One of the smartest decisions that you can make for your business is hiring Philippine virtual assistants. When dealing with a global talent pool, it pays to know the qualities of this segment. It makes up a large portion of the online freelance workforce! VAs from the Philippines are some of the most highly skilled and agreeable workers that you can find. Philippine virtual assistants are also affordable, flexible and tend to work well with others.
Here are some important aspects of Philippine virtual assistants to know when deciding to hire. You may be hiring individuals to take on key positions of support within your company. You may just need a bit of help with certain tasks. Whichever the case may be, these qualities of Philippine virtual assistants can guide you as you take the next steps
Philippine virtual assistants are a very versatile bunch. Culturally, they tend to be more creative, but you can find quite a lot who also have some impressive technical talents. Here are some of the areas where Philippine virtual assistants can provide quality assistance:
Basic VA Skills
- Data Entry – This term evokes images of grunt work. This is something that a lot of business owners and high-level thinkers usually try to avoid doing. Your time is best spent focusing on applying your specialized skills. It makes sense to outsource this copy-paste work. Data entry can also require a certain level of analytical thinking, however. You will want a worker who can make certain decisions and doesn’t have to ask you about every single item.
- Scheduling and Reminders – A VA can help you keep your calendar clean by managing your busy schedule. They can handle setting appointments. including related emails. A VA can make sure that you have time for everything without getting overbooked. They can then also help keep you on track with meeting reminders, giving you a heads up on important emails, and making sure you stay updated. A VA can even go a step further and attend meetings to take notes for you. You can focus on the agenda knowing that someone is there to keep a record. They can even create actions steps off of discussion points and use them for accountability. This way, different projects can get done on time without your constant direct involvement.
- Quick Fixes – There will always be those little things that need to get done. Philippine virtual assistants are really good at jumping on different tasks to quickly get them squared away. You can hire one for just a couple hours a day. Reach out to them to take care of quick, repetitive tasks that you don’t need to handle yourself. Every day, you can pass off these random tasks and easily clear out ten hours a week for yourself.
- Email Management – A VA is really good to have to help keep your inbox manageable. On top of handling your meetings and appointments, they can fairly easily help you organize other communications. Philippine virtual assistants can target specific emails and used canned responses to clear out the less complex items. This leaves you with ample time to focus on the messages that are most important.
- Systems and Processes – Common sense isn’t too common, but Philippine virtual assistants can be a big help in organizing systems and processes. With clear direction, they take over so you don’t have to micromanage. You stay focused on growth and just follow up for updates.
General VA Skills
Some VAs have a wider range of skill sets and have developed them to a higher level. Here are some examples of specialized skill sets that you can find in Philippine virtual assistants:
- Research – Much like data entry, research causes some to shudder at the thought of spending long hours clicking through websites and poring over text. Philippine virtual assistants have a knack for locating and recording information. Many are also well-versed in using Office software and other common applications, making it very easy for you to get the information that you want in the format that you understand best.
- Copy – Writing is an art, and not everybody can manage to set so eloquently to paper what they see so clearly in their minds. Philippine virtual assistants are adept at turning ideas into colorful and crafty copy. Many of these writers are also fluent in the English language and skillful with different turns of phrase. You can find among them experienced bloggers, listing specialists, and expert website and ad copywriters for your needs.
- Bookkeeping – you can get a VA to crunch numbers for you so you don’t have to go to your accountant for every invoice or end up having to keep track of every penny yourself. Philippine virtual assistants tend to be good both with numbers and with attention to detail.
- Support – Philippine virtual assistants excel in the area of providing tech and customer support. Many of them have experience working as customer service representatives, some in the large business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. This is a huge plus since you are hiring someone who has had experience dealing with customers from all over the world.
Philippine virtual assistants are in a unique position to provide you with skilled help in both the basic and general skills areas. You can also find highly skilled Philippine virtual assistants in the areas of project management, website development, blog management, and eCommerce operations, to name a few.
They also work very well with others because they are culturally inclined to enjoy the company of others and have great positive attitudes. A smile or a laugh is a common reaction, whether to a happy incident, embarrassment or even a situation that can cause upset. When push comes to shove, you will want someone with you who can roll with the punches and get things done and still have a smile on their face at the end of the day.
The rates that you can expect to pay for Philippine virtual assistants are relatively low. They present an attractive alternative when compared to what you would find for local hires doing the same work. The range can vary, of course, depending on the specific types of tasks that you want them for. Some skill sets are defined below to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay. For a clearer picture, the individual ranges reflect level of skill and experience. Remember, you get what you pay for!
- Basic Data Entry, Research (Lead Generation), Scheduling – $3 to $6
- Advanced Research, Email Management, Bookkeeping, Customer Support – $7 to $10
- Copywriting, Blog Management – $9 to $16
- Graphic Design, Website Development – $9 to 26
General Work Times
With the general setup of Philippine virtual assistants being remote, they work on very flexible schedules. While they cannot all be available to work when you want them to, you can easily find one who can. Many Philippine virtual assistants work from home. This means that they are able to provide you with even greater flexibility in terms of schedules.
Some can work all night their time to keep a full-time schedule with an east-coast company. (The Philippines is exactly 12 hours behind Eastern time.) Others are available to be online with you for half the time. They can then work on their own when you don’t need to be in close communication with them. The important thing is to confirm with a worker what times they are going to be available to work for you. You may be fine with letting them knock tasks off on their own. In these cases, however, you still need to have an overlap be able to connect with them regularly. If you need fixed hours that correlate with your own, make sure that you communicate that. Confirm as well that they can still be productive working those hours.
Something to note is working with stay-at-home moms and dads. They are usually unavailable in the early mornings and late afternoons or evenings. This is usually the time that they spend focused on their families’ needs.
The morning rush relates to between 5pm and 7pm Eastern time. This might be OK for most business hours. Unfortunately, it equates to between 2pm and 5pm Pacific time. That can really cut a chunk out of your work day if you operate on west coast hours.
Late afternoon to evening in the Philippines is between 4am and 8am Eastern time. This may be a problem for east coast companies who want VAs set up before they begin their work days. In Pacific time, however, this runs from 1am to 5am. It’s a great time to have a worker grinding away so you can wake up and find everything squared away.
Hiring Philippine Virtual Assistants
You can find Philippine virtual assistants on almost every online hiring platform you can think of. Remote work is huge in the Philippines. Filipinos have been working in VA roles for companies around the world almost since the internet came to the Philippines. They have really latched into this awesome opportunity to offer their skills as digital nomads. Philippine virtual assistants have gotten really good at working in these types of roles.
The best places to find the most talented and experienced remote workers is on the more established platforms. Some examples are Upwork, Freelancer, LinkedIn, and of course here on FreeeUp. You can read more here and here about these different platforms, as well as some alternative ones like Glassdoor.
Over to You
Are you ready to start hiring Philippine virtual assistants to add to your workforce? Make a list of the qualities that you find indispensable and invaluable in a worker. Then you can head over to one of the many marketplaces to start targeting these keywords.
Get out there and start looking for a grade-A top-notch superstar worker. If you want to dispense with the hassles of long interviews and vetting workers, you can sign up on FreeeUp in just a few minutes and meet skilled and pre-vetted freelancers within hours.
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and long-time lover of the art of words on paper and the stage. She spends most of her time doing freelance content writing and management, community volunteer work with the Philippine Advocates for Resilient Communities, adventuring with the Greenhouse Christian Fellowship, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.