Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the questions we get asked most. If there’s anything else on your mind, please reach out, and one of our friendly team will be in touch ASAP. We’re here to help!
Why hire virtual staff from the Philippines?
The Philippines is the fourth largest English-speaking country in the world. In fact, English is one of the official languages, which makes communication extra easy. The country’s education system is also similar to the US and Australia, meaning many Filipino people have studied at a high level and gained degrees in a diverse range of subjects.
Almost 700,000 graduates complete university each year, many of which qualify with technical skills, such as computer science and programming. At least half of all Filipino graduates obtain degrees in business administration, marketing and other commercial areas.
What are the benefits of using SVS versus scouting for candidates myself?
Finding strong candidates is the first element of the process, but we also complete rigorous reference checks, conduct English proficiency tests AND assess qualifications alongside culture fit.
We then continue to support you by handling payroll and HR. On top of this, there are legal requirements about working with staff from overseas, many of which are tricky to navigate. We leverage our experience, connections and systems to streamline the entire process.
How does SVS find the best candidates?
Our elite recruitment team has access to extensive candidate databases as well as our own pool of pre-screened remote workers. We also advertise across multiple major publications. Our proven process ensures you are only presented with high-calibre, performance-focused candidates that match your role requirements and will fit seamlessly into your growing team.
What kind of jobs can I outsource?
Any role that can be performed virtually can be outsourced – even those that require specialised skills. The list we can recruit for wouldn’t even fit on this page! Some of the most popular categories include administrative support, architectural services, marketing support, professional services and web development/design.
Do you recruit for projects?
We do not currently recruit for project-based work, largely due to our focus on building and nurturing long-term partnerships between virtual assistants and employers. All our remote staff work part-time or full-time.
What time zone and hours will my virtual assistant work?
You don’t need to worry about managing tricky time differences because Filipino virtual assistants accommodate your preferred time zone. Full-time employees work 9-hour days (including a lunch break), and part-time staff typically complete 4-hour half-days. You can choose anything between 20 and 40 total hours per week. Staff are also available to work overtime, which is billed at the normal hourly rate.
Once I decide who to hire, how soon can they start?
Allow at least three working days to sign and return the Client Services Agreement and payment form. We will then get your new hire set up for their first day immediately.
What are the benefits of working from home?
Daily commutes can take up to 3 hours in the Philippines. Working from home eliminates this dead time and boosts the quality of life for your remote worker, which facilitates peak performance.
What home office setup must my online remote staff have?
Your employee is required to have a quiet place to work. We typically recommend a separate room within their house. They must also have a reliable internet connection and an up-to-date computer that supports the necessary software and applications.
Do you provide a phone system for staff?
We do not provide phone systems or dialers for staff. However, your dedicated client success manager will be happy to share extra information about different VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, all of which involve a straightforward setup process.
Billing & Invoicing
How does invoicing work?
Your first invoice is for all remaining workdays in the month that your employee starts. This must be paid before your staff member’s start date. After that, on the 1st of each month, you will receive an invoice for 1 month in advance, with adjustments for actual hours worked in the previous month. Your credit card will automatically be charged on the 5th of each month. As you can appreciate, it is very important that all contractors are paid on time.
What currency am I billed in?
Companies located in Australia are billed in Filipino Pesos (PHP).
What payment types do you accept?
We accept both Visa and Mastercard. There is a small surcharge for using credit cards. Australian customers also have the option of setting up a fee-free automatic direct debit.
What if the employee is absent due to holidays or sickness?
You are only required to pay for the hours your employee works. There is no obligation to pay holidays or sick days. However, if you would like to provide compensation to staff during time off, you are welcome to do so at your discretion.
What happens on public holidays?
Some staff may ask for time off during Philippine public holidays. However, you reserve the right to deny their request.
Managing Your Staff
What’s the best way to manage my offshore staff?
Communication is key, as with all good relationships. Here at SVS, we believe it’s important to treat your remote workers like “one of the team”. When people feel included, respected and appreciated, the partnership is always much more fruitful on both sides. Establishing regular team catchups and individual check-ins to socialise and discuss broader company strategy will also keep your staff motivated.
What’s the best way to communicate with my offshore staff?
You’ve got plenty of reliable options for communicating online quickly and easily – just as you would for catchups with clients or local team members. This might include popular web or app-based chat and video call options, such as Zoom, Skype and Slack. We also suggest file sharing through tools like Dropbox or Google Drive.
How do I track my remote worker’s performance?
We recommend using KPIs to ensure your virtual assistant is making progress in alignment with your business goals. These kinds of performance measures help you evaluate a new hire’s future potential and assess their contribution to the wider company.
How do I know that staff are using their hours productively?
All staff are required to use time-tracking software, which involves them logging in at the start of each day and logging out when they are finished. The software monitors your staff’s activity by taking a screenshot of their desktop every 10 minutes. You can review this information in your daily report.
Once I hire a virtual assistant, am I committed straight away?
You can rest easy knowing that all staff are on probation for six months, allowing you to monitor performance and thoroughly assess team fit. During this time, you can terminate employment with only 24 hours’ notice if required. After six months, the notice period extends to 14 days.