Recently, I read a horror story about a Filipino Virtual Assistant (VA) who was on a trial period with a client. One week passed, and she didn’t deliver what she said she could. The client paid her for her time (naturally), then ended their contract. To the client’s surprise, her social media accounts started losing photos and videos. Based on the client’s screenshots, she has proof that the former VA was behind it (login history with an IP address).
I won’t be posting their names here nor adding the link to that post to respect their privacy (both the client and the VA), but if you do a simple Google search, there are so many horror stories similar to this, not just with Filipino VAs but with VAs in general.
Coming from the service providing side of the boat, I have never really seen things through my client’s perspective when it comes to hiring someone. I did have experience hiring English teachers before, and, from time to time, I would pass projects to friends. But, never with the purpose of hiring someone for a permanent position. The story actually got me thinking, how will clients know if a certain virtual assistant is legitimate or not?
Advice for Clients: How to Spot a Legit Filipino Virtual Assistant
Let me just start this off by saying that I want to focus on how to find a Filipino Virtual Assistant because I am Filipino and I have been in the online freelancing industry as VA and Writer for seven years. So, what are the signs to watch out for?
1. Online Profile or Resume
If you’re looking for a VA, you’re most likely looking on online freelancing platforms like UpWork or Freelancer.ph. These two websites are reputable, but not all of the service providers on it are legit. The first sign is the online profile. How well made is it? Does it contain grammatical errors? Does it make sense?
On the other hand, if you’re not going through the service platforms, you can always check out an applicant’s resume in the same manner. What does the VA’s resume contain? Does the resume best represent the person’s skills and capabilities?
2. Check the Track Record
I don’t know about Freelancer.ph or other service platforms, but UpWork has a feedback section where you can read about the provider’s performance according to former clients. Scan all the reviews on the VA’s profile, then ask yourself if you like what you’re reading.
Definitely, you have to make a habit out of reading. Also, use your common sense. Going back to the horror story, the virtual assistant was fresh out of school, but the person already listed a slew of skills that would equal to about five years of online freelancing experience. To me, it did not add up.
If there’s zero feedback on the VA’s profile, you absolutely have to ask as many questions as you can to really test the VA’s said skills.
3. Ask Questions
If the VA you’re considering passes the first two items on this list, the next thing you should do is ask questions. Just because there’s “Knowledgable about SEO” on the person’s profile, it doesn’t actually prove that the person knows how to do SEO. As I said, the VA in the horror story had so many jewels on her crown. She sounded very competent, but she was let go after the trial week because she couldn’t walk her talk.
If you’re looking for a VA with writing experience, it’s best to ask for samples. A seasoned Filipino Virtual Assistant with decent writing skills will have one or two samples ready.
4. Do an Interview
You can really learn a lot about a person just by talking to him or her. The same is true when you are hiring a Filipino Virtual Assistant. You might not have enough time, but trust me when I say that you have to make time to do this. Ask the virtual assistant about his or her experiences. Inquire about the skills he or she has mentioned on his or her profile. And, never forget to ask questions that probe the VA’s:
- Communication skills
- Available time
- Expectations from you (the client)
5. Use Your Better Judgement
Most likely, you have been running a business for years so you have experience. Use it to choose the right candidate. Go with your gut feeling after you have gone through numbers one to four, and then make your decision.
The Best Filipino Virtual Assistant Will Always do THIS
It’s a good sign if the VA you are interviewing asks questions so he or she can know more about your need and offer suggestions. When you hire the right person, he or she will treat your business as their own. The best VAs or online freelancers stay on top of their tasks without you having to remind them of what to do.
Also, I want you to say this: If you pay for peanuts then you will get peanuts. Make sure that the salary you set for your potential Filipino Virtual Assistant is fair and appropriate for the skill set that he or she has.
Honestly, even though you go through numbers on to five, it won’t guarantee that you will be saved from a horrific experience. However, you are lessening the chances of this happening.
If you have any questions about hiring a Filipino Virtual Assistant, writer, web developer, or what have you, please don’t hesitate to leave them below. I will try my best to answer them as quickly as I can. You can also message me privately through firstname.lastname@example.org.