Hiring a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines

While scrolling over our posts at a popular online virtual assistant job hunting site, I read a number of ads which posted an advisory for “Native Speakers” of for those born in a country where English is the primary language.

Honestly, I find the qualification derogatory and insulting to other nations that do speak English fluently even if it is not their primary language. 

I’ve had the opportunity of working with virtual assistants from other countries of different ethnicities. Those I hired consistently rendered top quality work and regularly met deadlines. In terms of attitude, they were courteous, very open to criticism, receiving suggestions and provided valuable feedback during our meetings. Most of the online workers I’ve hired are Filipinos and quite a few still work for me to this day.  I’ve even recommended a number to clients and associates.

Why Filipinos are good virtual assistants

1. Perfect-Fit Personality – Attitude is always my priority.  A candidate could have the best certifications, the most number of recommendations and a portfolio as thick as “War and Peace” but if the personality doesn’t fit yours like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the engagement will not work.

  • Filipinos always take a positive spin on life even in times of trouble. Typhoon Yolanda ravaged the city of Tacloban, destroyed homes and took thousands of lives but its people go about their daily routine despite conditions remaining largely unchanged the past year.
  • Filipinos have a positive attitude and I attribute this to their history and the values that have been passed down to generations. In the 1986, the Philippines was in the global spotlight when a popular but peaceful revolution cast out a powerful dictator and ushered in an era of democracy.
  • All these cycles of colonization have forged resiliency in the face of challenges and have given Filipinos a greater appreciation of whatever opportunity comes their way. It doesn’t matter how daunting or complicated the tasks, they will get it done on time and in order.

2. High Level of Competency – According to the latest statistics on Philippine demographics, the country has a 96% literacy rate; among the highest in the world. Although the educational system is patterned after the United States, it has been integrated with Spanish influence in religion and Asian influence in philosophy. The Philippines has the 12th highest population of mobile phone users which imply that given the popularity for smart gadgets, Filipinos are tech savvy and highly proficient in computers.

The virtual assistants I hired had a great foundation on basic work skills such as computers, e-mail correspondence, organization and personal assistant services. I had no issues getting the team work through their respective learning curves and had them comfortable running their designated areas of responsibility in no time at all.

3. High Level of English Proficiency – As mentioned, the Philippines’ educational system is closely patterned after the United States. English is the primary medium of instruction in school and for communication in business. The Philippines’ number one export is manpower and there are an estimated 10 million overseas contract workers deployed to around the world. ASEAN Integration in 2015 has made it more important for Filipinos to become more proficient in English.

Filipinos can speak and write English fluently. They can understand and respond accordingly which is why the Philippines’ outsourcing industry which is driven by the call center sector continues to grow.

If you notice, I did not touch on the lower cost of labor in the Philippines. This is a known fact and I preferred to focus on the qualitative value of hiring Filipinos over cost savings; quality work at lower cost.