Perssist Blog

Strategies & Tools for More Productivity & Free Time

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant

If you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant you have some considerations to make across a few categories:

Scope of the Work

What types of tasks do you plan on asking your new VA to do? Perhaps you’ll ask your new assistant to do research, set up appointments, do administrative work, figure out travel arrangements and accommodations, work with WordPress, and maybe do some basic Photoshop? While each of these tasks could be done by a single dedicated assistant, some categories benefit from specialized knowledge. Some assistants are especially good at finding the best flight deals and creating great travel itineraries, while others are WordPress experts.

Perssist has experts in many categories, and is a single point of contact for all the potential requests you would want to send to your assistant. Each request that comes in gets routed to the assistant most capable of doing it well, so you never have to worry about whether your assistant has a certain skill set.

Dedicated vs. Non-Dedicated

There are trade-offs between choosing a single dedicated assistant vs. a service that provides access to a group of assistants. With a single dedicated assistant, you form a relationship over time, the assistant learns your preferences, and you may decide to share sensitive information with that assistant, such as passwords. However, a dedicated assistant is not always available when you need him, he takes vacations and personal days, and he may not have the full range of skills you need.

Perssist offers 24/7 availability and will always be there for you with short response times and the person with the right skills for the request. If you like, you can submit requests to the same assistant from any prior request which is helpful when a new request benefits from prior experience. Perssist learns your preferences over time so any assistant completing your task won’t have to ask you unnecessary questions.

Price & Quality

Another trade-off to consider is price versus quality. You can find cheap assistants willing to work for $3 per hour, but you’ll quickly realize that they are more trouble than they’re worth unless you have the most basic of requests. You can also spend $25 per hour or more if you only want to work with an American assistant with a college degree (and for that price you should expect no mistakes and total efficiency).

Perssist offers affordable assistance and high quality by focusing our hiring on well-educated overseas assistants (some even have master’s degrees) and training them ourselves. You can get an idea of the types of people we hire by taking a look at some Perssist Profiles. Perssist hires less than 3% of applicants, and puts those few that do make the cut through an intensive training process to ensure quality and efficiency is where it needs to be.

Pay per Hour vs. Pay per Task

Some services charge by the hour, and some by the task. A task is usually defined by anything that takes up to 15 minutes, so if you have tasks that take more time, you will have to break them up into separate tasks and submit them separately. Also, the assistant has an incentive to do the request as quickly as possible since they get paid the same whether they spend 5 minutes or 15 minutes, which can cause quality issues. Alternatively, you can choose a service that charges by the hour. However, hourly assistants have an incentive to answer the question with as much detail as possible and drag out a task as long as possible.

Perssist offers a pay per hour service (charged in 5 minute increments), but all tasks have a default 20-minute check-in time (which can be adjusted) so that the user can see how things are coming and decide whether time is being wasted or not. The check-in time forces the assistant to work efficiently. Furthermore, Perssist’s satisfaction guarantee refunds you for the first check-in if you’re not happy with it.

Effort to Hire and Manage

If you want to hire your own virtual assistant from a freelancer website, you’ll have to write a job post, wait for applications, interview them and figure out whether they’ll be good assistants or not, hire them and potentially train them. This can take several hours of your time and span a few days. A placement service will match you with an assistant they believe will be good for you based on a series of questions they ask you, but this can also take up to a couple days to make a match.

Perssist assistants offers good quality assistance as soon as you sign up from friendly, helpful, and intelligent people. We’ve already done the interviewing and hiring and put our assistants through rigorous recruiting and training processes. We also manage them while they’re working for you to ensure that they have the support they need to fulfill your requests and that all your requests are handled in a timely manner.

How to Securely Share Your Password Using LastPass

Do you want your assistant to log into an account of yours, but you don’t want to give them your password, or create a temporary password that you’ll have to switch back when they’re done? You can do this using LastPass. How does the assistant log into your account without having your password? Once you securely give access to an assistant through LastPass, the assistant uses the LastPass browser extension which automatically fills in your username and password when the assistant visits the login page. The assistant never sees the password, and you can revoke access anytime you want.

To securely share your password, follow the steps below.

  1. Create a LastPass account at
  2. Log into your new account and select “Add Site” as shown below
    Add Site to LastPass
  3. Fill out the site’s login details as shown below
    Fill Out Login Details
  4. Click the “Share” button associated with the newly added site as shown below
    Securely Share Login Details via LastPass
  5. Share it with the email address of the person you want to have access to the site. Be sure to “Share” and not “Give” so your password remains a secret, as shown below
    Complete Sharing Login Details via LastPass

That’s it! You can give anyone with a LastPass account secure access to any of your login information without them ever seeing your password. Pretty great tool.


Perssist Assistant Profile: Nikolay

nikolay-sqNikolay is from Ukraine and speaks English, Russian, and Ukrainian. He has a Master’s degree from the National Technical University. He defended his dissertation on easy to clean vitreous enamel coatings and was granted a candidate of technical sciences degree. In addition to working with Perssist, Nikolay works as a junior research fellow in the University. He enjoys going to the movies, reading interesting books, or playing some video games.

Nikolay is one of the many smart, friendly, and helpful virtual assistants that will be supporting you when you sign up for Perssist at

Lead Generation & Contact Discovery

Finding emails and contact information for people of interest can be either costly or time-consuming. Have Perssist find leads and contact info for you, and get back to more important things. But if you want to do it yourself, see what it takes…

Find the people that fit your parameters

Do you want to find all the COOs in technology companies with less than 200 employees? Maybe you want to collect the work email addresses for people based in the US, with the job title “project manager”?

You can use or to filter through and find contact names and companies, and filter across many parameters including title, geography, industry, company size, and plenty more. It’s pretty quick to get a long list of relevant contacts, sans actual contact information. You can pay for the contact info at $5 a pop without their costly subscription. Or, you can look up contact info manually.

Find the email addresses

Look up contact info manually by Googling for the person’s name along with the back-half of a potential email address in quotes, for example, try Googling:
Tim Cook “”

Another method for figuring out someone’s work email to is figure out the format of email addresses at that company.  You can do this by searching for other people’s email addresses at the company by Googling something like:
email “”
You’ll see on the first search page for that example, an email address that shows you the email format is, which usually can be applied to anyone else you know works at the company.

Another way to discover company email format is to check one of the following resources:

Verify the email addresses

Verify an email address using the Rapportive gmail extension. If you enter an email address in the To: field while composing an email, Rapportive will show you any social profiles connected to that email (like their LinkedIn, or Facebook profile). It’s a great way to confirm you have the right email, or to guess someone’s email address and see if it pops up, but it’s not 100% foolproof. If nothing shows up it doesn’t mean you have the wrong email, it may just mean that email isn’t associated with any social accounts tracked by Rapportive.

You can also Google for the email address (in quotes) you think is the right one and see if it pops up in any search results.

Get Perssist to Do It

You can save your own time and just submit a request like this to Perssist and we’ll get somewhere between 10-30 contacts per hour, depending on the difficulty of finding the specific contacts.

Perssist Assistant Profile: Laur

laurLaur is from Romania and speaks English, Romanian, and some French. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the Romanian-American University and a Master’s degree in Capital Markets, from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest. He’s worked in a bank and for the city council before working for himself, and joining Perssist. He enjoys listening to music, watching movies, reading, and spending time with his dogs.

Laur is one of the many smart, friendly, and helpful virtual assistants that will be supporting you when you sign up for Perssist at

Perssist Assistant Profile: Britt

brittBritt is from Belgium, but has lived in Australia, Malaysia, and now lives in England, and speaks English, Dutch, and some French. She has worked for an events company, a cruise line, and as a translator before joining Perssist.  Britt graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from PIKOH in Hasselt, Belgium and enjoys playing tennis, swimming, watching movies, and spending time with friends.

Britt is one of the many smart, friendly, and helpful virtual assistants that will be supporting you when you sign up for Perssist at

Perssist Assistant Profile: Silvina

silvinaSilvina is from Argentina and speaks English and Spanish, and studied Business Administration at Universidad Empresarial Siglo XXI. She worked in customer service, project management, and supply chain management before joining Perssist. She enjoys spending time outdoors (especially walking her dogs, Ramon and Doris), hanging out with friends, reading, and watching a good TV series or movie.

Silvina is one of the many smart, friendly, and helpful virtual assistants that will be supporting you when you sign up for Perssist at

Getting Started with Perssist: A Beginner’s Guide

What are you going to have Perssist do for you?

Consider all the things you need or want to get done. Ask yourself if someone could take care of any of those things remotely.

  • Call customer service
  • Figure out details for an upcoming trip
  • Find a home cleaner
  • Figure out the answer to a question you put off researching
  • Help out with office work like proofing and admin

What’s on your to-do list that you aren’t looking forward to?

Get inspired by other common requests here.

Better, Faster, Stronger

You have to get comfortable with letting other people do work for you, even if at times they don’t do it as well or as quickly. Consider the value of having it done for you over the time it takes.

Delegation is a skill worth learning. It helps you keep focused on what’s important, rather than trying to juggle a bunch of secondary tasks.

World’s Best Boss

When you ask Perssist to take care of something, try to keep in mind what questions someone with zero context might have. There’s a balance between providing too little detail, and spending time providing so much detail that you may have well done the task yourself. You’ll figure it out. We believe in you.

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