Virtual assistants are hired to help support businesses save up to 78% on annual operating costs. But where can you find them? Easy: the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines is the top global destination for finding efficient virtual assistants, beating India for the number one position. So, how do you go about hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines? How can you ensure quality outcomes when hiring overseas? How much can your business save by outsourcing to the Philippines? And how can you be sure you’ve chosen the right outsourcing provider to support the requirements of your business? We answer all this and more in the below guide to hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines.
How to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines
Research and choose the right outsourcing provider for your business
The outsourcing industry contributes over 11% to the total GDP of the Philippines. It continues to employ over 1.2 million people spread across approximately 700 outsourcing or offshoring companies. That’s right: 700. So navigating these outsourcing suppliers to find the right one that fits the requirements of your business can be difficult and exhausting, especially if you’re new to the idea of outsourcing or are not familiar with the Philippines.
An outsourcing provider that is suitable for one business, may not necessarily be for another. For your outsourcing journey to be a success, it’s crucial that your business fully understands how potential outsourcing providers operate and they understand and can meet your business needs. This includes having discussions with potential suppliers and covering topics such as:
- Holidays and leave
- Human resources and recruitment
- Invoicing and account management.
Once you’ve covered the basics, it’s then time to move on to the specifics of what you are looking for in a virtual assistant.
Create ideal candidate profiles and job descriptions
Just as you would provide your recruitment team with a detailed job description outlining the key characteristics, experience and knowledge your ideal virtual assistant(s) needs to have, you would do the same for your outsourcing provider.
Your outsourcing provider will have a dedicated team of talent acquisition specialists who are experts at sourcing quality virtual assistants in the Philippine labour market. However, like with any role, to find the best fit for your business, you need to efficiently communicate exactly what it is you are looking for in your ideal virtual assistant(s). This is all done by completing and submitting a job description to your outsourcing provider.
These job descriptions can cover topics such as:
- Daily tasks
- Existing qualifications and education
- Systems knowledge
- Years of experience in similar roles
- What hours of work they will be required to perform.
Not only does this ideal candidate profile help source a virtual assistant in the Philippines, it also assists with putting together a cost proposal for your outsourced staff member/s.
Review shortlisted candidates and decide on chosen virtual assistant(s)
After your outsourcing provider has analysed your job description, they then support you throughout the selection and hiring process. They take care of sourcing, advertising and essentially finding a selection of candidates for you to choose from within the available local market and their existing databases.
You will then be provided with a shortlist of candidates who best fit your job description. It is then up to you as their future employer to decide on who best suits your business, individual team dynamics and company culture. You essentially screen and interview the candidates exactly as you would when hiring locally, with the use of video-conferencing software.
Once you’ve selected the virtual assistant(s) you’d like to hire, your outsourcing provider should then take care of setting them up. This includes organising all infrastructure requirements such as desks, IT systems and hardware, internet, security access and so on.
Begin training your new virtual assistant and assigning them their first task
Once your outsourcing provider has set up the necessary equipment and infrastructure on their side, it’s then crucial for you to organise onboarding and training to get your new virtual assistant up to speed. This includes:
- How to use your systems
- What processes and workflows do they need to become familiar with
- What their KPIs and key responsibilities are and how they are measured or monitored for efficiency
- Overall company culture and history to make them feel as much a part of your businesses success and team as possible.
Once the training and onboarding have been completed, start assigning them tasks as you would locally and manage their work progress. This whole process can be done just as you would for your onshore team.
Your outsourcing provider’s management team will provide the back-office and operational support to keep your virtual assistant(s) working efficiently and productively. It is up to you to ensure all training and processes are communicated as you’d like them completed. If you don’t invest in training, implementing effective ways for managing work in progress and establishing clear lines of communication - your investment in an offshore team member will not be successful.
What are the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines
Business Process Outsourcing companies (BPOs) generally operate from within developing economies, like the Philippines. This provides several benefits to businesses looking to outsource their repetitive, time-consuming and transactional virtual assistant processes and tasks.
Outsourcing can save your organisation money by having day-to-day tasks completed in a lower cost economy, such as the Philippines, where employment costs are up to 70% less.
Hiring new staff is an expensive process. Many overhead costs come along with the recruitment and onboarding process. The right outsourcing provider will take care of costs such as recruitment, human resources, new office equipment, superannuation, payroll tax, workers compensation, IT and overall management supervision.
Business efficiency increases
Outsourcing helps increase productivity as it allows your onshore employees to focus on what they do best. These are the tasks that are more meaningful to them. In the long run, outsourcing also helps increase efficiency and job satisfaction for your onshore employees (along with your offshore ones too).
Foster business growth opportunities and scalability
One of the many reasons why organisations struggle to grow is a lack of funds to invest in additional resources to support growth objectives. When faced with a sudden increase in demand or influx of client requests across different business functions, often businesses don't have the time to recruit a new employee to leverage potential growth opportunities. Efficient outsourcing providers can have your outsourced virtual assistant(s) set up in six to eight weeks.
Why stop at hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines?
It’s clear why the Philippines is a number one outsourcing destination for virtual assistants. But why stop there? There are a multitude of core business roles and functions that can be outsourced to the Philippines efficiently and effectively.
What are some other roles your business can send offshore to leverage the power of outsourcing in the Philippines? In this eBook, ‘10 Offshore roles you need now to boost your capability and grow your margins’, discover the 10 most commonly outsourced roles, why they are suited to offshoring and even some real-life quotes and feedback from client’s experiences offshoring these roles.