Update 8/10/15 – Zirtual has paused operations as of August 2015 and will not be hiring new virtual assistants. It is not known at this time if it’s temporary or permanent. I will keep you updated if they re-open.
I’ve been doing some reading up on a new work at home opportunity I came across the other day. Zirtual may hire you to join their team as a virtual assistant if you meet all the requirements and successfully make it through their application process. The website is extremely well-designed, informative, and professional and the company has a strong social media presence. They also have a company blog that gets updated regularly. All of these things make me feel good about this company. I have additionally been doing some reading some over at Work Place Like Home (which is where I first learned about Zirtual), and from what I can tell, they are fairly selective when it comes to who they hire.
How It Works If you’re hired, you’ll be performing tasks for Zirtual’s clients. These tasks typically fall into three main categories which include research, reservations, and scheduling. Their clients are mostly busy professionals who are in need of more free time, and as a “zirtual” assistant, you can provide that for them. It appears to me that you are essentially kind of a cross between a virtual and personal assistant/concierge for the company’s clients.
Pay I always like to find information on pay when I can, but with this particular opportunity the amount is not listed on the website. I did find another website with a little bit of information listing pay at $15 per hour, but I cannot confirm this is accurate.
Required Skills Zirtual has a long list of required skills for potential assistants. They expect: Prompt responses to clients’ questions and requests Internet savvy Strong organizational skills Strong internet research skills Strong communication skills Strong problem solving skills A high-speed internet connection Solid phone access; landline or dependable cell phone Availability during working hours to respond to and engage with your clients Familiarity with standard assistant tools like Google docs, Gcal, Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, etc. Strong desire to help people and a positive attitude The company also advertises to their clients that all of the assistants are thoroughly screened and are college-educated, so I’m assuming that if you are not either a college graduate, currently in college, or at least have some college education, you may not be able to get on here. You can consider it an advantage if you have any prior office or assistant experience in your background, but that is not a prerequisite to getting hired if you have the right skills.
Equipment You need a computer, internet access, and a phone. Remember that some of the work you do will be scheduling appointments, reservations, booking flights, etc., so a phone line will probably be necessary for these reasons.
Scheduling I can’t find a lot of details on how scheduling works (or if there is a set schedule), but it appears that it is part-time, very flexible work. Zirtual advertises this position as being perfect for stay at home moms, college students, and really anyone who needs flexible work at home for whatever reason.
Location Zirtual hires people from the U.S. only at this time. People from all states appear to be welcome to apply.
The Application Process First off, you have to fill out the application on their site. They ask a lot of questions, including the standard basic information, how many hours you can work, and other things like “What motivates you?” and “Why should we hire you?” Sort of like what you might get asked in a face-to-face job interview. After you do this, you may get an email from the company inviting you to proceed to Phase One, which from what I can gather involves creating a short video of yourself, mainly just talking about yourself so they can get a sense of your personality, etc. Before you panic about this, let me just say that I do kind of understand even though I know many of you won’t like the idea of making a video. They can’t “meet” you in person, so this is their way of doing that virtually. When you apply for a brick and mortar job, you have to go for a job interview which allows your potential employers to meet you face to face. So this is really no different. If you make it through the first phase, the second phase is apparently a skills test of some sort and some sample tasks. Someone on Work Place Like Home mentioned having an interview via Skype as well, although I am not sure at what point in the hiring process this occurs. They also do a background check on you which involves checking you out on social media, so you might want to make sure you look as professional as possible on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or whatever other accounts you have. After going through all the steps of the application process, they should let you know something one way or another as to whether or not you’ve been hired. People who did not make it in report receiving a rejection notice, so it’s good they don’t leave you hanging. I do feel I should mention that at least two people in the comments below were given awesome feedback from their interviewers on their sample tasks they were asked to do and thought they more or less had the job after also completing the video interview — only to receive a rejection notice a week or so later. And not only a rejection notice, but an auto-reply rejection notice that isn’t even that personal. So don’t get too hopeful until you definitely know one way or another if you can begin working or not.
Getting Started If the idea of working from home as a zirtual assistant intrigues you, just visit this page to check for openings. They may or may not be currently hiring. Good luck, and please please do come back and share your progress/experience here so it will help out others. Thanks!