If you have a small business, hiring talented virtual assistants from overseas is a cost-effective way to go!
If you own a small business and are struggling with doing the accounts, emails, social media, writer, graphic artist, need an App built or a new website, newsletters or even just uploading articles to your website, having a staff member that is inexpensive and dedicated is a brilliant way to get ahead in business.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent contractor who provides administrative, creative and technical assistance to you without the need of being physically present in your office. Small businesses that operate both offline and online know the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant. They are not only efficient but also convenient, affordable and can help your small business flourish and attain goals faster with MAXIMUM cost effectiveness.
Of course, you can hire anywhere in the world, but the leading provider of Virtual Assistants is definitely in the Philippines.
Filipino VAs have remarkable skills and traits that make them unique and exceptional. The Philippine government has invested heavily in the education sector and has ensured that even schools in the remote areas of their country are well facilitated to ensure that every Filipino gets quality education. Their VAs have excellent communications skills and are extremely proficient in English. Hiring virtual assistans from the Philippines will give you a competitive edge because they are hardworking and have unquestionable work ethics when compared to other international VAs.
Are you looking for an experienced VA in the Philippines to help lessen the burden of your office work? If yes then today you have landed in the right place. In this article, we are going to give you a step by step guide on how to find a credible VA in the Philippines.
Step 1: Identify The Skills You Will Require in a Virtual Assistant
The first step begins by sketching out exactly what you need from a virtual assistant. You won’t find a VA who will be everything and know everything. However, knowing the skills you will require for a VA is a great start.
If you require a VA to do a lot of responding to customers, you will need one with exceptional written English skills. Many potential candidates will state the programs and areas they are proficient in. Skill sets you break-down include:
- WordPress Expert
- Social Media
- App Designer
- Graphic Artist
- Finance and Management
Use a Reputable Job Site
I highly recommend the following sites to find your perfect VA. The advantage of these websites is that the members are verified with Government identification. You don’t just want to hire a ‘random’ person that might be dodgy. You want quality and qualified employees who will do the right thing for you and your business. We recommend:
I like this site. It allows you to do background checks, read reviews from other employers and they have a massive talent pool to choose from. Candidates are somewhat vetted as they need to link their Government Identification and details. It does pay to buy the subscription so you can hire direct and may employ more than one person. They also have a program called Timeproof which is a software that allows you to track what your employee is doing and sends you screenshots of their computer during work time.
Easy Outsource is very similar to Online Jobs (in fact I’ve just read that Online Jobs has just bought them out). With both of these websites, you can either post a job with all the qualifications you are looking for, or alternatively, put in the requirements you are looking for and search through the thousands of people listed with those requirements. I actually prefer the second – as they are keen to work, and most can start as soon as the next day!
Step 2: Contact Potential Candidates
Some candidates look great on paper but aren’t so great when you interview them – just like here in Australia. That is why it is imperative that you hold a few interviews to find the right fit for you. Once you have decided on a candidate, offer them a week (paid) trial (or longer) to see if they are a good fit for you. Sometimes a candidate may not turn up for an interview, if this is the case, let them know they will not be considered for the job. The interview will also assess how well they speak in English, their strengths and their weaknesses.
Questions to ask your candidate include:
- What hours are you available? Can you work during Australian hours?
- Are you currently working for anyone else (many have a few jobs!)
- Will you ask for help if you need it?
- What sort of work do you like to do?
- Are you looking for a permanent position or just part-time work?
Look for Experience…
Experience is the best teacher. If you want to find a VA who will deliver quality work that will surpass your expectations, you need to consider experience. Experts recommend that you should hire VA experts who have more than 5 years experience. The more experienced the VA is, the higher your chances of getting quality services. Before you make a decision, ask the VA that specific questions that pertain to the task that you want to assign then keenly analyse the answers given. If you are not satisfied with the answers, then don’t think of hiring that particular VA because chances are that you will get disappointed.
Give trial tasks to promising candidates..
Interviewing the candidates is very important but it is not good enough.The best way to know if the candidate has what it takes to give you quality work is by giving them a trial assignment. Interview several candidates then shortlist those that you think will deliver quality work. Hire the shortlisted applicants and then assign tasks for a period of one month. Test the candidates by assigning them various tasks to test their creativity, discipline and ability to deliver quality work on time. At the end of the trail, retain those that have proven to you that they have what it takes to give you quality services to help you achieve your goals.
Pros of hiring a VA Overseas
1. Get more employee for less $$
Virtual assistants will deliver quality service at a much lesser price compared to hiring a full-time employee. Their pricing is flexible because they usually charge based on the volume of task delivered. When you hire a full-time employee, you will have to consider things like insurance, wages, health benefits and training among many others. It is also not easy to measure their productivity. On the other hand, if you hire VA, you will reduce training cost and employee turnover while at the same time increase productivity enabling you to achieve your business goals.
2. Specifically targeted skills
When you outsource your office work, you will find a VA with a specific skill set that you are looking for such as writing, graphic design, marketing among many others. Instead of hiring a full-time employee with limited skills, outsourcing will help you get the quality work that you are looking for.
3. Quick turn around
VAs are expert in their field and they usually ensure that they deliver quality work promptly because they normally work on a time limit.
4. No Added Ongoing Costs
No superannuation payments. No income tax to pay. You can negotiate hours and wages. Of course, if you are employing long-term, investing in their health-care and allowing for their religious holidays will go a long way to making a happy and dedicated employee!
Cons of hiring a VA Overseas
Not being in the same office is a challenge that many business owners have reported. However, technological advancement has enhanced communication between the VA and the client. With Skype and Facetime, you can chat one-to-one and work closely with them. Having a dedicated Facebook group with the entire team you will be working with works well as they won’t miss any communication and you can update them easily – send links without losing information in emails that may get missed.
When you first employ an overseas VA, you need to be clear about your expectations. Be patient when explaining the job, and make sure you ‘share screens’ and go through their work carefully to make sure you (and them) are happy with the work.
3. Shyness if They Get it Wrong
If your new employee suddenly disappears, 9 times out of 10 it isn’t because they have just moved on or even that they are ignoring you. It is because they are either embarrassed or shy. The Filipinos are beautiful people who will do everything to please you, but they are bashful if they can’t do the job to your expectations. To combat this, keep in close contact with them and make sure you check they are okay and will be able to share with you when they are having trouble with something. If you are friendly and approachable, they will learn to trust you and not be shy about asking for help when needed.
How Much Will I Have to Pay Them?
Well, this depends on experience and the job. For example, a highly trained web developer will be paid significantly more money per hour than an office junior. The one good thing about the Onlinejobs website is that the members will specify how much they would like to be paid. Of course, this is negotiable, and they can say no.
A very junior office employee doing basic word processing work could start from $3/hour. A super experienced, university qualified applicant can be up to $15 per hour.
What If I Don’t Want to Do the Interview Process?
No worries! Interviewing candidates and finding the right person can be a time-consuming job. Another option is to find someone like Tenacious Digital who work with a whole team of overseas virtual assistants all the time, and in fact, have dedicated staff in the Philippines to find the creme de la creme of employees.
So if you want a Virtual Assistant for a day, a week, a month or a year, let them find the perfect person for you! Contact Brendan at Tenacious Digital on 0407 588 097.
All in all, overseas virtual assistants just want to work, to please their employer and be paid fairly. But you will also find a unique, funny and dedicated employee that will be a fantastic part of your team!
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