You want well-rounded, talented, loyal and enthusiastic Filipino workers. You want the best. Want to know how you can get them?
Use our proven 5-step process below to help attract and hire the best online Filipino specialists.
#1: Attract the Best Candidates with a Great Job Post
The most qualified Filipino workers are attracted to well-constructed job posts.
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.
Keep your expectations realistic! If you want to find a great worker, focus on finding a specialist. Hire someone who can do 1 or 2 things really well. That’s how you get tasks off your plate right away.
In order to do that, you have to write a great job post. When writing one, make sure you take note of the following:
- 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, etc. Soft skills are related to personality and self-mastery, and may include the ability to take direction, work under pressure, work in teams, etc. You don’t need to put in everything, just enough so they have a clear idea of what kind of person you are looking for.
- Make your posts clear, concise and easy to understand. If your job post is too long or contains too many details, you’ll just overwhelm and confuse prospective applicants.
- Avoid using generic or template job posts. Personalize your job post by adding details that are relevant to your business. If you don’t, you might end up attracting unqualified people.
- 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.
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.
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, always start with a big pool. Around 20-30 candidates.
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. Contact a couple dozen candidates at least. The ones that respond right away are the ones who really want the job. They’re the ones you put through the hiring process and create your shortlist from.
Why won’t everyone respond? Remember that Filipinos are loyal. If they already have a job they love, 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. Send them the job post and 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), start 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 _______.
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.
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, thinking 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, pay attention!
#5: Narrow the Field
Those who aren’t serious about the job and those who realize that they’re not qualified will eventually stop responding. Eventually, you’ll narrow your prospects down to 2 or 3.
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 shows that the person has exaggerated or hasn’t been completely truthful. Be wary of any differences you may see.
- 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 someone 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 25-50mbps connection. For comparison, yours at home is likely 20-1000mbps. Make for allowances.
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.
Also remember that as much as possible, full-time is the way to go. 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.
Part-time workers also cost more in the long run. Part-time workers cost an average of $4/hr, to start. 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 20 more hours!
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.
Recruiting can be a grueling process, but the dividends are so worth it. Enjoy getting to know potential candidates. Remember to treat them with the respect everybody deserves. They are key in creating freedom for you and your business!
About John Jonas
John Jonas is a long-time outsourcing expert and the creator of OnlineJobs.ph.
Since 2005, John has taught hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs how to profitably delegate to VAs in the Philippines (and get their lives back in the process).
With help from his own VAs based in the Philippines, John has created an outsourcing empire that allows him to work 17 hours/week and to spend most of his time with his wife and 5 kids.
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