Hiring Virtual Assistants from LatAm and Mexico – a novel idea, and a timely one, given we’re reeling from the Great Resignation. Think about it. Last November 2021, Worktango published that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 3% quit rate across all industries, causing a huge uptick in wages for low-income workers – the highest since the 18-month Great Recession that started in 2007. Even though experts think that the trend might be coming to a close, there were around 100 million quits in the two years it took for the movement to cool down. The top 10 industries that were impacted most by the resignation are education, air travel, healthcare, hotels and accommodations, food services, social services, retail, grocery stores, transportation, and manufacturing. Two of these industries may or may not affect the wonderfully complex supply chain known as e-commerce. Whether or not you’re affected by the Great Resignation, it’s time to think about turning over some of your work to a virtual assistant, you busy entrepreneur, you.

Enter Jens Gould, CEO & founder of Amalga Group, which specializes in finding and placing quality nearshore talent for many industries – e-Commerce included. He joined Amy on an insightful Wisdom Wednesday episode to talk about the characteristics of nearshore hiring, and how talented virtual specialists from the LatAm and Mexico regions can help businesses grow – with some help, of course.

Click on the video to learn more:


Hiring Virtual Assistants from LATAM: Answering Common Challenges

American entrepreneurs face many common challenges:

  1. It’s hard to find skilled talent in the USA – and/or it’s quite pricey. Think about salaries, taxes, benefits and insurance, and so on.
  2. They’re spending too much time in operations, and too little time growing, expanding, and scaling their businesses.

It’s understandable. Your business is your baby. You’ve built it from the ground up. It’s hard to entrust your business to a third party, who may not be as passionate about it as you are. Will they perform as well as you can?

Even if you’ve decided, 100%, that you do need the extra assistance, many entrepreneurs are flying solo because they haven’t found the right person yet. Many entrepreneurs have a revolving door of assistants and staff, and grow sick of it, therefore deciding to run the show all by themselves.

Other entrepreneurs don’t have the structures in place, or the time to create the SOPs that will guide extra team members. Oftentimes they figure it’s faster if they do it themselves, so they eschew recruiting new faces, entrusting themselves – and only themselves – with the day-to-day.

This is a dangerous predicament to be in. You find yourself stuck in a reactive state, putting out fires daily, unable to pull yourself out of operations. We assure you, it will be impossible to scale unless you have help. You cannot be operator and leader all at the same time.

Enter the Virtual Specialist. If the typical VA handles rote jobs like answering emails, bookkeeping or data entry, order/return processing, community management, and research, Amalga’s VS is like a VA 2.0. Amalga’s VSs perform tasks beyond the skill set of a VA:

  1. Growth marketing, such as email marketing, paid media buying, account management, and business development;
  2. Creation marketing, such as copywriting (in both English and Spanish, which comes in handy if you’re selling to a LatAm demographic), graphic design, creative strategy, and more;
  3. Web design and development;
  4. Administrative work and customer service

Do you need any of these right now? Are you tempted yet to grow your business with specialists in any of these areas?

It’s Time to Get Out of the Weeds of Your Business

When to hire a VA/VS? Only you can answer that.

Take a good look at your day. Take a good look at your business. Jens brings up some interesting questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you spending too much time working in your business as opposed to for your business? Are you deep in the weeds, as opposed to flying high, where business owners are supposed to be? Get out there and spread your wings; you’ll need to, in order for your business to fly.
  2. Are your costs too high? Perhaps this sounds counterintuitive; if you’ve been flying solo all this time, having a ground crew will most definitely be an extra expense. But if you already have available positions that need to be filled, chances are your OPEX will be eaten up by onshore talent.
  3. Are you growing? Do you even have the time to allocate to growth and expansion? Back to point #1 – if you’re too deep in the weeds, you probably don’t have time to lead, to fly, to grow. Allocate tasks to another person to free your hands, and go act like the leader you are. Go grow your business. That is your job, not answering emails.

But, as with everything, there is a right time and a wrong time.

Luckily, Amalga offers bespoke services. A simple consultation with them (which, by the way, you can get for free from Jens if you watch the YouTube video above!) will shed light on your staffing issues. Having worked with many entrepreneurs, Jens is aware of many reasons why hiring VAs/VSs has failed in the past:

  • You’re not willing to train – maybe because you don’t know where to start, or you don’t have the time, or you too are trying to figure it out as you go along
  • You don’t have SOPs in place, or you’re not willing to create them – most of the time, this boils down to time.
    • Amy brings up an interesting point: in her consultations with Amazon sellers, she hears many entrepreneurs bemoan SOP creation. How can I create an SOP for a VA if I’m also new to the task? She answers that question in the YouTube video, too, and we assure you, her method works with the Amazing at Home team. It can and will work for yours, too.
  • You don’t have the extra budget – and you most definitely need the extra budget. Hiring an offshore/nearshore hire may cost less than an onshore hire, but it’s not for free. Pay competitive wages, and you’ll find it’ll be easier to retain your new staff.
  • You want to keep on doing everything yourself! – This is a common one. Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to let go. (If this is you, it’s probably time to stop micromanaging every little thing, and seeing about letting new blood have a say. You never know – their way might benefit your business in a way you never anticipated.)

The Case for a Recruitment Partner

Here’s the 411 on how to hire a VA/VS.

  1. Create a job description. Make sure it’s comprehensive enough so the person who fills it really does become the person your organization needs. Don’t forget that you may not find the person that fits the role 100%; there will be some level of evaluation as you consider if the recruit has skills you didn’t include in the JD but might actually benefit your company.
  2. Look around on Indeed, Upwork/Fiverr, social media, and through staffing agencies, who have pools of their own.
  3. Evaluate your candidates. Talk to references. Interviews will help you gauge soft skills that you won’t easily see on a resume. Create a trial period to assess your fit; remember that the candidate will also assess if they’re a fit with you. It’s a two-way street.

If all of this sounds lengthy, time-consuming, and complicated, it is. That’s why many entrepreneurs head to services like Amalga to handle this part. It helps to have that partner that can help you flesh out a good JD, search for a number of candidates for interviewing, and evaluates their hard and soft skills to ascertain fit.

The next part is on you.

  1. There needs to be a trial period. Both of you need the chance to figure things out. Is this person a good fit for the organization? Do their skill sets provide value? Can you see yourself growing with this person? Think long term, but evaluate in the short term. Here’s when your SOPs come into play. You’ll need to schedule team meetings, release Loom videos, over-communicate on Slack or What’s App (or whichever messaging platform you like the most), etc. This part is when expectations management is crucial.
  2. Set KPIs. We’re talking precise numbers here. How many emails do you expect them to answer in a day? How much of the website needs to be finalized by the end of the week? How many graphics need designing?

Jens has answers for many of the pitfalls he’s heard from entrepreneurs.

  • The VA/VS was disorganized! 
    • Did you create clear SOPs that are easy to follow?
  • The VA/VS didn’t follow directions. 
    • Oftentimes, the business owner didn’t allocate the time to train their people.
  • The VA/VS didn’t speak up. I didn’t know there were problems. 
    • Many entrepreneurs forget that cultural nuances affect relationships in a big way. People across the world have differing attitudes towards authority. How does your VA/VS perceive authority, and how do they feel about speaking up? Stay sensitive to this.
  • Skill sets were lacking. 
    • That all boils down to your JD.
  • There were worrisome security concerns. 
    • Protect your info! Use LastPass, and guard against company theft as much as you can.
  • I’m locked into a long-term contract and it’s not working for me. 
    • Work with an agency with flexible contracts. This is a good safety measure so you can pivot if something goes remiss.

Newbie Employers Make a Bunch of Mistakes.

Here’s a list; see which of these you have made/are making:

  • Expecting the VA/VS to know everything without training
  • Disregarding any cultural differences
  • A lack of SOPs
  • No trial period
  • No definite, quantifiable KPIs
  • A lack of balance between delegating work and controlling employees
  • The inability to transition from an operational mindset to a managerial one

Of course, there are  bad eggs out there. The recruitment process can help identify them. But all too often we’re seduced by a sunny personality, a touch of flattery, a pleasant smile. That’s why an objective and professional partner is a really good idea.

So, Why Hire Virtual Assistants from Latin America?

Commonly, VAs come from Asia or Eastern Europe. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if it works well with your business. Don’t forget, the standard of living in Mexico and Latin America is a bit pricier than in the Philippines or Ukraine, so the salary of a nearshore VA/VS might be a little higher for certain positions. But think about the benefits:

  • Your VA/VS lives in a time zone that’s very near to yours. If you hire an Asian staff, you’re likely frustrated that they’re asleep while you’re working – unless they work the graveyard shift.
  • There’s a cultural affinity with the US. Many Northern Mexicans likely grew up in the US, or studied there, so they’re familiar with American speech patterns (helpful for communications work!) and customs. You won’t experience cultural mishaps as much (though, as with everything, a certain modicum of cultural sensitivity is still a good idea).
  • They’re a hardworking and creative people, very loyal and grateful to be working. You’ll find that they want to learn, and they’re interested in growing inside your organization.
  • If you’re selling in LatAm, or have Latinx customers, it’s a non-negotiable. You need a Spanish speaker on board.
  • LatAm has great educational institutions, so you can expect high levels of aptitude and skill.

Jens is clear: it might not work for everyone. Some businesses are fine with an Asian offshore workforce; others are satisfied working with Americans. Every business is different. Every entrepreneur is different. The idea here is to find what works for your business, and move accordingly. Don’t forget, the end goal is clear: you must grow. You must scale. A VA/VS can prove invaluable. It’s just a matter of finding the right one.



I’m excited to be here with my friend Jens schooled from a mug and group. And we are talking today about virtual assistants and how to hire them and all that stuff. But before you go, Oh, I already know that wait, because this presentation is all about hiring from Latin America. And I bet you didn’t know that you can hire virtual assistants in your timezone if you’re in the United States that can speak English, as well as other languages and are highly educated and very competitively priced for the workforce. So we’re here with Jeff today to discover all that we can do with virtual talent in Latin America. And gents, we’re so excited to have you. Thank you so much for being here.

Absolutely. It’s great to be on. Thanks for having me.

Awesome. Well, you have a presentation for us today to kind of walk us through this whole, you know, virtual talent hiring process from Latin America. And whenever you’re ready, we can get started. Wait, before we get started, why don’t we just take a moment to tell everybody a little bit about you and what you guys do?

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks. So I’m founder of Amalga. Group. We are a staffing company that focuses on near shore talent. So we hire from Mexico and the rest of Latin America, for US companies in multiple industries, including a lot of E commerce, businesses and sellers. We provide customer service talent, digital marketing, talent, ice and tech talent, and other back office business skill sets. And we specialize in the nearshore elements. So a lot, obviously, a lot of companies are used to go into Asia used to go into Eastern Europe. We specialize only in Latin America, and have great talent that we provide to our clients in the US.
I love it. Well, I’m excited to learn all about it today. Whenever you’re ready. Great. Well, I’ll share the presentation and also be happy to answer any questions as well, afterwards. So here we go.


So here we are, your screen. So go for it.

Beautiful. So solving today’s workforce challenges with top tier nearshoring. And I’ll talk a bit about both the workforce challenges and the top tier nearshoring. Just a little overview of what we’re going to talk about global talent trends, the challenges that are being presented right now should worldwide you know, in general with hiring, what is the virtual assistant or a virtual specialist as we like to call them? When should you hire them? When should you not hire them? Who to hire, how to manage and scale newbie Mistakes You Should Avoid? And then why Latin America. So that’s just sort of a roadmap of what we’re going to be talking about. But first, who are we so a manga, the root of the manga is the word amalgamate. And we’re called America because our mission is to unite the US with Latin America and to and to strengthen that connection, we bring lower costs, and top US top talent US businesses on the one hand, and then bring more opportunities of great jobs to Latin America, on the other hand, so that’s the the amalgamation of the two. I myself with 15 years of experience in staffing, Digital Marketing and Communications, in a number of different industries in the US. And I also have 10 years of experience in Latin America itself. So I know the region very well. And I think that’s one thing that helps us, that experience that we had in both in both the US and Latin America helps us be a bridge, right? Because it’s very useful to have people understand both sides, you know, because there are cultural differences and things to be aware of, obviously, whenever you go abroad, so the challenges, what are the challenges? Well, right now, today, it’s harder than ever to find skilled talent in the US, of course, everybody’s heard about the great resignation and the challenges of, of hiring, and retaining good talent. Everyone, you know, all companies big and small, have gone through this and had the challenge of, hey, I, you know, I can’t find the right person for this position, or I found the right person and they just left. That’s been happening more than ever since COVID. Now, the challenge rising costs, so obviously, you know, inflation is no secret. It’s increasing our overhead, right? So it’s more difficult to reduce that overhead. And then the third one, which is independent of any new trends in the economy is business owners need this And they’re time on growing their business, right. And a lot of times, we end up spending a good chunk of our time. Not on that, but on things that really, we shouldn’t be doing things that are very operational, very micromanagement. And that takes away from our time doing what the things that only we can do, which is really about expanding and scaling our companies, right.

So I think that is one of the top challenges for business owners in just making sure that they can scale is letting go of some of those tasks that they probably shouldn’t be doing. And, you know, it’s something that all of us struggle with, I recently just got rid of my email finally, like, I finally don’t do my email anymore. But nearly all of the entrepreneurs that I know that even have bigger companies than any of mine, that a lot of them still are in their inbox every day controlled by their inbox. So that’s just one example of, you know, so many different tasks that you shouldn’t be handing out as a business owner that a lot of us just we have a hard time letting go up.

Yeah, one part is the sort of, it’s hard to let go. And we want to micromanage we don’t want to, you know, give it to somebody else, because they’ll they won’t do as good of a job as us that sort of thing. And then part of it is just that we don’t have that person that we should be giving it to, or we haven’t created the structure, right. And the processes that will make that possible. You know, it’s funny, when we first started, you know, we had obviously already placed a number of people in virtual talent with our clients. And I, I didn’t, we didn’t actually have just sort of a traditional virtual assistant and Amalga yet, I mean, we are other types of talent, obviously. But so I brought one in, and I, myself experienced exactly what you’re talking about, oh, my God, this is tremendously helpful. And I now I understand on a visceral level, why this is so useful, you know, just to be able to do things like email. So yes, Amy, thank you. So the solution to these challenges is virtual talent, highly qualified. So virtual talent is highly qualified, if you get the right talent, it’s reliable, and it’s readily available. So why is that important? Well, you want to have somebody who can do as good of a job as or better than someone you would hire in the US. You want someone reliable, and you want someone that can come on quickly, right? Because a lot of times when you hire in the US, it can take time, right? It can take time to go through the whole process, and then to onboard and then, you know, payroll, and insurance and benefits and all those things. Virtual talent makes that easier. We’ll talk about that more. Talent is less expensive, helping you reduce cost, that’s obviously a huge one. And this is no secret, right? I think probably the majority of the listeners today have have probably somebody working offshore from them and understand that cost benefit access to a global talent pool, it’s just a bigger talent pool, right? If you’re going to other countries, which is helpful, because some countries have great talent in certain areas, and you’re able to access that. And then number four, of course, you get more time to grow your business, which is what we were just talking about, you can you know, do more, you can go on more trips to, you know, meet with clients meet potential leads, customers, what have you, whatever you need to do to scale more and create partnerships, or whatever it is to do more of that, if you have this. So I’m just gonna start a bit This is basic seven, very quickly, because I’m sure that this is not necessarily for everybody. But I did want to sort of underline this point that what is a VA because everyone uses the word, the term VA, we actually call them VSOs, and a maga virtual specialists, because your VA refers to a virtual assistant, which is obviously a very important role and very, very helpful for any company. However, the majority of the virtual types of virtual talent that we offer that other agencies like us offer and that you would get if you went to look for this yourself, or not virtual assistants, there’s many many many skill sets aside from this that you can bring on in addition to the sort of traditional virtual assistants so what is a virtual assistant well answer answer emails, social media comments, phone calls, bookkeeping, data entry, scheduling meetings, making sales calls, these are all very valuable tasks that you can have a VA do and and of course, you know, very useful however there’s more right and here’s more so they can also do Community Community Management Research Statistics, research products, process orders and returns Shopify manage their sacrifice site manager, Amazon, you can train them to do specific functions, right? But where’s the vs Well, there’s there’s so much more that you can get it Got a virtual talent in marketing. There’s a whole slew of skill sets that you can bring onto your team email marketers paid media buyers, you know, do your Google ads or Facebook ads, account managers, sorry, that’s there twice. I’m not sure why CRM administrators, you know, I need someone to run my HubSpot, Business Development representatives or sales development representative, I need someone to generate leads through cold calling or emailing. And then there’s creative marketing, right? You can get video editors, motion graphics designers, graphic designers, social media managers, copywriters in multiple languages, creative strategies. So this is not this is beyond the skill set of a, what you would know is a VA, right? So so this is why we say virtual specialists. And there’s many other areas that you know, I’m only here giving lists of positions that we offer. And these are some of the ones that we offer. But of course, there’s many more as well. But web development design, you know, front end developers, back end developers, Shopify developers, UX UI designers, WordPress developers, mobile app developers. And then the admin and customer service side. So customer service representatives, we do a lot of that both phone and email and chat. administrative assistants, sales assistants, data entry and data analyst, this is huge for ecommerce, right, having good data analysts to run numbers, do reports on inventory, sales, projections, and so forth. Project managers, accountants, and the list goes on. But this is, you know, a good a good starting point, to sort of show what’s possible. So when to hire, right? When do you want to do this? Well, obviously, if you want to lower costs, it’s a good time. If you’re working for your business more than on your business, and this is goes to our point before me where, you know, if you’re spending your day, just doing a lot of operational tasks, then you’re not spending your day, expanding your business doing what you need to do to have that high level work that only you can do. Right, you’re cutting the minutiae.

And Jens, some people might wonder, you know, your first bullet point here, you’re talking about, you can lower costs, I think, the reason a lot of people don’t hire is because they’re afraid of the costs of hiring someone. So they think that it’s the opposite of lowering costs. So explain how hiring someone can actually lower your costs.

Sure, I mean, if there are certain functions that you need in your company, if you need a data analyst, if you need a social media manager, if you need someone to run your marketing, if you need a social customer service person, whatever it may be, you’re gonna have to hire that person from somewhere, right. And if you hire them in the US, you’re gonna pay more than your if you hire them offshore. So it that that first point is assuming that you have someone you need to bring on, that has a skill set that either you don’t have, or you do have, but you can’t spend the time doing it. You can bring them on and pay, you know, all the compensation in the US and the higher salary, or you can bring them on at half the cost or a third the cost, depending on what the role is offshore. So that’s what we mean.


Got it makes sense.

Yeah. So you are doing tasks you shouldn’t be doing, you’re growing. You need more time for the big thinking needed to grow your business. You aren’t great at organization or administration, you need skill sets, you don’t have you want access to a global pool of talent without having to worry about relocation, you’re not constrained by standard nine to five work hours, or this is a big one, you’re a busy parent, or you work a nine to five, and you’re building your business on the side this, this happens a lot as well, right? If that’s your case, well, you know, it really helps you to have someone come in and do a lot of this work. So those are situations where companies usually find themselves wanting to look at virtual town, when not to hire well. Number one, if you’re not willing to train people will go into this more, but it’s very important to give them sufficient training. So if that’s not something you want to do, and you don’t want to manage people in that way, then it’s probably not the time. You don’t have SOPs, or you’re not willing to create them, you have no extra budget. Because to your point, it does cost something to bring these people on, right? If you just don’t want to bring anybody on then it’s not the right time. And this fourth one is you want to keep doing every single thing in your company. So this is the micromanager who doesn’t want to let go right.


You know, I think that you’re bringing up some things here that are very good They are common struggles. So I think there are fears that a lot of especially newer business owners have is, you know, I wouldn’t even know how to train somebody how to do this. I’m just learning it myself. I don’t have SOPs, you know, and and what I have talked to people about when they’re in that hiring process is that as long as they can show somebody how to do it the first time or the second time, or create a video of themselves doing it, then they can have that VA or that vs. Create an SOP for them. Like that is something that a lot of times, you know, your staff can do for you. But you do have to be willing to show them. I can’t tell you how many people come to me all the time and go well, don’t you have somebody that’s already trained in how to do all the things that I need to do in my business? And I’m like, Well, yes, no, it’s your business. So you’re going to have things you don’t want people bringing in bad habits from other companies and doing things the way that you know, you wouldn’t do them. And then, you know, you just, it’s very hard to bring someone into whose turn key all of us, I’m sure, before we started, our businesses had a job somewhere else. And we required training, you know, and we were just expected, even if we had experience, if we were just expected to show up and figure it out, you know, we probably wouldn’t have been very successful in our careers. So yeah, I love that you’re pointing this out, like, if you’re not ready to train somebody, if you’re not in the right mindset of I’m going to pass this off, and I’m going to enable, you know, this person to actually do that job and prep them to do it, and give them that feedback that they need, then yeah, it’s not the right time to hire. Very good. I love it.

Yeah, absolutely. And we’re gonna get into that a little bit more in the in the section on, you know, how to hire and how to evaluate how to make sure you’re training correctly, but it’s absolutely true. And it may be the case that, you know, I know companies that already have large staff, but then they need to bring in a new position that they don’t currently have. And there’s resistance training that because it’s new, but you’re right, there’s no turnkey, right, even if someone is, you know, the best at what they do, they still need to understand what your company does, and how to work with your team. And just that, in itself requires training. So so how does how to hire now you’ve decided you want to do it, what’s step one, and this is one that’s often overlooked about that we recommend highly and it’s create a job description. And you might say, well, I don’t need to do that. You don’t have to but it does really help not just if you’re going to work with not just to post op work or to give to your staffing agency but for your own benefit as well because when you sit down to write it, you will realize things that you want in this position that you probably weren’t that aware of, or you weren’t that conscious of or it’ll help you flush them out there are certain personality traits or skill sets or responsibilities that you might not have thought or thought through. So it’s good exercise even just for you to sit down and and write it up and if you’re not sure how to write it out, just look on any job board and look at examples but it will be helpful so you know and things to include so you know what kind of English if you’re going to offer what kind of English level do you need size and scale your business you know, what are the volume of sales how many support tickets depending on you know, what the role is past experiences that you would like to see that will make them successful in this position a specific list of the tasks they’ll be performing required skills versus nice to have skills they’re not the same resources you will provide such as scripts if it’s customer service or you know access to the back end if they’re developer and and you know, look on LinkedIn for examples you know, if you’re, if you want to kind of jog your thoughts on on what’s right now, okay, you got that so now where to look well, traditional job platforms like indeed, Freelancer platforms like Upwork social media, like LinkedIn or Facebook, and then staffing agencies and we can talk a bit later about, you know, why use one or another, but there are many places to go to do this. who to hire? Okay, so now you got some candidates. And so how do you decide well, how do you evaluate your candidates? First of all, you want to be diligent in matching the experience that you see on this person’s resume with your job description go line by line, do they do they match up with what you need? Seems obvious, right? But sometimes we get very hung up or focused on one particular aspect of a candidate like some personality trait, or the fact that they have, you know, five years of experience doing X, but there’s all the other things you want to do they have those as well. Or not. And then are you willing to sacrifice the ones they don’t for the ones that do, make sure that experience is what they say it is. Look at their clients, the past companies, they’ve worked for their portfolios, if it’s a creative position, their LinkedIn page, if you’re doing this yourself, you really are, you know, if your HR company’s departments doing it, or you’re the actual person doing all of it, you want to be very diligent and really look at is this person’s CV sort of juiced at all? Or have they really done what they’ve said they don’t. And I want to understand what they’ve done, I really want to look at their work, talk to References, you know, companies, they work for people that work for, do interviews, of course, to understand their experience, but also get to get a feeling for their soft skills. So what are they like? What’s the personality? Are they going to work with you well, or your team? Well, does it seem like they will, and then do a trial period. So this is very important. You don’t want to enter into a long term contract right off the bat, whether you’re doing this independently, or through an agency, you want to make sure that they’re that they’re going to work, right, so you need a trial period. To make all of this easier, you can use a third party that can do all of these things. Or you can do it yourself. But if you do it yourself, I recommend that you you’re diligent about about this stuff. Okay, so now you’ve chosen your candidate, you brought them on? How do you train them? Number one, you got to put SOPs in place, and we talked about this, you have to be clear and precise about what the processes are, that you want them to follow, and how to follow. And there are ways to make this, you know, automated, there are ways to make this a lot of huge time commitment for you, and reduce the meeting times. One of them is Lou, you know, just do loom videos for everything and create a new library and just send them to send them the videos. And this is particularly useful if you’re building a large team, or even a small team like because now you have this library of videos that you can show people on how to do something and you don’t have to hop on a meeting. You know, workflow and something like Nero or Trello or, you know, other project management systems, Asana, have a resource hub and Google Drive or something like that. Use slack or something like Slack, you can’t over communicate, I mean, communication, when I see people sort of falling short, it’s, it’s always because of under Communication not overdoing, or sometimes incorrect communication. But the more the better it is and then make sure that you know that they expect responsive communication, you know, sometimes there are cultural differences. And people in other countries are used to different ways of working in different ways of interacting with their superiors. And it’s always done the way it’s done in the US. And so you may come up with, you know, you may have people that don’t feel okay, coming to you with questions, for example. And you want to sort of be proactive about that, and let them know that you want them to come to you. You want them to be communicative, so that you can address any questions or any issues before they become a problem. How to evaluate, okay, now they’ve been in position for a while, I want to figure out if this is actually a good you know, this has been a right, the right hire like, is this person, good for my company? How do you do this set KPI is very important. I mean, companies have KPIs, but sometimes we forget, with virtual talent to do this. You have to measure measurable goals so that you can set precise numbers and then come back and see if they’ve been met. So if it’s a social media thing, you know, traffic conversions, if it’s sales, it leads, you know, if it’s customer service, it’s how many inquiries are there resolving a day? If it’s, you know, they’re managing my Amazon, or they’re managing my Shopify? Well, you know, I’ve been errors and processing orders, or I’ll have all the returns with an address, you know, whatever it is, deliverables by deadline, whatever it is that you need, you want to set those KPIs, and then you can go back and see if they’re doing.

Okay, so important to have KPIs for your people. And it’s tough. I think that these can be made over time. You know, for job descriptions, I recommend people do a time analysis and write down what tasks they’re doing, and then who those tasks can be outsourced to. And then you have a list of tasks that create the job description for the person that you’re hiring. And then when you’re creating those list of tasks, look at you know, how you measure that that task is done. You know, if you’re doing all the tasks right now that you’re essentially going to be hiring out you can actually look at okay, how do I measure that this Seeing is done. And if you set that up when you’re doing your time analysis, now you not only have a job description for the person you’re going to hire, but you also have a list of KPIs to hold them accountable. So you know, if the if entrepreneurs take the time to do a time analysis and take those notes, knowing that when they hire someone, that’s what they’re going to need, it will be much easier along the way, plus, you’ll have an SOP to go along with it. Because you know, if you do every task with the thought of okay, I’m going to pass this off to someone, then you’ll be very prepared for onboarding them for writing that job description for the interview questions, as well as for tracking their KPIs. So I love doing that every time I get busy in my business again, instead of on my business, I take the time to do a time analysis. And I started looking at those things that I’m that I need to do to buy back my time.

Absolutely, yeah, totally agree with everything you said. And it’s sort of comes down to the question of being proactive versus reactive. Because, you know, it’s so easy to be reactive the entire day and just put out fires. But you have to set aside the time to do these things that you’re saying. And it’s not a lot of time, I think sometimes we think it’s going to be more than it is because it’s like, not always our The first thing we want to do. We want to just, you know, resolve the thing that’s in front of my face, but but if you can schedule it on your calendar, you know, I’m gonna put this hour for, you know, working on KPIs and doing new videos and automating these things and processes or whatever it may be. That’ll go a long way, in the future. For sure. So avoid the pitfalls. These are just, you know, comments that I’ve heard companies say, in terms of hiring virtual talent, and, you know, what we would say are the ways that they can prevent or could have prevented these these these issues. So once they were disorganized, well, did you have clear SOPs in place? They said yes, but then didn’t follow directions. Well, did you put in the time to train them? And by the way, it may be the case that yes, you did. And then maybe this person isn’t right for you, but not always right. Not always has the training? Didn’t they didn’t speak up when when they had questions. Well, were you attuned to any cultural differences? Did you make it clear to them that it was important for them to come to you with with issues? They didn’t have the skill sets we needed? Did you do it? Did you have an accurate job description? Did you do skills tests before hiring and this is another thing that is important to do, particularly for certain roles, to do assessment tests, you know, make sure that they have the skill set you want. agencies often do this. You can do it yourself. It’s important. Turns out they had a shady past. Okay, well, did you do background checks? Or did you use an agency that does background checks. We had security concerns, make sure you protect your information. And accountants give limited access until you have more trucks trust their ways of doing this. I was locked into a long term contract with the VA didn’t like, well use an agency with flexible contracts or when you hire yourself, happy, flexible contract, don’t don’t be locked in to anything long term. So just sort of reiterate some newbie mistakes are expecting them to know everything without training, assuming of cultural differences, no SOPs, no trial period, no KPIs, not finding the right delicate balance between delegating and controlling I like this one. Because, you know, it is a balance, right? You can’t, you can’t just delegate everything on day one. But you also have to let go of your need to micromanage everything. And there’s there’s a fine line between the two. And the transition from an operational mindset to a managerial mindset, and that’s very important. You are, you know, you may already manage a lot of people and then that’s that comes naturally to you. But if you don’t and these people you’re bringing in our sort of you doing that for the first time, then you kind of have to shift your mindset like you’re not you’re not the operational person anymore. You’re you’re overseeing and you’re delegating and you’re making sure everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to do. Okay, why Latin America? So, now we get to, to our region, our part of the world. One huge advantage to hiring remote talent in Latin America, suppose other parts of the world are the timezones, me, you mentioned in the beginning, it makes a huge difference to have people working real time with you and the rest of your team, on your timezone or close to it, as opposed to having a team that is working when you’re asleep, if they’re in Asia, or, you know, almost if they’re in Eastern Europe, it’s, it’s much more effective, they can be on your Slack channel, contributing real time, they can be on your zoom calls contributing real time, makes huge difference. Now, there are some roles, the Missoula is not so big deal to me, because they just do data entry, and I can wake up and have it done, fine. But there are many roles where it does make a big difference. So that’s a huge, that’s a huge plus, second, cultural 30 with the US. So let’s take Mexico, you know, in Mexico, and particularly in northern Mexico, there are many people, many, many, many, many people who are just very accustomed to the US, they go there all the time, you know, for the weekend, or, or they’ve part of the grown up there, or, you know, if they’re in northern Mexico, they’re, you know, even in a border town, like it’s, they were back before that time, there is an understanding of the US consumer and US companies, that is much stronger than in other parts of the world where they’re so far away, and they just may never have been us or, you know, there’s just a much more of a link. And that’s very, very useful when you’re going to have customer service people talking to your customers, right? You know, you want your customers to feel like they’re talking to somebody who understands them and understands where they come from, you’re more likely to have that when people are closer. But also other other positions, like marketing positions, we, you know, they have to create content or, or emails or whatever it is for the US market, you want somebody who understands the market, right and gets it. So that’s a big, that’s a big plus. And it’s not just Mexico, I mean, Latin America, in general has a lot of cultural affinity and understanding of the US. And I would say in addition to that, and it’s not here, and it should be educational, educationally, Latin America has great institutions. So if you take Mexico, they’re great universities, you know, and people have very strong soft skill sets, they’re well prepared. So that’s not to say other parts of the world don’t. But, but there’s a lot of very, very well prepared and ready to go people with a lot of talent in the region. So third point, they’re very hardworking, very creative, they can bring a lot to your company. And in general, and this, you know, a lot of our clients have sort of voice these concerns about the US recently, and with this whole great resignation trend, and people resigning, and it being hard to retain, there’s a sense from some people we work with, it’s, you know, some of the people aren’t as grateful to be there, they kind of take it for granted, right, and it will just leave drop of a hat, a drop of a dime. That’s not so much the case, there wasn’t really a great resignation in Latin America. I mean, it’s it, people are very happy to have these positions, and they want to learn from him, and they want to grow. And so that’s valuable, right? When you have that on your team. So that goes with the fourth point, there is loyalty and a sense of, you know, happiness, they’re happy with their position, and they’re happy to be there and happy to be on the team, they want to contribute. And then the fifth one, this is only for certain people, certain companies, but obviously, if you have customers or clients that are part of the Latino market in the US, or you actually sell in Latin America, well, it’s a no brainer, right? And because obviously, you have people with with native Spanish, and then understand the culture that you want to go to find American for that, right.

Can I ask some questions about hiring in Latin America? So how, how hard is it to find someone who’s fluent in English, as well as Spanish?

Yeah, not hard. I mean, the the level of English is, is on the whole very good if you filter for that, and that’s what something like we do. I mean, we would acquire, we look at the English language certificates and tests and do assessment tests to make sure that people have the level and of course, we have interviewers who will have conversations to make sure that level is where it should be. But, but you can find a lot of very talented people with great levels of English, both both people who have learned it and become advanced speakers, and also people who’ve actually have partly grown up in the US so they are native English speakers just living in Latin America. And there’s a lot of there’s a lot of that there’s a lot of people who’ve grown up in both or moving have, you know one or the other, they went to high school in the US, and now they’re back in Mexico or Central America. So that’s very common. So the one thing I will say is that, if it’s something where you need a native level of English writing skill, let’s say it’s a copywriting position, or potentially, you know, an email marketing position where they have to do the copywriting that is less common, and you have to filter specifically for that it’s a little hard to find it is there. But it’s, it’s a little fewer and far between. But aside from that, if you just need someone who’s very fluent, very advanced speaker and communicator, there’s a lot of talent in that. With that, with that skill set.

Awesome. Great to know.

Yeah. So another slide on why Latin America. So I wanted to add this, because this is sort of, you know, a topic that’s, you know, really, sort of in the news right now, and that’s the nearshoring. trend. So there, this is not a new term, obviously. But right now with the US China conflict, number one, and then number two, what happened in COVID, where the supply chains were restructured because of all the, the disruptions in the supply chain, companies want to be closer to the largest market in the world, the US more than they used to. Right, so So you find a lot of companies that are looking to move some of their operations, or all of their operations from China, or Asia, to Latin America and Mexico, in particular, because it’s so close to the to the US. You know, why does this matter? You? Well, it may not, but if you source, right, if you if you if you source, your your your production, you know, it may be useful for you to know that more people are looking to source in Latin America, both small ecommerce businesses all the way up to giant corporations. I mean, there’s there’s an article, New York Times recently why Chinese companies are investing billions in Mexico. There are many giant multinational corporations setting up shop in Mexico that haven’t been there before, because they want to be closer to the US. And so that’s creating more interest in the region. More emphasis on getting talent in the region, including here the aprilat time logo, because this was a conference. Amy, I know you’re there. I know that you put it on. So but it was it was great Expo in Mexico a couple months back that we had a booth that and that was was it was a great opportunity. Thank you for putting on me, for for businesses to learn about their sourcing opportunities, you know, in Mexico. So I don’t want to say anything on that, Amy. But it seemed like it was important to mention.

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for giving Evolatam a shout out. We’re actually live on the Evolatam tam page right now. We’re looking forward to the next one. And I think even just thinking about sourcing and building out your supply chain in Latin America, that is one of the Appeals is, you know, we were so excited to have a maga at the show, because one of the appeals to moving things over to Latin America is not just sourcing, but all of the great educated, amazing talent that you can find in Latin America. So definitely appreciate you kind of bringing this to the stage. So let’s talk about Amalga. You know, what are the ways that people can get in touch with you and can inquire about, you know, moving forward with hiring in Latin America?

Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll just run through this quickly, because it’s a segue to what you’re saying what you’re asking, Why use a staffing agency because people will say, Well, why don’t I just do this myself, and you can go on Upwork and find people so forth. Easier. If you want to build a team where you just want to hire one person and another country. You don’t want to set up a whole business entity in that country, believe me. You don’t want to do that in some countries in Latin America, because it’s a headache. It’s not as easy as the US so a staffing agency handles payroll benefits, labor law, all you do is just pay a monthly amount and you’re done. It’s much easier flexible, so you can scale up or down with flexible contracts more easily. And then security. You know, staffing agencies will vet a good a good one should will vet the people coming in do all the things we talked about earlier and so that you can have more trust and that this person is going to be the reliable person you want. So, US in particular, we work with companies that know. Sorry, it’s important to work with companies that know both the US and the home countries. And so we bring that to the table understanding, you know, what it’s like to run a business in the US, and also what it’s like to work in Latin America, and you want to know both sides. So we’re managed by Americans with with deep experience in Latin America. So if you want to get in touch, here is our number here is our website, and our LinkedIn, we are happy to chat. If you know, if you have questions, you want to explore your potential talent acquisition in any area, I’m happy to connect, you can send us a contact form on our website, or on our LinkedIn or just get in touch directly. Or by my email, please email me if you’d like.

All right, amazing. Well, thank you so much for all that awesome information about, you know, hiring from Latin America, and not just what you covered about hiring, but also, when is the time to hire and how to prepare to hire and, you know, is there anything I guess, to kind of wrap us up? Is there anything that we should know about the differences, the key differences, and most of us do hire from the Philippines that is very popular place to hire my my whole team is Filipino. And I love them. I couldn’t do it. Without them. They’re amazing. And it’s not that I haven’t considered, of course, for the Evolatam. We have people in Mexico that are helping us out. We couldn’t do it without them. So is there anything that we should know about key differences between virtual assistants from between hiring virtual assistants from other countries versus hiring from Mexico and Latin America? Are there different ways to pay them? Are there different considerations that we should be thinking about outside of language? Right, we talked about, we talked about making sure that we’re doing English testing, stuff like that if we don’t speak Spanish. But are there any other things that we should know of that we should be aware of when we’re hiring from Mexico and Latin America?

Yeah. There? Well, first, there are all the differences that I went through about what makes Latin America unique, right? That’s those are the times and and all those things are important to keep in mind in terms of payment. It’s very similar. I mean, if you’re working through an agency, you’ll you’ll normally pay them a monthly fee. Or if it’s a headhunter situation, you pay them a fee at the top, and that’s it. Or you’re going through Upwork, or a platform, and you’re paying them through there, or you’re paying them directly, that would be the same. You know, whether you’re in the Philippines or you’re in Latin America. Some other considerations. For some roles, it is more expensive in Latin America, that’s, that’s just true. It’s a higher sort of cost of living in Latin America than it is in the Philippines and wages are higher. It’s not a lot higher for most positions. And for some, it’s the same. But you know, it’s a question of thinking, Okay, well do the benefits that Latin America could bring me which we talked about? Is that worth it to me, you know, to potentially pay a little bit more and usually, the costs are, you know, so favorable in terms of, you know, saving, saving money and having a lower budget that that many, many companies say yes, and our clients say, Yes, you know, why it’s worth it for me to pay a little bit more to have the timezone or to have this and to have that cultural differences, I think you may find some I we’ve had a number of clients come to us and say, you know, we’re not happy with some of our people in the Philippines for X y&z Some of it has to do with some of the, you know, cultural issues that they found there, or the ways that they work with teams or the quality of work. I mean, I can’t speak to that, because, you know, we don’t we don’t work in the Philippines. But I can tell you that we have clients that have come to us with that, hey, we want to do that in America because we’re not happy with x in the Philippines. But we also people are very happy there. So I think it’s, it’s a matter of what you want. You know, an agency like Amalga we’re white glove, we’re bespoke we wherever you want to. whatever term you want to use, we really focus on figuring out what our clients need and give them exactly what it is that will help them with what they need. And so, you know, we’re honest and open and say, you know, I think this would work for you or I think, you know, just stick with we have in the Philippines, this is this, maybe that’s better for you in this case. So it’s a case by cuz business.

Got it? So um, I guess before we wrap up here we should you said you have a special offer for the crowd here mentioned something about a consultation or something.

Yeah, free consultation, to assess your hiring needs your current talent where you want to go and provide advice recommendations on on any of the things we talked about here or others. We do this all day long every day. So we have expertise in the matter, and it’s consultation with me to do that.

Amazing. So how do they get in touch with you to claim that

My email is perfect. So jens@amalgagroup.com.

I’ll put it up here on the screen. So everybody has it. All right, so get your free consultation with Jens at jens@amalgagroup.com. And thank you done so much for being here today. Thank you for your offer. I’m sure many people would love to sit down with somebody like you and get an understanding of what they can afford to hire how you know what they should be thinking about? Are they ready for hiring, who they could hire? What would it cost them all the things. And I’m sure you’d be a great help with all of that. So thank you so much for being here with us today and sharing this offer with our audience and teaching us all about hiring from Latin America.

Hey, thanks. It was a pleasure. It was great to chat. And thanks for having me on. And then once again, I just want to say that aprilat said was a great event. And you know, we’re we’re excited to be in touch and, and excited about the emphasis that you’re putting on on Mexico and Latin America. So Thanks for Thanks for everything.

Thank you. Yeah, we’re trying to plan the next one here. We’re looking at potential dates and locations. So excited about that. Hopefully, we’ll see you guys in Mexico. Next go around. All right, everyone. Have a great day. Thanks again, gents for being here. And we’ll see you guys next time on our next Wednesday wisdom series. All right. Bye, everybody.

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