Prialto vs. BELAY vs. Persona: An In-Depth Comparison of 3 Top Virtual Assistant Services

Prialto and BELAY are two virtual assistant companies offering services to founders, entrepreneurs, executives, and other business people in need of administrative support. 

If you’re considering hiring a virtual assistant service, it’s likely that you’ll come across Prialto and BELAY as you search for options online.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the similarities and differences between these two services, as well as how they differ from the virtual executive assistant service we offer at Persona. 

Specifically, we’ll compare our services on 3 key factors:

  1. What is each service’s unique differentiator?
  2. What specific services do their assistants offer?
  3. How does their service work?

Note: Our unique hiring methodology enables us to find world-class assistants for our clients. We hire roughly 1 out of every 1,000 applicants. If you’ve been wanting a virtual assistant and you’d like to work with someone who can take on more than just administrative tasks, fill out our form. You can try one of our remote executive assistants for a month or two and see how you like it. For testimonials from our clients, check out our homepage.

Persona Virtual Assistants

#1. Our Unique Differentiator: A Rigorous Hiring Methodology to Find Top 0.1% Talent

In our experience, talent is the #1 thing that leads to successful virtual assistant engagements. So we’ve built our entire business around finding the absolute best assistant talent.

Specifically, we’ve used our backgrounds in behavioral science and assessment design to develop a hiring methodology that vets candidates based on the attributes that predict success in an assistant role:

  1. Problem Solving Ability: How smart are they? Can they figure things out in new and complex situations? 
  2. Key Character and Behavioral Traits: Are they organized, reliable, trustworthy, detail-oriented, etc.?
  3. Communication Ability: How well do they write and communicate? Can they play the role of gatekeeper, communicating on your behalf or alongside you with key stakeholders (executive team members, board members, investors, etc.)?
  4. Tech Savvy-ness: How comfortable are they with learning new technologies and software? How quickly can they pick up and learn the programs that modern companies use to run their businesses?  

Most importantly, we don’t just look for these qualities in candidates—we directly and thoroughly measure candidates on these traits and abilities using a tailored combination of the following:

  • Quantitative assessments: Tests that allow us to evaluate candidates accurately on abilities like problem solving and nuanced character traits like reliability, dutifulness, detail-orientedness, etc. 
  • Structured interviews: A strategic interview process to cross-compare candidates on the qualities and abilities that we measure.
  • Work sample projects: Mock projects to see the quality of their work, based on the types of tasks they’re likely to do on the job.
  • Communication exercises: Exercises to evaluate candidates on key communication skills such as email etiquette and professionalism. 
  • Reference and background checks: A structured approach to interviewing candidates’ references.

By leveraging tools such as quantitative assessments, work sample projects, and communication exercises, we’re able to see the quality of our assistants’ work before they’re ever hired. We do not rely on superficial factors such as past years of experience, or how well a candidate speaks during their interview. 

Furthermore, we customize our process on a candidate by candidate basis, based on how individuals perform throughout each step. So, if a candidate shows that they’re smart but may not have the requisite level of tech-savviness to work with our startup founder clientele, we’ll take additional steps to measure the candidate’s skillset in navigating modern software tools and interfaces. Or, if a critical reference describes a weakness that a particular candidate has, we may select a sample project for that candidate to perform in order to evaluate for ourselves the scope of that purported weakness.

As a result of this flexible and rigorous hiring process, we’re able to provide a higher level of talent and consistency than most virtual assistant providers.

#2. Services Offered: What Persona Assistants Do for Our Clients

The range of tasks offered by our assistants is wider than what you’ll find with most other services. Currently, our assistants manage some combination of the following for our clients:

  • Communications: Assist with email management; communicate on an executive’s behalf and alongside them with company staff members and key stakeholders.
  • Scheduling and Calendar management: Manage an executive’s calendar, schedule meetings, resolve scheduling issues, balance personal appointments with work meetings.
  • Project management: Manage the CEO’s to-dos and ensure they stay up to date and on track with their key projects.
  • Business operations: Help create, organize, and improve on internal business processes and standard operating procedures. Manage tasks such as data entry, expense reporting, etc.
  • Marketing and social media management: Create and schedule posts on your company’s social media accounts, monitor engagement metrics, respond to comments, and help grow overall digital marketing presence. 
  • People operations: Manage employee onboarding, assist in the employee recruitment process (e.g. reviewing resumes and cover letters for certain criteria), manage payroll, etc.
  • Strategic planning: Work with the company leaders to define and come up with plans for new products, initiatives, and services. Project manage some or all of these new company programs. 
  • Client services: Handle important interactions with clients (e.g. customer support, invoicing, etc.). Provide ideas and feedback about how to improve systems and processes.
  • Special projects: Manage a wide variety of unique projects depending on your business needs. For example, our VAs have worked on things like light graphic design in Canva, website design, transcription, lead generation, CRM management, Amazon eCommerce management, and more.
  • Virtual personal assistant tasks: Help make online orders, reservations, travel arrangements, and other accommodations for executives’ personal lives.

#3. How Our Service Works: Getting Started with a Persona Virtual Assistant

We provide world-class, dedicated virtual assistants for all types of industries across the USA and Europe, including tech startups, non-profits, real estate, professional services, and more. 

If you’re a startup founder, entrepreneur, small business owner, or senior management executive of any kind, you can try one for a month or two and see how you like it (no matter what time zone you’re in!). 

Here’s how to get started with us: 

  • Step 1: Complete our form to let us know your needs. 
  • Step 2: If you’re a good fit, we’ll set up a free consultation to discuss our service with you.
  • Step 3: Our team will hand pick the right virtual assistant for you based on your needs and business hours.
  • Step 4: Our support team will guide you through the onboarding process.
  • Step 5: For a flat rate monthly subscription, you get a world-class assistant that equates to a full-time employee (40 hours of remote work per week, with no long-term commitment needed).

If you’re ready to try a virtual executive assistant that can be truly transformative for your business, fill out our form. For testimonials from our clients, check out our homepage.

Prialto Virtual Assistants

#1. Their Unique Differentiator: Managed Virtual Assistants

In reviewing their website, Prialto seems to emphasize that their virtual assistants are managed. In other words, their team provides ongoing support and training to their virtual assistants in an effort to continually improve their services. 

Note: We also offer this at Persona, but due to the rigor of our hiring process and our focus on finding highly intelligent and competent candidates, our assistants tend to be quick self-learners that do not need significant training to meet our clients’ needs.

As far as we can tell, they do not discuss or share much about their hiring processes publicly on their website. They do say that most of their assistants are college-educated and/or have extensive experience in business support services.

However, it’s unclear what they look for and whether they directly measure candidates on the traits and abilities that predict success in an assistant role. So, if you decide to reach out to Prialto, be sure to ask them:

  • What specific attributes do they look for in their assistants?
  • Do they directly measure these attributes during their hiring process?
  • How do they measure these attributes? What, specifically, do they do?
  • And how thorough are they in the measurement of candidates’ key traits and abilities?

If they’re vague in answering these questions, you should consider other options and choose a company that has a better, more rigorous vetting process—like what we use at Persona. 

#2. Services Offered

Prialto highlights the following services that their assistants offer:

  • Sales support
  • Time management
  • Workflow management
  • Data entry
  • Inbox management
  • Relationship management

In addition, their assistants can help manage other recurring and one-off tasks, such as travel planning, expense reports, scheduling social media posts, research, and more.

#3. How Their Service Works

Prialto’s service is focused exclusively on full-time assistant offerings. They offer 3 tiers of pricing plans based on your staffing needs:

  • Individual Monthly Plan: 1 assistant with 55 hours of monthly support
  • Team Monthly Plan: 3+ assistants with 165+ hours of monthly support
  • Organization Monthly Plan: 8+ assistants with 440+ hours of monthly support

While unused hours do not rollover to the next month, they offer backup assistants and do not charge overages until you consistently go 20-30 percent over your allotted hours. Prialto requires a minimum commitment of 90 days to get started. 

BELAY Virtual Assistants

#1. Their Unique Differentiator: Segmented Services for Virtual Assistance, Accounting, Website Management, and Social Media Management

In contrast to Persona and Prialto, BELAY has segmented their assistants into 4 services:

  • General virtual assistance
  • Accounting services
  • Website specialist services
  • Social media manager services

So, if you’re looking for something specific like just accounting, or just social media—they can offer you that. But, theoretically, a Persona or Prialto assistant could focus most of their time in these areas if you wanted them to, in addition to helping you with other tasks.

Regarding their vetting process, BELAY states that they use an exhaustive recruiting process that includes “…among other things—several video interviews and skills assessments to find skilled, servant-hearted candidates.” However, this is the extent of what they share. So, if you decide to talk to them, be sure to ask them to tell you more about how they vet candidates and evaluate for yourself whether it’s as exhaustive a process as they say.

#2. Services Offered

BELAY lists the following services as being offered by their virtual assistants:

  • Research and reporting
  • Inbox and schedule management
  • Travel arrangements and expense reporting
  • Project coordination
  • Social media assistance
  • Light bookkeeping

As stated above, if you specifically want assistance in one area such as social media or accounting, you could use one of their segmented services just for that.

#3. How Their Service Works

BELAY lists the following 6 step process for using their services:

  • Sales call to determine if you’re a fit
  • Discovery call to learn more about your needs
  • Placement process to select an assistant for you
  • Kickoff call to meet your assistant
  • Onboarding
  • Nurturing (periodic check ins)

They appear to offer part-time and full-time plans, depending on your needs.

Other Virtual Assistant Companies

If you’d like to review additional service options, check out our post on the best virtual assistant services which covers pros and cons of other VA services including Fancy Hands, WoodBows, MyTasker, Time etc, and more.

In addition, check out our post on how to hire a virtual assistant to learn about the pros and cons of hiring VA freelancers from sites like Upwork and Fiverr, and outsourcing work to assistants in lower priced countries such as India, Malaysia, or the Philippines. 

Get a Top 0.1% Virtual Executive Assistant with Persona

If you decide that you’d like to try one of our assistants, complete our form to let us know your needs. If you’re a good fit, we’ll set up a call to discuss our service and hand pick an assistant who we think will be a great fit for you.

For testimonials from our clients, check out our homepage.

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