Outsourcing can be a terrifying prospect if you’re new to the idea. What if you don’t find the right people? What if it’s too expensive? Can you trust the people you hire? How can you be sure that they’re doing the work you’ve given them?
Have no fear! Outsourcing can be a risk-free process if you outsource to the Philippines. All the elements are there for you to get tasks done with quality, on time, and cost-efficiency. The culture is business friendly and there’s a really large talent pool to choose from.
To ensure that you have a great experience outsourcing work overseas, we at Onlinejobs.ph developed a six-point Quick Start Guide. This 6-point guideline is based on the best practices we have gathered for recruiting, hiring, managing, training, and paying Filipino VAs.
Onlinejobs.ph. is the largest and most sophisticated platform for recruiting VAs in the Philippines. Through the years it has been our mission to help simplify the process for you while giving you access to the best talent available in the Philippines.
If you check out our database, one way we’ve made the search process easier is to create skill categories and search workers based on expertise and experience.
In addition to browsing the database, you can place an ad specifying exactly what you need. That provides an introduction to a massive database marketplace of talent.
And for added security, all jobseekers in our database are manually verified. So there’s little to no risk that you’re hiring a scammer or bot.
Keep in mind that you’ll be working with people from a different culture. The norm for you might be completely foreign for your Filipino hire.
So make sure you spell out the terms and conditions of working together. Make sure your virtual assistant understands it. Encourage them to ask questions.
Here are typical policies you can establish:
Number of hours worked weekly.
At Onlinejobs.ph we have come to know that the most productive arrangements are those structured as full-time jobs. Those usually consist of 40 hours a week for full-time work.
The procedure for personal/ paid time off.
Stuff happens. We all understand that. But the work has to continue. To minimize disruption, have a policy in place for sick leaves and days off . Let them know you understand that emergencies happen but you must be notified so the work can continue even when they’re not there.
The importance of regular communication.
We at Onlinejobs.ph recommend daily communication by email or through a chat app. In fact, make it part of their job description. This practice helps:
- Make communication a habit
- Makes them accountable for their own work
- Gives them an avenue to alert you of problems or issues early on.
Time tracking, in most cases, is optional. If you can see that your Filipino virtual assistant is productive, how much time they spend working shouldn’t matter. However, if you need to monitor time, you can use our TimeProof app. It’s completely free, easy to use, and won’t interfere with their work.
Details regarding their salary.
This is one of the first things you need to address with your VA. Make sure it’s clear ahead of time that both of you agreed on:
- The salary
- How often you’ll be paying out their salary
- The schedule of payment, and
- Other possible benefits (like the 13th month bonus)
- What payment platform you’ll be using (we recommend EasyPay).
3. Learning Curve for You and Your Filipino Worker
Even if both you and your Filipino VA are experienced in outsourcing, you two have not worked together before. So there’s going to be an adjustment period, to see how well you work together. Here a few things you need to take into consideration during this time, are some best practices for ensuring that adjustment period is productive:
Recognize that some Filipino workers cannot take on the role of a project manager initially.
That is a skill they have to be trained for. They may be impressive with their technical work experience but lacking in leadership management. You will become frustrated and your Filipino worker will lose confidence and commitment if you attempt to impose this duty on them prematurely.
Establish a caring environment.
Filipino workers are not robots who can be assigned tedious, repetitive tasks and never be heard from until the project is completed. If you want to turn them into rockstars, you have to demonstrate interest in developing them professionally and helping them create a better life for their families.
4. Framing Feedback for Filipino Culture
In the Philippines, feedback needs framed gently. Your VA will make mistakes, especially at the beginning. You want them to learn from these mistakes and be motivated to do better. In order to do that, you have to be careful when giving feedback. Don’t just pile on criticism after criticism. You also need to recognize what they’ve done right. Encourage them to be problem solvers.
This is what is known as the “sandwich” style. You provide positive feedback. Then you insert a little negative feedback in between positive feedback. Done right, your workers should feel good about themselves, perceiving the negative as a challenge and your added investment in their development.
5. Investing in Training
The first is that you have to invest the time, energy, and patience in helping the Filipino you hire understand the assignment. Provide detailed instructions through email, chat or video message. Also, indicate clear timeframe and quality requirements.
After giving them instructions, be open to questions. A useful tactic would be to tell them that if they don’t have any questions, you need to assume that they understand the task. This will prompt them to ask so they don’t miss out on the opportunity.
The second piece is to provide training as a kind of reward or perk for good work. For example, the worker has helped raise your ranking on search engines. In response, you are going to start developing that worker’s expertise in copywriting for internet marketing. That also sends the signal to the worker that you are serious about long-term work relationships.
6. Using Common Business Sense
Over time, we at Onlinejobs.ph consider our full-time VAs as family. But, business is business. We would never pre-pay for work not performed. We only offer benefits and raises after they’ve worked for us for at least 6 months. That’s just common business sense.
At the same time, we make sure we provide them with everything they need so they can focus on the job. We pay them on time. Give them access to software needed to do their jobs. We communicate and give feedback.
All these things apply even when outsourcing. You got to treat your Filipino virtual assistants well. If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you and your business.
Success in outsourcing in the Philippines begins with a mindset. Believe that you can recruit, train, and motivate your contract workers to help you make millions, perhaps billions, of dollars, directly from their labor. In return, your Filipino VAs will earn a good living for their families and acquire the kind of confidence which can only come from partnering with a foreign employer.
All this starts with hiring a great virtual assistant. We can guide you through the process with OneVAAway’s 7 day hiring challenge. It’s the in-depth recruiting method I use to hire Filipino virtual assistants to make my life and business almost hands free!
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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