So you’ve just hired your first virtual assistant in the Philippines – congratulations!

Now comes the next step: integrating them into your business.

Staff orientation is an essential process that all new employees go through to transition into their new job. Without it, you end up with staff who have no idea what they’re doing.

And with an ocean and several time zones separating you from your virtual assistant in the Philippines, proper onboarding is a tad different from onboarding a Melbourne-based team member!

When the your new virtual assistant’s first day of work comes, will you be ready to onboard them?

Employee Workplace Safety Training Manual for virtual staff on a desk with highlighter

1) Start by giving them an overview

Step 1 in onboarding new staff: give them an overview of their job.

In addition to preparing your new hires for their new role, this stage also teaches them:

  • Company history, vision and mission
  • Business Goals
  • Key responsibilities
  • How performance is evaluated
  • Trial and probationary status
  • Pay and leave procedures

For most small and medium businesses, this would take the form of a quick tour and brief meeting.

Of course, with a virtual assistant in the Philippines, some minor tweaking might be needed.

So, what can you do instead?

  • Arrange a Skype call – face-to-face communication is always better than long email chains
  • Create a staff manual – be sure to include everything, as you don’t want them to stop to clear things up
  • Leave resources online – consider creating a dropbox with additional resources and information (this helps your Melbourne staff too!)
  • Give them a virtual tour – while not mandatory, it’s a nice bonus that makes them feel like any other team member

In addition to helping prepare them from the job, it can also help retain your virtual staff and minimise turnover.


2) Set expectations early

The nature of virtual staffing means that your virtual assistant spends a lot of time working remotely.

While there are tools to help provide oversight, at the end of the day distance means you just can’t keep an eye on them as well.

One way to get around that is to set clear expectations early on:

  • Responsibilities
  • Punctuality
  • Hours worked
  • Initiative
  • Deadlines

Each of these are the things that provide a baseline for your staff and help your virtual staff function without direct oversight. They set the boundaries and parameters they’ll be following, regardless of the project.

As such, you’ll want to make sure that you absolutely get this part right!


3) Train them on the tools they’ll be using

Another unique part of virtual staffing is the tools used to carry out work. Thanks to the distance, many virtual assistants need unique set-ups to make it work.

That can include:

  • File-sharing
  • Cloud software
  • Time-tracking software
  • Communication

And all of this on top off, you’ll still have to train them on any software and programs you use normally!

Before hiring, you’ll want to research and test tools which can make collaborating easier. Thankfully, more and more software is moving to the cloud, allowing you to share files and work across continents.

Once this is in place, take some time out to run a brief training session with your virtual assistant in the Philippines. Training manuals and tutorial videos are also a great resource.

Business people looking at projector talking to virtual assistant during video conference in office

4) Talk communication

If there’s one thing that can make or break your entire virtual staffing arrangement, it’s communication.

One of the most important parts of onboarding a virtual assistant is establishing lines of communication. Here are just 3 examples of what can happen with poor internal communication.

For your virtual staff to ask questions, send enquiries, and give feedback, they need to know how. Sit down with them and walk them through their communication tools. Teach them how to use your file-sharing, instant messaging and ticketing system.

Moreover, be sure to lay down ground rules regarding communication. If you want regular project updates, tell your virtual staff. If you want regular meetings to keep each other up to speed, make sure your virtual staff know.

This helps your virtual staff keep in touch. It ensures that they’re able to reach out to you for help, inform you of complications and more.


5) Get help from an outsourcing solutions provider

If you don’t have the luxury of time to plan, outline, and execute the onboarding process, entrust it to an outsourcing solutions provider like VirtualStaff365.

And if orienting and explaining isn’t your forte, leave it to the experts.

In addition to finding virtual staff, we also take care of onboarding too. We’ll assist with training and laying down the ground rules to make your virtual staffing arrangement a success.


Thinking of hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines?

Contact Virtualstaff365 today!

Don’t know where to get started with your virtual staff?

VirtualStaff365 connects you with highly-competent, experienced virtual assistants in the Philippines.

We are an Australian-owned business that helps you find qualified virtual staff to help you manage your business better. Unlike other virtual assistant services, we don’t pull staff from a retainer – each applicant is thoroughly vetted to meet your unique needs.

Discuss your requirements with us today – call Neville at (03) 8842 4300 to find the right staff for your business.