Virtual Assistant, Inc.
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  • Checks and Balances

    Do You Need Some Assurance?

    Do You Need Some Assurance? As discussed on the Our Process page, Virtual Assistant Inc places a great deal of importance in the competency and personal accountability of our virtual assistants. Although we have one of the most stringent pre-employment screening processes, competency and personal accountability is difficult to verify without an effective system of checks and balances in place. This is not about a lack of trust in our VAs, it's about assuring the high standard of job performance.

    Extensive Pre-Screening

    Extensive Pre-Screening

    Our extensive pre-hire screening process includes pre-hire training, personal interviews, and background checks that include verification of educational achievements and references. Even with all of these safeguards, it may still be possible for a less-than-ideal individual to "slip through the cracks". At Virtual Assistant Inc, our constant management oversight coupled with the use of highly sophisticated and efficient computer monitoring/reporting software helps us to identify potential personnel issues long before they impact your business.

    Monitoring Software

    What Has Happened in the Past Without Monitoring Software?

    One of the reasons we use this tool is because numerous studies and company surveys have revealed how extensive the problems of lost productivity and theft of intellectual property is. Some examples:

    • A 2005 joint survey conducted by AOL and Salary.com revealed that employers waste nearly $760 billion a year paying employees who surf the web on company time.
    • Another 2005 study by Advertising Age magazine reported that U.S. workers spent the equivalent of 551,000 years reading non-work related blogs. Yes, you read that correctly, 551,000 years of wasted time just on blogs!
    • A recent gathering of European Chief Information Security Officers report that one of their primary IT concerns in 2008 is the large number of employees visiting social networking sites for non-work related reasons. They estimate that between 15% and 20% of company bandwidth is being taken up by social networking websites.
    • In 2004, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that two thirds of British professionals admitted to stealing commercially sensitive documents and data when they left a company.

    It's not hard to imagine how many more millions of hours of company time are wasted when employees shop online for DVDs, airfare deals, clothing and eBay merchandise. All of this has led employers to take action to protect themselves. According to a 2005 survey from the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute, over three quarters of companies monitor employees' Internet use. Security issues can be just as important as wasting time; Internet surfing on inappropriate websites can infect company documents and emails with viruses, Trojans, etc.

    Left unmonitored, many employees feel free to engage in such unproductive activities such as using the Internet for personal use (including email), conducting personal business (phone calls, banking, applying for jobs), socializing with co-workers and daydreaming.

    How We Deliver Productivity

    How We Deliver Productivity

    At Virtual Assistant Inc, we take several proactive steps to ensure our VAs never step out of bounds:

    • All of our VAs must complete a rigorous pre-hire process that includes testing
    • All of our VAs must read and sign a Confidentially Agreement for each client
    • All of our VAs must read, comprehend and sign an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
    • We conduct Customer Satisfaction Surveys to ensure our standards and yours are being met

    We use the finest monitoring software available. This software is a useful tool to help enforce our policies. Company policies are just mere words without effective tools to enforce them. It also allows us to monitor our VAs' progress to make sure you're getting the quality services you're paying for. This highly effective monitoring software protects our clients from paying for unproductive VAs, the leaking of confidential information and any other inappropriate activities. We also practice on-site physical security to protect your work by using security guards, webcams and finger print entry at our offices. We protect your intellectual property as if it were our own.

    We Are Accountable

    We Are Accountable

    This cutting edge software lets our managers monitor and record:

    • Websites visited
    • Keystrokes typed
    • Applications run
    • Documents printed
    • Files transferred
    • Emails sent and received
    • Instant messaging/chats

    Again, this is not about spying or a lack of trust in our virtual assistants. It's about eliminating doubt for our clients through an effective and reliable system of accountability. You are using virtual assistants to save you money, not waste it. Because we have American management, we have the experience and technical resources that most emerging countries don't have. We put these systems into place to protect both the client and our virtual assistants. Monitoring software eliminates arguments and confusion because there is documentation of evidence available, not he said/she said situations. Our goal is not just to earn your trust; it's to put in an effective system of checks and balances to maintain your trust and give you a comfort level second to none.

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