ABOUT OUR GUEST
May Geronimo is Point B Education’s Operations Coordinator and Head of Recruitment. As a highly accomplished Virtual Assistant for 7 years, May shares some insights and words of advice regarding VA hiring and training from a fresh perspective.
00:46 – Meet May Geronimo, Point B Education’s Operations Coordinator as she shares some insights on being hired by people from different countries to act as a Virtual Assistant
01:52 – A quick background on May – who she is, how she got here, and what started her on her journey as a Virtual Assistant? What are some of the trials and obstacles she’s faced along the way? May recounts how she’s been a Virtual Assistant for about 7 years now. “It’s not like you wake up one day and want to be a Virtual Assistant,” She says. “I became a VA by accident.” She started out as a customer service representative in the BPO industry for about four years. One day, she saw a job posting looking to hire a Real Estate Virtual Assistant. She applied, got hired, and the rest is history
04:09 – May shares her personal horror story as a Virtual Assistant. She was hired by an employer whose business was located in New York. She worked for a week, finding him leads and sales opportunities. One day, he literally just cut off communication. He removed her from his Skype contacts, changed the logins and details, and basically denied her access to his business. That’s the most frustrating part, she recounts. When you give all your time and effort to find your employers something, and then receive nothing in return.
06:50 – Chris shares some wisdom with his audience. “If you want to have more time, more freedom, and more money, outsourcing is a great way to get it – if you do it right.”
06:58 – From her perspective, May shares some of the big mistakes an employer could make. Most employers try to offload their work onto their VA without realizing that their VA isn’t ready for that type of workload. May urges employers to create a more defined, specific role for their VA. Some people make the mistake of hiring any VA just so they have someone on board. When that someone is hired, they throw tasks in their direction and expect it to get done. Some other big mistakes an employer could do:
- Don’t set expectations.
- Don’t give clarity.
- Don’t bother to explain the tasks in detail
09:12 – Chris’s advice to his listeners: get a full-time assistant right now BEFORE you really need one
10:34 – May explains how Filipinos work – the mindset, the circumstances, and Filipino culture, which is important for employers to understand. Filipinos are religious and family-oriented, which is why Sunday – which is considered as Sabbath day or Family day – is a definite non-working day, along with other religious holidays. May also mentions how Filipinos are shy and hesitant. To avoid confrontation, most won’t ask questions out of fear of annoying the employer or looking stupid. Filipinos need to be assured that it’s okay to ask questions. Chris reiterates that it’s important to make it a hundred percent okay for your assistant to make mistakes
16:13 – May explains what the typical wage is for a Filipino worker, and how it ties in with cost of living in the Philippines. With a population of 90 million, 500,000 graduates are produced every year. That number doesn’t match up with employment opportunities. Some private sectors pay less for high-value employees. An average of $500 USD a month is almost the same as a managerial position in a private sector in the Philippines.
17:56 – The average salary of a typical starting VA is $2 an hour. A more experienced VA would ask for $3 to $5 an hour. More specialized, specific VA’s such as graphic design VA’s would ask for $5 to $10 an hour. It’s higher simply because web development and graphic design tasks would be more on project basis, but a general VA is a long-term career opportunity
21:22 – May shares some of her favourite things about being a VA. One of the biggest advantages of being a VA is how it allows you to have more time with family while earning an income
23:54 – May shares how important it is for your Virtual Assistant to love what they do. Make them feel like they’re an integral part of your team and a player in your company’s success
25:44 – What makes Point B’s VA team a well-oiled, fully-functional unit?
- Systemised – each VA is trained on how to do a specific task, what outcomes to expect, and what to do when obstacles are in the way
- Trust – every VA is given tasks that fall in their area of genius
- The VA’s aren’t micromanaged
- All VA’s full potential are recognized
29:21 – For the people who are looking for a spectacular team to join, or for the people who are looking to hire, here are something things May (as Point B’s head of recruitment) looks for in a person to know they’re a great fit for our team
- One minute introduction video from applicants – want to make sure the applicant has the same amount of energy as the team
- Try to see what they want to learn. Skills can be learned along the way, but the person needs to be passionate about learning
- We want to see the why you want to join – the heart behind the VA
31:52 – What are some of the things Point B can do for you?
- Complete Sales Funnel in 48 Hours
- We take care of your clients
- Email management
- Social Media posting and marketing
- Amplify your voice
- Design and Operations
36:44 – Disclaimer: at this current point in time, we’re only offering our team’s services to Point B’s clients. If you would like to use the team’s talents, email firstname.lastname@example.org and, in the subject line, write “I want a VA”. We’re opening this slot for five people. Alternatively, you can also email email@example.com
37:12 – Here’s what May would like the listeners to know regarding Virtual Assistants
40:17 – May leaves the listeners with this: If you want to have a lasting relationship with your VA, just make sure you treat them like your family. Give them more opportunities to grow.