You want a well-rounded, talented, loyal and enthusiastic Filipino workers. You want the best. Use our proven 5-step process below to help attract and hire them.
#1: Attract the Best Candidates with a Great Job Post
The most qualified Filipino workers are attracted to well-constructed job posts. The following will help capture the attention of talented workers with great attitudes and work ethic:
- Include “hard” and “soft” skill requirements.
(Hard skills are technical and specific to the job. They may include things like the ability to write, program, use WordPress, design websites etc…
Soft skills are related to personality and self-mastery, and may include the ability to take direction, work under pressure work in teams, punctuality etc…)
- Make your posts clear and easy to understand. If your job post is overwhelming or confusing, applicants will not apply. If your job post is vague and lacks detail, applicants will not apply.
- Be concise. Specify the job requirements and your expectations, but don’t include forty-six bullet points. There’s room for more specifications later in the interview process. If you ask for tons of stuff in the job post you label yourself as a crappy, demanding boss who insists on perfection in everything.
- Make sure your posts are updated and relevant. Make the necessary adjustments if you decide to change the job’s title, qualifications or other elements. And if you fill the job, remove the post.
I recently saw a job post requesting a Rock Star VA. The required skills were WordPress, SEO, outbound and inbound sales calls, social media marketing and design work to make the business owner’s site look good.
That kind of person does not exist. Not in the Philippines, not in the UK, not in the US…or anywhere. Don’t get fooled into classic job post blunders. Keep your expectations realistic, and remember the four points above to make your job posts compelling, and effective!
Note: If you’d rather, you can bypass the job post and just browse resumes on OnlineJobs.ph. Then you can contact a wide pool of your hand-picked candidates directly. You will need access to an OnlineJobs.ph paid account to contact candidates either way (but you can cancel your account immediately after you hire someone, with no further obligation). This is my preferred way of recruiting.
#2: Pick Your Favorite Candidates
Maybe they come from the group of Filipinos who responded to your job post. Maybe you found them on an OnlineJobs.ph resume search. However you find them, start with a big pool– 20-30 candidates.
*TIP* Don’t narrow your list of potential workers prematurely. Sometimes employers will single out a candidate as “the one” and only contact that one person. Then, when “the one” never responds to their email, they feel frustrated and disappointed. Save yourself the heartbreak. Initially contact a couple dozen candidates. Remember: Filipinos are loyal. If they already have a job often they won’t respond to another job inquiry.
#3: Email All of Them
If you’re contacting workers from a resume search, send an identical email to each potential candidate. Admit to the job seekers that you are sending a mass email, and apologize for it. Your initial email should acknowledge that you’ve read their resume and that you want to know more about them and their background. It should also describe the specific tasks you want to outsource.
*TIP* Use a couple of sentences to brand your business. Like attracts like–talk about your values, your priorities and your mission statement. Mention that you’re looking for a candidate who respects those things too.
*TIP* Make sure your initial email is brief. Longer, more complicated emails (and job posts) usually lead to fewer candidate responses. At the same time, do what you can to make your email stand out; often the best Filipinos on OnlineJobs.ph receive multiple job offers.
#4: Send More Emails to Your Top Candidates
Questions, questions, questions are the key here. Now that you’re getting responses from your initial mass email (or job post), begin responding individually. Ask lots of questions, and expect lots of correspondence. Through this correspondence, you can gauge their English skills, test their punctuality, observe how well they follow instructions, ask for work samples and get a better idea of how they would fit into your business.
Here are examples of questions and requests to include in your emails:
- Do you already have another job? If so, where are you working and how many hours are you working?
- How much money are you looking to make?
- Have you worked for foreign employers before?
- How long have you been doing (state type of work you’re hiring for) work?
- Please send me a link to your OnlineJobs.ph profile.
- Please send me three references and examples of your best work.
- Please write a paragraph of why I should hire you. Don’t send a list of your experience; describe it to me.
- When would you be available to start work?
- Do you have your own computer and Internet access? If you have access, how fast is your connection?
- Will you work from home or from an Internet café?
- Where are you in the Philippines?
- Tell me how you would complete the following task _______.
Note: You won’t get responses from every candidate you email. And some will disappear during the email interview process. That’s why it’s so important to keep your pool of potential workers broad.
Note: DON’T DO SKYPE INTERVIEWS. Some business owners like to conduct skype interviews, but I don’t particularly recommend them. Filipinos are often uncomfortable with skype interviews. They’re not worried about understanding you; they’re not confident in their own speaking abilities, so they’re worried you won’t understand them. This creates some embarrassment on their part, even if they speak very well. Or, it’s possible that they don’t have a microphone because they can’t afford one. There are too many variables. I advise you to avoid skype interviews altogether.
*TIP* I know some employers who make silly requests in their posts, like “Attach a picture of a pink Cadillac to your response” (or something similar). Candidates who carefully read and respond to these requests help narrow the field for consideration. You’ll usually get 1 of 3 responses to this kind of request:
- They ignore it – Not good. They were confused, thought it was a mistake…in any case, “ignoring your request” can be a sign of things to come.
- They fulfill it – Great. This is the most common response. They followed instructions even if it seems dumb.
- They question it – Best. Telling you that you asked for something dumb says they’re willing to question instructions. They’re willing to think about things and be bold. You won’t often have this response, but if you do, perk up!
#5: Narrow the Field
Eventually, you’ll narrow your prospects down to 2 or 3 (sometimes workers will narrow themselves down as they stop responding to your increasing numbers of questions). Here are a few tips to make you confident in your final hire:
- Trust your gut. Your first impression is usually correct. Pay close attention to how you feel about the candidate. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
- Look for inconsistencies in resume vs. emails. Comparing what candidates say about their skills and experiences with what is on their resume or profile often show that the person has exaggerated or hasn’t been completely truthful. Be wary of any differences you may see. Also, watch for inconsistencies in their English skills in their resumes vs. email responses. Occasionally, candidates will ask a friend with great English to help them write their profiles. It’s easy to get a friend to help you write your profile; it’s not as easy to have a friend help you respond to 10 different emails.
- Find out if they are working for other people. Speaking from experience, it’s really difficult for virtual workers to divide their time equally between two jobs, especially if they’re both “full-time.” Hiring someone who has another full-time job makes you vulnerable to getting hosed. Be careful. It’s ok to hire some part-time who has a full-time job. Just be aware that you’re their second priority.
- Assess the timeliness of their communication. You want a virtual worker who answers emails promptly and turns projects quickly. If a candidate responds slowly to your recruiting emails, you can bet they’ll do the same in their work.
- Look for attention to detail. If they only answer 3 of 4 questions you ask during recruiting, chances are really good they’ll only do 3 of 4 tasks you ask after they’re hired.
- Review work samples. Ask for samples of their previous work. Nothing beats empirical evidence.
- Look for a candidate with a good Internet connection. They’re working remotely from the other side of the world. This one speaks for itself. Note: Internet speeds are slow across the Philippines. Expect to find a 1-5mbps connection. For comparison, yours at home is likely 20-1000mbps. Make for allowances.
Note: If a candidate ever tells you that he or she doesn’t have Internet access or doesn’t have a computer and would like you to purchase one for them, don’t do it. It’s likely a scam. However, if the request comes from one of your long-term employed, well-trusted workers and they need updated equipment to improve their production, new equipment can be a good investment.
- Remember: Full-time is the way to go. Remember how we compared full-time, long-term workers to mutual funds? Filipinos feel such a sense of security in a full-time job, they work harder as a result. Part-time workers generally don’t have the same level of devotion.
Note: Part-time workers cost an average of $4/hr. Do the math. Twenty hours a week at $5/hr adds up to $400 a month. Meanwhile, I start many full-time workers at around $450 a month—$50 more/month for 40-80 more hours!
Note: This doesn’t mean you should never consider hiring part-time workers. If it makes sense for your business and your unique situation, feel free. Just make sure your Filipino worker understands that you would like them to work for you on a long-term basis.
- Lastly, look for Filipinos who speak and write English well. Other skills can be taught, and many tasks can be mastered through training and feedback. But it’s near impossible to teach English in a work setting, so just hire someone who is already proficient. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: great English is essential for jobs like admin, customer service and copywriting. Jobs like programming and graphic design don’t require perfect English. However, all of your workers should speak well enough to communicate with you clearly.
Recruiting can seem like a grueling process, but the dividends are so worth it. Enjoy getting to know potential candidates and remember to treat them with the respect all humans deserve. They are key in creating freedom for you and your business!
About John Jonas
John helps business owners learn to outsource to the Philippines and replace themselves with virtual assistants.
He founded and owns OnlineJobs.ph.
He currently employs 14 amazing Filipino workers full-time and loves every one of them. He lives in Utah, has a wonderful wife, 5 amazing kids, and golfs 4-5 times/week.
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