Finally! A Speedy Process For Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Finally! A Speedy Process For Hiring a Virtual Assistant


Are you daunted by the hiring process and don’t know where to start? Read on to find out how you can hire your next virtual assistant with our easy to follow 6-step guide. It will show you how to hire a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines in around an hour. All you need to do is follow the steps and put them into action.

Step 1: You need to write a killer job post.

To attract the best candidates, you need to write a job post that will catch people’s attention. By following our step by step guide in our recent blog, you will be able to write a job post that will draw in the best virtual assistants that the Philippines has to offer: https://blog.systemsandoutsourcing.com/blog/writing-winning-job-post-recruit-best-virtual-assistants

Step 2: Create Your Application Process

Using a Google form is a great way to ask a series of questions to eliminate most of your applications in a few minutes. All you need to do is create a simple questionnaire and then share the link at the end of your job posting.

Step 3: Post Your Advert

The best website that we have found for hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines is https://www.onlinejobs.ph/. Not only is there a wide choice of great virtual assistants who have a variety of skills sets, but you can also post links to your Google form, you just need to subscribe for one month to do this.

Step 4: Shortlisting

A word of warning after years of experience, don’t be tempted to look at any CVs that are sent your way, except those that pass the final video stage. If you do, it will sway you and take you away from the process that you have created.

Instead, do the following:

  1. Unpublish your job advert after 48 hours
  2. Open the Google Form
  3. Click ‘Responses’
  4. Then ‘create spreadsheet’ (green box) to export all of the results.
  5. Turn off ‘accepting responses.’

Now, my quick method for shortlisting candidates is to go to the spreadsheet and look at relevant columns that can help you eliminate candidates based on their answers. For example, a column containing candidates’ answers regarding their availability. The people who answered with a lesser amount than you require can be deleted.

Step 5: Interview

In the 5-minute video that you will have asked the candidates to send over with their responses, a great tip is to watch this video at double speed. This way each interview takes 2.5 minutes per person. This saves you a lot of time and still gives you all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Our team typically interview for most job posts and the entire hiring process takes us around 1 hour, regardless of how many people apply.

Check this FB Live on how you can interview your VA in 2.5 minutes or less: https://www.facebook.com/groups/systemsandoutsourcing/permalink/369065480209016/

Step 6: Start Outsourcing Your Time-Consuming Tasks!

Now you have a new member of your team on board, you can start outsourcing all those time-consuming tasks that were taking up your free time.

We wish you good luck on hiring your next virtual assistant from the Philippines!

Why Are Some Entrepreneurs Overwhelmed When Others Cope Just Fine

Why Are Some Entrepreneurs Overwhelmed When Others Cope Just Fine

I want to share some useful insights I’ve had from speaking to dozens of business owners recently- some are struggling some are notThose that are doing well all have one thing in common, that is the subject of this article.

I have hundreds of friends and associates with property businesses – including myself. Since COVID kicked in, we have been inundated with dealing with cancellations, arrears and issues with development projects falling through.

Right at the time when the business owner needs to focus on saving the business, those that haven’t systemised their processes or who are still doing everything themselves are being overwhelmed by admin. This means they are getting squeezed from both sides- reduced income and a lack of time to do anything about it.

Those that have outsourced their day-to-day operations are able to cope much better, as they have the headspace and time to think and react. Without a team to do the work of your business, you can never take time off, never truly relax on holiday, and as I’ve just described, you will be hit hard at when the unexpected happens.

You quickly become the bottleneck and the single point of failure.

Also, if you are doing all the work, you are your business, you’re gonna have a hard time selling your business when you want to exit as investors aren’t going to be too keen on buying a company that relies on the owner to do everything – it just doesn’t make sense.

Maybe your goal is to leave a legacy. If it is, make sure it’s a legacy that your kids actually want! If they’ve watched you work yourself half to death and be an absent parent as a result, do you think they’d be keen to take over the reins?

I’ve definitely been guilty of putting my work before my family and friends in the past.

If you don’t build a team, you will be trapped in a prison of your own making. Your team is the key to set you free.


Despite all the reasons why growing a team is essential to your business and your own well being,
a staggering 76% of all business in the UK have no staff. 

Why is that? Why do most business owners fail to get help? 

They believe they are:

  • Saving Time
  • Saving Money
  • Are scared of letting go
  • Don’t believe anyone could do their work for them
  • Or they simply don’t know how or where to find affordable, talented staff and how to manage them effectivelyI was guilty of thinking all of these things. Maybe you can relate to some of these too?

    I blame the lack of a good team as the major reason I was on the brink of bankruptcy by the age of 26.

    It was 2006, and I’d been building my property portfolio for 4 years. I’d sunk everything into the latest development project when I ran out of money. I was forced to move back in with my parents, lived off credit cards and used overdrafts and loans to pay suppliers and labourers.

    When the day finally came to get the project approved so I could refinance the property and pay off my debts, I was excited, to say the least.

    That excitement turned into horror when the building inspector refused to sign off the development.

    I’d failed to meet certain fire regulation standards, and the property was deemed as unfit for purpose. It was going to take thousands of pounds that I simply didn’t have to make right.

    I can remember the moment so clearly- where I was stood, what the weather was like, and the sick, churning in my stomach as what should have been the happiest day of my business’ journey suddenly turned into the worst.

    I had no way to pay off my debts, and the interest was mounting up.

    After weeks of stress and sleepless nights, I eventually did get the approval I needed. I was able to remortgage the property, clear my debts, and save my business.

    I was lucky, but many business owners aren’t.

    A major factor in this venture going wrong was that I was trying to do everything myself so I ended up overwhelmed. I made too many mistakes and just didn’t have the time to focus on the important stuff.

    One of my biggest reasons for not growing a team was lack of cash. Hiring UK based staff wasn’t an option. Like most self-funded startups, I just didn’t have the money.

     


After nearly 16 years as a one-man-band, I finally hired my first virtual assistant about 4 years ago.
 

That was a turning point in my business and my life. I now have an established team, based in the Philippines, that run all my day-to-day operations, leaving me to focus on leading my company and sharing my knowledge with anyone who cares to listen (thank you for listening!). 

Like most companies, since COVID we have seen a squeeze on our revenue and we’ve had to turn all our attention to creating new content and services to help people get through these challenging times. In doing so, we’ve increased our sales by providing value to our clients. 

At the same time, we’ve also downscaled our team. 

Because we have robust systems, this has been a relatively painless activity for us as a business, despite it being one of the hardest things we’ve had to do emotionally, as we had to let some great people go. Thankfully, we managed to find jobs for everyone with our clients, so no one ended up losing their income! 🙂 

Also, since we have great systems, our remaining team is still able to run all of the day-to-day operations to allow me to focus on income-generating activities. 

If we didn’t have the team and systems in place to cope, we’d be in serious trouble right now. Instead, we are positioned to come out of this stronger and more profitable than we went in. 

I feel incredibly lucky that I figured out how to create systems and work with remote teams that live in countries, where the cost of living means we can pay just a few pounds per hour for highly talented workers and still give our staff a great quality of life. 

Working with Virtual assistants and creating systems and automation has saved our business during these challenging times. 

If you’ve not already done this, now is the perfect time to get started so you can outsource your admin and focus on generating income and taking advantage of the new opportunities as they arise. 

I’ll be sharing more content soon about how you can easily make the transition to building an affordable remote team soon, so keep your eyes open for my next few posts. 

Until then, I wish you all the best. 

Please feel free to get in touch if you need help. 

Reference

*THE REPORT ON SMALL FIRMS 2010-2015, Lord Young 2015.

Where to Find Your Superstar Virtual Assistant (VA)

Where to Find Your Superstar Virtual Assistant (VA)

Since outsourcing is a booming industry nowadays, there are a lot of options available for someone like you looking for their superstar virtual assistant. It could get stressful having to decide where to go to find what you are looking for.

To make it simpler and more efficient for you, it’s important that you take your pick from freelance marketplaces that have already earned a good reputation. Here are some such platforms that you should check out when looking for your superstar virtual assistant:

Upwork 

Upwork (formerly oDesk) is by far the most popular freelance marketplace.

With over 500,000 businesses choosing this online platform for finding the perfect candidate for their job vacancies, it is unsurprising how Upwork is steadily growing in terms of the number of freelancers. Its appeal lies partly in how it allows employers to gauge a prospective employee based on a comprehensive look at the candidate’s qualifications, skills, and work experiences as well as screening questions. Virtua

This platform features a new mobile app with messenger, among others, allowing easy communication between clients and freelancers and making it easier for freelancers to apply to and respond to job postings. While Upwork is popular among many employers looking for remote workers, it is mostly suited for ad hoc or project-based work.

Of course, as in any other platform, there are no perfect guarantees that you’ll get to find the right remote assistant for you on Upwork. There have been many cases of clients getting burned by freelancers who have delivered sub par output, if at all. Thankfully, Upwork has stepped up its game in its attempt to limit the number of unqualified applicants and freelancers as well as ensure that you pay only for the work done.

How has Upwork done so far?

First, the Work Diary. If you’re paying your freelancer by the hour, you can verify with his or her Work Diary first before releasing the pay. This is to make sure that you pay only for the hours when work has been done.

Second, the use of Connects. Freelancers are given only 60 Connects each month which they use to apply to job postings. By restricting the number of applications freelancers can make each month, the number of applicants applying for jobs they’re not qualified for is reduced.

Now let’s talk about the costs.

You can post jobs on the platform for free; Upwork will only charge you for the transactions you make. Upwork charges at 2.75% per transaction. Say, for instance, you pay your freelancer $100, you will need to pay Upwork $2.75. That means you pay a total of $102.75 for the transaction.

So, is Upwork worth it? Let’s have a look at some pros and cons.

Pros

Streamlined hiring process

Nothing can be more time-consuming than having to go through loads of applications when you only need one person to fill your job post. The good news is, Upwork has made it easier for you to get down to the right person by making sure that the applicants you get are the ones who are most relevant to your business’ needs. In fact, you can hire a recruiter or recruitment consultant via Upwork to help you wade through the Upwork market. These consultants bring with them the expertise in identifying who the best candidates are for your job post without you having to spend countless hours poring through every application your post gets.

You get to name your price

It’s not only freelancers who can name their price; you can too. You can specify your bid preference on your job posting, or you can opt to choose a freelancer based on his or her offered rate.

Improved Customer Service

Upwork has improved its customer services so that you no longer have to wait too long for your complaint ticket to be addressed. Plus, with the Live Chat feature recently added, the platform’s customer service has gone a stride further.

Cons

Freelancer reliability issues

Despite tighter screening procedures, issues on freelancer reliability still pop up from time to time. For example, some freelancers may fail to deliver the expected output on time, and some don’t deliver at all. In other cases, freelancers do submit an output, but one that is not at par with what was expected of them.

The ‘pay to play’ advantage

As discussed earlier, Upwork has employed the system of using Connects to reduce the number of unqualified applicants. However, Upwork has also allowed the purchase of additional Connects, giving companies and agencies with the financial capacity to purchase Connects an upper hand over qualified freelancers. This limits the chances of the talented ones to get a job and reduces the possibility of you landing with the superstar assistant you need.

Increased Site Fees

In comparison to other freelance platforms, Upwork gears towards the pricey end. Upwork deducts 10% off every freelancer’s transaction, as well as charges fees for premium membership. As a result, freelancers tend to price their rates higher to recover the amount deducted from them. And that means you’ll have to shoulder a rate higher than what it should have been.

OnlineJobs.ph

A platform founded in 2009, OnlineJobs,ph has become a popular platform for hiring both part-time and full-time workers from the Philippines. What keeps it appealing to employers is its filtering system, which effectively and efficiently allows them to easily sift through the freelance market. Since this platform is pretty much a resume database, you can opt to narrow down your search for the best applicant by using specific filters such as date of listing, skill levels, required skills, and expected salary.

Yes, we know that the thought of having to go through so many resumes just to find your perfect fit can be so overwhelming.  But here’s a useful tip that could save you much headache and time when going over the job applications: Watch out for those with resumes that have been updated within the last month. That’s a good sign because those who have not updated their resumes are either already employed or aren’t good enough to make the cut. Also, single out freelancers who have high English proficiency. You’ll get a feel of this when going through their resumes as well as profiles.

Let’s move on to the costs involved.

Onlinejobs.ph, unlike Upwork, is priced according to your subscription. Generally, you can be a member of this platform without paying for anything. And yes, with your free membership, you could post open jobs and filter through freelancers on the site. However, you cannot contact any potential worker unless you upgrade your membership plan.

There are three membership plans available, as you can see in the table below.

Free for Life

Pro ($69)

Premium ($99)
Job Posting3 posts3 posts10 posts
Job Post Approval Time2 daysInstantInstant
View Job Applications
Background Data ChecksUnlimited
Worker Mentoring Service
Contact Workers75 per month500 per month
Read Workers’ Reviews
Hire Workers
Pay with Easypay
Use Timeproof
Bookmark Workers

Now that you’ve seen the pricing plan for Onlinjobs.ph, the next question naturally is,

Is it going to be worth the fee?

Well, take a look at the features of this platform and decide for yourself.

You can run a background check on your applicant

Background checks do more than just help you gauge the competence of an applicant. It also helps you to determine how he or she will likely perform for your business. Basically, background checks ensure that you know who you’re hiring, minimizing the likelihood of being scammed by an unqualified applicant. They paint a picture of the applicant’s crucial behavior patterns based on information from the platform’s database and Facebook. This way, you no longer need to resort to guesswork when deciding who to employ for your company.

Take advantage of a virtual coach

Miscommunications are an inevitable problem in a remote workplace setup, particularly when you are dealing with someone of a different culture and background. This is why Onlinejobs.ph offers virtual coaching to employers. Basically, these virtual coaches help prevent misunderstanding with your remote employees so that they remain productive and efficient.

Think of virtual coaches as timesavers—they’re the ones who help your employee adapt to the remote workplace environment and excel at it. They serve as a mediator of some sort between you and your remote worker so as to prevent misunderstandings from taking place. And because they are bound by confidentiality, virtual coaches help build mutual trust and a healthy working relationship between you and your worker.

You can cancel your membership anytime

Sure, you have to pay $49 so you could seek out a great freelancer. But trust us, you won’t be taking months for someone to fill that position up. Once you get the worker you need, you can simply end your membership plan. That’s it. You won’t have to pay Onlinejobs.ph a percentage of your transactions, unlike Upwork.

Fiverr 

Let’s move on to our third source of remote assistants—Fiverr. You probably are wondering what sets Fiverr apart from the other two we have already discussed above. Well, the gigs available on the platform are what make Fiverr standout. Whereas Upwork usually deals with hour-based projects and Onlinejobs.ph have postings for part-time and full-time work, Fiverr offers small gigs—$5 jobs, for instance.

So how does Fiverr earn? Well, it takes a portion of the seller’s fees

On Fiverr, individuals sell their skills to interested buyers who then ask them to accomplish the task based on the buyer’s price. What makes Fiverr appealing to those who are looking for online gigs are its constant feature updates.

Here, have a look at some of them:

Automatic translator

Fiver has a global market, so you can’t always expect people on the platform to speak or understand English.  It’s, therefore, a good thing that Fiverr has this feature, as it allows you, the buyer, to be understood by a seller even if you don’t speak English. Fiverr simply translates your words into the language that the seller can understand, and does the same thing for you as well

Filter tool

Fiverr makes it easy for you to connect with the right seller with its new filter sort tool. Using this tool, you can easily sort your sellers according to the relevance of their offers to what you actually need, or according to their reviews. You can also browse through the recent additions to the list of sellers. Whatever filter you use for your seller search, the goal is to make the process easier and more efficient for you.

Fiverr’s features are definitely great for those who are looking for sellers who could take care of a one-time project at an agreed cost. Plus, you don’t have to pay a cent so you could place an order on the platform. The only time Fiverr will earn from you is every time you make a purchase.

The platform charges you a processing fee for every transaction. For transactions worth $20 and below, Fiverr charges $1. For transactions priced above $20, Fiverr charges 5%. But, and yes there’s a ‘but’, there’s a lot of negative feedback about this platform, with many buyers complaining that they have been scammed by their sellers.

Still, if you’re looking for someone to do some small tasks for you and you want them done right away and at a cheap rate, then you can also try Fiverr out.

MyTasker.com

If you’re eyeing India as your source country for virtual assistants, then heading to a virtual assistant agency for Indian remote workers would be a huge help. MyTasker is an India-based agency offering dedicated virtual assistant services at reasonable hourly rates. Founded in 2012, this virtual assistant agency provides employers with access to professional remote workers who aim to deliver nothing less than quality results. Pricing plans on this agency are pretty much flexible, as you will see in the table below.

MyTasker also offers services other than Professional services. These would include Virtual Receptionist plans as well as SEO packages. With a virtual receptionist, you have someone handling your business line ‘round the clock and logs as well as record each call made. This way, you’re able to maintain your company’s professional presence over the phone even if you’re out giving yourself a break.

For more information on MyTasker plans and pricing, click here.

Lastly, MyTasker’s SEO packages afford you the convenience of having SEO experts take care of your website’s SEO so that you rank on search engines and get more traffic. You may read more about their SEO services by clicking here.

True, the rates are relatively higher in comparison to other agencies offering similar services, but MyTasker has its good reputation to back up its pricing plans. All you have to do is pre-purchase hours from the agency and wait for a virtual assistant to be assigned to you. Your internal dashboard will let you know how many pre-purchased hours you have left. As there are no long-term contracts, you are free to cancel the service any time you wish to.

Boldly (formerly Worldwide101.com)

And we’re finally down to the last name on this list: Boldly.

If the site doesn’t ring a bell yet, it’s about time that it should. From the site’s tagline itself, “Premium Subscription Staffing”, we’re sure they mean serious business. And with top ratings from its clients, it sure is living up to that statement.

With its pool of well-trained and dedicated virtual assistants from the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world, Boldly raises the bar of excellence for the global virtual industry.

Take a look at their service features and you’ll understand why clients stay happy with the service they’re getting.

Virtual assistants are put through a rigorous screening process

Before your virtual assistant from this agency could even be your virtual assistant, he or she had to go through a rigorous screening process and earn that spot. The screening process ensures that you get the best virtual assistant for your business needs—someone who can handle sophisticated tasks with efficiency and ease. In fact, not just anyone can apply for the position. Only those who have at least 5 years of work experience in the industry are considered for the job post.

Personalized matches

Boldly doesn’t just assign a certain VAs to you without your approval. After you sign up for a specific membership plan, you discuss your company’s needs with a representative from the agency, who will then match you with the virtual assistant who best fits your requirements. The agency then makes sure that you speak with your virtual assistant first and approve your match before you cash anything out. That way, there are fewer chances that you end up dissatisfied with the service that you get.

Excellent customer service

Boldly is at the top of the industry for a good reason: it’s been able to keep its clients happy. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about your VA’s availability. Even if your primary VA goes on a vacation or on a sick leave, you won’t have to stress about the tasks you need to be done. Trained backup virtual assistants are available in such cases or if you need work done over the weekends and holidays.

Of course, great service comes at a cost. For more information on Boldly’s pricing plans, click here.

Judging from the pros and cons of each platform, and based on your needs and preferences, where do you think it’s best to post your job opening and why?