Out of all the things I do with EcomCrew and in ecommerce in general, the one thing I get asked about the most is our Philippines office. I’m not sure if it’s because I talk about our Filipino employees so much or there are so many entrepreneurs out there who want to find high quality virtual assistants but just don’t seem to get landed with one, no matter what they do.

I definitely get the sentiment if it’s the latter. Once upon a time, I hired my first Filipino VA. But instead of freeing up my time, that hire resulted in the exact opposite–I felt like I spent so much time daily just getting him to do simple tasks and it came to the point that I can’t do what I want to do simply because I spent too much of my time with him. I eventually let him go and thought to myself that I won’t ever get a VA again.

Some time later on a plane ride back from China, I decided  to give hiring a Filipino VA another go. I’m so glad I did, because in that second attempt at hiring I found Mia.

Mia is the cornerstone of our PH office and without her, there would be no PH office. She was the one who found the rest of our Filipino employees, from virtual assistants to writers to graphic designers. She started as a virtual assistant and has morphed into a director managing 11 employees in just under two years.

I had the chance to get Mia on the podcast during our visit to the Philippines last month. She didn’t want to do it, but just like most of the challenges I threw at her, she stepped up and did her part. In this episode we highlight the changes that have happened over the course of a year, particularly the growth of our PH team from just a handful of people to 12 full-time awesome employees.

We also discuss the following in detail:

  • Why I decided to hire a VA again after my initial disappointment
  • How we found Mia
  • How I knew she could handle becoming a manager
  • What life was like during the first few months with our first hires
  • Why being very slow to hire has worked out to our advantage
  • How close our employees have become, and what Mia did that contributed to this
  • Why we prefer our employees to come to one office instead of working from home
  • What we do differently that sets us apart and makes us more attractive to high-quality employees
  • The strategies we use to reduce communication problems between two time zones
  • Our entire hiring process
  • Tips to weed out incompetent applicants

If there’s just one advice we can give you when you hire a VA, it would be this: don’t hire in a hurry. You might have so many things on your plate right now and would want nothing more than to unload as much of that as soon as possible, but hiring the wrong person would cost you so much in the long run. Be patient for the right person to come because it will be so worth it in the end.

Resources mentioned:

Amazon Launch Strategy webinar
E96: Our Philippines Team – Hiring and Maintaining a Team of Rockstar VAs

Thanks for listening! Have you ever hired a Filipino VA? What was your experience? Comment down below and get a chance to win this EcomCrew mug!