I’ve been working with a personal assistant in the Philippines now for several years, and she is amazing! But it’s easy to get it totally wrong and have the experience be a waste of time (or even a nightmare).
So if you are hiring one, here are some tips to make sure it works for you.
How much does it cost?
A Philippines based virtual assistant costs on Staff.com usually around $4 per hour. This might seem very low by standards in your country, but the salary range is very different in the Philippines. Most staff are happy with the pay they are getting especially when they have some flexibility of work hours and the ability to work from home.
What can they do?
If you have a great assistant they can do a lot of stuff such as:
- Booking travel
- Making appointments
- Answering emails (this is a difficult one as it’s a personal thing and easy to make mistakes)
- Internet research
- Calling companies to ask for quotes (for example if you are getting house renovations)
- Getting links for your website to help you rank higher in the search engines
The best idea is if you can have some kind of “busy work” which could be ongoing linking work to promote your business for example. This way whenever there is down time they always have something to do.
Can I trust them?
You will need some time to trust someone properly, but mostly you are trusting this person with your credit card details. It’s not that big a deal as long as you check your statements regularly and mostly if they did steal some money, you may be able to get the money back from the credit card company. It’s worth the risk and most people are trustworthy.
How do I know if someone is a great assistant?
Start with their level of written and spoken English. If their English is great that is a good indicator of some of their other capabilities. Filipinos with a good command of the English language tend to be better educated and more professional in their work.
If you can provide a test for your applicants that is also a great way to evaluate. You can create a test of 3-5 questions that is very similar to the type of work they would do on the job. This will also test the person’s written English and their general problem solving ability.
The other important thing to look for is attitude and their reason for seeking this type of work. You want someone who is going to be consistent. Ultimately however it is hard to know how good someone is before working together.
On Staff.com some of the workers offer a “10 hour trial” where you can test their skills in 10 hours of work and see if they are ok. If they perform well in the first 10 hours then you can keep going and hire them for a full time or part-time virtual assistant position.
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