I truly believe that virtual assistants (VAs) have become one of the main keys to the success of any entrepreneur or small business. In this weeks series for best place to outsource jobs, I’d like to tell you about some of my experiences with VAs and where to hire them.
I first started using virtual assistants about 4 years ago. Now they’ve become the backbone of my day-to-day operations. From taking care of my clients, to delegating tasks, to managing the team they have become an amazing asset to the company. You also don’t have to worry about many of the office expenses that are associated with hiring staff when you have a VA. As long as they have a solid internet connection, you’re in the clear. VAs are also independent contractors so you don’t need to worry about ubiquitous salaries and taxes. If you haven’t gotten it by now, they’re an extremely useful utility for any business.
Strategy for hiring a VA
I know how enticing it sounds to say that you have a virtual assistant like it’s promoted in the 4 Hour Work Week, but before you jump the gun and just hire anyone, it’s best to lay out a solid foundation with a job description and workflow. You’re only as strong as your team so come correct! Make a list of items that you would like them to do. From there, outline a schedule of when you would like to review their tasks regularly. I’ve found my success in developing a plan before even getting started with the interview process.
Best in class
I’ve tested the waters in hiring VA’s from around the world. There are really only 2 locations that I highly recommend when adding a VA to your team. If you’re not trying to deal with a language barrier, then I recommend hiring locally (as in the United States). You typically won’t find a solid VA on websites like Upwork. You will need to work with a VA staffing company. I’ve found that Worldwide 101 has had the most crop of talent. I’ve found that Sandra, their CEO, really vets their talent rigorously to make sure you’re paying for top quality. During the initial on-boarding process you tell them what you need and they match you with a VA with that experience.
These VA’s are typically of the highest caliber and pricing is based on monthly hourly usage. Since writing this you can look to spend about $350 for a minimal part time VA and around $1500 for someone more readily accessible.
Best bang of the buck
The next best place for hiring a virtual assistant, in my opinion, is the Philippines. The VA’s there have strong work ethic and have really impressed me with their skill sets. The biggest drawbacks are the timezone, accents in their speaking, internet and power. It’s become a nuisance as of late because many of my PI staff frequently have power outages based on their location in the Philippines.
Based on necessity, you can typically hire someone that is willing to work in your timezone. You just have to add that request in your initial application. I also recommend creating a really solid list of job duties and a strong structure for workflow. I’ve noticed that PI VA’s thrive when you give them a guide to follow.
If you’re looking to hire someone full time, then this is the best place to look. I’ve found a lot of really great talent on onlinejobs.ph. Now, here’s the best part. You can typically hire a full time 40 hour a week VA between $300-$500 bucks a month! That’s a pretty sweet bang for your buck!
Virtual assistants, as with any other position you hire for, really need you to be a strong mentor and leader for them to succeed. You can’t expect them to know everything off the bat. There is a massive learning curve and you need to give them time to understand the nuances of your needs so they can get the job done.
If you really liked this post or have any questions about hiring a VA, please reach out to me or drop a comment below. Next week we’re discussing paying people overseas, flat rate vs. hourly. See ya then!