Has anyone used a non-UK based virtual assistant before?

(9 Posts)
EssCee Fri 03-Jul-15 10:17:07

I'm close to hiring a PT virtual assistant (20 hours per week) based in the Philippines, using a virtual staff finding company based there.

I have an online business, which needs support with updating online content (not content creation, more uploading and tweaking product attributes and inventory etc.) - nothing customer-facing.

The main thing that puts me off is the need for lots of upfront training, and very regular communication to keep them in the loop (and motivated). I have outsourced some very small tasks to non-UK based VAs previously through Elance, and have found it a fair bit of hassle (miscommunication, missing deadlines etc.). It could be my hiring process at fault though, as well as the quality of the candidates generally on Elance. I'm hoping the virtual staff finding company will help in sourcing high calibre as they deal with the vetting, which will (hopefully) resolve most of the problems that I've found by hiring via Elance.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this? If so, did it go well?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

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lowcarbitis Fri 03-Jul-15 10:22:38

Sent you a PM op smile

EssCee Fri 03-Jul-15 10:34:42

Thank you, I have replied.

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EssCee Tue 07-Jul-15 12:49:33

Anyone else? Would love to hear any thoughts you might have to help me in deciding!

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Cookiecake Tue 07-Jul-15 17:30:43

I am a UK based VA and I worked with another va who had outsourced bits to a non UK va and I think some of the work was ok but I think she found that they didn't really get the brief like a UK va would. She had someone in India using hootsuite for her clients though and that seemed to work ok. Shen ad to be very organized though.

EssCee Tue 07-Jul-15 19:30:21

Thanks for sharing Cookiecake, that's good to know. Yes, I imagine why she would need to be so organised. I suppose I don't exactly want to work with military precision though - it's an exhausting way to work - and would want someone else to be a self-starter without the need for constant hand holding, once the initial training was done. I guess this is luck of the draw though on who you end up with, as with any hiring process (although there are extra challenges with working with someone based overseas - time zone, language etc.).

Still unsure what to do!

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MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 07-Jul-15 19:37:34

I have only ever used UK VAs. I figure it is difficult enough comissioning virtually without language, culture and timezone differences.

I guess you are attracted by the price? I just wonder if margins are so tight you need to do that, if the contract/role is worth having? If you end up spending lots of time managing it, then you lose your margin?

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 07-Jul-15 19:41:33

Sorry having re-read I see it is for your business. Even so, I do feel there is an element of you get what you pay for.....

Have you tried locally? I have secured some freelance helped from a very experienced and competant mum who is starting out freelancing. It would be good to find someone similar as 20 hours a week is quite a bit if you are an experienced VA with other clients....

EssCee Wed 08-Jul-15 19:22:06

Hello MrsMargoLeadbetter, we meet on one of my conundrum threads once again! Yes, the cost for 20 hours per week would be prohibitive for someone based in the UK. It would cost about £200 per month for someone in the Philippines. So, the difference is stark really. The work is far from high level but, culmulatively, will have a great impact on the business. I hope! It definitely needs someone with a particular mindset though. Just to mention, my thinking was a la Tim Ferris - I.e. Leveraging, systems and automating....

Hmmm, I think I might get the feelers out for someone close to home and just see what happens!

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