It's no secret that hiring a virtual assistant can be one of the most brilliant things you do for your business, regardless of the size of your company.
Suppose you're a one-person band or a business with under five employees. Hiring a virtual assistant is going to be a game-changer for you, and it's the reason why most successful E-Commerce entrepreneurs hire virtual assistants. It gives them the power of leverage at a cost that is usually a fraction of what hiring somebody in the USA would be.
This article will show you the best ways to find fantastic virtual assistants for your online business! It will also help you avoid the common mistakes most people make when trying to find a virtual assistant.
In advance, I must emphasize that this article is geared towards English-speaking businesses looking to find English-speaking virtual assistants.
You can also hire great virtual assistants who speak different languages. However, it's not our area of expertise, so we'd instead leave that to somebody else to talk about, as they'd likely be able to provide more value on that subject than I can.
This article will teach you:
- Traits of a great virtual assistant
- What to avoid when hiring a virtual assistant
- Why you should hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines
- What is the cost of hiring a virtual assistant?
- What are your options for finding a virtual assistant?
Traits of a great virtual assistant:
The first thing I'll say on this matter, Is that you must have an employer mindset when looking to find and hire a virtual assistant.
Remember, by hiring a virtual assistant. They become part of your team. The critical thing here is to treat them like you were hiring somebody locally.
Now, with that being said, let me highlight the key traits of what makes a great virtual assistant.
- Attitude: This is extremely important, as ultimately, it does not matter how great the person is in terms of skillset. If their attitude is terrible, you'll get frustrated, and the relationship will end on bad terms.
- Likes to ask questions: When you hire a virtual assistant, your goal is to, in effect, hand off a bunch of tasks to the VA, so you can free up your time and focus on more high income generating stuff. The key for this to work the way you want it to is to have a virtual assistant who is not afraid to ask questions for clarification.
- Self-motivated: The last thing you want is to have to micro-manage your virtual assistant. It almost defeats the purpose of hiring a VA in the first place. Don't get me wrong, questions are good. However, you don't want somebody waiting around for microinstructions instead of using their initiative to get on with things or ask.
- Open to constructive criticism: When you hire a virtual assistant, they are like a blank canvas for your business. Yes, they will have skills and knowledge. However, they won't be pre-molded towards how you run your business and like things to be done. Therefore it's natural that you will provide constructive criticism and feedback to ensure that things are done the way you want them done.
Red Flags: What to avoid when hiring a virtual assistant
- Too many jobs: You're hiring a full-time virtual assistant for your business, and it's like hiring somebody full-time locally, in regards to the fact that they work for you full-time. The big red flag is if the applicant has too much job history. In particular, if their jobs are for relatively short periods. This would mean they are unreliable, get bored quickly, or are freelancers trying to work for multiple people.
- Won't use time tracker: Now, I appreciate some employers don't want their virtual assistants' screens to be monitored and tracked. I respect that. It's fine with me. However, if you do want them to go onto time tracking, they make up a bunch of excuses for why they can't. This is a huge red flag, as it likely means they are trying to work multiple jobs simultaneously.
- Won't provide a resume (work history or education history): If you hire virtual assistants on our Philippines outsourcing marketplace, you will see thousands of virtual assistants. All of them will be expected to list their work history (employer name and address) education history (dates attended and the college name).
- Excuses to go on a video call: Any virtual assistant you hire should be willing and able to go on a video call with you whenever they are within their work shift. This goes for the interview process as well. If they won't go on a video call with you during the interview process, I suggest moving on to another candidate.
Why should you hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines?
I'll touch on this briefly below, but I'd suggest you read the article about the advantages of outsourcing to the Philippines, which covers everything you need to know about hiring Filipino virtual assistants and outsourcing in general.
Filipino virtual assistants are fluent in English:
English is an official language in the Philippines. It's the language of the constitution and the language used for road signs, legal stuff, restaurant menus, and other such stuff.
For example, you go into McDonald's, and the menu is 100% in English. You won't see translations or anything else. You'll only see English.
To give you some idea of what I'm talking about and emphasize how important English is in the Philippines. Here are just some of the things in the Philippines that are in English:
- Cinema: Yes, if you see a movie in the Philippines, it'll be just like going to the cinema in the USA!
- Laws: All laws in the Philippines are written in English.
- Degrees: Any person with a college degree will have completed that degree in English.
Massive salary savings
If you're not saving at least 70% on salary costs, then you are doing something wrong!
As a general rule of thumb, hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines should cost you about 1/3 of what it would cost you in the USA.
As part of our enterprise service, we have some clients we work with who have outsourced 50+ staff with us, and they've saved more than $1,000,000 per year in employee costs.
Over five years, this means they saved around $5 million by simply outsourcing to the Philippines. It's incredible how much salary savings can compound.
Word of warning. Look to save money on salary costs, but don't try to screw it down so low that you end up compromising quality.
The key to successfully hiring a virtual assistant, and Philippines outsourcing in general, is hiring the best people you can, saving money, but not compromising quality!
For more information, the following articles will help you learn everything you need to know about outsourcing to the Philippines:
- Philippines virtual assistant: The step-by-step guide.
- Philippines outsourcing: Guide to doing it right the first time.
- How do entrepreneurs and Filipino virtual assistants benefit each other?
What is the cost of hiring a virtual assistant?
This depends, and there is no set-in-stone number for determining the cost. However, there are ballpark figures based on our data of over 100,000+ Filipino virtual staff registered on our virtual assistant website.
As a general rule of thumb, if you want the like-for-like ability, and you don't want to compromise the quality of your staff, then I'd say expect to pay 1/3 of what you would hire somebody for locally in the USA.
For complete information, I'd suggest you read the salary guide for hiring Filipino virtual assistants. It not only covers the salary for a virtual assistant, but it's pretty much a complete guide to the cost of outsourcing to the Philippines.
What are your options for finding a virtual assistant?
DIY: Use the Philippines outsourcing marketplace:
You can choose from thousands of qualified virtual assistants on the VirtualStaff.ph marketplace. This is best if you want the most cost-effective option while at the same time remaining in complete control of the recruitment process.
Getting started is incredibly easy. Start by creating your employer account, post a job, get applicants, and interview and hire the best person who fits your needs.
Who is this option best for?
- If you want the most cost-effective option.
- You want to handle the recruitment process yourself.
With a database of hundreds of thousands of virtual workers and virtual assistants in the Philippines, you will find it almost impossible not to find the right person for your business.
Go through a professional outsourcing provider:
There is a lot of companies that offer professional outsourcing services. However, only a handful is genuinely creditable in reputation and ability to deliver on their promise.
Here are three reputable providers:
- VirtualStaff.ph (Enterprise Service) is best for businesses that want the most cost-effective way to build an outsourced team in the Philippines professionally.
- Microsourcing - Best if you want to hire 50+ staff and you need them to work inside a physical office.
- Flatworld Solutions - Best if you want to build a call center doing outbound sales calls, and you require the employees to work from inside an office.
Want my team to help you hire an excellent quality virtual assistant?
If you'd like me and my team to help you professionally build an outsourced team in the Philippines. Just go to the Enterprise page and schedule a time to talk to one of our Client Success Managers!