Podcast cover

63. Behind the scenes of managing 150 Philippines Virtual Assistants with Barbara Turley

11 September, 2019
The Bean Ninjas Podcast
The Bean Ninjas Podcast
63. Behind the scenes of managing 150 Philippines Virtual Assistants with Barbara Turley

Want to hire the best Philippines Virtual Assistants for your business?

In Episode 63 of the Bean Ninjas Podcast, Bean Ninjas CEO Meryl Johnston talks to Barbara Turley about the importance of systemizing your business and the value behind properly outsourcing your staff.

Wondering how to hire and manage a team of 150+ staff in the Philippines? CEO @virtualhubltd Barbara Turley shares her experience. #outsourcing #systems #remotework Share on X

Recruiting Philippines Virtual Assistants: How the Idea Came About

Barbara Turley is the founder and CEO of The Virtual Hub, a hugely successful offshore company with around 150 staff members. Her role includes hiring and running teams of VAs in the Philippines.

Prior to launching The Virtual Hub, she maintained a financial markets career that spanned 15 years. During that time, Barbara was a trader for some of the world’s largest investment banks. 

Aside from trading, she was managing relationships with some of Australia’s largest wealth management businesses. After leaving the corporate job, she pivoted to consulting and business coaching. 

The Virtual Hub was conceived when Barbara noticed that there was a crevice between startup and growth that can last for 10-20 years. She realised that startups’ revenue weren’t enough for the owners to hire staff.

That was a problem Barbara believed she could solve. Since she had a virtual assistant in the Philippines, she started recruiting VA’s from the Asian country for her clients.

“I wasn’t thinking about it as a business. And over the course of I’d say about a month or a couple of months, I started getting calls from friends of clients saying “can get me one of those virtual assistants” and I was getting asked more for that than I was for business coaching. And I thought to myself “I wonder if there is a business in this”. So I put on a webinar, I haven’t built a bit of a list of that stage of prospects or whatever. And I did a webinar and it was very simple. It was just how to successfully and confidently use virtual assistants to grow your business. And it was probably the most successful webinar I ever did without putting much energy into it. And literally overnight, the Virtual Hub was born and within a month we were in business.”

The Virtual Hub grew into one of the leading companies that recruits and manages VA’s in the digital marketing and social media space. But getting there was not easy.

Have you launched a business and then regretted it? Barbara was in a similar situation when a lot of her clients started complaining about her services.

Within the first 2 years, she realized she needed to systematize the business. She started by introducing training programs for both the clients and the VA’s.

Related: Systematize: How To Build A Business That Can Run Without You 

If you are a business owner, but you are not confident about communicating and delegating, consider joining a training program

Barbara Turley Linkedin Post

Hiring and managing Philippines Virtual Assistants

Managing a business is tough if you don’t systematize it.

Before anything else, you must come up with an organizational chart to understand the needs of your business in regards to staff. This will help you build a team structure.

Are you considering elevating your VA’s to a more demanding role? If that’s so, never underestimate the training, mentorship and leadership that requires.

Note that it all depends on the level that you’re hiring into. Elevating someone to a team leader role can be problematic, because that requires a lot of different skills from being a technician or VA.

When creating new roles for existing team members, them being flexible and knowing the business will help you define it. But don’t disassociate yourself from understanding what your team members are doing.

If you are not engaged with all of the processes, something could potentially go wrong.

Related: How to Systemise Yourself Out of Your Business With David Jenyns

If you are considering starting a recruiting company, or any kind of remote business, Barbara’s got a few tips for you. 

Be smart about hiring

In regards to hiring staff, don’t rely on resumes, resumes can say anything. Also, have in mind that some people can shine in the interview, but they’re terrible on the job. 

Focus on the metrics instead.

Step down from the role of interviewing people once you notice that you are prone to becoming emotionally attached to the stories you are hearing. Allow someone else do that for you.

In regards to the skills a good remote worker should have, Barbara’s preference comes down to being smart and agile.They need to be able to plug into your system instead of coming in and wanting to change it. 

Related: Lessons in Hiring: How to Build a High Performing Team 

Know the good and bad about remote work

Be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of remote work.

If your staff works from home, they should have the flexibility, but kept within the structure. Barbara has had some bad experiences with remote workers who lacked structure and boundaries. 

That’s why she decided to open an office workplace for her remote workers in the Philippines.

Related: Scaling remote teams with Carrie McKeegan

Focus on systems as you do on sales

Business Processes

For anyone starting their own business, make sure to focus on getting feedback from the market and refining your offer. If it happens that the market has a need for your product, then proceed to systemizing the business.

You must have the infrastructure, the processes, the team. If you don’t pay attention to that, you’re going to go into chaos.

“You have to master the art of system building and process building. And lots of entrepreneurs would prefer to stick needles in their eyeballs than do that. It takes about two years,12 months to two years, and then you have something that is scalable and saleable. And then can push as many sales as you like down the pipes because the pipes are big enough to cope. I hope that makes sense. And I think that’s why people fail. They don’t do that.”

Once you’ve created systems, then, as the founder or the CEO, you can focus on growth or innovation. This will help you build a stronger, more scalable and salable business.

You don’t have to be involved in the day to day processes, you don’t have to be involved in the operations. But you need a level of oversight and reporting structure…You need to have a role so that very quickly, you can actually look at data and go “there’s a change there” and ask the question.

Related: Building Systemized Business Processes

Utilize social media 

Implement a strong and effective social media strategy. It will help people learn about your business.

A lot is coming through Facebook and Instagram for Barbara. They publish content about the company’s culture and the people working at The Virtual Hub.

Apply similar tactics and you will eventually attract a great deal of people.

To get in touch with Barbara, hop over to the company’s website where you can schedule a free call with one of the available consultants. You can also reach out to her on LinkedIn.

When you run a business, you not only have to make sure that the business is growing in the first place, but you also have to make sure that the growth is consistent. Here’s a video on How To Grow Your Business By Outsourcing & Hiring Virtual Assistants:

Learn how you can manage a recruiting business from Barbara Turley, CEO @virtualhubltd #outsourcing #systems #remotework Share on X

Listen in to learn more about how Barbara Turley systematized and scaled her fast-growing VA recruitment business.

Meryl and Barbara discuss:

  • The birth of the “accidental business”
  • Overcoming initial crisis
  • The importance of systems and metrics
  • Managing a growing remote team
  • What to look for in an employee

Resources mentioned in this episode

Enjoying the show? Please subscribe & review in itunes

If you enjoyed listening to this episode and you want a really easy way to support the podcast, why don’t you head over to iTunes and leave us a quick rating or even a review? We would also love to hear what you thought of today’s episode.

Looking for an easy way to get there? Just go to beanninjas.com/podcastreview and that should open up iTunes on your computer. We read all your reviews, and it really helps other people to discover the show. Your support is very much appreciated.

Other Episodes