When you’re ready to hire a new Filipino virtual assistant, there are good ways and not-so-good ways to bringing this person on board. I’ll help you to see how the right way can help put your VA on the ground running and keep them from starting off at a snail’s pace.
1. Let your VA know your expectations
This actually begins at the moment you make a job offer. In the same email where you tell this person you want to hire them, include a detailed list of their employment terms. From the get-go, make sure they know:
- How many hours you expect them to work
- How much you will pay them
- How often you will pay them (during the first two months, start off by paying them every week; afterwards, pay them monthly)
- What your time-off policy is
Also, emphasize that you want them to send you daily email updates. I can’t overstate how important this is. The last thing you want is to send your VA off to work on projects and then to have silence for days or weeks. You need to know what they’re up to—what questions or concerns they have, or what problems they’ve run into. Tell your VA from day one that you expect a daily report of how the previous day went.
Along with this, set the expectation with your VA that he or she won’t disappear. What do I mean by this? Simple: In the 10-plus years I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen Filipino VAs get stuck on an assignment, and instead of asking for help or telling you they’re not sure how to solve the issue, they stop contacting you and they stop answering your emails. This isn’t good for your business or for them. Drill it into your VA’s head that you want them to ask you for help whenever they need it.
2. Put them to work right away
Don’t hire a new VA and then keep them waiting for something to do—give them an assignment from the moment you bring them on. In fact, your first email to your new VA should include explicit instructions on a first task. Tell them what you want them to do and exactly how to accomplish it. Give them step-by-step details of what they’ll need to do; don’t make things vague or keep them guessing.
Your VA’s first assignment should be challenging—not impossible but something that will stretch them. In your email, tell them that you know the assignment is a tough one. But at the same time, tell the VA that you expect them to figure out some things on their own. Taking this approach will let the VA show off his or her skills and demonstrate to you what they’re capable of. Keep in mind, though, that you’ve got to provide them with right tools to complete the job. Also, once they’ve sent you updates or drafts on the task, or when they’ve submitted the final product to you, give them appropriate feedback.
When you assign this task, please, please, please let your VA know that you expect them to get stuck and to need a hand accomplishing the assignment. Tell them that you’ll be ready and willing to help them finish the work. If you don’t make this clear, I guarantee you that your VA will soon disappear, and you definitely can’t afford to have that happen.
Some people might scratch their head when they hear I teach people to give a new VA a hard task on the first day. But doing this lets you set the tone for your business relationship, and it tells the VA that you are committed to this and that you expect the same from them.
3. Don’t complicate their role
While it’s great to challenge them from the very beginning, that doesn’t mean you should overwhelm your new VA. Assigning one difficult task is fine, but asking this person to wear multiple hats is unrealistic and not productive for your business.
Ask your VA to do one thing!
This point is crucial. You hired your VA to do something for you—whether it was to be a web designer, a graphic artist, a copywriter, a blogger, or to work with WordPress—not all of the above. You’re just not going to find a programmer, content writer and SEO specialist in the same person. Over time, your VA might very well develop skills in other areas and might prove to you that they’re capable of handling more than one task. But in the beginning, keep it simple. They won’t know everything. Eventually, you’ll be able to teach them more and more about your business, but at first, stick to what you hired them for.
4. Don’t skimp on the training
From the moment you make the hire, you’re going to expect big things from your virtual assistant. But you have to make some efforts, too. Take the time to teach and train your VA.
There are some great materials on replacemyself.com that will help you know what to teach your VA and how to get the most out of this new Filipino worker. Get familiar with these things before you even make a job offer. Be prepared to start orienting your VA to your business as soon as they say “yes” to joining you in your business.
5. Communicate and make yourself accessible
You don’t want your VA to disappear, so what makes you think you can do the same? Be available to answer questions, offer encouragement, give compliments, and provide direction. When you hire your VA, assure them you are invested in this relationship and want them to succeed.
One of the many wonderful things about having VAs from the Philippines is that they are incredibly loyal. So once you hire them and train them, they’ll work with you for years to come. The key is making sure you start them off right by doing these things I’ve talked about here. The steps are really quite simple and are totally worth every effort you make.
About John Jonas
John helps business owners learn to outsourcing to the Philippines and replace themselves with virtual assistants.
He founded and owns OnlineJobs.ph.
He currently employs 14 amazing Filipino workers full-time and loves every one of them. He lives in Utah, has a wonderful wife, 4 amazing kids, and golfs 4-5 times/week.
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– What I Learned from the Philippines