Worldwide101 is Pioneering the Hiring Shift for Virtual Professionals
One of the tricky growing pain points designers face is going about how to hire an assistant. You’re faced with so many questions like, how many hours are needed? How much should I pay them? How do I go about a background check? What should I task my assistant with? Sometimes, designers can feel overwhelmed by these unanswered questions, and will shy away from hiring an assistant all together, just to avoid this “hassle”.
Enter Worldwide101, a premium virtual assistant company on a mission to help professionals (including designers) move their business forward by providing highly skilled assistants they can trust to represent their business and carry out responsible tasks. Founded in 2012, Worldwide101 makes it easy for businesses to access global talent, and operate in international markets. Finding reliable, trustworthy, and competent help is their expertise and their team of experienced, reliable, and vetted virtual assistants are hand-selected to provide personalized and customized support tailored to your business’s needs. They even have assistants proficient in using the business management software, Ivy, to support their designer clients!
Here, Worldwide101 shares their criteria for becoming a Worldwide101 virtual assistant, the common tasks tackled by their team, and how Worldwide101 virtual assistants are hired by designers.
What’s Worldwide101 all about in 140 characters of less?
Worldwide101 is a premium virtual assistant company. We match busy business owners and executives with talented US-based remote staff to support their business for the long-term.
How do you match your clients with the right Worldwide101 Virtual Assistant?
We take a very personalized approach when it comes to suggesting professionals to support our clients. Just as you would hire an in-house assistant based on their skills and values, our hiring methodology includes the same careful consideration of the assistant’s skills and personality type. We believe that it’s key to have a team who not only has the pre-requisite skills and aptitudes, but also, who share your company values so that the partnership can be truly successful over the long term.
Both our clients and our team choose to work together and this has a huge impact on retention rates. And, we are not the only ones who believe that culture fit is key!
What are the criteria for becoming a Worldwide101 Virtual Assistant?
Worldwide101 is a premium service, and that’s what truly differentiates us from other companies in our industry. We only hire candidates who have at least 7 years of professional experience in their field of specialty – in fact, most of them have more like 15 years! We also thoroughly vet for personality fit and impeccable communication skills. We look for team members who love to see others succeed, who love to make a difference in someone’s day, and who have a keen desire to help businesses grow. To us, it’s all about going above and beyond. We like to say that it just takes a little bit of “extra” to make something extraordinary – we are that extra icing on the cake! Because of our focus on creating long-term relationships, we also carefully examine our candidate’s ability and desire to work remotely. All our candidates are based in North America and Europe, and you can choose where you prefer your assistant to be located.
Our team is comprised of top-tier talent. Many are ex-Fortune 500 professionals–moms, dads, military spouses, and expats who wanted to leave the 9 to 5 behind to gain a more flexible or remote career but still wanted to use their skills and years of experience towards rewarding and fulfilling opportunities.
“We look for team members who love to see others succeed, who love to make a difference in someone’s day, and who have a keen desire to help businesses grow.”
How can a business, big or small, benefit from hiring a Worldwide101 Virtual Assistant vs. an in-person assistant?
From day one, our focus has been on giving business owners, founders and executives (of companies large and small) back some of their time so they can focus on their core strengths, and ultimately grow their business.
Hiring virtually vs. in-house has many benefits for our clients. One of the biggest, of course, is the cost saving and time efficiency. Having a team member that you can hire on a fractional basis, for exactly the hours you need them each month, with the exact skillsets, is every business owner’s dream! The time saved from not having to go through a taxing hiring process, and money saved not having to provide an office space, equipment, etc. is a big perk. Most of our clients have approached us for the turnkey solution that we provide because really, everyone knows that recruiting and hiring is a hassle!
Typically, how do your clients and Worldwide101 Virtual Assistants communicate and correspond?
Nowadays, there are so many online apps and tools that help teams manage communication, so, we integrate into whatever systems our clients already have in place. Of course we are also happy to make suggestions as well. Some clients prefer email. Others prefer the ease of using instant chats like Slack or Skype. Some prefer face-to-face communication via Zoom or another meeting software, and some clients prefer text or phone calls. It really just depends on how you communicate best. Your team will ultimately decide and establish a clear communication plan during the initial onboarding meeting.
A portion of your client base happens to be interior designers…why do you think that is?
We’ve found that many of our creative interior design clients are looking for a ‘left-brain’ for their business. Many want more time to focus on the creative process of design in their business, they want to spend their time speaking with their clients and making their vision come to life and less time ordering products, tracking invoices, scheduling deliveries and communicating with vendors.
It seems to be a perfect fit for interior designers to work with a Worldwide101 virtual assistant. They have someone to provide the organization, scheduling, bookkeeping, etc. so they can focus on growing their business and doing what they love.
Also, because we work with so many interior designers, it’s nice for design clients to begin using our service, because their assistant is already ‘internally trained’ on some of the tools they use everyday – such as Ivy – as well as familiar with the best practices of their industry.
“We’ve found that many of our creative interior design clients are looking for a ‘left-brain’ for their business.”
What are the common tasks that Worldwide101 Virtual Assistants tackle when they are hired by an interior designer?
It really depends on your unique needs! But most commonly, our virtual assistants work with their interior design clients by:
- Coordinating with your clients
- Initiating and ordering products
- Communicating with vendors
- Scheduling shipping and deliveries
- Liaising with photographers and design shows
- Following through on damage claims
- Managing your ordering
- Bookkeeping software
- Social media content creation + scheduling
- WordPress Admin
- Email marketing
Can you share some of the feedback you’ve received from interior designers based on their experience hiring Worldwide101 Virtual Assistants?
We feel most of the interior designers who get in touch with us have a similar story to Anelle, below!
“Our business was growing and we desperately needed help, but we were paralyzed by the process of finding someone. We didn’t have time to weed through tons of resumes, interview multiple candidates, or train someone inexperienced. Worldwide101 took all of these excuses away and connected us with a superstar purchasing assistant. We no longer need to spend nights and weekends catching up with paperwork. It has been liberating to have someone take care of purchasing and admin while we are out at client meetings, site visits and sourcing. Not only do we have more time to design, but we are now able to take on larger projects knowing we have the infrastructure in place and can easily expand our team if necessary.” – Anelle Gandelman, A-List Interiors
Why do you think it’s important for interior designers to embrace applications such as Ivy to manage their business operations?
As a 100% virtual team, we have a real soft spot in our hearts for great cloud-based applications! We’ve found that using them helps keep things simple for our team and clients, and gives them an easy way to create systems and processes and collaborate. Ivy is a great example of that.
Many of our interior design clients have their virtual assistants completely managing their Ivy system, it frees them up to focus on other aspects of their business – we even have an internal training document for Ivy that our team shares!
What’s next for Worldwide101?
We actually have a pretty exciting change on the horizon! We feel the label “Premium Virtual Assistant Company” which we’ve worn until now has never fully encompassed the breadth of skill our people have or the difference our team makes in the businesses of their clients, or the value they bring to each project. So, over the next few months, we’ll be making the change from being a “Premium Virtual Assistant Company” to a new way of talking about what we do.
We’ve been pioneering this hiring shift over the last few years, and are now seeing the current workplace climate pushing the fractional hiring model into the mainstream. Being at the forefront of this movement has encouraged us to take a look at how we communicate its benefits. The service and commitment to premium quality that has built our success will obviously remain the same, but we’re excited about adopting a new term that will hopefully give potential clients a better feel for what we do. Stay tuned!
Ivy is the fastest growing community and business management software for interior designers. To learn more about Ivy, schedule a demo with an Ivy Guru who can show you how designers use Ivy to streamline their workflow and make more time for what they love, design.