Did you know that according to “Statista Notes,” the ultimate worth of the outsourcing services industry is $85 million? After my thorough research, I have learned that almost 80 percent of people working from home and remote places in the Philippines find the most productivity in their work through outsourced services.
The Philippines is an intensively empowered country with excellent potential of labors in diverse industries. These include information technology, education, finance, healthcare, construction, automotive, food processing, and so many others. Hiring Filipino Virtual Assistants (in most cases) guarantees productivity with superb quality.
Now on to specifics. As we have read above, the popularity of outsourcing services and the need for powerful companies to hire low-cost labor is of the utmost importance. One of the biggest markets covered by the outsourcing industry is Virtual Assistantship.
What is the significance of this job role that creates high demand from English-speaking countries from all around the world?
To begin with…
Let me tell you what this article will cover:
- What is a Virtual Assistant?
- The services provided by a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines.
- Why Outsource to the Philippines for a Virtual Assistant?
- How can you Outsource/Hire a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines for your company in 2021?
- Insights into Top Outsourcing Companies in the Philippines.
- Wages of a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines.
- How to interview and find the right Filipino Virtual Assistant.
- How to pay for a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines.
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Keeping a Virtual Assistant
What is a Virtual Assistant?
To start with, what is the real meaning of a Virtual Assistant? I would like my readers to think about this quote from the late CEO & Founder of Apple, Mr. Steve Jobs:
“The best way to create value in the 21st century is to connect creativity with technology”
It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Virtual Assistants are successes of the digital era. Their creativity with regards to their work of designing, social media management, administrative management, marketing, and any other related tasks requires them to embrace technology. They need to stay current with latest greatest technology out there.
Virtual Assistants (VAs) are the people who offer their professional services overseas while working from the comfort of their home/any remote area. A Virtual Assistant Outsourcing Company employs them in their own country.
Although this industry has already brought a radical change in the conventional style of doing business, many people are still not familiar with a remote Virtual Assistant’s job.
Virtual Assistants will provide traditional services like bookkeeping, calendar management, reporting, account management, hotel bookings/reservations, etc. They will also offer other digital services such as content creation, event management, applications, and website development. VAs can also do other electronic management-related tasks.
In regards to hiring virtual assistants from the Philippines, the workforce is very diverse. For example, many working mothers are Virtual Assistants. If you want a broader picture of the types of services provided by Virtual Assistants, keep reading below.
The Services provided by a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines:
To interest those of you who are looking to become VAs and those of you who are looking to hire VAs from the Philippines, here is a list of unconventional daily tasks managed by VAs:
1. Real Estate Virtual Assistants
If you are a temporary broker or real estate agency owner in the US, you will need someone with sharp technical skills to record day-to-day services.
Tasks would include bookkeeping, formulating emails to prospective clients, advertising on the right platform, counter-checking on the interested parties’ portfolio, rate of return checking, etc.
Many business owners claim their Philippines-based real estate Virtual Assistant costs them much less than VAs in their area.
You can easily outsource these duties to a virtual assistant from the Philippines for only $4 to $10 an hour.
2. Website/Application Design
It can be difficult if you are the only person running a business, selling thousands of products and services. However, the Internet has made it possible for you to move your business online and compete globally.
Whenever you are creating a website, you need three things: a domain name, a website host, and an SSL certificate. Since companies usually need to make changes to their website often, it also makes sense to use CSS programming language.
Virtual Assistants can provide you with all of the above. They can also design your overall website layout (including templates and fixation of JPEGs).
3. Social Media Management
The Philippines has the second-highest number of internet users in Southeast Asia.
- Brand Auditing
- A/B Split Testing
- Budget Optimization Planning
- Biweekly Performance Reports
- Ad Object Optimizations
4. Generation of Leads
The lead generation role of Virtual Assistants has gained a lot of popularity recently. Selling your product is the key to running your business. Honestly, it is the source of income for the employer and the salary for the VAs.
For example, imagine you are an entrepreneur in Taiwan whose business consists of selling marble, and you wish to sell marble outside Taiwan. You are having trouble because your potential customer data is comparatively less in quantity and outside your customer-centric country.
Outsourcing Agencies actively working in the Philippines could direct your business with their numerous resources to help you find customers through virtual dig outs.
5. Content Writing
Any digital outsourced company’s cycle works on a flow chart: from selling products for their clients to preparing their website to create content.
Many Filipino’s are good at creative writing, in English, for their employer’s social media and website. From collecting client briefs to drafting competitive analyses to writing good product reviews, Filipino VAs can do it all.
The average monthly base payout to a copywriter in the Philippines is around $800 to $1,500.
6. Email Management
Deleting emails from an inbox sounds easy. Right? But, what happens when you are single-handedly running a business and looking after the entire supply chain? How can one person also handle responding to all their emails?
On average, a business owner dealing in e-commerce gets over 1,000 emails/day.
Under this furious work routine, companies or individuals hire the services of Virtual Assistants for email management. The VA manages/responds to daily emails, schedules promotional publicity, and even sends out seasonal greetings.
7. Search Engine Optimization
VAs can help optimize your website by raising its website rankings through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by:
- Link Building
- Blogging Websites
However, SEO is a significant promise from a Virtual Assistant. It is a big promise because SEO is a form of organic marketing, so it takes time to provide the client with tangible results. Although, experts will do their best to bring increased rankings to the website quickly.
8. Audio & Video Editing
Ever since the popularity of Youtube has increased, the demand for audio and video editing has similarly increased. You may use a basic or free editing software for simple edits to your media content, but the sound base and low versatility can irritate your viewers.
Filippino freelancers are skilled in using advanced editing software to improve the quality of your content.
Apart from the traditional audio and video edits, VAs in the Philippines are capable of the following functions:
- In-plugging relevant graphics with music, in video content
- Expert knowledge with hands-on mic and camera settings for Vlogs
- Making the demo clip with glamorized edits before the final cut
- Recording and setting video formats to be placed in different forums (i.e., Vimeo, Dailymotion, Youtube)
- Conceptually illustrating the template of your video edits through Photoshop and other software
9. Marketing Collaterals Designing
By branding all their office supplies and sending them to their clients/prestigious customers, large companies effectively spread awareness of their business.
Imprinting your company logo on t-shirts, mugs, tissue boxes, pens, notebooks, wallets, etc., are typical corporate branding examples.
Talking with an illustrative design professional will further add value to your brand. It will allow you to connect your company message to your brand.
Connecting with a VA about expanding your brand will go beyond just going to the printers and slapping your logo on some mugs.
10. Pitching Brands
Pitching brands is one of the best and more creative services offered by Virtual Assistants. Due to the quickly advancing world we live in, you cannot stick to a limited portfolio of customers or clients.
But, who should work on marginal additions for succeeding in business and keeping you aloof from competitors?
The sensible and dynamic business owner will hire personnel. More reasonably, they will outsource someone to write business proposals/pitches, compile data reports, and gather insight to gauge new customer leads.
11. Customer Support through Telephone, Chat & Email
It is not wrong to say the most well-known job of a Filipino VA is a Customer Service Agent.
Many food delivery businesses from all over the world outsource to the Philippines for customer service support. This type of business requires streamlined integration between Riders/Drivers, Restaurants, and Customers.
Along with India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the Philippines is one of the countries to which many businesses outsource their customer support services to.
Hopefully, you have now understood the real meaning of a VA and the kind of services you can outsource from the Philippines for your business.
Keep reading below to find out about the Top 4 companies whose outsourcing services you can avail Filipino Virtual Assistants from.
Why outsource to the Philippines for a Virtual Assistant?
This industry is growing in leaps and bounds. The competition amongst outsourcing companies is also increasing.
Why should you outsource to the Philippines for a Virtual Assistant to support your business?
Here are the reasons why:
1. Filipinos are Excellent English Speakers, Listeners, and Writers
In the Philippines, students are schooled in two languages: Filipino and English. Therefore, all Filipinos rely on those two languages. Their versatility makes it easy for foreign business owners to communicate with Filipino VAs when providing briefs and directives.
2. Comparatively Low Exchange Rate
Internationally, the currency used when transferring payment to Virtual Assistants in the Philippines is US Dollars. However, when you exchange US Dollars for Filipino Pesos, the dollars become much more valuable.
Many US-based companies have to pay three times more to their local VAs than to their Philippines-based VAs.
For example, the VAs in real estate in America won’t charge you less than $30/hour. Whereas in the Philippines, $10/hour would be sufficient.
3. The Booming & Tech-Forward Remote Work Culture
Whether a Filipino is a beautician or a babysitter, a Filipinos’ loyalty to their profession is remarkable. Virtual Assistants are the same way.
VAs are tech-savvy people and do not require much time in training. They are skilled base workers. They have high-ranking accomplishments while their deliverables are well-proven and on time.
Now that you know about the advantages of hiring a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines let’s scroll down to see a famous Filipino outsourcing company’s details.
How can you Outsource/Hire a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines for your Company in 2021?
One of the primary reasons behind the increased interest in the freelancing industry is the ongoing pandemic. COVID-19 has affected every work cycle in the world. Not only have employees been fired due to a lack of funds, but there have also been massive death tolls.
With this devastating situation, businesses recruited Virtual Assistants to aid weakened sole proprietors and enterprises. Companies could hire VAs because they work from home, the safest environment to work in during a pandemic.
There are numerous recruiting and outsourcing agencies worldwide, notably in the US, the UK, and China. Their offices are located internationally, while their workforces are based in the Philippines, the UAE, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
I highly recommend Onlinejobs.ph. It’s an online marketplace of top-ranked Virtual Assistants from all over the Philippines. The marketplace connects employers from the US (and other countries) to VAs in the Philippines using a job board. Onlinejobs.ph is one of the more established outsourcing agencies, and they specialize in Filipino talent exclusively. They get thousands of job applications each month. They do not pre-screen as they charge a reasonable amount for employers to search their database of millions of Filipino VAs.
I believe Onlinejobs.ph to be one of the most reliable and cost-effective providers of world-class VAs from the Philippines. Their plans start $69/month for three job posts to $99/month for ten job posts.
Onlinejobs.ph has more than 700,000 talented college-degree holder Vas that can do just about anything from doing mundane tasks to graphic designing, programming, data analysis, system administration and any other related tasks.
VAs on OnlineJobs, you can find everything from graphic designers to Ruby on Rails developers.
So what’s the value of hiring someone in the Philippines?
- Onlinejobs.ph is based Utah, so you’re dealing with a US-based company.
- Functionality to search freelancers based on their skill sets and level of experience in the industry.
- Functionality to filter candidates based on type of employments – contract, part-time and/or full-time just like an employee.
- You can pick from the candidates based on your budget you can afford to pay the VAs from $200 to $2,000 per month. Top earners have significant experience in the industry and many are rock stars on their chosen profession.
- ID proof score. This gives you the VAs credibility and validation that they are who they say they are.
- Last active gives you an idea as employer when was the last name the candidate was logged in to Onlinejobs.ph
- It has functionality to monitor the work activities of your VAs using their Timeproof system.
- ph also offer recruiting services where they screen, interview, and evaluate candidates so you don’t have to. This is available for you for an additional $500 fee that in my opinion is reasonable amount given that it will save you a lot of your valuable time. Onlinejobs.ph doesn’t take a cut for whatever amount you pay your Virtual Assistant.
In other platforms e.g. Fiverr or Upwork they are like the middleman where they cut a fee from the freelancers for Virtual Assistant. The transactions between the freelancers and you as their employer are independent of the platform. Hence, no added markup on the salary of your VAs.
- Virtual Assistants are not vetted so you have take precaution.
- ph doesn’t mediate between you and the Virtual Assistants
Overall, it is a great platform that has my support. I highly recommend it.
OutSourced.ph is a famous recruiting company whose head office is based in Australia. It has a pool of employees from both the Philippines and Australia. Their workforce provides plenty of professional services to foreigners.
Their services include QA Consulting, Web Design, Graphic Design, Website Development, and many other IT support services. This variety of services allows foreign businesses to save money.
Other than IT support services, Virtual Assistants from OutSourced.ph are also assertive in handling daily administrative and financial tasks. These tasks include payroll, taxes, refund collection, office furniture expenses, office stationery expenses, and many other roles traditionally performed by a Human Resources representative. Outsourcing allows you to cater to all these tasks under one position.
Besides all these services, OutSourced.ph also provides the client with an experienced account manager who personally looks after them and shares advice on achieving their goals.
VirtualStaff.ph is one of the most trusted and well-known third-party service providers. They do not have a physical workstation but instead focus solely on digital integration. They have a firm grip on the Virtual Assistant market in the Philippines.
If you are looking for earning and facilitation opportunities for freelancers, VirtualStaff.ph is your best option.
Get yourself registered with VirtualStaff.ph NOW, if you have the right skills.
VirtualStaff.ph works in two ways when outsourcing.
You can directly hire someone after viewing their CV and pay them once the job is completed. In this situation, as the middleman, VirtualStaff.ph will receive a small commission.
The second is you can purchase an Elite Enterprise Solutions package from VirtualStaff.ph. This package covers all professional expertise areas, including an account manager, hiring/recruiting services, staff allocation services, legal affairs facilitation, and even health insurance services.
Insights into Top Outsourcing Companies in the Philippines:
How You Can Access the Recruiting Process of OutSourced.ph
The steps to reach the right point of contact at OutSourced.ph is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is to follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the job form available on ph.
- Enter the relevant required fields with the desired job role.
- Detail the type of expertise you require.
- Write down the time zone you conduct business in.
- Describe the type of audience you engage with.
For example, if you require a telemarketer, the company will scout one in its available database.
If your business has any special requirements for a particular role, OutSourced.ph will accommodate you and find the best match for the defined position.
Cost of Above Services
OutSourced.ph has a variety of packages available for their clients to purchase. These packages range from approximately $ 9 per hour to $26 per hour.
Most people find the fees of OutSourced.ph to be expensive. However, OutSourced.ph has a reason for charging its clients more to manage the entire supply chain. They have high expenses because they have to handle the workstation, pay salaries, recruit employees, buy IT equipment/high-tech software, etc.
VirtualStaff.ph is a platform that provides outsourcing services to both job seekers and employers.
Here is some important information for employers:
- ph has a pool of more than 100,000 CVs in its database. You can easily search for a candidate that fits the job role you require.
- Job Seekers must subscribe to the platform.
- You can hire multiple workers for multiple services.
- It is on you and your employee to agree on a method of payment.
- If you are looking for Virtual Assistants for social media management, real estate, graphic design, e-commerce, etc., it is best to enter your job requirements so that job seekers can connect with you directly.
- However, if you are looking for full-time services, ph also offers Elite Enterprise Solutions to recruit the best employees for your business in legal, payroll, and compliance.
- Most people find the fees of ph to be expensive. However, OutSourced.ph has a reason for charging its clients more to manage the entire supply chain. They have high expenses because they have to handle the workstation, pay salaries, recruit employees, buy IT equipment/high-tech software, etc.
Cost of Above Services
The different subscriptions of VirtualStaff.ph vary in cost. The subscription fee for the Job Seekers Package is a small $120/year. Any other fee will be paid directly from employer to employee.
The Elite Enterprise Solutions Package is much more expensive as you will be buying a whole suite of professional services yearly.
Virtual Staff Finder
Virtual Staff Finder is the go-between between small-level entrepreneurs/ business owners and Filipino Virtual Assistants. It consists of a massive database of workers who possess skills such as:
- Curating Content
- Digital Marketing
- Graphic Designing
- Logo and Collaterals Designing
- Providing Customer Support
- Generating Customer Leads
VAs on Virtual Staff Finder are primarily technology-focused, but they also train in administrative tasks, including bookkeeping and payroll disbursement.
How Can You Access Virtual Staff Finder?
- Sign up for services.
- A company representative will reach out and share a job description document with the employer. It will include required fields which employers must fill out with the number of staff they need.
- Virtual Staff Finder will go through an in-depth search of its database to find the right candidate to fit the employer’s requirements. They will match your job description document to the candidate’s CV.
- Virtual Staff Finder will then share the selected candidates’ CVs for approval with the employer to get feedback before the next part of the hiring process.
- After finalizing their CV, a candidate will go through a series of authenticity checks, including face-to-face interviews (one on one and panel).
- A candidate will then go through extensive background checks. If everything is clear, Virtual Staff Finder will select three candidates to interview directly with the employer.
- The employer will then choose the perfect employee for their business. They will brief Virtual Assistant on the company’s nature and the deadlines the VA is required to meet.
- At the same time, the employer will also confirm the VA’s skill set and negotiate a monthly salary.
Cost of Above Services
The good thing about Virtual Staff Finder is that it will only ask you to pay a one-time fee of $500. After that, the employer only has to pay the Virtual Assistant their salary directly.
Virtual Staff Finder allows for equality between both parties. It does this by advising the employer to fix a salary with the Virtual Assistant according to current market trends, so neither party is hurt in the deal.
Let’s now shed some light on the wages of a VA.
Wages of a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines:
What is the salary payout system for Virtual Assistants in the Philippines? They are either paid on an hourly basis or monthly, depending on their requirements. Some VAs even prefer payment after six months if it is a milestone for their project.
A virtual assistant’s hourly wage from the Philippines is from $4 to $10 per hour.
Similarly, the monthly wage rate of Virtual Assistant from the Philippines is from $600 to $1200 a month, a low cost.
Factors that Modify Salary Expectations for Virtual Assistants in the Philippines
The quantity of work the VA is providing
- The determination of a VA’s salary is based on the volume of work they carry out on behalf of their employer.
- For example, if they only created social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., the VA’s salary would be relatively low. However, if they also agreed to post images, write captions, foster community engagement, and maintain those pages, their compensation would be much higher.
The operational costs of VAs.
- Before entering into any agreement with an employer, a VA must consider their operational expenses. If they don’t, they might end up losing money if their operating costs are higher than their salary.
- For example, if a VA agrees to provide video editing services for their employer, they must consider the cost of advanced editing software. The same goes for office equipment, including high-powered speakers to check the sound quality, data storage units to store content, and high-speed wifi to send videos back and forth.
The value of a VA’s skillset.
- VAs with a higher number of training certificates completed and other specialized qualifications are eligible for higher pay as they have worked to refine or expand their skill set.
- For example, Filipino VAs have a strong command of customer service. People prefer their queries answered either through social media or through a BOT system on the business’ website in today’s world. If a VA relies on the traditional skill of talking on the phone, their services will no longer be in demand.
- VAs should start taking online courses from popular virtual certification programs such as Udemy, Coursera, Hubspot, etc. Courses like “Digital Customer Support” are readily available and a great way to regrow a VA’s skill set so they can demand a good salary from their employer.
How to Interview to Find the Right Filipino Virtual Assistant:
Working with a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines or any other part of the world is an exciting experience. At times, it can be risky because everything is done behind the lens of a camera. However, it is essential to maximize the advantages and minimize the drawbacks.
To do so, I have made a list of questions that employers should ask prospective VAs when interviewing them.
Tell me about your previous experience as a Virtual Assistant
- Since you and your VA will be working remotely, you need to be confident in their communication skills. A great way to gauge how they communicate is to ask about their past work experience.
- By engaging the VA in conversation and listening to their perspective, you will have a good idea of how they will conduct themselves as an employee.
What is your professional background?
- Before you hire a VA, it is essential to know their background and where their specialty lies. It can be in social media, copywriting, graphic design, etc.
- Background knowledge allows you to understand the VA better and calculate if they are qualified for the role.
What is your unique skill set?
- It is vital to make sure that the VA is incredibly skilled in the required work for the role you are looking to fill. Doing this saves everyone’s time.
- If you don’t ask, you could end up with a VA specializing in social media marketing when you needed an employee to manage your emails.
Can you tell me about your current client portfolio?
- Politely inquiring about a prospective VA’s current clients allows you to make sure they have enough time for you. Virtual Assistants can work for multiple employers and can suffer from poor time management as a result.
- Finding out how many employers they currently have allows you to rest assured that your VA will deliver your work on time.
Please show me your most recent payment of work.
- If you can politely ask the prospective VA to show you a screenshot of their last payment from a previous employer, you can rest assured that their services are legitimate. This services as another form of a background check.
Describe your availability.
- Asking this question allows you to decide whether you will hire the VA on a daily, weekly, or project basis.
- Let’s say you need their services for 15 hours/week, then be sure to revisit their earlier response regarding their current client portfolio. You can do some quick math in your head to decide whether the VA would be able to put in the time required for the role.
How to Pay for a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines:
The topics discussed above relate to the types of Virtual Assistant services, wage rates, and the factors that determine their salary. Now, let’s discuss an essential part of this blog: how VAs from the Philippines can receive payment for their services.
The Philippines is a society that relies on cash transactions instead of credit card swiping and then paying back the relevant bank later.
When transferring payments from a foreign employer to a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines, the method chosen is based on whatever is the most convenient for the employer/how flexible they are.
Generally, Filipinos accept their payment through Paypal, Western Union, Transferwise, Payoneer, a standard bank transfer, and a few more methods. Business owners typically avoid companies that burden them with large service charges when paying their employees. They prefer spending a minimal amount of money.
After reading through the entire workings of Virtual Assistance, have you come up with the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a VA? If not, let me share them with you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Keeping a Virtual Assistant:
Advantages of Hiring a VA from the Philippines
According to research and testimonials from business owners who have previously outsourced Virtual Assistants from the Philippines, the following is true:
In comparison to other South Asian countries, Filipino VAs have reasonably good experience. They are well-versed in English and have frequently worked with US-based clients.
The majority of the VA workforce is young and energetic. They are often compared to worker bees, as they perform tasks in the comfortable yet motivating environment of their home/other remote location.
The time difference would benefit your business. When you are off the clock, your international customers would be able to contact your VA, who is on the clock, if they needed assistance.
Some Setbacks of Hiring a VA from the Philippines
One of the drawbacks of working with a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines is the poor infrastructure.
Although Manila is a busy and technologically advanced hub, its infrastructure (i.e., electricity, city equipment) is substandard. Due to this, a VA’s work may suffer delays.
Business owners also face the severe drawback of ghosting and disappearances from Filipino VAs.
For many Westerners, a late assignment is considered a breach of contract (unsurprising as the Western World is known to be a workaholic society). Filipinos’ “running away” attitude upsets employers as they find themselves being conned or having wasted money.
Although the hindrances of time zones have significantly decreased, VAs in India and the Philippines still find themselves working around the clock: 24 hours/day.
Due to the minimal time difference between the Philippines and Australia, the bond between VAs from the Philippines and business owners from Australia is solid. Their relationships are very successful.
I hope that my detailed blog, “Virtual Assistants from the Philippines: What To Outsource, How to Hire, Where to Hire To Grow Your Business (2021),” provided you with all the information you needed about Virtual Assistants and why you should outsource them from the Philippines.