In the world of E-commerce, there are several roles that is important to run the business, such as: Customer Service, Data Entry, Social Media Marketing, and Website Management. If you are looking to move on to bigger roles in your business, hiring the right talent is critical to the growth of your business. When it comes to hiring and growing your team, there are 2 types of staff you can look to hire, virtual assistants and in-house staff that actually works in your office.
What is Virtual Assistant(VA)?
VA is a person who helps you run your business and perform tasks virtually, without having to meet you in person or work with you in the same office, also known as remote staff in an e-commerce business, hiring a VA might be one of the best decisions you can make when your business starts to grow. Not only can they allow you to focus, help you to take on higher level tasks but also they may even be better at certain role in your business than you.
Where Can You Look to Hire Staff for Your Business?
If you, as the business owner, want to keep your circle small by hiring your friends, relatives or families, you might want to post your job vacancy in your personal social media or by asking them directly. This decision, however, have its pros and cons. The upside is that you know them personally so you can trust them. The cons are that people you already know, such as friends or family members, may give you discipline issues because of your relationship outside of the business and it is harder to enforce rules on them because this may hurt your relationship with them. Nevertheless if you wish to hire your friends or family members, make sure that both of you can keep things professionally so that the business can continue to function. My advice is to state the rules beforehand, and if they wish to work for you, they have to agree to those terms, so that if things do not turn out the way you hoped, you have the authority to take the necessary actions.
If you’re looking for people whom you’re not related to you can post up your job offer at the right platform,such as Monster, Indeed and Linkedin. Whereas for virtual staff, you can hire them from Toptal, People Per Hour, Upwork, Simply Hired, FieldEngineer etc. You just need to sign up and most of them are free to use.
What is the difference between hiring an in-house office staff and a virtual assistant?
The benefits of hiring virtual workers is that you can access the job pool worldwide. Hence, there are usually a lot of candidates for you to pick and choose the best for your company. Every country has its specialty. If you’re looking for really good talents, they are usually from the first world countries. However, if we are talking about the best value talents we can hire, they are from the developing countries. Their salary can usually be about one-third of the same role if you were to hire locally in developed countries and cities. The trade-off is usually the fluency of English, which limits the effectiveness in communication.
For web development, looking at Indians and Vietnamese will be your best bet. For graphic designers and website designers, Indonesians and Filipinos are good at that, although in general, good designers can be found everywhere. If you’re looking for customer service and data entry, as well as simple marketing roles, Filipinos will be the best choice because of their standard of English. Lastly, if you require customer service roles with good English in different timezone, consider hiring from African Nations, East Europeans, Latin and South America.
With in-house staff, the benefits are in the immediate access. You can speak to them directly, and convey your thoughts and instructions easily. From my experience, in-house staff are also better suited for higher level job roles, as they will be more creative and have a bigger desire to excel. Of course, that also depends on how your company’s remuneration scheme is structured.
How Do You Hire And Best Practices?
As a business owner, you need to set the criterias for your job offer. To improve your efficiency in hiring, look for job ads that have already been posted by big companies. Their job ads would usually have been optimized to advertise towards the profile of talent they want. From there, model after their job ads, then edit and apply your own job descriptions, the time length of the job (short term or long term), skills required, and the payment you offer (per hours or per project) and make it your own. For example, in Upwork, there are multiple filters like hourly rate, hourly billed, job success rate, earned amount, English level, freelancer type, and last activity.
Personally, I usually look towards hiring virtual assistants and compensate them directly. My best experience in hiring has been looking for VAs whom have been active in the last 2 weeks, zero amount earned and hours billed, with fluent English. I also invite them to my job directly. Of course, it is still important for you to view their portfolio before hiring. I frequently find talents whom are opened to being hired directly and are not committed to any other jobs at the moment this way. In my opinion, I feel that accessibility to the VA is important, as well as if the VA commits to multiple jobs at the same time, they are usually less focused and submit work of quality less than what they could if they were other than their personal lives, 100% committed only to your business.
As for in-house staff, they commit at least 8 hours in your business, so they are definitely more committed and less distracted. Hiring in-house staff is a lot more complicated. There are usually 2 types of staff, one who has less expectations in life, and the other who has huge aspirations, and this is what you want to identify quickly, during an interview with them. Those who have less expectations in life and more contented, are those who are more likely to stay longer in your company. However, they are usually less inclined to learn and resistant to change. They are usually older and are ladies. The ones who have huge aspirations, they need to be constantly learning and improving, and their salary increment demands are a lot bigger. They are fast learners, and very open to changes as long as it is an improvement especially for their career. They are usually younger and are guys. The difficulty in hiring in-house staff is not about hiring, but more of keeping them with you. To be able to keep the talented and hungry ones, your company needs to grow at a pace that is of the same or faster than them or they will leave your company very quickly.
What Kind of Roles Should You Hire?
When it comes to e-commerce, there are few roles that you should hire immediately. They are customer service and data entry, web development and graphic design.
I usually hire a customer service personnel who is also able to perform data entry duties when there are no customer service issues to manage. That way you can maximize the working hours of the staff, and be able to hire on a full-time basis easier.
Next in line to hire is a web developer. Your business depends on your website. If anytime your website is down or have certain features not working properly, that affects your revenue.
Lastly, you will want a graphic designer to be part of your team. You will be doing up lots of marketing materials during the course of your business, especially when you need design for your social media pages, website as well as your emails. The best way to hire graphic designer is still to always look at their portfolio, if they suit your taste of your business’ marketing outlook.
Starting a new e-commerce business can be overwhelming at first because it requires multiple different roles, that’s why you need an extra hand. Instead of engaging a digital marketing agency whom have zero obligations to make your marketing a success, hiring the right VA can help you focus more on business development roles to grow the business faster, giving you more profit and time. Where ever you are in this e-commerce journey, you will still be constantly on a look out for talents to join your team. If you are looking for more advice for your e-commerce business and you feel that you need someone to guide you along, I have a program that is specially created for people like yourself.
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