Contemporary VA is a (primarily) American virtual assistant company, based in Pittsburgh, PA. The company was founded in 2002 and has grown to provide remote administrative support for clients across the US, Canada, and now the UK as well.
ContemporaryVA (CVA) uses a diverse team of qualified work-from-home VAs to support their clients. Customers trend toward coaches, consultants, and online entrepreneurs, but CVA is serving a growing number offline businesses as well.
One thing that sets the company apart is their rigorous screening process. As you might imagine, any legitimate job that allows the freedom and flexibility to work from home is in high demand.
Beyond the detailed application, prospective VAs are asked to complete a skills test and several sample tasks that might be common in their job. The company can monitor the results of these tasks, along with how long they took to complete and the tools the candidate employed.
Once hired, Contemporary VA virtual assistants are essentially in apprentice-mode for a minimum of 60 days. That means they are assisting with work behind the scenes, but aren’t yet directly interacting with clients. During this time, the new hires are receiving ongoing training and their deliverables are constantly evaluated by senior team members to ensure quality.
For prospective clients, the benefit is not being assigned to a rookie VA on her first day on the job.
Contemporary VAs also sign exclusivity agreements, meaning even if they’re part-time employees, they won’t be off on Elance or trying to get other VA clients on the side.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer, the General Manager of CVA, and she was gracious enough to explain to me how it all worked. The company assigns VAs based the skills required and time zone proximity to the client.
ContemporaryVA has two levels of client service: Gold and Platinum.
The CVA Gold plan is a pre-paid plan with no minimums and no commitments. It is best for ad hoc projects and for customers who aren’t ready to commit to a VA on an ongoing basis. As a good intro to outsourcing, the rate for this plan is a flat $35 an hour.
Gold clients are assigned a dedicated project manager, but the actual work may be carried out by another VA, depending on availability.
The Contemporary VA Platinum plan is an ongoing “retainer” service, where clients have a minimum of 20 hours a month worth of work to outsource. The rates for this plan range from $21 to $25 an hour, depending on how many hours a month you need.
For example, a 20-hour plan would be $500 a month ($25/hr), and a full-time VA would be $3360 a month ($21/hr). Obviously the rates are higher than what you’d find in India or the Philippines, but are quite competitive among similar US virtual assistant companies.
Platinum clients have a dedicated virtual assistant, and after 3 months, the company will even train a backup at their expense for when your primary VA is out sick or on vacation.
I recently went through their free 21-day email course on how to delegate effectively. It’s super detailed but definitely worth the read if you’re new to outsourcing and working with virtual assistants.
I just signed up via the opt-in box on their homepage.
Have you worked with Contemporary VA? If so, please leave a quick review of your experience below to help others with their decision-making process.
We hired this company and had a terrible experience.
There seems to be a mean, unhelpful attitude that permeates throughout this company.
They made error after error after error with our clients, with no acceptable remedy for fixing the problems and continued billing us at the full rate. These errors were embarrassing to us and CVA’s attitude was not a “partner” attitude. We were left to fend for ourselves. There are lots of reviews about this company that you can find online from contractors who have worked for them who had similar negative experiences.