Business owners hiring remote workers would often think about one major factor – how to pay remote employees knowing that they’re found halfway around the world.
We get you! That definitely is a logical question to ask.
Bless modern technology, though, because paying remote workers is now as easy as 1, 2, 3. And maybe, it could even be a lot easier than that.
How to Pay Your Virtual Assistants
There are a number of secure ways to send money online, no matter where you’re from or where you’re sending money.
The key here is to go through trusted channels to avoid being a victim of scams or fraud.
Yup, there are dangers to transferring money from one place to another – we do not deny that. It’s money we’re talking about, after all.
But if you do your due diligence and avoid cutting corners, the entire process is safe.
Here are some of the most trusted payment channels that employers use for their virtual assistants:
PayPal is one of the most popular payment channels around. It sends money to your virtual assistants in real time, which means that you can breathe easily right after you click that button that prompts the transfer.
All you need from your virtual assistant is the email they use for their PayPal account.
Don’t worry, experienced virtual assistants usually have a PayPal account because they know that a lot of employers prefer this payment method.
If you have a number of virtual assistants that you wish to pay via PayPal, it would be better to sign up for PayPal Mass Pay. This ensures that you only pay a single fee for every transaction, regardless of how many people you’re paying for that single transaction. It’s definitely a lot cheaper than paying individual fees for every payment you send out.
If you’re only paying one virtual assistant, then you might as well go through the usual process. All you need to do is load your PayPal account with the money you need (you can do this via your credit card), specify the amount you’re sending, then send the money to your employee’s email address.
You can also specify the currency you’re sending. You could, for example, send money in USD but have your virtual assistant receive it in PHP if they’re found in the Philippines. This will make it easier for your remote worker to withdraw the money straight into their bank account.
One problem with PayPal, however, is the fact that they’re a little bit too obsessed with security. This may sound like a good thing, but sometimes, it can be quite inconvenient.
Any “suspicious transaction,” for example, could prompt them to suspend your account.
Despite this slight inconvenience, PayPal’s tenure in the field still makes it a top choice for a lot of employers.
Payoneer works almost the same way as PayPal, but they’re a whole lot newer in the business. This shouldn’t be a hindrance, though, knowing that one of their founders is a former president of Visa.
Just like PayPal, Payoneer also supports over 150 currencies in over 200 countries.
In terms of fees, Payoneer could seem like a more expensive option. This changes, however, if you have a large business that sends out at least $20,000 in payments every month.
As for mass payouts, Payoneer also offers packages that could make it more practical and convenient depending on how many people you’re sending money to.
Wise, Formerly TransferWise
Also relatively new, Wise beats almost every payment option when it comes to fees. Their fees are actually the lowest if compared to other popular payment channels.
The biggest downside to using TransferWise, however, is the fact that it only supports a few countries. The good news is most of the best virtual assistants are from the Philippines, and you can use TransferWise to send money to your Filipino virtual assistant.
If you have a fairly small team, TransferWise could be a great option. The bigger your team gets, the more expensive the fees may also get.
Of course, if you don’t trust these payment channels, you can always transfer money from your own bank to your virtual assistant’s personal bank account.
Of course, this may also mean huge fees, which employers usually avoid. But if you want every transaction to go through your bank account, then you’d probably be okay with that.
Bank to bank transfers also takes longer. In fact, in some cases, sending money from your bank to your virtual assistants’ bank accounts could take 5 business days, maybe even more.
How Much Should You Pay Your Virtual Assistants?
Now that you know how to pay remote employees, how do you know what the right price is?
Money may not be everything, but in a remote working environment, the right price can dictate the quality of work you’re getting. This is why it’s important to understand whether the price you’re willing to pay is too low or too high.
Factors that affect your virtual assistant’s salary
There are a number of factors that affect a virtual assistant’s salary.
Job role, tasks, and responsibilities
Obviously, the more tasks and responsibilities you give to your virtual assistant, the higher the pay will also be.
When you think about it, there are ways to be practical about this, that’s for sure.
You might be tempted, for instance, to hire a single virtual assistant to play multiple roles.
In a way, this does seem like a more cost-effective choice than getting two different people to do the job for you.
There’s a huge BUT here, though.
You may also risk the quality of work being produced.
The key here is proper balance.
For example, if you only need minimal content but would like to apply the best SEO practices in the process, you could hire a content writer with some SEO background. That’s two people playing two different roles.
However, if you want your general virtual assistant to take care of scheduling, customer service, social media, data entry, plus bookkeeping, you may want to rethink this move, especially if your business is fairly busy. In this case, paying for different people may turn out to be more practical, knowing that leaving all these to a single person might hurt your business.
No idea what your virtual assistant can do for you? Here’s a list of 101 things they can take care of!
A lot of virtual assistant roles may require special skills or knowledge about specific tools.
This is especially true for highly technical roles like web development or graphic design.
If you need a person in charge of sales, you may want someone who is familiar with the CRM you’re using.
For bookkeepers, there is specific software used to do the job as well.
Most of the time, virtual assistants who have this knowledge and skills charge more. In this case, you have two options.
You could pay more and get someone with experience, or you can pay less and offer to teach and train your new hire.
Years of experience
Tenure will always be a huge advantage in any setting. It does come with a price, though.
Normally, virtual assistants who have been in the field for a long time ask for more.
What comes with this extra cost?
Just because you think you already have a system in place does not mean that it’s the best for your business. Sometimes, experienced remote workers can give you ideas on how to make your processes even better.
They’ve been around, so they often know more.
They would usually require less training as well. They know what to do and can do the job well even if they’re sleeping.
Average pay for virtual assistants
This leads us back to the most important question here.
How much should you be paying your remote staff?
Chris Ducker, one of the industry’s experts, says that these are the usual payments given to remote workers:
|General Virtual Assistants||$500 to $800 a month|
|Content Writers||$500 to $700 a month|
|SEO Specialists||$750 to $950 a month|
|Web Developers||$800 to $1400 a month|
|Graphic Designers||$700 to $1200 a month|
|Mobile App Developers||$800 to $1400 a month|
Again, you can go below or beyond these prices, depending on your virtual assistant’s role, tasks, responsibilities, special skills, and experience.
Here’s what to look out for when hiring Virtual Assistants: 13 Tips for Hiring A Virtual Assistant
But isn’t that too low?
Especially if you’re fairly new to the idea of outsourcing work to a completely different continent, the rates might surprise you.
Yup, they’re that low, especially if you’re hiring someone from the Philippines.
Here’s a comparison. The minimum wage in the US is $7.25 per hour.
In the Philippines, the minimum wage per day is PHP537. So looking at the standard 8 hours a day, that’s a minimum hourly rate of PHP67.
THAT’S $1.29 PER HOUR!
Yes, there’s a huge disparity between the average wage of, say, an in-house assistant in the US and a virtual assistant from the Philippines. The same thing can be said for bookkeepers, programmers, writers, graphic designers, and just about every worker that can be hired remotely.
This is why a lot of employers are surprised that Filipino workers are ready to say yes to what seems to be so little for someone from another country. For a Filipino virtual assistant, giving them the average virtual assistant salary is already a huge thing, even if it may seem small for an assistant in the US, the UK, or Australia.
So that means I can get away with paying them so little!
Don’t even think about it.
Just because a lot of virtual assistants are paid less than your usual in-house assistant does not mean they can be abused that way.
The best (and humane) thing to do here is to pay the RIGHT amount.
You already know the different factors that affect pay. You also know the average wage that remote workers are given. Stick within those parameters, and your business will have a bright future.
Aside from being overly cheap, here are other mistakes you should avoid in hiring virtual assistants.
Tips for Paying Your Virtual Assistants
We’re talking about money here, so this is something where there’s no room for error.
A lot of virtual assistants and other remote workers have families to support. This is usually one of the reasons why they choose to stay at home instead of spending money on gas or transportation.
To help you make this a better experience for your virtual assistant (especially if you’ve found a real gem), here are a few tips that you have to take note of.
No matter which payment channel you choose, there will always be transfer fees. You’re using a service, after all. An international service, most of the time.
But this doesn’t mean that you should let your remote worker’s salary suffer.
As much as possible, cover all possible transfer fees so that your virtual staff receives their payments in full. It may feel like a small amount to you, but for these remote workers, that small fee may mean a lot, especially when converted into their local currency.
Letting your virtual assistant shoulder the fees is like asking them to pay for the privilege of getting their salary. That just doesn’t make sense.
You may feel like this is a small thing, but believe it or not, a lot of virtual assistants have left their employers because of this small issue. THAT’s how important this is for them.
Since there’s a big chance you’re hiring a virtual assistant from the Philippines (especially if you want to hire the best), it’s important that you learn all about the 13th month pay.
Nope, the calendar isn’t any different in the Philippines. It’s just that by law, employers are supposed to pay their workers a 13th-month bonus.
The name itself describes what a 13th-month bonus is.
It represents an extra month’s pay for the year, usually given around Christmas (preferably before, since most people use this bonus for Christmas shopping).
Computing for a worker’s 13th-month pay is fairly straightforward. If the employee has been with you for 12 months and has been paid the same salary for each of those months – say, Php15,000 – then the employee’s 13th-month pay would be Php15,000.
If the employee has been working for you for 5 months, then that’s Php15,000 x 5, which gives you Php75,000. Divide that by 12, and your employee’s 13th-month pay is Php6,250.
Are you required to pay this bonus?
If your business is not registered in the Philippines, then technically, you aren’t required by law to follow this rule.
It’s a nice gesture, though.
Remember that during the holidays, workers may usually be too caught up with the excitement of the season that their enthusiasm for work declines. Knowing that there’s a bonus coming their way could be that extra push they need to work well.
Bonuses and other perks
We discussed the 13th-month bonus earlier. That’s one perk that you can offer to your remote assistant.
But aside from that, there are a number of other bonuses that you can offer on top of the usual payments. This could be a great way to motivate your remote employees and push them to do a great job.
Performance bonuses are quite common. You can give your virtual assistant targets or quotas that would earn them some additional money should they exceed those numbers by a certain percentage.
You can also offer a number of paid leaves per year. Some offer paid birthday leaves on top of the other leave credits.
You can also be creative and come up with different incentive schemes that could help your virtual assistant earn more while being more productive at the same time.
Normally, salary increases are given on an annual basis. This means that you should also have some sort of performance review that would serve as a basis for your employee’s increase in salary.
You may also put your new hires under probationary status for the first 5 or 6 months. Once that period’s done, you can give them an increase in salary as a sign that you’re bringing them in on a permanent basis.
Are you required to give your employee’s a salary increase?
You actually aren’t.
But then again, we should use the same logic when we talked about the 13th-month bonus, as well as the other bonuses and perks you can offer.
People aren’t always hard-working and motivated by nature. Sometimes, they also need a little push to go towards the level of productivity that you want them to show.
Also, the promise of regular salary (as well as other perks) increases can be equated to the level of commitment that you have to your business. This means that you’re looking at the long term. Therefore, it will also be easier for you to hook in remote workers who also want stability and would do anything for a long-term job.
That’s the goal you should be aiming for.
How to Avoid Scams
Yes, even in the world of remote work, you may come across people who will take advantage of anyone gullible enough to fall into their trap.
As long as you know what to look out for, you can stay safe against these scams.
Here are two of the most common.
You may come across a few remote workers asking for an upfront payment – IT’S A TRAP!
Pay for finished or ongoing work – that’s it! Don’t agree to any terms that involve you paying in advance for work that has not been done yet.
Some virtual assistants may say that they’ve learned their lesson after an old employer failed to pay them, but it’s also the oldest ruse in the book.
If you want to meet halfway and earn your new remote employee’s trust, a better deal would be to make out weekly payments at first, then eventually move to a bi-monthly or a monthly payment scheme. Sure, it could be a lot of work. But at least you get to earn each other’s trust first.
Remember – a lot of virtual assistants are great! But there is a handful that could disappear from you even before the work is done. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to these kinds of scams.
Disappearing virtual assistants
Even without an upfront payment, some virtual assistants tend to disappear on you without finishing the project or tasks they’re working on.
Some of them are just plain rude and ungrateful.
But there’s also a cultural aspect here that you have to understand, especially when it comes to Filipino workers.
Yup, the stories are true.
Filipinos are so friendly they would avoid every possible confrontation that might happen.
This may seem like a good thing, but when it comes to business, this could be a hindrance to success.
You see, some Filipino workers would rather go AWOL than be honest with their employers. If they’re unable to finish a critical task, for example, they might prefer to just vanish into the night instead of facing the music.
Don’t worry, this only happens sometimes. Most virtual assistants are still responsible and vocal enough to tell you the truth.
But this is also why it’s critical for you to understand how important it is to have open communication with your virtual assistants. Be nice to them and show them that they don’t have to be afraid if something goes wrong.
After all, even the most non-confrontational people would choose to be honest if they have a good relationship with the person they’re dealing with.
From Where to Hire the Best Virtual Assistants?
Before getting into the topic, let’s learn about some trustworthy platforms from where you can hire a virtual assistant. It can be done either from a VA agency or from a freelancing platform.
Here are some VA agencies to look at:
Some best freelancing platforms to hire a Filipino virtual assistant are:
Scam or no scam, paying your virtual assistants on time and in the right manner is crucial to success. This is why you also have to team up with a virtual assistant service you can trust.
eVirtualAssistants is the best option if you want to make the entire process of hiring and dealing with remote workers as seamless as possible. With a team of highly experienced remote workers behind the brand, this is one place where both employers and remote workers are protected from scams and hassle, especially when it comes to payments.
Interested in hiring a virtual assistant from eVirtualAssistants? Click here to get started.