It’s funny how this all started.
Eight years ago, I had moved to the Philippines to set up an analytics training company. It took a few years, but we were quite successful in becoming THE name brand in analytics training in not just the Philippines but across Southeast Asia.
While in the midst of getting the business established, I got a request from a friend of a friend to help them do some outsourcing. Specifically, the requirement was to set up a team of six SEO keywording specialists to tag images on an online auction site. I shook my network and we quickly set up the team and they dove in.
We were so successful that we quickly expanded the team to 12, added a graphic designer and an e-mail marketer. All home-based workers. The client was so happy, we just kept adding. To the point where we quickly had over 30 employees on the account.
There were two things we did that made a difference. So much of a difference that is attrition has been under 10 a year of a year ever since. In the outsourcing industry, that is unheard of. And for home-based work, where most people work as freelancers, the “ghosting” rate is so high that it’s basically a 50/50 craps shoot if you get a good person.
So, the first of the two different makes is the talent pool. This is true of VAs as a whole, but for me, it’s my secret sauce. Most of my employees, and just about all of the leadership team are stay at home moms who used to work in the call center industry. They have good English; they have worked within an American business model and they are used to structure. They also have a big incentive to work hard to provide for the family and be there every day for their kids.
The other big difference? You may have noticed I refer to my team as employees. They are exactly that. Most VA services that are work from home jobs can be kinda shady. Low paying, no benefits, inconsistent workload, poor communication loop with clients are common. By employing talent full time, paying a competitive wage, with all the benefits and perks of an office job, and following local labor laws, my team really values their job.
Here is a testimonial from one of my team, Liza, who has been with us for 6 years.
“I find working at home very practical and convenient in terms of travel. No traffic to waste time on, this is quality time spent with the family or errands. No need for expensive clothes to wear nor uniforms to iron every day. Food is easily accessible and if you have children, no need to hire a maid just to take care of them and the household chores. Homebased jobs also make working safer and more efficient. Invaluable gave me the chance to be valuable again in the comfort of my own home. There really is no place like home.”