How to Narrow Down Job Candidates has more than 1 million profiles available. Whether you’re looking for writers, programmers, web developers, internet marketers, SEO specialists, graphic artists or virtual assistants, there is no shortage of talented Online Filipino Specialists (OFS) here.

Let’s be real though. No matter how many skillful candidates out are, it’s just not easy to find the right fit. The hiring process is tedious. Trimming your list of potential workers can be a pain.

So let’s talk about a few ways you can narrow things down a bit.

Use your intuition

There’s something to be said about first impressions or gut feelings. Often, when you check out a profile, go over a resume, or review email responses, you’ll get a sense for whether a candidate is a right fit for your business.

Maybe it’s a feeling of ease — something tells you you’ve found the right person for that certain role in your business. Tapping into your intuition can go a long way. Trust your feelings AND use common sense.

If something simply feels wrong about the candidate, there probably is. Don’t dismiss uneasy or nervous feelings. Remember, there are plenty of people to choose from. If someone doesn’t feel or look right to you, concentrate on other candidates.

Watch out for inconsistencies in resume vs. emails

Watch out for inconsistencies in resume vs. emails

Pay close attention to what your prospective worker writes in emails.

Compare their responses to what is written in their profiles and resumes. It’s not uncommon for stated skills and experience to be slightly different from what is listed on their profile. It could be that their profile or resume isn’t updated.

But if there’s too much of a difference, this would be a red flag.

Are they working for other people?
Are they working for other people_One of the questions you should ask in your follow-up emails is whether your candidate is or going to be working for someone else.

Ideally, your OFS will only work for you.

It’s very difficult to get the most out of someone when they are juggling two jobs.

On the other hand, you might find someone who works for someone else but is an absolute rock star. Someone who is just too good to pass up. If this happens, don’t shy away from hiring this person. Just tell them up front that you want them to work only for you.

Great grammar vs. OK grammar

With some positions, a candidate’s grammar will have little importance in their duties.

But if you’re hiring a copywriter, social media expert or a similar position, good grammar is essential. Pay close attention to candidates’ skills in this area.

If you hire someone who has great grammar, you can assign challenging projects and give them more work.

Slow communication
Slow communication
Your OFS will be working remotely, so just about all of your communication will be done through email. In addition to the daily email check-in, you and your worker will send lots of emails back and forth.

There would be times when you’ll need information quickly, and there’s nothing worse than having a worker who doesn’t answer your emails or replies late. This can be frustrating and upsetting. It’s also simply unprofessional.

As you narrow down candidates, take note of those who are slower to respond to your initial emails. Give more consideration to those who respond promptly.

Too many skills

This might not seem like a bad thing. But in some cases, it could be concerning. Maybe someone who lists an abundance of skills just embellished their resume. Maybe they’re exaggerating. Maybe they’re overqualified.

In any case, be on the lookout. Verify and confirm that the candidate does indeed have the talents and expertise they’re claiming to have.

Worked for numerous other clients

Worked for numerous other clients_At first glance, this looks like a good thing. This means the person has sought-after skills. It means they have a lot of experience.

Personally, this bothers me. It also means that they bounced around from one employer to another.

As a business owner, you are using to find OFSs who can work for you for a long period of time. You don’t want someone who has a history of coming and going like jobs are a revolving door.

When someone has been hired and let go by a large number of different employers, it’s a pretty clear signal that the worker has some flaws. Maybe they’re not hard workers. Maybe they are poor communicators. Maybe they’ve worked for more than one employer and were spread too thin.

Part time vs. full time

You know your business and what it needs. A part-time worker might be a good fit for you, but for me, full time is the way to go. And when you outsource to the Philippines, this just makes sense.

For Filipinos, part-time work is temporary work. To get the most out of your worker and grow your business, you want someone who is going to be around for the long haul.

It’s much more cost effective to hire full time than part time. It really is. For example, if you hire a Filipino to work 20 hours a week at $6 an hour, that works out to be $420 a month. That’s about what I pay for a starting full-time OFS. And they’re happy because they want stable, permanent work. Also, full-time workers generally produce better work because they are more committed to your business.

Overstated their skills
Overstated their skills_This can be a tough one. Some people underestimate their own talents and skills. While others overestimate what they can do.

As you email candidates back and forth, pay close attention to this. The last thing you want to do is hire someone with the expectation that they can do awesome work—because they told you they could—when it turns out they can’t.

Look at samples

This is where you find out someone’s resume is just for show. If a person’s samples don’t match up with what they’re saying, then you know they’ve overstated their skills.

On the flip side, solid samples will verify that the candidate can produce and does have the abilities you’re looking for. Comparing samples of a few candidates can be a huge deciding factor as you make a hiring choice.

How does it feel?

Like I said, intuition. If it doesn’t feel good, it probably isn’t. As you send a few emails to different candidates, pay attention to the whole process. After you’ve gone through all of these steps we’ve outlined, take one last inventory of how it all feels to you.

In my experience, I’ve passed on people that just didn’t seem right to me. When I do this, I’ll go back a few days later and recruit someone else who works out just fine.


There are tons of Filipinos waiting to be hired on There are plenty of qualified candidates who would do a wonderful job for you. Selecting the right person is key. It isn’t always easy. Following these steps will lessen the headaches and frustrations that often come with recruiting.

Good luck and happy hunting!

240px Jonasheadshot

About John Jonas

John Jonas is a long-time outsourcing expert and the creator of

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.

Find John at and Facebook.

If you liked this you’ll probably also like reading


  1. Jackie Spegele says

    Can you address, the best method for sharing documents and information with the VA?
    I am not ready to dedicate a workstation to an unknown person and allow them access to my complete server and all data.
    What are common methods of sharing information?
    What is necessary to share?
    What is expected.

    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Jackie!

      You can selectively share documents through a shared Google Drive or Dropbox.

      On what documents you should share, that depends on the type of work your VA is doing. So it’s your prerogative to share only what you feel is needed =)

  2. J T says

    I posted an job listing for a full time VA. When going through the applicant’s profiles, I sometimes see:

    Rate Php 30,000.00 /month ($300 )
    Availability 20+ hrs/wk

    1) Does the 20+ means they can only accept work Part time 20 hours, or does it mean they will accept Part-Time as well as Full-Time? I’ve also seen 10+ so does that mean they will accept anywhere from 10 hours a week and up?

    2 Does the $300 per month means a full month, or does it mean they want $300 for 20 hours?

    It’s a bit confusing. I wish it is more clearly written. Will Accept [] Partime [] Full Time so they can choose either, or both and easier for me to understand.

    • says

      Hi JT,

      Thank you for your comment.

      1) It means that they are available to work for 20+ hrs/week, most likely it is a part-time work

      2) It means the $300 is for a month’s work

  3. Mousab says

    when a job post says 520$/month, does that means, they expect minimum of 520$ for 40h/w and what if they worked for 20 hours in that month? is this negotiable

    • says

      Hi Mousab,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, they are expecting that the salary is $520 per month. Regarding the type of employment, it should be specified if it is a full-time work or part-time, so that there wouldn’t be misunderstandings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *