Hire a Virtual Assistant from The Philippines
Delegating chores to a Filipino virtual assistant is a cost-effective solution to free up your time so you can focus on the big things that matter to your organization.
This guide will teach you a step-by-step method that will aid you in discovering, hiring, training, and keeping a Filipino virtual assistant whether you’re a solopreneur employing a remote employee for the first time or are wanting to grow an entire team overseas.
Why You Need a Filipino Virtual Assistant
Still unsure about the perks of getting a Filipino virtual assistant? Here are some reasons why it’s definitely one of the best investments you can make for your organization.
Delegating keeps your business (and you) alive
Let’s address something first. Why do you need a virtual assistant in the first place?
As your firm grows, you’ll be faced with an issue. For many of us, it usually begins with this: a million (and growing) unanswered customer support emails.
Our virtual assistants in the Philippines
You can suck it up and clean your support email every day, but as your business grows, more and more problems will start to crop up that will eat at your time.
Eventually, you won’t have any time to spare for the big-picture duties necessary to build your firm, which is what you should be doing in the first place as the company’s CEO.
Even if you’re a productivity rockstar, your time won’t be enough. If it won’t kill your business, it will kill you.
There are many jobs Filipino virtual assistants can handle. We have employed content writers, customer support specialists, graphic designers, and podcast and video editors. Even our People Operations specialist works remotely.
Why Hire a VA from the Philippines and Not from Other Countries?
In a perfect world, we’d recruit someone we could work with within less than a mile of each other. But recruiting locally is pricey.
Keep in mind that the basic income is not the only item you need to pay for. Things like perks and employment taxes add up to the true cost of hiring a local employee.
Unless your firm can sustain it, it’s preferable to search for someone you can delegate fundamental responsibilities to without breaking the bank, even if it means operating from opposite faces of the world.
So why a Filipino as opposed to other nationalities?
Filipinos are no strangers to outsourcing. The country is a prominent business outsourcing destination for Western countries and is, in fact, recognized as the call-center capital of the world, and for good reason.
The Philippines has a high English Proficiency Index
Aside from English being one of its two official languages, the Philippines also ranks high in Education First’s 2020 English Proficiency Index and is second only to Singapore in English competency in Asia. Over 92 percent of Filipinos speak English as a second language, so you don’t have to worry much about the language barrier.
Filipinos get Western culture
The difficult thing about hiring someone overseas is making sure they understand your culture, and the culture of the people they’re going to provide service to.
Filipinos are quite familiar with Western culture. They watch American TV series, see Hollywood movies, and at one point the country even ranked #1 in the list of countries following the NBA.
The Philippines has low labor costs
The average monthly net salary in the United States in 2021 is $2,730, in stark contrast to the Philippines’ $288.35.
Internet Connections and Power Interruptions in the Philippines
Having stable access to broadband internet in the Philippines is a serious concern. As of September 2021, speedtest.net reported the following data for fixed broadband in the Philippines and the United States:
Another important concern is rolling blackouts in the Philippines. The electrical condition in many sections of the country can be unreliable and rolling blackouts are prevalent. Your VA may be inaccessible to get on the internet for hours or even days at a time.
One of the ways we offset the power and internet issue is to compel our VAs to work from a coworking location. Coworking spaces start at roughly $100 per month and are crucial.
Another alternative would be to mandate or offer your virtual assistant with backup power like this power bank that can charge their laptops while simultaneously powering their routers.
How Much Do Filipino VAs Earn?
Onlinejobs.ph prepared a complete guide to estimate the typical salary for the most common VA jobs. Some of the most typical positions ecommerce business owners hire for are summarized below.
Average Wage Per Month
Social Media Marketing
$210 to $1570
$270 to $1320
$190 to $1030
$250 to $1540
$350 to $1850
$170 to $840
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how much to pay your VAs from onlinejobs.ph. In actuality, we pay our VAs $950 to $1500 per month, based on expertise and the job description.
We also provide them yearly raises depending on their success, as well as quarterly bonuses.
Mandatory Employee Benefits in the Philippines
If you’re going to recruit a Filipino virtual assistant full-time, you may be thought to have an employer-employee connection even if you mentioned in your contract that they’re working freelance.
If this is the case, there are a couple of mandatory advantages that you need to pay for. This is not a full list, but these are the most essential. Click on the links to discover more about the applicable legislation and/or donation sharing.
Social Security System. SSS contributions are depending on salary. Employers are compelled to pay a percentage, but the employee also has to pay his portion. Here’s the SSS contribution schedule for 2021.
HDMF. The Home Development Mutual Fund, also known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, is a national savings program that aims to offer inexpensive shelter finance for Filipinos. In 2021, employers are expected to pay 2 percent of the monthly compensation as a matching contribution. However, the highest monthly salary used for Pag-IBIG contribution computation is simply P5,000, which implies you’ll contribute no more than P100 each month.
Philhealth. Just with SSS, this depends on the employee’s compensation. In 2021, donations are roughly P350 to P2,450 per month but will increase every year. You and your virtual assistant will have to pay for this equally.
Vacation Leave. According to the Labor Code of the Philippines, employees who have rendered at least one year of service are entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay. Expanded Maternity Leave. The maternity leave in the Philippines has been increased to 105 days paid leave, plus 15 days if the employee is a solo parent.
13th Month Pay. This is comparable to 1/12 of the yearly salary, to be paid on or before December 24 each year. This should not be confused with the Christmas bonus, which is not necessary
What You Need in Place Before Hiring a Filipino VA
Before you post a job ad, you need to have an answer to the following questions:
What do you need the most help with?
Knowing what you need the most assistance with translates into what you need your VA to do. List down the things that overwhelm you right now. Is it customer support emails? Social media? Inventory management?
Once you have an answer to this, you can translate this into a job post that targets the exact type of person you need.
Do you need your VA to work full-time or part-time?
In line with the last question, you need to assess how much help you require per week. Do you need someone to work for you for a whole 40 hours? Or are there not enough work for them to perform yet and 20 is just fine?
If you require someone full-time, do you have the means to pay for 40 hours of work every week? Jump to the payments section to learn how much a full-time VA costs.
If you don’t have the budget or the tasks to warrant hiring a full-time VA and choose to hire a part-time contractor, are you fine with them working for other people while working for you?
What qualities are you looking for in an employee?
It’s more than just the abilities they can provide. How long do you want to work with them? (Remember, hiring and training take time.) If you already have a team in place or are going to establish one, will the candidate suit your company’s culture?
Even if you’re only meeting online, making sure your virtual assistant fits the culture is important.
How experienced are you with the task you’re delegating?
While there are projects that you may ask a VA to “just figure out”, there are jobs you need to be highly skilled with before delegating to a VA, especially if those tasks entail a lot of money.
One example is Facebook advertisements. An employee is going to have a very hard time with the autonomy of “go figure out Facebook advertisements and bring me a ROI of 4x and don’t spend more than $20 a day.”
Tasks You Need to Be an Expert In
Tasks Your VA Can Figure Out on Their Own
Be aware that skill exaggerating on resumes is highly frequent. Just because someone says that they are a “SEO Expert” doesn’t mean that they are in fact an SEO expert.
How much time are you prepared to spend on training?
Hiring a VA is an upfront time and money investment, and how well you train them during the first few weeks impacts how well they’ll perform later on.
Hiring your VA will be a timesuck for the first few weeks, and you need to be prepared for the hours you’ll have to take away from your business in order to teach them. Would you be able to devote 2 to 4 hours each day overseeing them?
Once the VA gets the hang of things though, you may gently scale down on the time you spend training them, until such a point when all you need to do is to have daily check-ins with them.
How to Hire and Train Your Filipino Virtual Assistant
In this part, we’ll walk you through our own hiring and training process. You can alter this accordingly, depending on your company’s needs and your VA’s experience.
Here’s a chart that represents our application sources for a quarter.
The Screening Process
We have three tiers to our screening process:
Resume and application letter review, checking Google Forms submission, and initial interview by PO
Exam and interview by the manager and team leaders
Final interview by CEO and COO
For Level 1, you can provide some basic guidelines in your job posting such as a keyword they must mention in the subject line or to answer a brief question such as “Why should we hire you? ” Eliminate all applicants who do not follow these directions.
For our screening test, we use Google Forms. We Eliminate any candidates who do not complete the test and/or who did not complete it adequately, e.g., couldn’t upload the picture correctly, too high wage expectations, etc.).
Expect a couple of interview no-shows (approximately 5 to 10 percent ). (about 5 to 10 percent ). Ask each candidate basically the same questions and arrange each interview to take 30 minutes (leave around 3 to 5 minutes for each question, so for a 30-minute interview this would be 10-15 questions) (allow roughly 3 to 5 minutes for each question, so for a 30-minute interview this would be 10-15 questions).
Here are some of the most common interview questions that we ask our own candidates:
- When was your last job and what were the dates were you employed?
- Why did you leave that job?
- What were the primary responsibilities in your last job?
- What experience do you have with [Seller Central, eBay, Shopify, customer service, etc.]?
- What is your process for [blog writing, writing social media posts, responding to customer complaints, creating FBA shipments, etc.]
- Tell me about your hobbies and personal interests.
- What is your greatest strength and weakness?
- Why should we hire you?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Case example, Write a response email to the following customer complaint “I just received your item that I ordered from Amazon two days late. Because of it, I missed giving it to my dad for his birthday. On top of that, the box arrived badly damaged. I am disappointed with your company.”
In Level 2, the applicant will be forced to undergo tests to determine if they genuinely have the abilities needed for the position. This is where you decide if the employee has lied or exaggerated in their résumé.
Review their outputs as quickly as you can so you may move on to the next step as early as possible. Remember, these individuals are likely looking for numerous positions, so you’re not the only company who’s attempting to hire them.
The last level is largely for character assessment. Here, you will decide whether the prospect would fit in your company’s culture. This is also the moment to set expectations and get to know the applicant beyond his or her resume.
Contract Signing and Onboarding
After you have selected your final candidate, write to them to let them know and ask them to sign a short employment contract detailing the wage information, the amount of hours they need to work per week, etc.
For the onboarding process, make sure to include the following:
- An introduction to the company, your products, goals, and team hierarchy
- Explanation of the company’s culture and employee expectations
- A training track
- Schedule of daily (and later on, weekly) check-ins
How to Train Filipino Virtual Assistants
How do you train the absolute greatest VAs? Before you can, you have to understand some crucial cultural differences.
The Philippines Is a High Power Distance Culture
The Philippines is a very high power distance culture. It indicates that in the Philippines (and most of Asia for that matter), people in lesser positions assume choices taken by their authorities without questioning the authority.
What does that mean for you?
- Your VAs will find it strange if you ask for suggestions.
- Your VAs expect you to have the answers to everything.
- Your VAs will perform the tasks they are asked to do with very little pushback.
- Your VAs expect you to give very clear directions.
Always keep this power distance in mind when working with your VAs.
How to Retain Your VAs
You’ve hired a VA from the Philippines. Everything is going well and you picture this individual becoming a long-term part of the team. This essay has covered the complexities of successfully employing a Pinoy VA, now let’s take it farther. What do you need to do to make your new VA stay?
Opportunities for Growth and Learning
Filipinos are considered to be adaptive, which is the reason why millions have been able to work successfully abroad. A good Filipino VA would grow when permitted to explore possibilities for learning and develop an existing skill set. Doing so can also help you as an employer because that new knowledge may be used to old tasks to generate a much better output.
The Little Things Matter
It’s the minor rewards at work that genuinely inspire joy. Some instances include:
- Recognizing a Filipino VA’s efforts
- Providing a reasonable number of vacation leaves per year
- Paying for healthcare
Hiring someone–anyone, really–to take over the functions you’ve gotten used to when running your e-commerce firm is hard.
It’s especially hard when someone is living on the other side of the globe and whom you’ve only met online.
But recruiting Filipino VAs has been one of the decisions that contributed to the expansion of our firm. If done well, it may make a significant difference for your business too, and you get to experience a culture that’s ironically so close but so different from yours.
How many VAs does your company have? Which employment boards did you locate your successful hiring from?