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Virtual Peanuts

 I was reading a well put together ad looking for a virtual assistant this morning.  The individual searching for a VA had taken the time to really think about what they were looking for, how much time they felt they’d need per month and the type of person they felt they were looking for. 
They listed the tasks they were in need of help with;
  • Internet Research
  • Directory Submitting
  • Product Reviews
  • Proof Reading
  • Article Writing
  • Voice Transcription
  • Forum Posting
  • Website Project Management
  • Posting Job Listings
  • Product Reviews
  • Link Building
  • Setting Up Accounts
  • Data Entry
  • Document Creation
  • Letter Writing
  • and so much more!!
They were equally as detailed concerning their requirements for the candidate:
  • No new & inexperienced VA’s
  • You must be able to type in perfect English.
  • You must live in the United States time zones.
  • You must be computer and Internet savvy.
  • You must have daily access to a high speed Internet connection.
  • You must be able to think and work independently with little or no supervision.
  • You must be reliable and trustworthy.
  • You must be able to talk on-line via an instant messenger.
  • You must supply daily reports of everything you did.
  • You must supply a full report of all the work you did by the end of each project.
  • Work must be able to be verified.
  • Tasks must be completed within the time frame allotted.
Ok, pretty detailed, but there was more, the candidate must possess:
  • Excellent English and Grammar Skills
  • Knowledge of Excel, Word, Access, Internet, Internet Explorer and Google.
  • Excellent Communication Skills.
  • Excellent Customer Service Skills.
  • Good problem solving skills.
  • Good organizational skills.
  • Good time management skills.
  • Strong computer and Internet research skills.
This person was obviously looking for a professional virtual assistant.  There was no doubt in my mind after reading the extensive list of duties and requirements.  No one but a highly skilled, professional would meet those exacting criteria.  But then I read the next line:
  • The hourly rate I am looking at is between $3.00 and $5.00 per hour.
My first thought?  Good luck honey!  This person just took all of that time to explain in detail that they were clearly looking for expertise.  And then they offer to pay peanuts?  Go find a monkey, because no truly skilled virtual assistant is going to give away their expert services like that.  Would you offer that kind of pay to an executive secretary in the non-virtual realm?  They’d laugh at you in the interview wouldn’t they? Or be so insulted that they walked out.  So why does someone who is obviously a professional business person feel they can offer that to a virtual assistant? 
I doubt this person is going to find what they are looking for at that rate.  Oh, they will probably find someone, but their list will be far from fulfilled and they will end up having a bad experience with using a VA.   So take a word of advice from an experienced, professional virtual assistant, if you want quality assistance, be willing to pay for it.

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4 Comments

  1. Donna Caissie on March 13, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Pretty discouraging isn’t it. Reminds me of the days when SCORE executives told aspiring VAs that they wouldn’t pay someone to do admin work because they could get their former “brick and mortar” admins to do it for a cheap bottle of wine.

    Although we’ve (admins) come a long way, the work we do is still undervalued by those who don’t do it or understand the concept of “hey, I’ve got bills to pay too”.

    =>Donna Caissie, Virtual Assistant
    ExtraOrdinary Assistance



  2. Donna Caissie on March 13, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Pretty discouraging isn’t it. Reminds me of the days when SCORE executives told aspiring VAs that they wouldn’t pay someone to do admin work because they could get their former “brick and mortar” admins to do it for a cheap bottle of wine.

    Although we’ve (admins) come a long way, the work we do is still undervalued by those who don’t do it or understand the concept of “hey, I’ve got bills to pay too”.

    =>Donna Caissie, Virtual Assistant
    ExtraOrdinary Assistance



  3. Lisa Laber, Virtual Assistant on March 14, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Thank you, thank you!

    I read the same ad and was equally offended. I’ve seen this type of ad before, but every time I read one I’m just as surprised as the first time. I still can’t imagine where the idea comes from – that someone could get away with paying anyone (in the US) $3-$5 an hour for, well, anything.



  4. Lisa Laber, Virtual Assistant on March 14, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Thank you, thank you!

    I read the same ad and was equally offended. I’ve seen this type of ad before, but every time I read one I’m just as surprised as the first time. I still can’t imagine where the idea comes from – that someone could get away with paying anyone (in the US) $3-$5 an hour for, well, anything.



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