How to find a good Virtual Assistant – part 3
In the last two articles of this series I talked about hiring virtual assistant yourself through the websites Upwork and Onlinejobs.ph. They both have their pros and cons, but you undoubtedly must do all the work of finding, interviewing, hiring and training your new VA yourself.
Time Starved Solutions
Suppose you just don’t have that kind of time?
The best option for some business owners is to outsource the hiring process. Hire an agency to find good people for you.
Choosing the right Agency
We both know that some people don’t have your interest at heart, they look and sound professional and talk the talk. They seem smart and trustworthy (at first) and may lead you to believe that they will be the one handling your job. Little do you know that it’s nothing but a bait and switch con. As soon as you sign the contract they’ll hand your work over to some barely competent minion, who inevitably botches your project.
This can easily happen if you find yourself working with an agency through Upwork.
And I have had some bad experiences when I was first starting out.
I don’t want you to repeat the mistakes I made.
There are good Australian owned and operated agencies out there
If you want someone to do the recruitment work for you and then make sure your VA is looked after properly, I’ve found two Australian owned and operated agencies I trust completely and would recommend them to you.
AwayTeam is an Australian company that’s been in business for more than six years. It was founded by Matthew and Louisa Tew when they started looking for remote staff for their own company. They are both committed to ethical practices and wanted to make sure that their workers were paid a fair and comfortable wage.
Soon they had set up a Filipino company with a Filipino board of directors so that they could oversee their employees’ wages and benefits. This model worked so well that they decided to make the it available to other Australian businesses.
AwayTeam is run on three basic principles:
All workers are legally employed in the Philippines and receive all government benefits. Because they are home based, they can stay in their local communities. Parents can stay home with their children and work life balance is improved.
Comfortable wages in the Philippines – which put workers in the top 5% of earners in their country – amount to one third of wages in Australia. Small to medium sized Australian companies can reduce wage costs accordingly in the non-profit generating areas of their business, such as administration.
AwayTeam works hard to create a good match between businesses and workers. They collaborate with you to develop job descriptions, and then subject potential candidates to a pre-interview process, so that you only meet with qualified people.
AwayTeam’s mission is to provide long term sustainable employment for Filipinos, whilst helping Aussie businesses scale and grow. If you’d like to know more about how their system works, watch their introduction video.
NextOffice was founded in 2009 by Greg Youngberry and Joshua Hay. Greg had spent the previous 14 years operating the computer sales and service store he owned. This experience made him conscious of the difficulties local businesses have in competing with multinational companies that use offshore employees.
After selling the store, Greg was moved to start a business that would bring the benefits of outsourcing to Australian companies, while treating their Filipino workers in a fair and ethical manner.
Instead of working from home, NextOffice workers are based in their fully equipped office. This makes for a more stable working situation, since the internet is faster and more reliable, and your VA is provided all the necessary computing equipment and doesn’t have to face the challenges of running a small home-based business, such as sudden equipment breakdowns and power outages (the Philippines is still in the Pacific Ring of Fire, and stuff happens).
NextOffice offers both full and part time support in the following fields:
- Technical support
- Financial and accounting
- Human resource management
- Back office support
- Customer relationship management
- Web services
If you want to relocate your Filipino VA to Australia after 3 or more years of service to your company, NextOffice will help you get an 857 visa for them. They also encourage clients to give their employees paid vacation and sick leave, as well as holiday pay.
Although this defeats the cost benefits of your staff living in the Philippines.
The benefits of outsourcing
Whether you choose to hire your remote staff yourself or work with an agency, the benefits of outsourcing are undeniable:
These figures are only approximate, and will change over time, but you can see the huge potential savings you can enjoy by working with Filipino virtual assistants.
Not only will you save money, you’ll free up your time to do what you do best: the brainwork for your business. You’ll also provide work and opportunities to your Filipino workers at excellent wages compared to others in their country.
If you can have questions or comments, please reach out to me – I’d love to hear them. I’ve been working with Filipinos for many years and would enjoy sharing my experience with you.
PS. when you contact these companies, tell them “Carl from Internet Secrets Made Easy sent you.”
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