How to Hire A Good Virtual Assistant from the Philippines

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There are so many Filipinos looking for a job in the VA industry right now. According to Upwork, 13% of all of their Virtual Assistants are from the Philippines, that’s 1M Filipino Virtual Assistants.  The talent pool is huge, which gives you so many options to choose from regardless of the complexity of your tasks or how high or low your budget is. 

The challenge arises when you realize that’s it is impossible for you to ever sift through those 1M virtual assistants to find the perfect fit for you. Here are some steps to help you how to hire a good virtual assistant from the Philippines.

Step 1: Clearly Define Your Objectives & Requirements

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A. Properly define the job description

This is probably one of the most crucial parts of the whole process. You will need to clearly define the job role, including the specific responsibilities expected from the candidate that you’ll be hiring.

This should include all work, including the routinary and the extraordinary work that you’ll need to have them do from time to time.

B. Determine the job qualifications

Identify and enumerate all your specific job qualifications so that you find a candidate who will have the highest chance of being able to competently accomplish all of their tasks. 

This includes education qualifications, technical skills, verbal skills, and work experience.

Be stringent with your job qualifications but be realistic in your approach. It doesn’t make sense to require too much for basic tasks that pay low. You might end up with candidates who have the “fake it till you make it” mindset who will embellish their credentials just to get hired because of unrealistic job requirements.

C. Set Measurable Objectives

You should have your own set of metrics to properly assess your employee’s performance. Use your goals and what you need your VA to achieve as a basis for your metrics. This may include productivity metrics, sales results, social media engagement scores, and more. 

This goes a long way in making sure that both you and your VA are aligned when it comes to achieving the goals that you’ve set. It’s also a more objective measuring stick to properly assess if you’re happy with your employee or not.

It will also massively help your employee to calibrate the way they workstyle to adjust to your requirements.

D. Set clear guidelines and ground rules

You should clearly define what is acceptable and non-acceptable behavior and work ethics for your employees.

  • It should be as clear as day if you’ll allow them to work on other projects while being under your employment. 
  • Will they be paid on a per-project basis or goal basis or on a per-hour basis?
  • Will you be monitoring their work using a time or screen tracker?
  • Are they allowed to take breaks and are breaks paid for?

All of these and more should be clearly defined to avoid awkward situations and unnecessary tension built between you and your employee. 

Step 2: Prepare Your Interview Questions

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A. Focus on the job requirements and core competencies

Start off by reviewing all of the metrics you’ve set in Step 1 earlier. Prepare a list of questions that can confirm if the potential candidate is truly capable of everything they wrote down on their application form.

Be sure to include important details such as their work experience and achievements. 

B. Ask the candidate for specific achievements and evidence of their capabilities

Be sure to verify that the candidate you’re interviewing is indeed capable of everything that is written on their resume. Ask them for their portfolio and examples of their achievements whenever it’s applicable.

If you’re hiring a VA for a more critical role in your company, you may want to ask for personal references for a more thorough background check.

C. Throw in a few open-ended and situational questions.

This will test your candidate on how well they can think on their feet.

Give them a few hypothetical scenarios that will be typical of what they’ll be facing on the job. It will give you an idea of how they will go about solving the problem at hand. This is especially useful if the candidate you’re interviewing comes from a different industry but you see them as a potential talent for your company.

You can also use this as an opportunity to test how well they will react in unexpected scenarios. It will also give you a sneak peek of how they approach their work so that you’ll have an idea if their workstyle will fit your own.

D. Ask a few behavioral questions

Consider asking the interviewee a few ethical questions in relation to your work. It’s a way of getting a better idea of their work ethics and whether or not the candidate may be a potential red flag who you won’t want to work with in the long run.

Even if the candidate might be the most qualified person for the job, if their ethics are questionable, you might want to reconsider.

E. Avoid inappropriate questions unrelated to the work.

Though it’s important to be stringent with your hiring process, you should know your boundaries.

Avoid questions that are unrelated to the work and may be perceived as discriminatory or unethical. 

Generally speaking, these include questions about their race, gender, marital status, age, and vital statistics. Be practical and stringent but be sensitive at the same time.

Step 3: Know Where to Look for Competent Virtual Assistants

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Hiring through an agency

Here’s a comprehensive list of 17 of the best Philippine Virtual companies to hire from

Hiring a candidate through an agency might be the fastest and most efficient way to find a virtual assistant ASAP.

Agencies will have access to large pools of candidates who already have the proper training and specializations in certain industries and tasks. Going through an agency reduces your overall risk of getting a candidate who won’t fit your requirements. 

Another advantage of hiring through an agency is that they can help you find a replacement in case your employee decides to leave. It will also be easier to hire even more employees if the need arises.

Hiring an independent freelancer/VA

If you want complete control over your employee’s work output, their compensation package, and their working hours then hiring a freelance VA might be the better choice for you.

You will have much more control and freedom over every aspect, including the recruitment process itself. This could potentially lead to lower costs, better personal and work relationships with your employees, and an increase in loyalty to you and your company.

The downside to hiring a freelancer is that it will likely take you longer to find the right employee for you. There is also the risk of hiring potential scammers and those who have a “fake it till you make it” strategy who will disappoint or scam you.

To help you find the right independent VA, here are a few suggested sites and locations to start your search:

Step 4: Make an Offer

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Once you’ve found your ideal candidate, prepare your job offer. This should include all important details, including the salary, terms of payment, job description, working hours, start date and all other relevant details specific to the job.

Make sure that the candidate understands everything and that they’re willing to accept the terms. This includes offering a fair amount should you choose to hire directly.

The saying “you get what you pay for” holds true in the context of wages. When employees are paid fairly, they are more likely to be satisfied and motivated, which can lead to increased productivity, better work quality, and reduced turnover.

Step 5: Set Up the Payment Method

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Be sure to pay right and on time. If you’re hiring through an agency, then this part should be easy. You will be paying the agency and they’ll be the ones responsible for giving the VA their wages.

If you’re hiring directly, you can follow this detailed guide on the most popular ways how to pay virtual assistants in the Philippines.

It tackles what payment methods work are most reliable for both you and your employee.

Step 6: Lay Out the Ground Rules and Workflow

Discuss with your candidate what he can expect in terms of a regular work week and how you will be communicating with them moving forward.

Include important details such as work hours, project deadlines, preferred methods of reaching each other, and other pertinent information.

This is especially critical since you will have limited face-to-face interactions given the remote nature of the job. Good communication is essential for a strong employee-employer relationship.

Step 7: Sign a Contract or Written Agreement of all Employment Terms

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This is to protect both you and your potential employee from any liabilities and problems moving forward. Include details such as job responsibilities, salary, benefits, work hours, and termination conditions. Both parties should sign the contract to indicate their agreement.

Make sure to also include an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) especially if your VA will be handling sensitive data from your company.

Overall, hiring a virtual assistant can help businesses streamline operations, improve productivity, and achieve their goals more efficiently. Just keep in mind that you always get what you pay for.

Treat your Filipino VA with respect and you will improve your chances of hiring an excellent employee who will reduce your stress and improve your productivity.

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Jack Mina

Jack Mina, the co-founder of Remote Filipino Worker and, has been in the digital freelancing industry for over 8 years. His aim is to help independent professionals and freelancers develop long-term and successful careers using the internet as their primary tool.

He spends his free time cooking, gaming, and taking care of his pet cat Gremmie.