Technology has made it possible for the East and West to work together even without leaving their own time zone. More and more foreigners are reaching quality Filipino workers to work for them at reasonable prices. So better opportunities are opening each day for Filipinos giving them the chance to work for foreign employers without having to leave their loved ones (like many overseas Filipino Workers or OFW’s).
But recently, I see many ads looking for Filipino workers who are efficient, reliable, and who will remain loyal to their employers. It made me realized that some workers do accept a job only to quit later on. What could be some of the possible reasons behind this? As a freelance writer, I’ve dealt with many different clients and writers already, and here are some of the things I learned that hopefully would help foreign clients when they work with Filipinos.
Make sure you hire the right one for the job. If you hire someone who is not fit for the job, he’ll most likely leave you as soon as he realizes that he cannot meet your requirements. Some people tend to make their profile look as if they know everything from web design to keyword research to article writing. But you have to understand how much they really know of these particular skills. Don’t be tempted into hiring someone who has all those skills as your virtual assistant unless you truly believe that he meets your requirements. I’ll give you an illustration.
I’ve met a certain “writer” online because she was advertising for a certain writing project for her “boss.” The ad caught my interest so I contacted her. When I asked her about the job specifications, she confessed to me that she actually applied for the job lying about her true writing skills. Her “boss” contacted her for the job and it was too late when she realized that she hated writing. So she advertised for someone to take on the job on her behalf because she couldn’t bear disappointing her very “kind” boss.
Be specific with your requirements. Some can read between the lines. Some cannot. So the more specific you are with your job requirements the more likely that you’ll be satisfied with your worker’s output.
It is through a lot of experiences dealing with different clients that I’ve learned that not all clients use the same “vocabulary.” SEO articles to one client may mean, using the keyword only in the title and in the first and last paragraph. To another client, it may mean using the keyword in every 100 words. Because there are no set rules in the internet, only guiding principles, some clients can choose which one to follow. So when you contact someone to do the job for you, be as specific as possible. Don’t just give him the keyword and then ask him to write a 500 word article with that keyword. Most likely, he’ll follow such a general instruction in a general way. So you end up writing an email giving him a more specific instruction. Why not write this kind of email to him on his first day of work to save both of you a lot of trouble?
Understand the Filipino culture. Most Filipinos highly regard their employers. They always want to give them good impressions by working really hard. And when asked to do something which they cannot do or something they cannot understand, they’re too ashamed to ask. Why? Because they don’t want to give you an impression that they’re not that witty. Asking questions (even if they’re just for clarification) might mean they’re not fit for the job. So the next time you ask your worker to do something for you, end your email with something like, “if you have any question concerning this task, please feel free to ask.”
Respond to their emails as promptly as possible. Most employers demand their workers to be always available for communication. It’s their right, no doubt about this. Working at home doesn’t give anyone the liberty to be away from his job the whole day and report to duty whenever he feels like it. Home based jobs should be treated in much the same way as traditional jobs—with a great sense of responsibility. Now on the side of the worker (although he might not tell you about this), he also wishes his employer to be always available whenever he needs him. If he sends you his finished job, for instance, he certainly hopes to receive your feedback at least within the day. Failing to do so might cause your worker to worry that you don’t like his job, or worse that you’re a scam. So on the onset of your work relationship, you have to make clear to him how often you can communicate with him. It would be great if you can set a time in a day or in a week to communicate with him or evaluate his job. Doing so can also strengthen your partnership, especially if you wish to keep him for good.
Pay them well. If you think you’ve got one of the best workers in town and you want to keep them, pay them their worth. Otherwise, these people might continually search for a more high-paying job and once they find it, they’ll leave without even saying goodbye to you.
Be kind to them. Some people (like the “writer” I mentioned earlier couldn’t leave their boss because he was too kind to her) hold on to the job because they’re fairly treated by their boss. Perhaps this is the most important rule to remember. Filipinos are very sensitive. Sometimes even a slight hint of impoliteness might scare them away. So please be kind to them. Even if you’re just communicating through emails, mind the tone of your writing to make sure that it would not gie your worker the impression that you’re being too “bossy.”
Working for employers from other countries doesn’t only give Filipinos the opportunity to enhance their skills and reach their maximum potential, it’s also a great way to learn many things about other cultures. Hopefully this kind of work relationship will benefit both the employers and the workers.