Trouble with Internet Connection for my Filippino VA
(April 10, 2014)
In the last few weeks, my assistant Denise was not able to do as much tasks as she planned to do. The reason: a bad internet connection.
The problem of a slow or disrupted connection is quite common with VA’s from the Philippines, and one of the few disadvantages. Reasons can be numerous, but extreme weather situations are often behind the bad internet speed.
I am interested in solving this problem as much as possible, or at least show up alternatives.
How to make sure your VA from the Philippines has little internet problems
The first step is to screen for internet connectivity speed right at the interview. That’s something I actually did with Denise.
The next idea is to set up some tasks that your VA can do in shorter downtime moments. Examples are
- studying training materials like e-book´s
- writing up their daily report emails offline but in more detail
- Working on online content downloaded locally
And then: implementing the workload done offline after the connection comes back.
What to do if this does not work?
If we cannot figure out the solution to the internet connection, then the cooperation with the VA is in trouble. Without internet, we won’t get far.
Here are some ideas that I still want to try out:
- Look for a backup internet connection (with an USB surfing stick) from another internet provider
- Finding out how much a faster connection might cost and considering sponsoring an upgrade for my assistant
- Using an internet cafe if the connection problems are happening only rarely
- Testing the connection with another computer, and if the computer is at fault, setting it up again from scratch.
I’ll also ask my VA for her opinion and ideas about this subject!
Negotiating Screen Recording when Hiring a New VA
(April 14, 2014)
Due to time restraints, I outsourced the interview process for hiring new staff to my main VA. During an interview with a new candidate, he ran into an issue. The candidate did not want to use screen recording software for tracking her productivity and work output.
That was a shame since all other requirements (writing skills, English knowledge, as well as the salary she wanted) was “in the bag” during the interview. Only at the end of the interview my assistant mentioned that we need her to use screen capturing software to track her work. That was when she became hesitant and reluctant in the discussion.
By the way, her desired salary was $300 per month for full time work. She is from the Philippines.
My VA carried out the interview with Skype using only chat. It was very visible when she was hesitant, as she took up to 5 min to respond to some questions.
Interviewing VA candidates with Skype
- Pro: Would we have skyped with audio, the candidate can’t draw out her answer so easily.
- Contra: On the other hand, many VAs from the Philippines feel shy talking live on Skype.
It’s inefficient for your business progress when you “lose” many else very capable candidates due to this.
7 Lessons Learned for Interviewing Virtual Assistants from the Philippines
(April 26, 2014)
After trying to hire a full time VA from the Philippines from a specialized service, there are 7 lessons you should keep in mind to optimize the interviewing process.
- Get help by a project-based Virtual Assistant to be able to keep up with the interviewing process. The hiring manager should boil down the suitable candidates to e.g. a top 3 selection.
- Use Skype for interviewing your VA candidates. If the candidate does not want to use skype for calls, then you should consider saving yourself the time for the interview (the communication will be more difficult throughout your working relationship).
- Search for multiple candidates first, then do your interviews in batch to find a suitable candidate.
- Save time in each interview by preparing your questions beforehand. For multiple interviews, you save time when you don’t need to type all out.
- Clarify your budget and the virtual assistant’s salary expectation early in the interview.
- Important: insist on the use of screen recording software and daily updates in your first interview. This will also filter out some candidates.
- Be friendly in the interviewing process. Take the time for a joke or two. Your candidates are super-nervous. Don’t weed out good ones by being rude or unnecessarily blunt.
New Service Experience: Converting an SBI Site to WordPress with the Help of My Virtual Assistant
(April 29, 2014)
A client of mine whom I have helped to convert his site from BlockBuilder1 to BlockBuilder2 with the help of my virtual assistant; contacted me recently to help with converting his site from SBI to WordPress.
The task is doable. But if you do the conversion yourself, it does take quite some time. There’s also quite a bit of technical knowledge necessary to set up the first steps before doing the nitty-gritty of what a virtual assistant actually can help with.
The client and I Skyped for over an hour about the subject of this conversion while I took notes. With the knowledge of WordPress my virtual assistant already has, it is a very doable task to support the conversion to WordPress with the work force of my virtual assistant.
In any case, if you are wondering if you should migrate your SBI site to WordPress yourself or if you could speed up this daunting task by hiring a virtual assistant; feel free to contact us.