Employment in the Philippines is changing. While the country is known for its performance in BPO services, the ever capable and reliable Filipino online workers are now becoming involved in other areas of outsourcing which is having a huge impact on foreign employers.
Many entrepreneurs who are into online business ventures are discovering a great deal about Virtual Assistants from the Philippines. The foreign employers must have heard fantastic things about the working culture and attitude of the Filipinos that many of them ended up hiring virtual assistants and other online staff – web designers and developers, content writers, marketing and SEO specialists, etc.
Based on their feedback, which can be read from various blogs and articles online, almost all of them who have hired Virtual Assistants from the Philippines are impressed at the level of service they have received.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
In an ordinary physical office, a Virtual Assistant may be considered the equivalent of an Administrative or Executive Assistant or an Executive Secretary.
A Virtual Assistant, also referred to as VA or online assistant is any person or independent contractor who provides efficient and proficient administrative, technical or creative assistance to clients through an online mode of service provider. The Virtual Assistant does not have to be physically present in the client’s office to perform his or her administrative functions.
Foreign employers usually expect a Virtual Assistant to perform a variety of functions which include but are not limited to:
- Making travel arrangements for the employer or boss
- Appointment setting and monitoring
- Handling and monitoring of email correspondence
- Extensive internet research
- Calling clients for follow-up, request for quotes or submitting proposals
- Getting links for website to help achieve higher rankings in search engines
- Other work-related special tasks or functions that may be required by the employer of the business
So Why Hire Virtual Assistant’s from the Philippines?
There are numerous reasons why a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines is a favourite of many foreign employers. VAs from the Philippines are:
- Hardworking employees
- Of impeccable work ethic compared to other countries
- Technically skilled and trained in their areas of specialization (if they are writers, web designers, social media marketing specialists, etc.)
- Known to render quality work at a reasonable rate
- Known to be trustworthy and very committed
- Proficient in speaking and writing English
- Known to deliver beyond expected results
Choosing to work with a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines makes perfect sense for any employer who wants to minimize their overhead costs and at the same time receive quality work. Instead of worrying about expensive employee taxes and medical and insurance benefits, vacation benefits, etc., you outsource your administrative functions to a Filipino VA and you get professional support and reduced overhead expenses.
There is a reason why the outsourcing industry thrives in the Philippines. It is because the Philippines has an abundant supply of talented and skilled workers.
And even with the growing demand and the increasing outsourcing needs of global entrepreneurs, the pool of talents in the Philippines manages to satisfy the high standards expectations of the foreign employers.
8 Things You Should Know About Your Virtual Assistant
Your virtual assistant can be one of the greatest assets of your company if you know how to build a good managerial relationship with her. This is important, as the market for almost anything today is extremely competitive. And not your average level of competitiveness – it’s hyper-competitive. Don’t lose hope yet. No matter how tight the competition is, you and the people you work with can either make or break your company.
As previously mentioned, your virtual assistant can be one of your greatest assets. Generally speaking, the best asset your company could ever have is a fully-engaged workforce. And a good managerial relationship can give you that.
A good relationship with your virtual assistant starts with knowing things about her. Here is a list of things you should know about your virtual assistant, but probably don’t.
1) Your Virtual Assistant is not just your employee.
Her life does not revolve around the work she does for you. You may not know it but she may also be a wife and a mother. So give her space. Be professional – respect the work hours and acknowledge her privacy.
2) Virtual Assistants are human too.
Most of the times, employers forget this. When your virtual assistant realizes that she made a mistake – or any employee for that matter – she is already more sorry than you know. Seriously. You don’t have to use hurting words to prove that you are right. You don’t have to yell (even if it’s just a video call) or call her names (especially racist ones) if she makes mistakes. It’s a simple golden rule of not doing to others what you don’t want them to do to you. Yes, that Confucian principle may be old but it is appropriately humane.
3) Virtual Assistants want to be valued in the company.
Your virtual assistant also wants to see herself as an achiever in your company. Virtual assistants make it their goal to be viewed as a valuable asset in the company, not just a disposable worker. Outsourcing is not always one-sided. So be clear in communicating goals with her. If attaining those goals is an avenue for you to view her as a valuable asset in the company, then rest assured that she won’t let you down.
4) Your Virtual Assistant wants to be a master of her trade.
Do you notice if your virtual assistant is relentlessly trying to improve on the tasks that you give her? Yes? Great. It’s because as mentioned previously, she wants to be an asset. And to be a valuable asset, you have to be a master of your trade – be it in content marketing, graphic designing or administrative jobs. So, whenever possible, help her by giving constructive criticism. Or if you truly see potential, you can go as far as mentor her to maximize her untapped abilities.
5) Nobody likes being micromanaged.
Don’t micromanage her. Trust your virtual assistant to be old and intelligent enough to make decisions crucial to her job. If she makes mistakes, allow room for it (at least for the first week). After all, experience is the best teacher.
6) Your Virtual Assistant has a purpose for work.
You got yourself a real person working for you, not a robot or any other artificial intelligence. We all have our basic needs. Your virtual assistant works to address these needs. She’s not working for charity. Again, be professional. You may ask help beyond what you are compensating her to do, but it is her prerogative.
7) Virtual Assistants are looking for a sense of belonging
Because who doesn’t? Sure, she is a virtual assistant who works from her home thousands of miles away from you, but it does not mean that you should be indifferent to her. Show your virtual assistant that she is still your employee.
8) They need to be appreciated.
Simply, give the credit where it is due. Let’s say he pitched this really awesome idea which helped you win a client – acknowledge that it was her brilliant idea that led to success. People do more when they are appreciated. Don’t forget that.
So, that’s it! Enjoy the list and see how knowing your virtual assistant can fully engage him to give their best for you. Yes, it’s a win-win!