple as sending a quick email or message thanking them for their work, or highlighting their achievements during team meetings.  


Acknowledging your virtual employees' efforts and accomplishments helps them create a positive connection to their individual work and also to the business in general.  

While an email’s a little more formal than stopping by an employee’s desk for a quick chat, or while grabbing a cup of coffee, it can still be casual and somewhat frequent. 

This is such a fundamental and powerful management tool – you’d be surprised how many managers and owners fail to take advantage of it. 


Encourage cross-pollination through collaboration 

 Collaboration is essential for any team and it’s particularly important for virtual employees who may feel disconnected from the rest of the team at times.  

 Encouraging collaboration and teamwork makes your virtual employees feel like they are part of something bigger. 

 Regular team calls or brainstorming sessions are good opportunities for this, or using communication tools like Trello or Slack to keep everyone in the loop.  

 Let your employees learn from each other and develop authentic working relationships.  


"Remote workers often feel disconnected from the team and struggle to build relationships. It's important to create opportunities for social interaction and team building." - John Rampton, "How to Keep Remote Employees Engaged and Productive" 


Provide opportunities for growth 

 Make your virtual employees feel like they’re advancing in their careers and contributing in meaningful ways. 

 You can offer training sessions, mentorship programs, and anything that creates new challenges and responsibilities.  

 This shows your virtual staff that you’re investing in them and in their future.  

 Occasionally a HireSmart client will ask “Do I really need to put in this extra effort?” 


And our answer is always a resounding “Yes!” 

We don’t consider it extra effort – it’s just good management. 

 When it comes to hiring excellent virtual employees who will stick around long-term, we’ve got you covered.  

Let us help your business succeed with our valuable tried and true management strategies. 


Click here for a free consultation. 

Finding the right Virtual Employee to fit your business probably seems daunting.

At HireSmart, we walk our clients through the process daily, so we know lots of tips and tricks that work great.

It’s not really that complicated and mostly it’s the same things that make an in-person employee a successful hire.

Here are a few items we think are most essential to hiring the right virtual employee to meet your specific business needs.

Define the role and responsibilities clearly.

The first step in finding the right virtual employee is to define the role and responsibilities clearly.

This helps you identify skills and experience necessary for the job.

As Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer, a social media management tool, explains –

"Before you hire anyone, it's critical to be clear about what you're looking for. This starts with defining the role and responsibilities in detail. Without this, you can't effectively evaluate candidates."

By defining roles and responsibilities clearly, you make sure you’re considering appropriate candidates that understand what’s expected of them.

Look for the right skills and experience.

 Once you’ve defined the role and responsibilities, it’s time to look for the right skills and experience.

Shane Pearlman, CEO of Modern Tribe, a digital agency, says –

"When hiring remote employees, you want to make sure you're hiring people who can handle the job. This means looking for people who have the right skills and experience to get the job done."

When reviewing candidates, make sure to focus on their relevant skills and experience.

Once that’s established, HireSmart will help you identify candidates who have the required background to succeed in the role.

Assess communication skills.

One of the most important skills for a virtual employee is communication.

You need to hire people who can effectively communicate, especially when they're not in the same room as you.

When evaluating candidates, make sure to assess their communication skills.

Look for candidates who are responsive, clear, and concise in their communication.

This will help ensure that your Virtual Employee is able to collaborate effectively with your team and your customers. This is something that we have dialed in.

Our clients’ selected virtual employee gets a 1-week mentoring and certification from me. My guarantee is if I would hire that candidate for my business, they aren’t going to waste my clients' time. This is part of the HireSmart difference.

Consider cultural fit.

Cultural fit is another important factor to consider when hiring a virtual employee.

As Joel Gascoigne explains –

"Culture fit is crucial when it comes to remote work. You need to make sure that your remote employees share your company's values and work style."

Look for candidates who align with your company culture and can work well with your team.

Each selected candidate that HireSmart presents to our clients is skilled, but there will always be one or two who understand your business, your values, and maybe even your sense of humor.

Those will be the best candidates for your business.

Conduct a trial period.

 Finally, it’s important to conduct a trial period before making a long-term commitment to a virtual employee.

Part of the HireSmart process is a 1-week certification. We work with our clients chosen candidates to do 3 things:

  1. Mentor them in their communication
  2. Assess their skills and make sure they can learn new tasks quickly
  3. Apply the knowledge that they learn

This process has allowed us to have a very high standard and a 97.3% success rate for placements.

We want to give you every opportunity to hire a Virtual Employee who stays with you for the long term.

If you’re ready to take advantage of our tried and true process for hiring a virtual employee who is an excellent fit for your business, click here for a free consultation.

I think you already know that virtual employees are here to stay.

One main reason is that virtual employees have highly valuable benefits and skills, with a much lower pay scale than the US labor market.

At HireSmart, we’ve been a part of growing virtual employment for a long time, and we stay amazed by the combination of significant savings and quality employees.

While everyone understands the savings part, we like to point out the additional benefits virtual employees offer.

Increased productivity is a significant advantage that virtual employees bring to your business.

Partly that’s from the flexibility and autonomy of remote work.

As Deanna deBara writes in her article for Zapier –

"Virtual Employees are often able to work more productively and effectively without the distractions and interruptions of the traditional office environment."

This autonomy can lead to more focused and efficient work, as well as a better work-life balance for your employees.

Another advantage of virtual employees is their ability to bring diverse perspectives and skills to the table.

 A recent article in Forbes explains that –

"Virtual Employees bring a wealth of cultural and linguistic diversity, which in turn enriches the company culture and contributes to better problem-solving."

Because they are spread out across different locations and time zones, virtual employees bring different perspectives and ways of thinking.

This helps them approach challenges in new and innovative ways, leading to added value for your business.

Virtual Employees also typically have strong communication and collaboration skills.

Because they can’t rely on in-person communication, they need to build skills allowing them to interact virtually.

This means expertise with video conferencing, clear and direct email writing and instant messaging, to stay connected and engaged with their colleagues and your customers.

Finally, Virtual Employees tend to be highly motivated and engaged.

At HireSmart, we specifically look for employees who are self-motivated and self-starting, which makes them productive and effective.

Because they work remotely, virtual employees must be highly disciplined and self-motivated, which translates into greater job satisfaction and engagement.

Virtual Employees bring a range of valuable skills and attributes to your business.

From productivity and autonomy to diverse perspectives and strong communication skills, virtual employees are an asset to your team.

As Kristi DePaul writes in her article for Forbes, "It's time to stop thinking about virtual employees as second-class citizens and instead recognize the unique value they bring to the table."

By embracing the strengths of virtual employees, you can build a stronger, more diverse, and more productive team better equipped for success in the modern workplace.

If you’re ready to dive into the wonderful world of virtual employees for your business, click here for a free consultation.


As demand grows for remote employees, it's important for businesses to partner with the right employment agency.

Finding the best available virtual employee takes time, energy, and resources that you’d probably rather spend on other things.

Using the right employment agency can really make all the difference.

Working with a reputable employment agency like HireSmart means letting go of the stress and pressure that a new hire can cause.

We streamline the process, so you get the strongest candidates for your business.

Here are three ways employment agencies add value to your business.


Expertise and Resources

Working with an employment agency means access to dependable, well-trained, skilled candidates.

It also means you have specialists with expertise in evaluating and matching candidates with your specific needs.

According to an article by Forbes –

"Employment agencies have a wealth of experience when it comes to finding the right people for the right job. They know where to look for the best candidates and how to evaluate their skills and experience to ensure a good fit."

That absolutely describes our own process here at HireSmart.



Have you ever been looking for a new employee and only one reasonable candidate shows up?

That’s the opposite of flexibility – trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and don’t want to do it ever again.

Using an employment agency means having options instead of being stuck with whatever resumes Lady Luck blows into your email inbox.

At HireSmart, we always have multiple high-quality, prescreened candidates, so you can make the right choice for your business.

Another part of flexibility is being able to increase your staff quickly.

As Business News Daily says –

"Working with an employment agency can provide you with access to a pool of candidates who are already screened and qualified. This can help you to scale up or down quickly as needed."


Increased Retention Rates

Working with the right employment agency increases retention rates by matching candidates with your business needs and culture.

This is related to having multiple candidates to choose from.

While there are often many virtual employees who have the skills and training to meet your job description, there are certain personalities and styles that will better complement you and your team.

Don’t just take my word for it (I’m obviously biased).

In a recent blog post, Glassdoor wrote:

“Employment agencies can help to increase retention rates by finding candidates who are a good fit for your company culture and values."

Choosing the right employment agency is essential for businesses looking to hire virtual employees.

You’ll benefit from their expertise, resources, and ability to streamline the hiring process.

As you begin searching for your new virtual employee, keep in mind that not all agencies are created equal.

Be sure to do your research and choose an agency that has a proven track record of success in finding the right candidates for their clients.

At HireSmart, we’ve been helping businesses find qualified, dependable, highly skilled virtual employees for over 8 years now.

If you’re ready to access all the benefits of working with a top-shelf employment agency, click here for a free consultation.

Let’s start off with some quotes about the benefits of taking advantage of opportunities (and the dangers of missing them).

“Necessity is the mother of invention” – Plato

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” – Churchill

"Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them." –Andy Grove, former Intel CEO

Like it or not, we’re in a labor market shortage, if not a downright crisis.

Wages are rising significantly and finding quality employees is increasingly more difficult.

So, let’s explore how to turn this crisis into an opportunity that improves your company through necessary innovation.

Entrepreneur Magazine proposes five strategies for managing obstacles and crises successfully.

  1. Keep a cool head. Yes, absolutely keep your head cool. Getting overly stressed out, losing sleep, barking orders is no solution to the labor shortage. Take a few deep breaths, get some distance from your emotions and put yourself in problem solving mode.
  2. Think Differently. This is where invention and innovation come in. The type of thinking that created the labor shortage – rapid economic growth mixed with Covid and inflation – won’t be the same type of thinking to solve the problem. For instance, you can ask yourself – “Where should I look for employees where I wasn’t looking before?” This is a potentially very productive question.
  3. Ignore The Rules. This is probably my favorite suggestion. There really are no rules, only consequences. In our modern fast paced business world, by the time rules are established they are likely out of date. The rules say that in order to attract high quality, dependable, skilled employees, you need to pay competitive wages, offer significant benefits and use expensive headhunters and placement agencies. Trust me, with HireSmart Virtual Employees, there’s another way.
  4. Anticipate. This is like weighing the odds. What happens if I try a new plan, a new approach and it doesn’t work the way I thought it would? Essentially, what’s the worst-case scenario and is the upside worth the risk? Knowing that you have a plan to address a negative outcome will help you move forward with confidence.
  5. Love Your Fate. Maybe this sounds a little strange to you, especially if things are going in the wrong direction. But this is a reminder to be persistent. Like the above quote says – great companies are improved by crisis. When you hit a wall and don’t know how to move forward, you start to look around for help. When you stay curious, invested, open-minded, you very often find the help you need in places where you would never have looked in calmer times.

At HireSmart we’re always prepared to help you in times of crisis.

We offer diversification for your labor force portfolio.

Just because labor costs are high in the US and great workers are hard to find, that’s not necessarily true in the global labor market.

By using virtual employees as an innovative solution to the current labor crisis, HireSmart will improve your company.

Once we help you manage this crisis successfully, you'll be perfectly positioned to reap the rewards when the labor market stabilizes again.

Because in good times and in tough times, HireSmart Virtual Employees brings profit to your bottom line by substantially reducing your labor costs. Click here for a free consultation.

There was a time, before globalization, before NAFTA, when buying a car made in the US was, let’s say, highly encouraged.

I knew mechanics who literally refused to work on foreign cars because they were seen as supporting a foreign country, instead of our own economy.

It made sense back then, before everything became so interdependent, multinational, with your carburetor made in one country, the engine block in another, upholstery from somewhere else and the whole thing put together in yet a different country.

All the large companies several decades ago realized that with advances in transportation, in shipping, in logistics and communication, that manufacturing can happen in many places around the world.

That same type of revolution is happening in the small business world today.

Especially since the pandemic has normalized remote work, the concept of maintaining a local workforce has become almost quaint.

I was meeting with a potential client, and my Executive Sales Assistant was there to support me. The potential client was amazed at her poise, her knowledge, and her ability to add value to the conversation.

The large corporations have led the way towards a globalized workforce.

It’s time for your business to capitalize on this development using virtual employees to increase profitability by reducing labor costs.

The challenge is finding high quality employees in foreign labor markets is even more challenging than using employment boards here in the US. You have to wade through so many rejects just to find the diamond. Add to that, the logistics on paying them, doing business properly in that country, and getting them paid properly without overpaying.

HireSmart exists for that specific purpose.

We’ve been in business going on 8 years matching companies with highly skilled, trained and dedicated virtual employees.

We’ve done the groundwork, made the international connections, built a great reputation to attract top talent, established training programs, developed assessments and language testing programs to make virtual employees a reality for you.

Technology has done the rest.

We’re ready to help you modernize your approach to building your workforce. Click here for a free consultation.

The dreaded tax season is upon us once again. As with any business, management companies need to ensure their tax filings are in order. The 2023 deadline to file is April 18th, so there are still a few months to manage your management company’s tax return prep. Here are a few things to remember:

Sort Out Your Timeline

Every year, businesses (and individuals alike, honestly) struggle to submit their tax returns on time. It’s a daunting, cumbersome task, and time can get away from all of us when important deadlines loom overhead.

Knowing application deadlines for all your various forms is an excellent step in tax preparation. Because the 2022 Tax Season officially began on January 23, 2023, businesses can now submit completed tax returns, but not all are prepared to do that.

If you’re not ready, the best first step in your management company’s tax preparation should be to apply for an extension as soon as possible. Businesses can use this extension to file taxes for the company beyond the original deadline of April 18, 2023. Getting in as quickly as possible means one less task on your checklist to worry you’ll forget about.

Once you sort that out, you can build the rest of your calendar. Remember to include the following dates at a minimum:

Get All Necessary Documents in Order

Management company tax documentation can be complicated because your business works with many other businesses. Keeping track of all of those files is, fortunately, less of a hassle in this digital age we’re in, but still not an easy task.

You’ll likely need to go through multiple technology platforms to get the paperwork the IRS requires and find a convenient way to allocate it all in one place. While time-consuming, it isn’t impossible, and hopefully, digital copies mean fewer chances of misplaced receipts or coffee-stained invoices.

A good approach to this hurdle is to start by segmenting the types of documents and paperwork you’ll need to get together to file correctly. Here are a few to add to your list, but remember to check with an accountant for any forms we may have missed:

Your Business Documents

Vendor Documents

The list of documents you need to prepare for vendors can get lengthy depending on the kind of vendors you utilize and how much you’ve paid them. This list can include, but is not limited to:

Overwhelmed? Let Your VE Do It All Instead

What this whole list really amounts to is a lot of paperwork. Paperwork to file, paperwork to send out, paperwork to take in – it’s a lot. And it’s something your HireSmart Virtual Employee can easily handle on your behalf.

Now to be clear, a traditional Virtual Assistant shouldn’t be used to replace an accountant. This is important stuff, and the actual filing and final accuracy checks should all be done in-house by trained staff or an accountant. But having your Virtual Employee (VE) aggregate all of your documents, set your schedules, assist with tedious tasks, and essentially manage your time can make your 2022 Tax Season run much more smoothly.

Tackle Tax Season with a HireSmart Virtual Employee

When you’re ready to take care of your business tax return, a HireSmart Virtual Employee is just a click away. Contact us today for your free 30-minute consultation to see if a VE is the right choice for you.

Virtual employees add diversity of experience and perspective to your team.

Many business owners hire consultants, coaches, advisors to help them see things in a different way, to get a different perspective from a trusted source.

It’s especially common in real estate and commission sales-type businesses where outreach and messaging are critical to success.

There is value in bringing in not only an extra pair of eyes but an objective outsider point of view that isn’t bogged down by too many details.

The outsider holds a valuable perspective simply by being an outsider.

When you’re so caught up in your business, knowing all the problems, all the details – you might be missing the forest for the trees.

Consultants and coaches and advisors are usually pretty expensive – especially the ones with good reputations.

So, you might not be ready to pay for that kind of outside analysis and support.

There’s another way to get a fresh take on your business from people who are already on your payroll and care about your success.

Yes, I’m talking about your employees and in this case specifically HireSmart Virtual Employees.

Virtual employees have an outsider perspective that can be valuable if they’re encouraged to express their ideas and insights.

They’re an excellent way to diversify your team.

Diversity is a term that gets thrown around a lot.

Where I’m coming from, it’s not about showing that you have a diverse staff, so people think you have enlightened business ethics.

Diversity is valuable in business because fresh ideas, new ways of understanding, and creative approaches are born from being able to see things in different ways.

When your staff is diverse, you can benefit from a diversity of experience, cultural values, styles of education – even different ways of thinking.

HireSmart Virtual Employees are known for their high quality and low labor cost value.

They also have value because they bring their own unique cultural approach to business, work and life.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of highly skilled, dependable and motivated virtual employees who can also see your business from a fresh perspective, click here for a free consultation.

There was no actual ballroom, but there was music, dancing, and fun.

Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” rocked through computer speakers, and Anne and Mark Lackey played host to all those arriving to the HireSmart Virtual Employees’ 2022 Christmas party as a couple might welcome family at the door. Anne showed off some moves. Her employees joined along. It was time to celebrate. It was time for Christmas, for gifts, for some love to be expressed.

The party stretched across time zones — 7 a.m. on the East Coast in the U.S., 8 p.m. in the Philippines, 11 p.m. in Australia. This was an international event for an international company.

HireSmart partied across the world on that day in early December, but it also works globally across the calendar, connecting virtual employees (VEs) in the Philippines to clients in the U.S. who need an assortment of tasks handled. HireSmart partners with a local Philippine company for compliance and we have teams in the Philippines and Australia.

This collaboration means that over 400 virtual employees (VEs) perform a variety of office tasks for clients across the U.S., but the Christmas party in the virtual ballroom was not a time for more work. It was a time for fun, as well as a time for two words to be completely understood: “Thank you!” Those words were repeated frequently by Anne and Mark to the VEs at the party.


The festivities kicked off with a “Stump-the-Boss” contest, with VEs given a question they answered collectively through a poll, such as: “Do you prefer to open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?” The Co-Founders competed to guess the right answer. Anne said “Christmas Eve.” Neil said in the morning. Seventy-nine percent of the employees said “Christmas Eve.” Anne pulled out the close victory after several questions.

The Zoom party then got a little more personal as over 400 employees were put into smaller virtual chat rooms for about 15 minutes to meet each other and talk about their commonalities and interests. For instance, in one room, Dianna shared that she is a prolific reader, enjoying the escapism of romance novels in her spare time. Estella likes to cook Italian food and has two sons, 8 and 3, and enjoys playing with them. Dane said he likes to ride his motorcycle when he gets free time. The group smiled and waved goodbye to each other as the party resumed in the big room for the “big show.”

Entertainer Keelan Leyser then took over, calling individual VEs up on “stage” as he dazzled the audience with often logic-defying tricks, both with cards and without. “Stump the Boss” was the first game of the party, but Leyser “stumped the audience” with his ability to provide predetermined correct answers to seemingly impossible narrative journeys with the audience members.

“We wanted to get you something that was a little different and a little exciting,” Anne said to the employees, whose faces expressed disbelief with Leyser’s tricks.


Anne then took “the stage” to talk to the large room of employees. She spoke of her own health issue this past year, which is in her rearview mirror, but the health matter took her out of her routines for some time in 2022.

“I share this not because I want a pity party or anything, but because I know a lot of you are going through difficult times yourself,” she told her employees. “And you feel like you’re alone or there are challenges, and sometimes life is hard. Let’s just call it what it is. But we do what we do. We persevere. We go through these challenging times and out of that bears a new perspective.”

Anne said her experience helped her understand the value of what HireSmart offers.

“My team was super supportive, and they stepped up in a time when I really needed them,” she said. “And for a lot of you guys, your client needs support, too. So be there for them. And then, we will be there for you.”


 Anne shared some of the successes of HireSmart over the past year, including the company’s rapid growth. The number of VEs serving clients continues to skyrocket, with the staff growing by 40.5 percent over the past 12 months.

“So that’s our goal for next year,” she said. “We have 42 percent more new clients this year, which means we’re able to help more U.S. companies, which gives us more opportunities to get more VEs working because that’s our mission.”

Anne talked about the growth of the company, but she wants to see the VEs grow professionally, too.

“We provide careers,” she said. “This isn’t just a job. We hope it’s something you want to see in your professional development and that you are meeting your life objectives as well.”


Along those lines, Anne announced the establishment of a company “Smart Leadership Program,” a six-week intensive led by Anne to help five-or-six employees take another step in boosting their careers with lessons on leadership. She emphasized the classes, which will begin in late February, are totally optional and there’s no pressure to join.

“If you’re like, man, I really want to take my career up to the next level, I’m willing to invest my time to help you,” said Anne. “I’m looking at about five-or-six people in a very intimate setting.”

Participants will commit to one hour a week in a virtual class setting, with an additional hour a week of homework.

“At the end of that you’ll get a certification,” she said. “I will also have a conversation with your client that you have passed this and maybe this will lead to better bonuses or enhancements.”


While career development is a major emphasis, Anne and Mark Lackey aren’t just interested in helping their employees. They want to help the children of HireSmart employees, too. The couple then announced that they will award scholarships in 2023 to advance the education of 20 children of HireSmart employees in the Philippines.

The Lackeys planned to kick off that campaign last year, but Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines in 2021 and a number of HireSmart families needed help. So, the scholarship money for 2022 was redirected toward typhoon relief for 31 HireSmart families.

“We directed that support to those victims to help them relocate and have power and food,” said Anne. “So that kind of wiped out the funds we had for the scholarship program. We felt that was the biggest need.”

But the scholarship program is back for 2023, and 20 children will receive a year-long education scholarship. Employees with children were encouraged to apply.

“Imagine the impact we’ll have helping your children get the best education possible,” said Anne. “We know that by helping our young people we’ll have a lasting impact on our communities, in our cities, our countries, and ultimately what we’re looking to is to change the world.”

The scholarship program comes under the broader umbrella of HireSmart Cares, a non-profit established by Anne and Mark Lackey to serve a variety of needs of children in the U.S. and abroad.


Of course, what’s an office holiday party without awards, without acknowledgment from the bosses on a job well done? The Lackeys saved those moments for the end, presenting several employees with special honors for their stellar work with U.S. clients in 2022.

Anne said those honored are “the rock stars” of the HireSmart crew.

The award for top VE of 2022 went to Regine, a “rock star who hits all the marks,” Anne said.

Regine’s business client was also effusive in praising her, saying she goes “above and beyond, is amazing and so reliable.”

“She can assist with anything,” the client said. “She is truly a team player. Goes above and beyond every day in assisting her co-workers and clients and provides great detail and information precisely. I receive compliments from those who have spoken to her. She is able to deal with all different personality types. She’s well-rounded and a pleasure to have with us.”

HireSmart received 136 nominations for “Top Overall VE,” meaning that 30 percent of the HireSmart workforce was deemed worthy of the top honor by their clients.

The award for the “top newbie” VE — someone who has been employed for less than six months — went to John C., who returned to HireSmart in 2022 after previously working for the company for two years.

“He impressed us so much after three months of working with us we asked him to step into a more difficult role,” his business client wrote. “I’m grateful for the energy and dedication. We hit the jackpot!”

The Top VEs were both awarded new laptop computers for their performance in 2022. Regine’s emotion was obvious as she received the good news. She seemed choked up with joy as she was shown on the party screen.

HireSmart also presented its “Core Value” awards for employees representing the company’s values in their work with business clients. Jovilyn took the “Core Value” award for “availability” for always being there for her client, who said she is “a key employee to making the business run smoothly and efficiently.”

Laiza won the “Core Value” award for “service,” with her client saying she has made life much easier for the company with her hard work.

“She’s given me back at least 20 hours per week by taking responsibility over the proposal creation process, preparing management reports, managing our project management and billing systems, and tracking the team’s WIP,” the client said.

Judy Ann won the “Core Value” award for “relationship,” with her client saying, “She anticipates my needs, is so attentive to detail — she cares about her results, and she cares about the team. She constantly tells me, I’ve got you. And she does! Even though she’s in the Philippines, it feels like she’s right here all the time, and that’s a difficult thing to accomplish.”

The “Core Value” award winners all received a power station for their work in 2022.

HireSmart also recognized BJ with the “Ambassador Award” for bringing more VEs into the business, which earned her a cash bonus.

The “Best Small Team” award went to the VEs serving Sundance, with 19 of their employees recommending their HireSmart VEs for special recognition.

The virtual employees working for One Focus were recognized with the “Best Large Team” award. The team award winners received a cash bonus for their work in 2022.

The global party wrapped up after awards were announced, and the crew said their goodbyes with Pharrell Williams singing “Happy” in the background — another HireSmart year on the horizon.

Disaster preparedness is a crucial component of success for all businesses, including community associations and their management companies. From mundane scenarios like planned water shut offs or unexpected loss of power to natural disasters like coastal hurricanes and midwestern earthquakes, it’s important to plan ahead.

But that planning and the interim preparation that should come with it (consistent training and plan updates) can be a huge time commitment – for your boards and your managers. Finding the time to schedule plan reviews, training modules, and document maintenance is tedious. Virtual Employees (VEs) can be a big help to you before, during, and after disasters.

An Extra Set of Hands

A Virtual Employee (VE), or virtual assistant is a great asset when it comes to organization and maintenance. So, it makes sense that for a long-term project like a business continuity plan, a virtual employee is an ideal solution. VEs can help with planning by:

Skip the Scheduling Nightmares

You know how your board members can be – many are in their golden years, galivanting off on trip after trip. Sure, they get together occasionally for the required board meetings, but even those can be held remotely now. Scheduling between multiple concurrent vacations can be dicey, and when your team is spread across the country (or worldwide!), it can be challenging to find time for extra meetings.

Still, maintaining a disaster plan is an important step for the company's overall safety. A VE can create a schedule that outlines when each community’s disaster plan will be reviewed and updated and ensure that all board members are made aware of the schedule once it’s finalized. That way, your boards can either plan ahead and schedule travel time around those meetings or work with the VE to negotiate a new meeting time.

Maintain Your Documents

Having a plan is important, but so is maintaining that plan safely and consistently. A VE can attend each of the scheduled review meetings that the plan to help facilitate any changes that need to be made and streamline the document maintenance process.

They can also be tasked with ensuring the documentation is accessible by all necessary parties – that’s not just board members. Any sort of information that residents might need can easily be generated by a VE:

Ensuring that someone has eyes on this information and is diligently keeping it as updated as possible is the best way to guarantee accurate information and assistance is available when an emergency occurs.

Minimize Recovery Time

Virtual Employees or virtual assistants are often very efficient at helping you plan ahead so that any disruption to your business as a result of a natural disaster will be minimal.

This starts in the planning and preparation phase. Not only can a VE maintain business continuity documents, but they can also help create some of them. For example, a VE can create checklists of assigned duties that each board member needs to handle in the event of certain emergencies.

This can be as simple as making phone calls to residents reminding them of scheduled maintenance that could impact their electricity or water, or as complex as coordinating with local energy providers due to dangerous downed power lines. Whatever the task lists look like, knowing which person is responsible for what tasks will be critical in keeping the community calm and progress moving when a disaster happens.

Also, because they are remote employees, VEs likely won’t be impacted by localized crises like natural disasters, making them ideal to assist in ways those in the thick of it cannot. When a community is forced to evacuate due to flash floods, a VE can be available and ready to field phone calls and emails from scared residents, removing that burden from equally frightened board members.

Let a VE Simplify Your Disaster Preparedness

Being prepared for a disaster is vital to any business. It's also something that can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially if you're just starting out on a board and have never had to deal with emergencies before.

But VEs aren’t just great for your board members’ disaster prep planning – a VE can help management companies in the same ways. That's why we suggest using virtual employees for ALL your disaster preparedness plans, whether they’re for your communities or for your management company.

A virtual employee is there to keep everything running smoothly during an emergency event – for everyone. Click here to schedule your 30-minute consultation today to learn more about how a HireSmart Virtual Employee can streamline your next disaster prep meeting.


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