Ready to hire a Filipino virtual assistant? Great! Onboarding a new VA doesn’t need to be such a fuss. Here are ways to help put your VA get started and hit the ground running.
1. Let your VA know your expectations
This begins at the moment you make a job offer. In the same email where you tell the 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
Emphasize that sending you daily email updates is part of the job. That email should tell you:
- What they did that day
- What problems/issue they encountered
- What kind of help do they need to fix it
- What do they plan to do tomorrow.
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 radio 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.
Along with this, tell your VA that they can’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.
What you can do instead is give them an option. They can’t disappear but if they run into problems, they should come to you for help.
2. Put them to work right away
Don’t hire a new VA and then keep them waiting for something to do. Give them a task the moment you bring them on. In fact, your first email to your new VA should include explicit instructions or training on a first task. Tell them what you want them to do and exactly how to accomplish it.
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 that you’ve got to provide them with the right tools to complete the job. Once they’ve sent you updates or drafts, give them appropriate feedback.
When you assign this task, please, please, please let your VA know that they can come to you when they’re stuck on something with their task. Tell them that you’ll be ready and willing to help them. If you don’t make this clear, I guarantee you that your VA will soon disappear.
Some people might scratch their heads 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. It tells your 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 unreasonable and won’t help your business.
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. They might prove capable of handling more than one task. But in the beginning, keep it simple. They won’t know everything. Eventually, they’ll learn to do more things as you provide more training. But for now, stick to what you hired them for.
4. Don’t skimp on the training
Take the time to teach and train your VA.
There are some great resources on your Onlinejobs.ph employers’ profile that you can use. There’s also a VA mentoring program that comes with a premium account to help your VA.
You can also create your own training resources. This is a common thread in a lot of the case studies we did with other business owners. Creating their own training material allows them to re-use these resources every time they hire a new worker.
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. Provide direction. When you hire your VA, assure them you are just as invested in this relationship and you want them to succeed.
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. Filipino workers are incredibly loyal. Once you hire them and train them, they’ll be a tremendous asset for your business for years to come.
If you want me to walk you through my step by step process of hiring a great Filipino online specialist, take the One VA Away hiring challenge. Or if you want to learn more about outsourcing before you hire, go to Outsourcing Lever and get my free book!
About John Jonas
John Jonas is a long-time outsourcing expert and the creator of OnlineJobs.ph.
Since 2005, John has taught hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs how to profitably delegate to VAs in the Philippines (and get their lives back in the process).
With help from his own VAs based in the Philippines, John has created an outsourcing empire that allows him to work 17 hours/week and to spend most of his time with his wife and 5 kids.
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