Are repetitive tasks taking up too much of your work day? Are you having trouble finding applicants with a specific skill set like social media management, web development, e-commerce, or graphic design in your area?
In that case, what you need is a virtual assistant! Outsourcing your business needs to one enables you to save time and money, boost productivity, and grow your business.
And when it comes to virtual assistant services, one of the best countries to hire a virtual assistant is the Philippines.
Why Hire a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines?
There are several reasons why US business owners are outsourcing their business needs to Filipino virtual assistants. Here are the most prominent ones:
English Proficiency and High Level of Education
One of the primary reasons why Filipinos make the best virtual assistants for US startups or SME’s is because they’re highly skilled at both English communication and their respective fields.
The former simplifies communication between you two and reduces the risk of miscommunication. The latter means you’ll gain access to a vast talent pool of skilled applicants when outsourcing to the Philippines.
So, if you’re hiring a real estate virtual assistant, for example, you’ll surely get someone skilled at conducting market research, preparing property listings, and assisting with client coordination.
To Save Money
Hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines is much more cost-effective because of the lower labor costs. Also, the US dollar will go farther here, which means that your remote talent will still receive a competitive wage.
Do You Need a Virtual Assistant?
Still on the fence about whether your business needs a virtual assistant or not? Here are some signs to watch out for:
Small Business Owners
If you’re a small business owner, consider hiring a virtual assistant if you feel overwhelmed by numerous administrative tasks like data entry, bookkeeping, and customer support that may cause you to miss out on customers and opportunities.
On the other hand, large US companies know they need virtual assistant services when they require specialized or part-time support for task overflows.
Virtual assistants like executive assistants also offer cost-efficient scalability, help streamline tasks, and improve overall efficiency.
Entrepreneurs, Writers, Etc.
Entrepreneurs, writers, and other professionals usually need virtual assistants to help overcome time constraints, creative or administrative bottlenecks, and boost productivity.
Virtual assistants handle their non-core tasks so they can focus on the things that only they can do.
What to Keep in Mind When Hiring a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines
If it’s your first time hiring a VA in the Philippines, here are some things to take note of:
Since you’re operating in a different time zone, you should establish your expected work hours early on. If you want your VAs to work during your business hours, they’ll have to work the graveyard shift in the Philippines.
On the other hand, you can use the time zone difference to your advantage by letting your VA handle customer support in the daytime in the Philippines – long after your company’s usual business hours. Doing so allows you to provide 24/7 services to your customers.
Consider whether you’ll require your VA to work during US holidays. If you need them to work on holidays, you may have to pay them for overtime work.
In addition, the Philippines observes different holidays from the US, which can cause them to be unresponsive at times. Thus, you must coordinate with them and set expectations early on (i.e., about whether you expect them to work during local holidays) to maintain seamless operations.
How Often Will You Pay Them?
Usually, US companies pay their VAs twice a month, typically on the fifteenth and at the end of the month.
However, payment frequency can vary depending on your arrangement with your VA. There are companies that opt to pay their employees weekly or bi-weekly, for example.
How Are You Going to Pay Them?
US companies typically pay Filipino VAs through PayPal, international wire transfers, online payment options, or bank transfers.
Remote Staff’s Dedicated Payroll System
If you hire a VA through Remote Staff, we’ll take care of their payroll, and you can settle the corresponding fees via electronic fund transfer or credit card.
Once your payment clears, we will send your VA’s compensation to their Philippine bank accounts on their appointed paydays.
Discuss Exchange and Transfer Rates
Discussing the exchange and transfer rates between the US and the Philippines with your VA ensures transparency about their compensation. It also helps establish mutual trust between you and avoid disputes over potential financial discrepancies when exchange rates fluctuate.
Short-term or Long-term Job
Depending on your business’s needs and budget, you can hire a full-time or part-time VA to help you. Full-time VAs offer dedicated support and are suitable for in-depth tasks, such as project coordination.
A part-time VA, on the other hand, is a cost-effective solution for periodic assignments like market research or if you’re running on a limited budget.
In addition to the points mentioned above, here are some other cultural factors to consider when you hire Filipino VAs.
13th Month Pay
The thirteenth-month pay is a mandatory annual bonus granted to Filipino employees by their employers and is equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of their total yearly salary.
Employers typically pay this in two installments, the first half disbursed in the months leading up to Christmas and the other half before mid-December, thus helping employees with holiday expenses.
Another financial bonus given to Filipino employees during the Christmas season is the Christmas bonus or Aguinaldo. This is usually equivalent to one month’s salary.
Unlike the 13th month pay, which is mandated under Philippine law, the Christmas bonus is purely voluntary.
Risks of Hiring a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines
Although Filipinos are some of the best virtual assistants you can hire for your business, there are still some risks involved. Here are some of them – and how to mitigate them:
Unless your VA is living in the capital city of Manila or in one of the more developed provinces (and sometimes even then), their access to a stable internet connection and reliable electricity can be limited. This can cause disruptions in communication between the two of you and hamper their productivity.
To minimize this risk, Remote Staff always requires all applicants to verify their internet speeds as part of the vetting process. Some remote workers also have pocket Wi-Fi units as a backup.
Magical Disappearing Assistants
There are also instances where VAs unexpectedly quit or simply cease communicating with their employers. This can severely disrupt your workflow and leave whole projects unfinished.
One way to avoid this happening to you is by hiring VAs through a reliable VA company, like Remote Staff. We ensure that all our candidates are professionals who uphold their contracts. And in the unlikely event that they do, our Client Relations Executives are here to make things right for you.
Time Zone Considerations
Since the Philippines is twelve hours ahead of the US (depending on where you are), the time zone difference can cause communication delays and make scheduling real-time meetings and collaboration difficult.
To mitigate this issue, establish clear working hours and set expectations for response times with your VA from the very beginning. You can also utilize asynchronous communication methods like email and project management software to communicate with your VA anytime.
The 13th Month
As mentioned earlier, the 13th month pay is mandatory in the Philippines and could put a strain on your finances later in the year.
One way to address this is by planning ahead and including your VA’s 13th month pay into your hiring budget.
Education May Not Be as Strong (and Ends Earlier)
Just because there are plenty of great Filipino VAs doesn’t mean that every Filipino VA you hire will be highly qualified for their tasks. If you end up hiring a VA that doesn’t perform well, you could end up having to spend more time and resources training them.
Thus, Remote Staff uses a thorough screening process to ensure that our candidates are highly skilled in their fields.
It also helps to be more specific about the skills and experience you require.
Introduction to Virtual Assistant Services
VAs can perform various tasks that go beyond administrative tasks. Depending on their skills and experience, they can also help you with content creation, project administration, web development, and even real estate management.
There are various tasks that you can assign to your Filipino VA. These include:
The most common tasks assigned to Filipino VAs are admin support tasks like managing emails, answering customer queries, data entry, and schedule management.
They enable you to focus on growing your business while they handle your more routine and repetitive tasks.
Want to increase your company’s online presence in a cost-efficient way? The best way to do so is by hiring a Filipino VA to help you with your online campaigns.
They can also manage your soc med accounts and help with content creation, email marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), data analysis, and e-commerce.
Having trouble handling your company’s various projects? A Filipino VA can assist you with project planning, tracking progress, and ensuring deadlines are met. This allows you to better allocate resources and organize workflows while focusing on more strategic aspects.
Need help improving sales and customer retention? Filipino VAs can assist you with lead generation, handling customer inquiries, and even making sales calls to increase outreach. These help improve customer relationship management and sales efficiency, which will help contribute to revenue growth and business expansion.
Filipino VAs are also excellent at providing tech support for you or your customers. They can quickly troubleshoot technical issues, resolve customer inquiries, reduce response times, and ensure product or service satisfaction.
HR Virtual Assistants
You can also outsource HR tasks to your Filipino VA, such as candidate screening, onboarding, and payroll administration. They can help streamline HR processes, maintain compliance, and improve personnel management, fostering a more efficient and compliant workforce.
Cost of Hiring a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines
There are plenty of factors that affect a Filipino VA’s rates.
First off is experience. The more experienced the VA, the higher their rates will be.
Next is the scope of their responsibilities. If you need a VA with a specific skill or require them to do a lot of tasks, that means you have to pay more.
Then you also must consider whether you need a permanent or temporary VA.
To help you get the most value for your money, Remote Staff considers all these factors to help give you the best rate possible.
The Ultimate Virtual Assistant Time Tracking Software
Remote Staff has partnered with Teramind for a reliable way to track your VA’s daily output.
Teramind lets you check screenshots from your VA’s computer/laptop to see what they’re doing, what apps they’re using, and also so you can identify their clock-in and clock-out times.
Where to Find Virtual Assistants in the Philippines?
You can find Filipino VAs through platforms like Upwork and FlexJobs, social media groups for VAs, and outsourcing companies like Remote Staff. You can also find VAs through referrals from colleagues or FB groups for your industry.
Are You Ready to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
If you’re finally prepared to hire a Filipino VA, contact one of Remote Staff’s Client Relations Executives to get started.
Why Remote Staff?
There are many reasons why Remote Staff is one of the best outsourcing companies to hire VAs with. Here are some of them:
Find Experts in Minutes
Remote Staff’s talent pool already has many skilled VAs, saving you precious time and effort in finding the correct one.
However, if you don’t find one that matches your requirements, don’t worry. Remote Staff will continue searching until we find one that does.
Create a Dream Team
As mentioned before, Remote Staff puts all its candidates through a rigorous selection process to ensure their competence.
We also provide continuous support so they can have a healthy, long-term working relationship with you.
Grow Your Company
A VA can take repetitive tasks off your plate so you can focus on actually growing your business instead.
Outsourcing gives you access to skilled talent at a lower cost – while still paying a competitive wage thanks to the exchange rate being in your favor.
Since VAs working remotely, you can also save on office and equipment expenses.
In addition, hiring VAs can also lead to potential tax benefits, as you now have fewer tax obligations compared to hiring an in-house staff.
Save and Change Their Lives
Employing Filipino VAs not only improves your daily life but theirs as well. This provides them stable employment, access to international opportunities, and a chance to hone their skills. These improve their economic prospects and quality of life.
FAQs About Virtual Assistants
Here are some common questions about hiring Filipino VAs for the first time:
Are Filipino Virtual Assistants Good?
Their EN proficiency and wide variety of skills enable seamless communication as they achieve various tasks for you. They help boost your productivity and free up your time and effort, which leads to further business growth.
What is the Pay By Experience Level for Virtual Assistants?
Just like any job, the pricing for a VA depends on how experienced they are. The more experienced a VA is, the higher their rates will be.
Thus, before you hire one, consider the complexity of your tasks and the expertise required.
What is the Highest Pay for Virtual Assistants?
The highest-paying VA position in Remote Staff’s talent pool as of this writing is senior WordPress developer. Their average monthly salary is USD 2,695.90.
What is the Lowest Pay for Virtual Assistants?
Currently, the lowest-paying VA position in Remote Staff’s talent pool is Junior Back-Office Administrator. Their average monthly salary is USD 459.04.
How Can I Increase Their Salary?
You can increase your VA’s salary by conducting a performance evaluation to determine whether their achievements merit it or if they gained new responsibilities.
You can also increase your VA’s salary during their contract renewal to incentivize them to continue working for you.
What Are Popular Skills for Virtual Assistants?
These include admin tasks (answering phones and emails, calendar management), data entry, customer service, soc med management, content creation (content writing, graphic design), research, and technical skills (basic IT support, software proficiency).
How Can I Ensure Effective Communication With My Virtual Assistant?
Effective communication with your Filipino VA starts with setting clear expectations and what communication apps you’ll use to communicate with them. Schedule regular check-ins and progress updates with them or use project administration tools to monitor their progress.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, balancing managing your company and doing tedious non-core tasks can be very challenging.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone. Hiring a VA can free you up, allowing you to focus on more pressing business matters.
And when it comes to VAs, one of the best virtual assistants around are Filipino VAs. Not only are they highly skilled in their fields, but they’re proficient at communicating in English too.
If you’re looking to hire the best Filipino VAs, the best way to find them is by partnering with Remote Staff.
Connect with one of our Client Relations Executives today to get started.
John Carlo Pagsolingan is a carefree yet hardworking writer with aspirations of becoming a teacher in the future. He believes that remote working isn’t just a substitute; but is a legitimate alternative to face-to-face work. Learn more as he writes about the advantages of remote work and tips for aspiring remote workers.