Outsourcing is a great way to cut back on business expenses and help a company stay above water in these tough economic times. Since the most affordable online assistant services are normally offered from distant geographical locations, most companies or entrepreneurs turn to offshore outsourcing for their virtual assistant needs.
Hiring offshore can be a real challenge, and for some business owners who tried it, it felt like more trouble than its worth. They just didn’t see the value because they didn’t have a good experience in hiring a VA. Oftentimes expectations are not met or work delivered is substandard.
The Philippines is one of the highly recommended sources of competent and affordable virtual assistants. Besides offering an abundance of freelance talents, there are several virtual assistant companies in the country that are accustomed to providing services to offshore clients.
If you’re planning on hiring a virtual assistant from the Philippines, it might help to read up on these tips, to increase your chance of success.
1. Spend time looking for the right virtual assistant person or team.
With so many offshore virtual assistant providers out there, it would be time consuming to actually check them all out. You can ask for referrals from friends, but if no one you know has tried outsourcing, it is smart to do actual background checks before hiring anyone or any company for their services. Always ask for portfolios or samples of their work, whether you’re dealing with a freelance individual or a VA services company.
For background check on freelancers, you can ask for their resumé and call or email their previous employers.
For VA service companies, you can check their reputation through online reviews, or if possible, contact people who have provided testimonials for these companies. This will give you an idea if their company would serve your needs well.
2. Take advantage of free trial offers.
Most virtual assistant services offer free trials. This is a great way for you to test the quality of service the company or their staff can provide. It is a chance for you to gauge if they can meet your standards.
3. VA companies vs. individual freelancers.
I have nothing against freelance workers (heck, I used to be one!), but hiring from a reliable virtual assistant company offers more security for offshore hiring. A reputable company or agency will be a safer choice given the fact that they can be held accountable if any issue arises. A reliable company would always have a support or contact person available even after a project is completed, which is advantageous for obvious reasons.
If you experience any problems with a freelance VA, you need to directly deal with the VA. This is one less headache to deal with if you signed up with an outsourcing company.
4. Get a virtual assistant that you can work effectively with.
Besides affordability, one of the reasons for outsourcing or hiring a virtual assistant is to free up more time. So it is vital to find the right person to work effectively with. Here are some things to consider when finding an effective online assistant.
• Communication & writing skills
Miscommunication is a common problem in any workplace. It is a good idea to find out if a virtual assistant you’re potentially hiring can effectively communicate with you. You can conduct interviews over the phone and correspond a few times by email to test their communication and writing capabilities.
• Work attitude & cultural exposure
These two things affect the execution of their work. A virtual assistant, who knows her business ethics and is a bit familiar with the western way of doing business, would likely be able to deliver work with integrity and quality.
5. Get a multi-skilled VA.
Aside from basic computer skills, you should find out if your virtual assistant has other useful skills. Some VAs also proofread, copywrite, Photoshop, or do minor video editing. Learning your VA’s work experiences can help you discover her other skills.
Following these five steps will help you get quality people to work for your company. Besides cutting down on expenses and getting great results, successful outsourcing also translates to more security for your company and more free time for you.
About Pepper Virtual Assistants
Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.