(21 August 2020) – Executives of offshoring companies based in the Philippines participated in the webinar on “Accessing professional workforce support: Hiring virtual assistants to handle administrative work” on 20 August 2020. Wayne Findlay, Co-Founder and CEO of The BackRoom Ltd. and Leo Gestetner, Co-Founder and CEO of CitronWorks served as resource speakers during the 2nd event of the 8-part “Global Business Processes Powered by the Philippines Webinar Series”. The online event is organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTIC), Embassy and Consulates General of the Philippines in the United States. The webinar series aimed to promote the Philippines as the preferred destination for outsourcing and offshoring among small and medium-sized businesses in the United States.

Wayne Findlay gave an overview of what a virtual assistant does and the benefits of hiring one. VAs can provide support in the following areas: administration (e.g. email management, travel, schedule management, recruitment), sales and marketing (e.g. Customer Relationship Management (CRM), communication, digital, social media, lead generation), and finance (e.g. payroll, taxes, processing, distributing and managing invoices, bank reconciliations). Wayne suggested “hiring virtual assistants to help free up the time of executives to pursue higher value work”. He noted that the high level of English proficiency, reduced cost, and culture that creates a superior workforce are some of the reasons why he chose to locate his firm in the Philippines.

Leo Gestetner, meanwhile, discussed the administrative arrangements entailed in hiring a virtual assistant and organizing a remote team. “It starts with the process of defining the job and qualifications required of the VA, interviewing the candidate, creating test jobs, and checking references,” Leo said. Once recruitment is completed, it is important to make sure that the contract with the VA covers all aspects of the working relationship. He recommended the use of online collaborative tools (i.e. Basecamp for project management, Tickspot for time tracking, Zoom for meetings, and Calendly for scheduling) to help companies better manage remote teams.

The Back Room Ltd. is an offshoring company that offers virtual assistants in the field of accounting, administration, legal, sales and marketing services. CitronWorks, meanwhile, is a freelance marketplace that operates an employee subscription model and a concierge model: under the first arrangement, companies pay fixed fees to access its freelance marketplace and under the latter, businesses pay the company a placement fee to hire their virtual assistants (VAs).

The recorded version of the webinar is available at the Philippines ITBPM YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giGrcdBdnSc.♦

The second series of eight (8) webinars jointly organized by PTICs and Philippine Consulate Generals in the United States was held on 20 August 2020.  Entitled “Accessing professional workforce support: Hiring virtual assistants to handle administrative work”, the webinar was headlined by Wayne Finlay, CEO, The Back Room Outsourced Professionals and Leo Gestetner, Co-founder and CEO, CitronWorks.

 The webinar discussed how hiring a good and reliable virtual assistants can help companies manage their day-to-day operations more efficiently and effectively. Finding suitable local talents at the right price is sometimes difficult, and this is where the Philippines offer great opportunities with its available talents, strong affinity with western culture and English proficiency, among others.

A total of 86 participants joined the webinar from the various states of the US and the Philippines.
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Date of Release: 26 August 2020