Anne Lackey, Co-Founder of HireSmart Virtual Employees, Top 10 Admired Leaders of 2022

Anne Lackey
HireSmart Virtual Employees

Anne Lackey, Co-Founder of HireSmart Virtual Employees

“Improving Operational Efficiencies”

Anne Lackey had always strived to leave people better off than before they met her. Whether it is a stranger on the street that she greets with a smile, a friend who needs her help, a client looking for creative solutions to their business problems, she treats them all with care. People matter. Along with her husband, Mark, she has developed a set of core values and principles that are not merely for show; she lives them every day.

She also isn’t afraid to do things differently. In her career, she often did business differently. If everyone else was doing something, more often than not, she was doing it in a new way. When she started HireSmart Virtual Employees in 2015, no other firms offered full-time dedicated virtual workers as HireSmart does. She saw the need in the business space that desperately needed employees but couldn’t find the right people here in the US, so outsourcing globally became Anne’s solution, and HireSmart was born! US businesses didn’t know how to find them, train them, pay them. HireSmart solved these issues. In today’s economy, the need for workers is even more challenging.

She also radically changed things for her workforce in the Philippines. She did this by providing the virtual employees with training, mentoring, high-level HMO healthcare, dental care, and allowing dependents healthcare at a reduced rate or even no cost.

“We're passionate about maximizing value for business owners.”

Anne’s life was shaped by her childhood. As an only child raised by a single dad in the 1970s, she was forced to learn to be independent. Her dad, paternal grandparents, and eventually her stepmom were all significant influences in her life. Her dad taught her to care for people, even when it is hard. How to preserve in the hardest of situations. Her grandparents taught her how to serve others and that it is a duty not to be shirked.

However, her stepmom taught her the most about the value of work. Her stepmom at 83 years old is a fierce worker to this day. She taught Anne how to dress appropriately, use computers (she had an original Compaq luggable she would bring home), plot graphs, and analyze data. She made Anne clean her room before she was able to have fun. She didn’t let Anne quit when the work got hard. She taught her that anything could be achieved with a little effort and ingenuity.

With those foundational traits in place, Anne’s husband Mark refined and focused those positive traits during her 30s, making her an unstoppable force. As her biggest cheerleader, he pushes and guides her to be her best. Mark and Anne together make a winning team.

At HireSmart, Anne focuses not only on the company goals but also on the individual’s contribution. She created an award system to recognize top performers through the CORE Value awards. Workers are recognized for their actions at company meetings pertaining to HireSmart’s core values. Clients are encouraged to nominate their virtual employees for recognition, and then Anne created a point system to take any bias out of the equation.

At HireSmart, they believe in an ‘Anne-Alytic’ approach to hiring, not emotional choices. Their competitors don’t invest in the assessment platforms that HireSmart does. With over four years of assessment and performance history, HireSmart can achieve a 98.7% placement success rate because of the Anne-Alytics methodology. This is why they are a paid search firm versus the competitions model of ‘take the next worker in line not currently engaged with another client.’

Their methodology to source, assess, perform multiple rounds of interviews, and their certification program is really what stands them apart from the competition. In addition, Anne uses her vast expertise to fully vet each candidate before endorsing them to a client for the final interview. Other virtual staff company CEOs are not that involved in the assessment and selection process, but Anne feels this is a key point for success. It is also one of her favorite parts of the job, and it allows her to connect with the workers and instill loyalty. IE

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HireSmart Virtual Employees


Anne Lackey
HireSmart Virtual Employees


Hire Smart VAs is a recruiting and training company providing FULL TIME CERTIFIED virtual employees from the Philippines.

Admired Leaders Magazine