Filipino Virtual Assistant: How To Hire A Good VA
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about assigning tasks to a virtual assistant through outsourcing business processes, but why employ a Filipino virtual assistant? Let me give you several reasons why:
#1: The Philippines is the number one voice outsourcing destination in APAC.
According to UNESCO statistics, the literacy rate of the Philippines is 98.22% in 2015. With elevated levels of literacy and strong communication skills, remote workers from the Philippines in recent years are in high demand.
In addition, Time Doctor CEO Rob Rawson hired his first Filipino virtual assistant and considered her a lifesaver. Since the VA was very competent and compelling, Rawson was then able to get his life back.
#2: Education level is pretty high
As an emphasis, the public has a high level of education in both formal and non-formal approaches. Outsourcing to the Philippines implies an excellent job with an increasing level of literacy and an ambitious youthful workforce.
#3: Excellent English competency
The use of English is a significant component in the educational system of the Philippines. Besides, the majority of Filipinos fluently speak English, which gives every Pinoy a competitive advantage over other nationalities in terms of cross-cultural communication.
#4: Western culture immersion
Also, many Filipinos have experience communicating and dealing with Western people. Additionally, there are plenty of tourists who continue to visit almost anywhere in the country and talk to locals. Furthermore, Americans have influenced Filipinos in terms of culture, history, entertainment, and other aspects of daily life.
#5: Warm and gentle by culture
Filipinos are generally warm and loving people. With that, it’s so easy to negotiate with them as they are open to any opportunity that can also benefit them in all aspects. Besides, work attitude is a plus since Filipinos are also hardworking.
FILIPINO VAs THAT YOU CAN POSSIBLY HIRE
If you have decided to hire a VA, there are four main types of Filipino virtual assistants that you can employ in general, namely:
1. Support VAs
These individuals are mostly administrative assistants and data entry specialists who deal with office and administrative support tasks, including:
- Email management
- Calendar management
- Travel bookings
- Social media marketing
- Lead generation
- Data entry
- Website and blog management
2. Article/Content VAs
These VAs are experienced writers that complete tasks related to:
- Online or Offline Content creation
- Promotional content
- Content in either video or text format
3. SEO Specialists
These Filipino virtual assistants, however, may not be experts but can execute tasks, specializing in SEO, and focus more on:
- Niche market analysis
- On-page and off-page optimization
- Keyword research
- Link building
- Blog management
4. Web Developer/Designer
These VAs are great for:
- Updating WordPress websites
- Establishing and maintaining WordPress blogs
- Customizing programming and web page layouts
- Creating business landing pages
PREPARING TO HIRE A FILIPINO VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Step 1: Start Small First
You don’t have to outsource everything right away. First of all, start small by finding the task or two that you can delegate. Afterward, you can perhaps start assigning tasks related to data entry, calendar and email management, research, content writing, and even set up a new website.
Step 2: Be Clear about the Tasks You Want to Be Done and How
Create a guide outlining all the tasks you want your Filipino virtual assistant to perform in connection with the project. For visual guidance, use screenshots or video screenshot if needed.
The clearer your guidance is, the faster your VA will be up and running. If he or she asks questions, please be sure to include the information in your own VA manual. Eventually, in case the VA decides to resign, it’s easy to turn over the details and orientation to the next VA.
Step 3: Provide Time Specifics to VAs
Prepare to set aside a few hours a month to get started. You might need several hours a week when you add new activities. VAs want specifics on the number of hours so they can manage their time as they may have other clients who need them.
Knowing how long you will need to work with a VA also enables you to budget support costs. However, if you did the operations yourself, you’re going to have a “guesstimate” of how long it takes.
If you also have already worked with a VA before, I’m sure you have a better understanding of time management with them.
Step 4: Use Available and Trusted Sources to Look for a VA
Finding a Filipino virtual assistant who can do the job and is honest about the time it takes to complete the tasks is such a difficult feat.
The best way to find a qualified, reliable one is by referral. Subsequently, if you are a member of a business organization or other related groups, look for a referral from members.
Another alternative is to search Google on hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines and those who can provide outsourcing services.
Lastly, the final alternative is to visit freelancer sites like Upwork.com or Freelancer.com with performance ratings as reference.
Step 5: Test Your New VA and Prepare For the Worse
There is a high probability that the VAs you hire may be skilled but not necessarily the right fit for you.
With this, we recommend that you start your professional relationship with a probationary agreement. It should be long enough to work out any difficulties and adjustments, but short enough that if it doesn’t work, either of you can end the contract.
With that, you may want to begin with a price per hour or one month. If that works well, look at the retainer-based acceptance of a virtual assistant.
IMPORTANT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS TO ASK
When selecting your top Filipino virtual assistant picks from the Philippines, it is essential to ask these questions below related to the Filipino context as an online worker. Of course, you can create your hiring funnel starting with these necessary inquiries:
1. Background Questions:
- “What is your favorite means to communicate?” Since English is a secondary language, Filipinos might have a preference for either verbal or written communication.
- “Will you be working from home, co-working space, or an Internet café?”
- “Do you have fast and reliable Internet connectivity? In case your connectivity fails, what is your backup plan to continue working?”
2. Skill Questions:
- Gauge their strengths and limitations: “What do you consider your core skills and services, and what are outside your scope?”
- Check their confidence level: “On a scale from 1-10, can you rate your [specific] skills?”
- Check their actual potential: “Can you send me three examples of your best work?”
3. Work-related Questions:
- Check diligence: “Have you ever proactively addressed a client’s need? If so, did you manage the situation well?”
- Assess teamwork handling: “How do you manage relationships with difficult team members? Afterward, how did you cope up with the challenges?”
- Check awareness of expectations: “Have you worked for foreign employers before? If so, did you manage your time efficiently?”
In conclusion, searching for a Filipino virtual assistant has become accessible, with more skilled digital workers looking for work online. With highly valuable qualities, the only concern you need to focus on is choosing the one that best fits your business.
What’s more than that? At a rate so much lower than what you would have to spend on a local full-time employee, you could hire several Filipino VAs at once.