Two minutes into a consulting call with a client and she shared this scenario with me:

Miranda, one of her hardest-working employees, was showing all the classic symptoms. She was late to work twice that week, which was unusual.

Also, she was making little mistakes like forgetting to add items to our calendar and basic spelling errors.

This is an employee who was known for her impeccable organization and now she seemed hopelessly scattered. My client and she have worked together for years, so she was honest when asked “what was going on?”.

“I’m just trying to get through the day,” she said, “That’s all the energy I have.” It was obvious even from a continent away – Miranda was experiencing burnout.

It wasn’t a cause for panic, but it worried my client, and it should worry you as well. Burnout is one of the major causes of turnover.  Your organization is feeling it and you are too more than likely.

These are the crucial moments in an employer/employee relationship that require a thoughtful and human response.

In these moments, with the appropriate response, you can help your employee weather a burnout blizzard.

Why does burnout happen?

I’ve been around the block a few times, so I know that burnout is pretty common. A recent Gallup study determined that about two-thirds of all employees feel some level of burnout at work.

It’s important to know what causes burnout so you can help your staff deal with it.

Some of the causes of burnout, according to the Mayo Clinic are:

Fortunately, burnout can be addressed successfully and can even lead to a more productive working relationship when handled properly.

At HireSmart Virtual Employees we reduce burnout by focusing on the causes.

Burnout is real and so are the potential consequences for yourself, your business and your employees.

Sometimes your answer is as simple as a new team member, someone to help lighten the load. Because our Virtual Employees cost 50-75% less, you can afford to hire additional people to lighten the load without adding excessive payroll overload.

Are you seeing signs of burnout in your staff? If so, it may be time to look at your staffing needs to keep that burnout at bay.

If you’d like to learn how HireSmart Virtual Employees can help your business with staffing solutions to manage burnout, click here to book a free consultation.

A Company Values Statement is what drives the employee’s motivation providing worth to their expertise, loyalty, and contribution to the business. Whether it be a small or large enterprise, one of the biggest factors that separate a good company and the not-so-well-developed ones are clearly defined values.

What is the importance of and how does a company create a Values Statement? Well, as the business owner, it’s your opportunity to define the company’s goals, culture, objectives, the importance of your people and how it gives value to your employees and customers.

A comprehensive and well-built values statement serve as a great instrument that hooks your audience for understanding, developing, sharing fundamental objectives, and must be expressed in just a paragraph or two that can answer questions people have about your business and about you. Combined with a Mission Statement, your Company Values Statement should give your clients and staff a very good picture of what is important to you.

With years of experience as a REALTOR, property manager, and a business owner of multiple businesses, I’ve discovered a useful process for developing a values statement and boils down to these 3 steps:

Your customer’s life has become better because of your business

Think about the big things that make your customer’s life better, and put yourself as one of the greatest contributors of those things. Don’t undervalue your business. Offering a trustworthy service and gaining reputable claims from your customers could be your contribution to the world. Use those underlined benefits to detail the factors that make your business special for your target customer.

How your business affects the life of your employees

The second priority to look for when establishing values statement is by adding how you give importance to people who represent the business and how it affects their lives working with your company. Showcasing your employees as the most valuable brand ambassadors promotes a competitive difference between a genuinely productive company and just a large group.

How the business impacts you

It is also important to dedicate yourself to your business values statement. By telling people how your business was started, how it helped you with your personal and career growth, and how do see yourself or the importance of the business years from now. Always remember that your patience, perseverance, and dedication count and many people will look after your progression visualizing the whole assembly by reading over your passion and a strong interest in your organization.

Need some inspiration?

Here is our example of Value Statement, Core Values, and our Standards of Professionalism.

Here is an example from Digital Marketer:

Here is an example from Ben & Jerry's:

Be Unique, Stand Out, & Make it Your Own!

To Your Success!

When talking about HR best practices, you must consider, what are the best practices in Human Resources (HR) and why are they essential to the growth of a business? Human Resources is the part of an organization that takes care of the recruitment and onboarding of new employees or staff. They may also handle payroll and benefits, employee relations and training. HR best practices are simply plans or strategies that enable improved services to our staff. Because our staff caters to the needs of our customers, who happens to be the lifeline of our business, we need to make sure our staff is happy as well.

We’ve talked about employee retention in our previous article and how a low retention rate negatively impacts an organization. Human resources management should regularly review company policies to make sure they are up to date and meet the needs of the staff while maintaining the best practices.

We have collected some of the HR best practices that are tested and proven to improve employee–employer relations.

  1. Good Hiring Process. Generally, human resources is the first point of contact for the potential staff. You could be turning away a good candidate if your process is not efficient and if it is not making a positive impression. How do we make a good impression?
  1. Make the selection and hiring process easy to follow. Invest in a good technology that will make it easier for applicants to apply and follow-up without having to contact your office.
  1. Set the right expectations on your first contact and that includes the time when you posted the job ad. Be as detailed as possible (check out our blog for a sample of an effective job vacancy ad) and be responsive to the applicant’s inquiries. If it is not possible to respond to every inquiry then provide an FAQ page and let them know why you are not able to answer their inquiries at all times. Your hiring process will determine how responsive you will be to your staff when they have concerns.

 2. Implement a comprehensive onboarding program for new hires. Create an employee handbook or a section in the employee portal where you will put in the company policies and procedures. The staff should fully understand their job responsibilities and who they report to. They should also know the basics like how and when they get paid, vacation or sick leaves, other incentives etc. Make sure that everything is signed by the staff and documented.

3. Create a good retention program. Collate information from your staff and from the data gathered, understand what motivates them. Money is not always the best drive for efficient workers. You should know what their concerns are in terms of working conditions and job security. Perhaps, you have employees who would perform better in a customer service job rather than in sales. Is your staff happy with how they communicate their concerns? With the study, it will help you come up with a good retention program which can be a win-win situation for both you and your staff.

4. Fair treatment to all staff. Regardless of the staff’s rank, everyone should adhere to the implemented rules and policies of the organization. In addition, there should be consequences if they fail to abide by it.

With HireSmart Virtual Employees, you don’t have to worry about taking care of most HR needs of your staff as we take care of them for you. We help you with the recruiting, vetting, preliminary training, and can assist when challenges arise. Do you want to know more about how we can help your business? Click here to schedule a free consultation with us.

How much does an employee cost? We answer this question a lot. Hiring a new employee is not as simple as anyone thinks it is – aside from the salary itself, there is the cost for the recruitment, training, equipment, taxes, benefits, and the list goes on and on. Hiring is the most difficult and most important task as a business owner. We are only as good as the people we hire. Yet, most people don’t really consider the full cost of hiring an employee.

The cost of simply finding the right person to hire can be hefty – there are potentially high costs in the process of recruiting alone: advertising, the time cost of all the people involved in the head-hunting (human resources and/or manager who post ads and review prospective applicants), the time it takes for interviewing, background checking and sometime travel/relocation costs.

After the person has been selected, employers need to provide adequate training so new hires can do the work and start producing for the company. This turns out to be the costliest investments a company can make. Statistics show that on average companies spend $1,200 annually per employee, but that is higher for new employees as there is the costs of the training and then add the manager’s time on top of that. Investing in your staff can payoff big time, but the startup costs can be quite costly.

This depends on the industry and the position that the new hire applied for. But the cost of salary should not be the only one to consider – benefits such as free coffee, life insurance premiums ($150 for a typical $50,000 salaried employee), health coverage premiums (ranging from $2,000-$3,000 for single persons; $6,000-$7,200 for families – source:, paid vacation and sick days all come at a premium. Other potential benefits include long-term disability insurance ($250), dental plans (ranging from $240-$650), tuition reimbursement, retirement plans, and more. In a study done by Joe Hadzima, he said that the salary plus benefits usually totals in the 1.25 to 1.4 times the basic salary range. So, a salary plus benefits package of an employee earning $50,000/year could equal to $62,500-$70,000.

As an employer, you may be required to provide physical space to your new employee. While some employers are embracing a remote workforce, some positions don’t lend themselves to this option. The rent per square foot varies on the location and the quality of the facility. Work cubes are typically 8’ x 8’ in size. Furnishing the space (even with used work cubes) will cost you at an estimated amount of $2,000 at a minimum. Also, there is the monthly rent which is dependent on the location, but even in a less desirable area is typically a minimum of $100/staff member per month and oftentimes, much more than that.

The essential equipment for office workers would include a computer and a telephone. Even at discounted rates for bulk orders, a computer would cost at about $1,000+, $500 at minimum for the software and other programs that need to be installed, and $250-$350 initially per telephone handset. You also need to include the periodic expensive upgrades to your LAN and voicemail systems.

In a nutshell, hiring an employee is a large expense and most people don’t even know if the person they are hiring will work out. They don’t hire regularly and don’t know what to look for in a new team member. At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we turn the hiring system around. We provide our clients with 3 highly motivated, highly educated, ready to work staff members, that we personally would use in our own business. Saving our clients a ton of time and money. In addition, because our staff members are home-based, they are responsible for their own equipment, internet access, and software.

We provide all the tools to our clients to help them navigate the pitfalls of hiring remote staff and we save our clients on average $25,000 – $30,000 per year in employee costs. We are certain we can help you too with your next hire. Want more details – book a call with me. Ready to try a new way? Order now.

Here is a free core values example that we have in our business and you can use as an example for your organization or business.

Let us define core values first. Core values are the guiding principles that dictate action and behavior. They support the vision and reflect what a company values. If you are beginning to think about putting your company’s core values on paper, here are some questions to consider: What do you and your company stand for? What do you stand against? What are some guiding principles that are central to the way you do business? This is through determining what core values should you use to your business. Here is another example of a core value from Digital Marketer.

What are the advantages of establishing core values in your company? It will educate clients and potential clients what your company is all about. Having a set of specific core values can have a competitive advantage. Core values can help you with decision-making.  Core values can help you and your staff determine if you are on the right path. They support your vision and reflect what you real value.

So, what core values should you use to your business or organization? Core values varies from one business to another.  There are many fine values, innovation, excellence, accountability, to name a few. However, we suggest to make a short list of values that can put the workplace stay on track.

Here are some common ones to help you get going.

Commitment. The value of committing and willingness to take responsibility for one’s action. Not every business decision is an easy one. Keeping your commitments when difficult is where businesses are tested. What you are committed to?

Integrity. Knowing and doing what is right is the meaning of integrity. You must demonstrate integrity in all your business conduct including dealing with your staff, clients, suppliers, and treatment of company property.

Learning and Development. The ability to learn and grow as an organization is a powerful thing. Fostering this in your corporate environment allows for growth. However, not everything we learn succeeds immediately. Allowing you and your staff to learn from failures as well as success make for a better organization. Entering into a partnership agreement for employee development can have significant results in staff morale.  For many, the opportunity to be trained and learn new skills, take on additional responsibilities in the organization, in some significant way are all meaningful expectations.  

Excellence. Doing a job with skill and taking pride in that task is what we mean by excellence.  If your staff’s performance is beyond your expectations, recognition for that achievement will result in better staff accomplishments. Service excellence will translate to your clients, vendors, professional partners and will set your company apart from others. Often companies are content to get by and do the minimal required, but for those who strive to do more, they can reap amazing results.

Respect. This means you value people, their point of view, beliefs, and ideas.  Here at, we based our relationships upon trust and respect. We value the unique qualities and capabilities of each team member.

Here are some additional options to consider for core values:

The importance of setting your core values would be the foundation of your business’ success. We publish weekly tips on how you can improve your business, tips on how you can collaborate remotely with your virtual employees as well as other motivational stories. Please tune in to our Facebook page for more tips like these.

Have you ever hired someone and wished you hadn’t their second day on the job?

Allowed a non-performing staff member to continue way past their effectiveness date, just because you didn’t want to face letting them go?

Hired a friend or relative because you knew them and thought they would care, but later found out, they were ripping you off?

Have you had a revolving door of people because you couldn’t find consistent talent that wanted to do a repetitive job?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

As business owners, we know we can’t effectively do all the work ourselves and have any true scale. We need people and systems to leverage so we can enjoy our work, provide better service, and have a life.

Yet, hiring the right person can be challenging. We are great at what we do, but very few business owners are good at hiring and managing people. We aren’t taught how to hire people, and so we just “wing it.”

At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we are in the staffing business. We help clients find global talent from the Philippines by doing all the heavy lifting for them. We provide excellent staff for a fraction of the price of local employees.

My husband and I own and operate several businesses. One of which is a property management firm. I have worked in staffing and HR for most of my career and have always been great at building good teams that work well.

I was shocked when several years ago an employee of 4 years quit via a text message while we were on our first vacation in 7 years. It was devastating. Looking back, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. But at the time, it was pure chaos.

It was frustrating trying to rebuild my team. We had been overstaffed in the past, and with the new laws and regulations, payroll was continuing the escalate. I wanted to do something different. When we were introduced to hiring and using global staffing, I put my HR skills to work and figured out how to hire talent in the Philippines for a fraction of the cost.

In the beginning, trying to figure out the technology, how to pay my virtual worker without incurring payroll costs, and how to integrate them took me a while. Then there were the cultural differences. But what I learned, was I could create a hiring system that allowed me to get it right 95% of the time.

When a friend asked me to help her with her staffing needs, it was an easy task. She still has those initial placements working in her business today. They have become integral and valuable parts of her team.

Fast forward and today, we have hundreds of placements. Happy clients who enjoy the benefits of our virtual professionals.

Here is what a few of them are saying:

“I think we are finally getting all of the Virtual Employees settled in their roles and feel like we have a good team. We have been really happy with the results so far and are very grateful for the service that you provide.” D.R. – Property Management Firm in Utah has 8 Virtual Employees

“Thank you for reaching out. Hazel has been doing great here with us. We love using your service." S.B. – Property Management Firm in CA has 1 Virtual Employee

“I have been very satisfied with how quickly April and Hazel have caught on. Kat and Allan have been wonderful as well and very flexible with policy and procedure changes!” R.H. – Property Management Firm in NC has 4 Virtual Employees

We invest a lot of time and analytics into our hiring process to get these results. We use testing and application tests just like the Fortune 500 companies do, but we have adapted them for cultural differences as well as the various roles.

For example, not all customer service roles are exactly the same. The best person to answer your leasing calls isn’t typically the best person to handle maintenance and vice versa. We work as consultants for our clients to help them understand their needs and then work to find the best match specifically for them.

We work with our clients to establish clear expectations and prepare them and their virtual professionals with ongoing training, HR assistance when needed, and to be a sounding board when challenges come up.

The HireSmart Virtual Employees’ difference is the amount of time and effort we put into every hire, so you don’t have to. We provide you with a complete solution for your hiring needs. Whether accounting, leasing, maintenance, back-office administration for insurance audits, lease renewals, or other routine paperwork, we can help you find the perfect match.

Want to know more? Sign up for a free consultation call.

Federal labor laws have been evolving at a rapid pace. In an effort to measure and balance the benefits versus legal claims from workers, the U.S. government, federal, and local authorities are reviewing and looking to proactively pass new labor laws to protect the rights of workers.

Notably, in the effect of such regulations, it is progressively becoming common for cities and counties to execute laws that extend the gap between labor and benefits where state and federal constitution is seen as insufficient. US Labor Laws prepare employers across the country to comply and form several of these laws which will take effect this year.

To cite some of these regulations, here are two of the most significant laws that brought changes since January of 2017:

Paid Sick Leave
Increasing the number of paid sick time laws have been submitted and passed in cities and states and in some part of the US as many companies relinquish the vacation or sick time off policies in favor of one centralized Paid Time Off (PTO) policy. This may have the effect of leading employees becoming less willing to take time off when they are sick which compromises their health and can have an impact on the overall workforce. In reference to this matter, PayWizard has organized an overview list of some laws that cover Paid Sick Leave policies in order to strengthen employees’ stability.

Changes in Minimum Wage
While some parts of the country are facing a wage gap as the cost of living outpaces the rates in wages, the US government has implement higher rates for employees. In fact, some metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Washington, and Seattle have determined to gradually increase the minimum wage from $11 to $15 per hour over the next few years as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulated the minimum wage for employees in private and public sectors, in both State or Federal governments stating that non-exempt employees must be paid the minimum or higher wage rate. To help us illustrate this topic, Dan Caplinger of Fox Business has come up with a chart that shows the minimum wage increases in 2017.

As a result of these and other changes in the laws, many companies are considering future reduction of employees and hiring global staff as an alternative. That is one of the biggest benefits of using a service like HireSmart Virtual Employees. We provide a hybrid approach to staffing. Allowing you to use managed outsourcing for some roles and using employees for those functions which are best served in-house.

We have helped many businesses in achieving their goals in this aspect. We are happy to do the same with you. Click here to schedule a call and see how we can help you.