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Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

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Old 01-05-12
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Default Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

Hi all,

I'm back.
Yes, its been a while.

I've been head down, bottom up launching my new venture, VA Scout. It's a virtual staffing service based on ethical practices and ongoing care for both employer and employee.

The point of this thread is that I'd like to hear your questions about virtual staff, outsourcing etc. I'd honestly like to share my experiences and advice with you.

So, post your questions about virtual staffing and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

Cheers, Adam.

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Old 01-05-12
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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

Can you explain how exactly does virtual staffing work? What are the communication channels? And what sort of prices do the virtual staff cost?

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Old 01-05-12
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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

Hi Adam,

Nice to see you back on deck

Hope VA Scout is a huge success.

Jayne

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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

G'day Gordon,

I hope the below answers your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordan View Post
Can you explain how exactly does virtual staffing work?
It's just like a standard employer/employee arrangement except that your staff work in a different location to you. Technically, it is a subcontractor role. However, I treat my staff as employees of the business not as contractors.

Effectively any task that you can complete online can be completed by virtual staff.

I have not used virtual staffing for anything other than internet based tasks however one could argue that any tasks not requiring physical proximity to a specific location could be accomplished virtually.

I generally use my virtual staff for admin, marketing and research tasks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordan View Post
What are the communication channels?
I use Gmail and Skype almost exclusively.

Other tools I find useful are Google Docs, Basecamp and Dropbox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordan View Post
And what sort of prices do the virtual staff cost?
From US$2/hr upward for admin. Specialists cost more.
My suggestion is to always pay what they are worth to you.
Part-time and ful-time roles are preferred by virtual staff. Project work holds no security for them.


Please let me know if you have further questions.

Regards, Adam.

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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

Jayne,

Thank you very much for the kind words.

-Adam.

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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

I've been using virtual staff for a little while now, there's no doubt that the right people (and the right management tools) can make a huge difference.
I think the key is to treat them like a normal staff member (because that's exactly what they are), really spend the time to find the right person, take the time to train them, use the right tools (productivity tools and time management software), and pay them appropriately.
Virtual staff have made a huge difference to my business, I would recommend it to anyone.

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Old 02-05-12
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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

Spot on, AR.
Thank you for your input.

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Old 08-05-12
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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

Adam, what about the issue of Internet security?

If I assign them to do something like updating my Facebook page, it involves a level of trust on them. Or some admin work requires access to private personal information.

For local staffs, there's employment agreement and legal recourse if something goes wrong. But if the VA is overseas and they can be literally anyone on the planet and there's no legal recourse at all.

Do you vet them? Or is there a reputation system like eBay?

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Old 09-05-12
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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

I have recently hired my first VA via odesk - they have a basic ranking system which shows the total number of hours they have logged, feedback from prior projects, and also ratings for some test that they take such as English speaking, English comprehension, email etiquette, call centre etiquette etc... I trialed a few out and selected the best result.

Trust is a major factor, I think slowly increasing their access and responsibility is key, just like with any employee.

Jeremy

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Old 10-05-12
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Default Re: Are you curious about virtual staff? Ask your questions here.

Hi everyone,

Adam - what a great post to start up! So many people have questions about VAs and how it all works.

Terence - I'm not sure how Adam or other VA businesses operate, but I ensure my clients sign an Agreement before work is started. The Agreement is more for confidentiality reasons so my clients know that I value their trust and that any information they provide me with is used for the purpose it is intended and not abused.

Cheers
Tammy

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