What is the best way to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines?

There are many ways to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines. Choose one that meets your objectives.



According to Google Trends, the number of online searches for a “virtual assistant” has increased by 58% since 2020.

The Philippines continues to be the primary destination for hiring virtual assistants and for a good reason. Filipinos speak excellent English, have a strong customer service culture, and come at a reasonable cost.

Using a virtual assistant is becoming a skill by itself. Gone are the days when a virtual assistant was just useful for simple tasks like booking flight tickets or collecting information from the internet. A good assistant becomes a natural extension of the executive and helps them get more done.

In this article, we discuss the best way to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines depending on your objectives. In order to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines, you need to know what type of virtual assistant you will be hiring.

Option #1 – hire a virtual assistant from the freelance websites

The easiest and the quickest way to get started with hiring a virtual assistant is to use freelance sites such as Upwork. You simply post a job vacancy and will get dozens (or hundreds of candidates) within hours.

Freelance sites are unrivaled when it comes to getting a flexible workforce almost immediately. Let’s say you want a virtual assistant with experience in Twitter account management for 8 hours a week? You’ll likely find someone ready to start tomorrow. No notice periods, job interviews, or employment contracts are involved.

Pros of freelance websites for hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines

  • Find candidates that are ready to start immediately and work flexible hours
  • Ideal for tasks that are well-documented, not mission-critical, and can be delegated with minimum amount of supervision
  • Candidates available for any budget

Cons of freelance websites

  • It’s not a long-term solution. Most freelancers will quit the moment they get a bigger project or full-time employment somewhere else.
  • The quality of freelancers tends to be unreliable. You may find a hidden gem but you are most likely going to find somebody that is just looking to earn a quick living and move on. Don’t count on being able to train and groom them for the job.
  • Lots of candidates to filter through. Going through dozens of virtual assistant candidates can take hours. We recommend to only focus on candidates with a good track record on the platform and potentially hire several candidates at once.

Option #2 – use an outsourcing agency (a BPO)

According to the Philippines Statistics Authority, over 1.2 million Filipinos work in one of the country’s over 1000 business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. 

Outsourcing agencies will take care of finding, training, and managing your employees. You state your requirements and a BPO will take care of the rest.

Pros of outsourcing agencies for hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines

  • BPOs often have thousands of employees and are most likely able to find you better candidates than you would be yourself.
  • BPOs have structured training programs and are great at teaching their employees to deliver specific tasks.
  • You don’t need to worry about your assistant leaving the project. The BPO will replace and train a new candidate whenever needed.

Cons of outsourcing agencies in the Philippines

  • You will not have total control over who you hire and how you work with them. BPOs follow a certain structure and most likely will rotate your project between different employees.

Option #3 – hire a full-time employee using an employer of record service

An employer of record (EoR) service allows you to hire a full-time virtual assistant in the Philippines without having to set up a local company. The assistant will be officially on the EoR provider payroll while working entirely for your company.

EoR providers like Emerhub can also find you the candidates or convert your freelancers into full-time employees.

Pros of hiring full-time virtual assistant in the Philippines

  • Choose exactly who you hire and how they work. You define their responsibilities, working hours, etc.
  • The virtual assistant becomes part of your company – they’ll get to know you, how you prefer to work, and they can proactively find ways to support you.
  • Employer of record service allows you to hire full-time employees without having to manage local taxes, compliance and legal issues.

Cons of hiring full-time virtual assistants

  • You need to have a consistent amount of work (40 hours a week) to give to your virtual assistant.
  • It will take at least a few weeks to get started since you’ll have to interview candidates, sign contracts, etc.

Ready to explore how a virtual assistant in the Philippines can be beneficial to you and your company? Get in touch by filling out the form below and let’s discuss your options.

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