How to find a Rockstar Virtual Assistant
Companies operating both online and offline are well aware of the advantages of hiring virtual assistants. It is an effective and convenient type of strategy that has proven to help in the success of any business. A virtual assistant can assist a business owner “virtually”. Filipino virtual assistants have characteristics and skills that set them apart. As a result, the Philippines is one of the leading providers of virtual assistants in the outsourcing industry.
When teaching people about outsourcing to the Philippines, the number one question being asked is always:
“But how do you know if the person you’re hiring is going to be good?”
Filipinos have their own areas of competence as well as a department to which they should be affiliated. VAs are multi-skilled professionals who are not typically found in an office setting, and they have their own set of requirements.
FLEXIBILITY IN THE SKILLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Begin by forming an idea of who you’re looking for. Don’t be overly specific. Stick to a particular skill then hire the best available candidate. Anything above and beyond the primary skill you’re looking for is a bonus. When you post a job, include only one main requirement. If you want to post a couple more “would be great if…” requests, that’s fine as well. However, posting a list of 12 different skill requirements is not an effective way to find a Rock Star VA.
START WITH VOLUME
Set a very wide group. If you post a job, respond to everyone who replies and start interviewing. If you’re going to contact candidates, contact 20-30 of them and then see who responds after your first contact.
The Filipinos are dedicated workers. They are committed to their employers. If you contact them but they already have a job, their probability of answering to you is low, so if you short-list candidates and all of them have jobs, you’ve wasted your time.
ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS
Instead of doing live interviews, ask them a lot of questions. Filipinos are self-conscious and easily embarrassed. If you continue to rely on it, you will lose good candidates. Send emails with 2-4 questions. When you do this, you will find illegitimate candidates, understand their personalities, determine whether or not they are telling the truth on their profile, and discover and narrow down the best candidates.
Take note of their detailing. As a virtual employee, you must pay close attention to all the details. If they omit the questions you ask during the interview, they’re likely to skip the tasks you appoint them after you hire them. Details are important.
HIRE THE BEST
When you start asking a lot of questions, a lot of people candidates will consider leaving. This will help you narrow down the candidates best for the job. Choose the strongest candidate.
The Problem with Hiring Virtual Assistants
- The idea of a virtual assistant sounds great to most people when they hear the idea.
- So they go to Upwork, put up a post and think that this is going to solve all of their problems.
- Yet most people are hit with a harsh reality as soon as they make a hire.
- The results of the work is terrible.
- The VA’s disappear for days or flake out on them.
- And they seem to miss all of the details.
- And so people get fed up, and they just cut the VA’s and go back to doing everything themselves.
- Yet what they don’t realize is that four things lead to this failure.
1. ATTEMPTING TO SEND THE VA THE WRONG KIND OF WORK
What most people don’t realize is that VA’s (especially offshore team members) are not great for just taking random requests.
What too many people try to do is just take something they hate doing and send it to a VA…
That typically doesn’t work.
Instead, VA’s are best utilized when you have a repeatable process in your business that you run on a daily or weekly basis. Here are just a few of the ways we use our VA team at VA FLIX.
- Sending Linkedin Connection Requests & Drip Messages
- Updating the CRM
- Scraping email lists for cold email
- Publishing my blog posts to my website
- Publishing my podcast to my website & iTunes
- Publishing my daily blog
- Sharing my content on social media
- Updating my CRM via email notifications
- Sending me daily summaries of all of my upcoming calls with relevant links for each prospect
- Handling steps in our customers onboarding
- Cleaning up lists of data
- And many more…
All of these are repetitive tasks that are done on a regular basis.
We train the VA once, document it, and then they handle it after that.
2. POOR TRAINING AND DELEGATION
One of my mentors once told me a great piece of wisdom.
“Whenever you are having a problem with a team member, 90% of the time you are the problem in how you are delegating and managing them.”
That simple idea rocked my world.
Too many people get frustrated when someone doesn’t produce the result they want.
They blame the person and say “I can’t find a decent VA.”
In reality, you probably suck at delegation and management.
You probably failed to set proper expectations or timelines.
Or you failed to invest the time into actually training them properly on the front end.
While there are flaky VA’s out there,
too often we blame them, when in reality we are the problem.
3. YOU HIRE POOR QUALITY VA’S
You can go to sites like Upwork and find thousands of virtual assistants who will work for extremely low prices.
Yet not all VA’s are created equal.
You need a systematic and predictable way to find high quality candidates, and weed out the bad ones.
4. YOU TREAT YOUR VA’S LIKE SHIT
Lastly, even if you hire a good VA, they will flake out on you if you treat them like shit.
If you can’t give them consistent work.
If you don’t show up for 2 months, and then suddenly expect them to deliver 20 hours of work this week.
If you don’t appreciate them and compliment them on the good that they do.
Simply put, even though they may be in another country on the other side of the world, they are people.
They are real humans, with real families, and real life.
Treat them like you would your neighbor, or a close friend.
If you do that, they will be grateful for you and stick with you for the long term.
How much should I expect to pay for a virtual assistant
Rates can range depending on what specific skills you want them to have, but for the purposes of this article I am going to be talking about an “admin level” virtual assistant.
This is someone without design or development skills. But instead, someone who simply has good communication, attention to detail and can do the standard tasks you need help with.
If you are looking to hire someone from the Philippines, Columbia, Southeast Asia, etc., then you can expect to pay rates of starting at $800 per month on the absolute low end for someone full time.
At those rates, you should not expect to find someone with a high caliber for creative decision making. These tend to be people who can execute a process you teach them on and deliver a consistent result every time.
Even at that rate, you will occasionally find some higher caliber people with strong communication and problem solving abilities. These may even be college educated individuals in these countries. When you find these people, I would plan on giving them a bit of a raise over time to keep them around.
As you move up the scale, you get into the range of $500-750 per month. At these rates, you are looking at someone with phenomenal communication abilities. They can learn quickly, and handle much more creative decisions as opposed to just executing a process that is handed to them.
At VA FLIX, we have a mixture of both of these levels of candidates spread across our team.