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Hire a Virtual Assistant: How to avoid a bad VA

Updated on : 30-Dec-2022 06:24 AM

Hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines, and outsourcing to the Philippines, in general, is one of the best things you can do to increase your profitability immediately.

If it's something you've never considered before or perhaps don't have much experience with, I'd highly recommend you read our step-by-step guide on how to hire virtual assistants in the Philippines.

How to AVOID common Virtual Assistant relationship mistakes

Have you heard of the saying, people with good Intentions make promises? This is often true when working with a Filipino virtual assistant.

It would be best if you always looked for some key signals when delving into a character of potential Filipino VA's. Knowing the following stuff will save you both time and frustration.               

ALWAYS KEEP AN EYE ON THE FOLLOWING!

1. Filipino Virtual Assistants Working Themselves Into An Early Grave

One common trait I observe with virtual assistants in the Philippines is that they sometimes can try to bite off more than they can chew by working two full-time jobs.

Working hard is never a bad thing, of course,  but the problem is if they are working round the clock and neglecting family life, etc., the evil demon "Mr. Burnout" will soon be joining their daily life!

The key to making sure you have an excellent virtual assistant and someone who will be there to grow with you and your business is to hire them full-time.

Now, don't get me wrong, hiring part-time virtual staff in the Philippines is a fantastic option as well; however, if you do hire a VA part-time, be sure to be open with your team and allow them to be honest with you if they need to work a second job to supplement their income.

PRO TIPS: Here's what you can do

  • Hire your virtual assistant full-time if you can afford to. I always advise hiring full-time staff for the main reason being that they'll be 100% dedicated to your business.
  • If you hire a part-time VA, be sure to open dialog with them and foster a relationship that allows them to feel comfortable letting you know that they work a second supplementary job.

2. The "YES SIR" trap

One challenge you'll have is that most Filipino VA's will rarely tell you "NO" or "I don't think I'll be able to do it in XYZ," especially when being assigned tasks to do.

Many virtual assistants are desperate to show appreciation by agreeing to do stuff way out of their skill set, instead of saying "Sir, I don't know that, but I'm happy to learn," they might agree with you, and then subsequently several days later, you end up getting work done that is not to the standard that you expected.

This is not a BAD trait in theory. However, my advice would be for you to make sure your virtual assistant knows they can be honest with you about the limitations they have.

The key here is to foster a good working relationship. However, this advice would go beyond just your relationship with your virtual assistant. It should probably apply to any staff you hire.

PRO TIPS: Here's what you can do

  • As the employer, you must set expectations and transparency from the beginning and create a culture of feedback loops with your Filipino Virtual Assistant.
  • Hire staff based on the skill you need. The key here is to know the difference between a Filipino virtual assistant and a Filipino virtual staff. VA's are great, but only if you understand what a VA is.
  • Hire the right person from day 1. Now, this is stating the obvious. However, when people say things, such as "I don't like working with a VA," or something along those lines, they've traditionally hired the wrong person and now made a general assumption based on one hire. If this is you, or you're new to hiring a VA, I'd suggest reading the article "how entrepreneurs and virtual assistants benefit each other."

If you do the above, you'll have fantastic success when outsourcing to the Philippines.

4. Time Wasters or Excuse Makers

Promptness to a schedule and punctual attendance is vital traits of a quality virtual assistant. I mean, it's working at the end of the day, and you are the boss, and if you set the rules that your VA must clock in for work at a specific time, then there is no excuse for them to be late.

I have my staff log in to the time tracker, and at the start and end of their shifts, I also have them post an "in" and "out" message in our project management tool, in addition to a start of day list of goals/tasks, and an end of day update on the progress.

Putting a sound system in place is easy, and it's crucial to do it from day 1.

Remember, not all people value your precious time. However, it's an easy fix. I'll give you the solutions in the pro tips below.

Symptoms of a bad VA exist when coming in late, sick from work with constant excuses, company projects are taken for granted, and urgency is not being observed.

With this kind of tardiness comes more significant consequences for your business. It's always better to prevent by setting clear expectations from day 1!

PRO TIPS: Here's what you can do

  • Set expectations from day 1. I'd suggest you do this in the job interview itself and again as part of the onboarding process. Perhaps create a company onboarding handbook. It just has to be a simple 1-2 page PDF that outlines the rules, procedures, and policies you expect your virtual staff to follow.
  • If staff is absent due to sickness, make sure you have a policy that is communicated to the VA that they inform you at least several hours before the shift starts.
  • Have your VA use a time tracker. You can use this for free inside your VirtualStaff.ph account. Of course, there are pros and cons to time tracker/screen monitoring, as some find it a little bit invasive, while others find it fantastic, as it allows both the employer and the VA to have documented evidence of the hours they have spent at work. Ultimately, it's your judgment call on what works best for you and your business.

You might be thinking that hiring a virtual assistant might be a headache because I've highlighted some negatives above.

The listed bad traits are straightforward to overcome, hire the right person and be clear about expectations. It's effortless to find and hire a virtual assistant who'll prove to be an excellent asset to your business.

VirtualStaff.ph: Your Options For Hiring Staff in the Philippines. Choose Which Is Best For You!

Option 1: The Virtual Staff Marketplace

Philippines outsourcing


  • Choose from 250,000+ registered virtual staff in the Philippines.
  • Hire part-time, full-time. You decide.
  • Lowest cost, due to the fact you hire direct.
  • The easiest way to hire virtual assistants in the Philippines

See how easy it is to outsource to the Philippines.

Option 2: The Enterprise Solution

Who is the Enterprise Solution best for?

  • Suppose you want the expertise of a VirtualStaff.ph Client Success Manager in your corner.
  • You want to leverage our years of experience hiring the best virtual staff in the Philippines.
  • Legal protection, due to us onboarding the VA contractually with our Philippine corporation, before assigning them to work exclusively for you.
  • You want your VA to be given health care and social security benefits.

Learn more about the virtual staff enterprise service.

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Kyle Daling

Virtual Assistant In The Philippines & content creator

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