Easy Way to Get Started Off Right With Your Virtual Assistant

Entrepreneur and Consultant, Paul Tran, recently read my e-book and had the following question:

In the book you mentioned giving your VA a raise when they've (a) survived the probation period; and (b) completed the difficult 1st task. Were you planning on giving them less than they ask, and raise it up to their asking rate? Or give them what they want, and increase the pay even higher after the probation period?

There's an easy answer to this – it depends.

Your probation depends on the person you've hired

Just as if your were hiring a new W-2 employee, what type of offer you give them depends on a variety of factors.  Here are a couple of things to consider:

  1. What is their skill set?  If they are the type of VA that has a strong personality and skills to match, I'd probably start them of at or close to what they ask for.  This way they aren't tempted to continue their job search and they can focus solely on your first month probation period.
  2. Do they seem task-oriented or are do they sound like they'll think on their own?  Some VAs are happy with just doing what you tell them to do, while others actually want to learn and improve their skills.  For me, if I sense that they are more of the task-oriented type, I'll start them off less in the beginning.  One reason is to simple confirm my suspicion.  If someone is going to ask me how to do every little thing , then I'd rather pay less money before I have to let them go. Someone who thinks on their own is more attractive to me (but that's just me).
  3. You have to take into consideration that the majority of VAs that you'll be seeking out have to deal with a lot of crap.  People that pay lower than average, folks that pay late, or employers that don't pay them at all.  So when you give them a raise or bonus after a month it shows them that you are not one of those people.

I've had it both ways

From my experience there are always two types of people – those looking for a job and those looking for a career.  The former don't mind getting paid less in the beginning ( 8,000 – 9,000 Philippine Pesos  is still a good depending on where they live), but those that aspire to something more are much more hesitant to accept a lower wage..

For example, during the interview period one of my web developers who is very good at what he does said flat-out “I don't work for less than 15,000 pesos” after I tested him by offering 13,000.  Well, he is now a huge asset to my business and not just in web development.

My rule of thumb is, if you can see them taking greater responsibility in your business, pay them close to what they ask for.  If you think that they are going to be more of a burden or expect detailed tasks all the time, then pay them a little less and test them hard during the first month to see if they'll become more of an independent thinker.