Running an E-commerce business can be a very stressful endeavor. You need to constantly keep up with the latest trends and educate yourself on all aspects related to E-commerce. What is the latest growth marketing hack, what’s the newest facebook ad trick, which Shopify app helps you improve your conversion rates etc.? Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem! You can hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) who can specialize in some of these tasks and thereby remove a large part of your work.
But how to find them? Below is a list of our favorite website specialized in helping you find your superstar VA. Read on!
If you are looking for VAs with an incredible level of English we recommend searching in the Philippines. Once conquered by the Spanish and occupied by the Americans for half a century, this country is filled with cultural diversity and a large, young and well-educated workforce. However, the biggest challenge in the Philippines are unstable internet, power-cuts and turnover. The best ways to counter that is to hire an "office manager" (or very experienced VA) working for you full-time on the ground in one of the major cities in the Philippines like Davao, Cebu, Manila or Quezon City. Make him/her then responsible for building your team of VAs and finding an appropriate office space.
If you want to reduce staff turnover consider these tips:
- Offer your VAs to work Filipino working hours, i.e. not US hours (aka "graveyard shift").
- Only hire from a 30-45min radius around your office.
- Respect Filipino holidays and offer paid holidays -> no one cares about 4th of July in the Philippines. Likewise no one in the US celebrates "Araw ng Kalayaan".
- Be approachable. Let them speak to you directly if they want to.
- Offer 5-10% more salary than your competition.
- Offer a 13th month salary (very standard in the Philippines).
- Make work fun and enjoyable for the entire team.
- Let your VAs work from a co-working space with the entire team.
- Filipinos love food. Organize 1x/month food / event with team.
- Hire in areas where there's not much competition. Many people might live in Manila, however, when asked many would like to live somewhere else (e.g. Baguio)
If you offer most of the above, your employees will love you and stay with you for a long time. However, now you might ask yourself: Where do I find Virtual Assistants? Here are a few website which will help you:
Our favorite websites to find English speaking Virtual Assistants (VA)
- ONLINE JOBS PH - [link] - The best website in our view to hire VAs in the Philippines. It cost approx. $70USD/month to post 3 concurrent job descriptions but rest assured you will get a lot of qualified leads. As of May 2018, they have more than 500.000 resumes to select from.
- FREEEUP - [link] - Yes, this website is spelled with three "e"'s (!). They offer tested and vetted VA's with a wide range of skill sets. You can choose between US- or non-US based VA's. Hourly rates vary between $5 to $50USD per hour. There are no startup or monthly fees, simply pay per hour billed with no minimums!
- UPWORK - [link] - Most people are familiar with this site. It does not only offer a wide range of VAs but also a huge selection of freelancers with other unique skills.
- VIRTUAL STAFF FINDER - [link] - They do all the screening and give you 3 candidates to pick from. Once we used their service and they gave us three "poor fit" candidates. When we complained they gave us 3 new ones. Great experience!
- ECOMMERCE EXPERT - [link] - The new kid on the block. Run by Australian E-Commerce entrepreneur Katrina McKinnon, this website guarantees a high quality of talent.
- DYNAMITE JOBS - [link] - Founded by the people behind the Tropical MBA Podcast, this site helps you find full and part-time employees. They currently claim to have a database of "thousands of qualified marketing, support and operations" candidates. Go and give it a try!
- ECOM DRAGON - [link] - Qualified and highly trained Ecommerce experts helping you to grow your Amazon or Shopify Ecommerce business.
Our favorite websites to find German-speaking Virtual Assistants (VA)
- FERNARBEIT - [link]
- MACH DU DAS - [link]
- MYTALENT - [link] - starting at about 2.50EUR - 5EUR/hour. Your hired VAs will mostly be based in Georgia.
- JOBS.GE - [link] - great website to post your job description and find highly-qualified German speakers.
How can I make sure my VA actually work when they are supposed to work?
There’s a solution for this called “HubStaff”. It’s a software to manage VA staff, check out their website here. The software offers time tracking and payments, but note that the auto-payments don't work very well according to our experience. Alternatives to HubStaff include TopTracker and Toggl starting at 10USD/month.
Good luck with hiring your first VA. Before you hire any full-time VA make sure to let him/her carry out a test task to test the skills. If you'd like to get a PDF copy of our favorite vetting questions for a general VA, just leave a comment below or contact us via Facebook Messenger.