Hiring remote staff has become the norm, but outsourcing to virtual assistants in the Philippines is still new territory for some businesses. This is why we’ve decided to share our tips and tricks based on more than 10 years of outsourcing experience on how we hire virtual assistants from the Philippines that can fit seamlessly into your business.
Let’s start with why we focus on Philippine Virtual Assistants. What’s so special about them? How do you manage communication? And how much do you pay a virtual assistant in the Philippines? Keep reading or watch our YouTube video to find out:
Why you should hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines
Up to 13% of the world’s virtual assistants are from the Philippines, and for good reason. It’s not just because it’s a highly sought-after job in the Philippines, it’s also because the level of talent, cost of living and cultural similarities make it easy for businesses from around the world to find a reliable virtual assistant.
Here are some of the top reasons why our longterm clients at Outsourcing Angel have continued to outsource work to their virtual assistants in the Philippines:
Proficient in English
More than 95% of Filipinos speak English, and many of them are extremely fluent in written as well as verbal English. This makes communication with your virtual assistant extremely easy and makes them great candidates for roles such as online customer support, leads outreach, lead generation and content creation.
Lower cost of living
When you outsource to a virtual assistant and pay them wages, you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll save in comparison to hiring a local employee. According to Numbeo, the cost of living of an individual person in the Philippines is around P25,000 a month or around A$650, more than half the average cost of living in Australia.
So even if you paid the minimum amount of P25,000, you’d be saving a lot of money on manpower costs while helping provide a comfortable income for someone in the Philippines. And if you wanted to pay them more, you’d be helping someone live an extremely comfortable life! In our experience, many of our Virtual Assistants in the Philippines have been able to provide great lives for themselves and their families, buying houses, going on vacations, and even helping those in need.
Dedication and motivation
We’ve had clients use websites like Upwork or Freelancer to hire cheap virtual freelancers, only to be ghosted in the process. This usually happens because you’ve hired a freelancer that isn’t dedicated to your business long-term. In fact, they’re probably juggling so many clients at once that you’re not on top of their priority list.
However, in the Philippines, a long-term virtual assistant job is a highly sought-after role. On top of the perks of a work-life balance and being able to avoid the commute through the terrible Philippines traffic, virtual assistant agencies like Outsourcing Angel also have additional incentives such as:
These are all bonuses that we provide to your Filipino virtual assistant when you outsource with us to keep them happy and motivated.
Very little timezone difference
The Philippines is only about two hours behind the most Eastern part of Australia (3 hours during daylight saving time). For most of the Western part of Australia, we’re basically in the same time zone. That makes it easy to work comfortable hours with your staff members without having to worry about waking them up too early or them bothering you too late in the evening.
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines
So now that you know why hiring Filipino Virtual Assistants is such a great idea, let’s talk about how to hire a Virtual Assistant. Outsourcing Angel has a proven system that has allowed us to find, filter, recruit, and retain the best talent pool from the Philippines. Here are the steps to find and hire Virtual Assistants from the Philippines.
Create a Strategy Map
A Strategy Map acts as your business guidelines on how a virtual assistant could add value to your business based on your personal needs, business requirements and goals. Unless you have a clear and detailed Strategy Map, it’ll be hard to find the best fit (that will stay with you long-term!) that will help you grow your company.
Things to include in your virtual assistant Strategy Map include:
- Task List: Think about all the repetitive day-to-day tasks and ad hoc tasks that you would like to outsource to this virtual assistant and create a list of responsibilities. We suggest ordering this by the tasks that are most important (high priority) to you.
- Work Hours and Days: Will you hire someone part-time or full-time? What hours of the day will they need to work in your timezone? These are all important specifications for your virtual assistant to know.
- Attributes: There are many attributes that contribute to the perfect virtual assistant, here are some of the key areas to include in your strategy map:
- Personality traits: It’s important for your virtual assistant to get along with you and your team. If there are certain traits that are important to your work culture such as personality traits, these are important to include in your Strategy Map.
- Software & Tools: What kind of tools and devices does this virtual assistant need to use to carry out their responsibilities? Think about all the different software you’d need them to be familiar with.
- Skills required: If you would like to outsource tasks that require some experience, it’s important to include this in your Strategy Map too.
- Work perks: To make your virtual assistant job listing more enticing, include any work perks, benefits and bonuses you’re willing to offer for the role.
- Timeline: If you require a virtual assistant to start right away, you’ll need to be clear about this in your Strategy Map. We usually include a timeline of what to expect over the next 3 weeks after hiring a virtual assistant so that it’s clear for both our clients and the virtual assistant.
Our Virtual Assistant Strategy Map Example
Need help putting together your Virtual Assistant Strategy Map?
Our Outsourcing Consultants can assist you with putting together your Virtual Assistant Strategy Map. This is exactly what our Discovery Call sessions are designed for so book your free call and let us know what all your business needs are so we can help you craft a foolproof Strategy Map.
Screen the Talent Pool
Once you’ve crafted your Strategy Map, the next step is to start screening the talent pool for possible candidates. You can start posting on job boards, job sites, and many other places.
Here are some examples of where you can hire a virtual assistant (besides freelancer websites):
- Facebook Groups: There are trusted Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups and if you know someone that is part of this online community in the Philippines, you’ll be able to scout for a virtual assistant in one of these groups. However, this requires you to speak the national language in order to communicate with group members.
- LinkedIn: The LinkedIn Jobs section is an area where you can post up a job ad for a virtual assistant. Although you may not get high-quality applicants here, you’ll be able to increase your reach and visibility.
- Traditional Job Sites: Other websites like JobStreet or Indeed can also help you increase your job ad’s visibility, but expect hundreds of unqualified applicants too.
If you’re short on time, you can simply let a Virtual Assistant agency like Outsourcing Angel manage this entire process for you so can just skip to the next step and speak to only the shortlisted candidates.
The benefit of hiring through a virtual assistant agency like us is that we also have an existing talent pool of trusted virtual assistants and all applicants must complete a rigorous screening process before they’re considered for our shortlist. See our hiring process here for more information >
Review Work Samples
It’s also important during this screening process to request any work samples from the virtual assistant if this is applicable to their role.
For example, we would usually ask the candidates to provide examples of any social media assets they’ve designed or a screenshot of a content calendar before we consider them for a Social Media Virtual Assistant Interview.
Virtual Assistant Work Sample from one of our Social Media Virtual Assistants
Interview Shortlisted Candidates
Before you hire Virtual Assistants, take time to brush up on your interviewing skills. Don’t just look into technical questions. Here’s our list of Virtual Assistant Interview Questions to assist you.
To give you an overview of our Virtual Assistant Interview Process, this is broken up into two stages:
- Panel Interview: This interview is conducted by our HR Manager, General Manager and a Subject Matter Expert. This is to ensure that our candidate will be screened in all the important criteria from level of experience, motivation for working with the company, home office set-up, backup technology plans and even personality and problem-solving skills. See our full Panel Interview process here >
Davao City, Philippines
Subject Matter Expert
We select an expert based on their experience with the role to join the Panel.
- Client Interview: After the candidate passes the Panel Interview stage, they’ll be put forward for a client interview where you’ll be able to interact with the virtual assistant and ask any questions you need. Our HR Manager will facilitate the interview to make sure you don’t miss out on any important details.
Before you do this, you’ll also need to learn how to use a video conferencing tool to conduct the video interview. This will also come in handy when you hire the Virtual Assistant and have regular catch-ups, here’s what we recommend:
Technical and Personality Tests
So let’s say that you’ve found a virtual assistant that aced the interview. Hold up! The job isn’t done yet. You need to make sure that this candidate can talk the talk as well as walk the walk – it’s time for some tests! This will help protect not just you but the Virtual Assistant too in case the job doesn’t turn out to be what they expected.
- Personality Test: There are a range of personality tests online that you can use to give you an idea of your virtual assistant’s underlying values and approach to work. Here’s an example of one of the popular tests we ask our Social Media Virtual Assistants to take in order to give their clients an idea of their personalities:
- Technical Test: If you want the candidate to complete a technical test such as building an email campaign, for example, you can also propose a paid trial task as an alternative too.
Onboard Your New Virtual Assistant
Once your Virtual Assistant from the Philippines has stood the test, then it’s time to properly onboard your new virtual team member. That includes giving them access to company accounts, providing them with a contract, and introducing them to the rest of the team if you have one.
When onboarding, don’t just show them the ins and outs of the operation. Show them what your business is like, what your mission and vision are, and what core values drive your organisation. That way, they have a good understanding of the behaviour that will support company growth and camaraderie as well. Remember that one great onboarding experience can increase employee retention by 82%.
If you find this process daunting, then we have great news for you— Outsourcing Angel can manage this entire Virtual Assistant On-boarding for you and set the right expectations with your virtual assistant from the get-go.
We look after everything from setting them up online and we’ll even assist you in setting up the right tools and platforms in order to work with your virtual assistant effectively.
What makes our process so successful is that we also assign a Virtual Team Leader that is in charge of overseeing your virtual assistant’s work in the first 6 months of working with you. This ensures that there are no miscommunications and that we’re meeting your expectations.
We just want to see you matched up with the most amazing Virtual Assistants in the world, and we know where to find them!
How to Keep a Virtual Assistant Long-term
Hiring a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines is just the beginning of a long and exciting journey. You’ll also need to grow together and invest in your Virtual Assistant by giving them training, coaching, and mentoring along the way. When your Virtual Assistant grows, you and your business will benefit as well. So don’t think of training as an expense. It’s an investment.