FAQs

Process and Hiring

Why the Philippines?

With higher education set as a priority in the Philippines, the literacy rate in the country is 94% and 70% of the population are fluent in English, making them the fourth largest English-speaking country in the world.

The Philippine public and private university system combined produces almost 700,000 graduates per year, many are technically proficient, with degrees in computer science and programming. At least 50% of total graduates, obtained degrees in business administration, marketing/communications, and other areas.

Why should I use your service instead of scouting for candidates myself?

Very simply, there is a huge amount of work that is invested into hiring offshore staff. We handle the tasks of pre-screening candidates, completing reference checks, and taking care of payroll and HR requirements.

How is Virtual Coworker finding the best candidates?

Our highly trained recruitment team has access to large resume databases and advertises roles across multiple job sites, where they are able to reach to top candidates. Recruiters also check references before they present you with a resume to review, ensuring that you are truly preparing to interview a candidate who possesses the right skillset and performs at a high caliber.

What types of tasks can I outsource?

Any role that can be performed virtually. Jobs that require specialized skills can easily be filled by qualified Filipino university graduates. A short list of these outsourcing job roles includes web and graphic design, copywriting, software design and testing, bookkeeping, customer support, social media management, and virtual assistance.

Do you do recruitment for brief projects ie build a website?

No, all of our staff are in search of longer term positions with a minimum of 1 month.

What time zone and hours will they work?

Staff will work your preferred time zone. Full time staff works 9 hours with a 1-hour lunch break and part time staff works 4 hours per day.

How many hours per week do the staff work?

Your staff work a minimum of 20 hours per week and can work up to 40 hours per week.

Once I decide whom to hire, how soon can they start?

Allow at least 3 days to sign and return the Client Services Agreement and automatic direct debit or credit card form. Once we have received these forms, we will install the staff’s time tracking software so they are ready for their first shift.

What home office set-up must the contractor have?

The contractor is required to have a quiet place to work, typically a separate room within their house. They must also have a reliable DSL Internet connection and suitable working computer.

What if I want to terminate a contractor?

Staff is on a probation period within the first 6 months of work, during which time you are able to terminate them by providing 24 hours notice. After six months, 14 days notice is required to terminate.

Billing

How does the invoicing work?

Your first invoice is for the remaining work days for that month. This must be paid prior to your staff’s start-date. 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 its very important that all contractors are paid on time.

What currency am I billed in?

For companies located in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and UK are billed in Australian Dollars (AUD). For companies located in the United States, Canada and elsewhere are billed in US Dollars (USD).

What payment types do you accept?

We accept both Visa and Mastercard and there are NO surcharges for using credit cards. Australian customers also have the option of using automatic direct debit.

What if the employee is sick or wants to take holidays?

You are only required to pay for hours worked, as there is no obligation to pay sick days or holidays. However, if you would like to provide compensation to staff for time off, you are welcome to do so at your discretion.

What about Public Holidays?

It is up to you if you would like your staff to work during public holidays, but some staff may request time off during public holidays in the Philippines.

What about overtime?

Overtime is charged at the normal hourly rate.

Managing Your Staff

What’s the best way to manage my offshore staff?

Maintain open lines of communication by treating your staff as though they are located in the same office and check in with them regularly. Establish regular team huddles to discuss your business goals and get your staff motivated.

What’s the best way to communicate with my staff?

Utilize online management tools and connect via Skype or Go To Meeting (more on this software below), or, if you are outsourcing several employees, establish a live virtual chat room where you can have regular 10 or 15 minute discussions important information and address any comments or concerns.

How do I track staff activity?

Many employers use what are called key performance indicators, or KPI’s, to keep a running record of employee activity. These are a great way to establish what everyone in your business should be striving toward. For example, in marketing, they might emphasize things like customer turnover and acquisition rates, existing customer satisfaction data, and so forth.

How do I know that staff are using their hours productively?

You may want to consider time-logging software. This is available for download and requires contracted employees to log in at the start of each shift, and log out when finished for the day. Some variations will take a screenshot of an employee’s desktop, typically every 10 minutes at random intervals throughout a shift. It can also monitor mouse clicks and keystrokes. Many of the programs will email a report at the end of each day so you can know exactly what your staff has accomplished and at what speed.

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