Now that you have decided to outsource your work to the Philippines, you’re probably wondering how important is it to look for college graduates. Should you hire workers who have degrees, or is this unnecessary?
The brief answer: No. It’s not essential that your Filipino virtual assistant has a college degree.
There are reasons why this is the case, and there are also other things you should consider when hiring a Filipino worker.
Experience always trumps a degree
There’s simply no substitute for real professional experience. All things being equal, if are deciding between a candidate with little to no experience but possesses a college degree and the other with no college degree with but several years’ experience—your decision should be easy.
Value experience more than college education.
A candidate with practical experience has been in the trenches. They have:
- tackled challenging assignments,
- completed projects.
- experience in meeting the demands and responsibilities of an employer
- knowledge with how businesses run,
- successfully worked in teams, and
- communicated with co-workers and a manager.
If you hire someone with experience, you can give them a task to fulfill and they can be off and running with minimal supervision.
Someone with a degree but no experience may have learned some important concepts and principles in school. But an experienced Filipino virtual assistant will have specific and unique ways of accomplishing things that the a fresh graduate may not have studied in school.
This doesn’t diminish one’s educational attainments. Obtaining a college degree is valuable. It demonstrates a level of proficiency and competency. It shows that the person has the ability to stick to something and follow through.
But as an employer and business owner, you should be more concerned about what the person has accomplished more than whether the person has completed a few years of coursework.
If you need to hire a graphic artist, look for someone on OnlineJobs.ph who has worked as a graphic artist before. If you are hiring someone to build a website, keep your eyes out for candidates who have demonstrated success performing this work.
If you can identify experienced candidates who also happen to have a college degree, consider it a bonus. That person would have an advantage over other potential employees. But nothing should replace practical, applicable professional experience.
Hire someone with skills
It’s equally as important for candidates to have applicable skills as it is to have experience. It’s reasonable to assume that if a candidate has experience in the field, he or she also possesses the skills necessary to be successful.
When a candidate can demonstrate that he or she has the skills to complete the tasks, that will instill confidence in their abilities. And the best way candidates can show you their skills is through a portfolio.
A portfolio is a collection of one’s best work. Writers can keep a compilation of published articles or links to blogs. Graphic designers can include digital copies of newsletters, brochures or fliers they’ve designed. This gives you tangible evidence that the person can produce good work.
A candidate can list a bunch of places where they’ve worked. But unless you speak to their references, you can’t be sure whether they were competent workers.
Again, a college degree is great. But do you want someone who has completed four years of college but lacks the honed, practiced skills you seek?
Of course, a college graduate can very well possess all the skills you need. If this is the case, that’ll be all the better for you and the candidate.
Besides, one doesn’t have to earn a degree in order to to be proficient in essential computer programs. There are a number of online courses and tutorials people can study that will teach them these skills. It just takes some effort, dedication and time.
Professionalism and attitude can win you over
Renowned British statesman Winston Churchill once said,
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
You need your VA to be a go-getter. He or she has to have ambition, motivation and the drive to succeed. Sure, college graduates often possess these traits. But a degree-holding VA who doesn’t have a good attitude isn’t going to be very appealing nor is he or she going to be an asset to your business. Poor attitudes lead to:
- conflicts with team members,
- lack of respect for you (the boss) and, ultimately,
- poor performance regardless of their scholastic pedigree.
There is something to be said for an employee who demonstrates true professionalism. Professionalism includes having humility and a teachable attitude. It is the opposite of feeling entitled to accolades, perks and special treatment, especially if not yet earned or warranted.
A skilled, educated employee is a great to have. But a VA who:
- doesn’t respond to emails in a timely manner,
- doesn’t follow directions properly,
- doesn’t follow through on assignments,
- is late starting work, or
- consistently takes time off
will frustrate you and try your patience.
The final word
Hiring college graduates is not a bad thing. They can be very valuable to you and your business. There’s no reason to shy away from hiring a Filipino VA with a degree. But this shouldn’t be your main focus. At onlinejobs.ph you will find a wealth of talented, experienced, professionals who are eager for a chance to work for you.
You will find VAs from all walks of life with varying backgrounds. Don’t limit yourself to looking for candidates based solely on educational status.
About John Jonas
John helps business owners learn to outsourcing 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, 4 amazing kids, and golfs 4-5 times/week.
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