Part IV of the Definitive Guide to Hiring Remote Employees from the Philippines
Last time, we talked about the things you need to know when you hire a Filipino remote employee, including payment methods, holidays, and the Philippine Labor Code.
In this installment, we look into the hiring process of Filipino remote employees, how it may differ from a regular hiring process, and what can be done to make the entire process easier. We discuss the three central parts to any digital hire: screening, administering a personality test, and interviewing your applicants. What you need to do to do it right is all broken down for you in the third installment of our series on hiring Filipino remote employees.
The Digital vs The Traditional Hiring Process
The biggest and most obvious difference between the traditional hiring process we all know and the digital hiring process that is inherent to hiring remote employees is that when hiring a remote employee, everything is done online.
That means that the recruitment, the interviews, the screening, and the onboarding all have to be done virtually.
But in fact, many “traditional” jobs have a digital hiring process now as well as the technology becomes more advanced. This is because digital hiring is generally easier and more efficient than traditional hiring. Interviews can be conducted on the phone or on a video streaming service that saves time for both parties and allows you to interview more candidates in a short amount of time.
Background checks will also need to be done digitally. You can check up on a candidate’s credentials by following up on their references by email if it’s an employer in the Philippines and you can do more background checks on the candidate’s social media accounts and even their LinkedIn page. This can all be done from thousands of miles away but is an effective way to know more about your potential candidates.
Generally, the digital hiring process can mimic the traditional way of hiring in many ways without drawbacks. But the digital hiring process for hiring remote employees also allows space for you to add more components to the hiring process that can benefit both parties greatly.
Step 1: Screen Your Remote Employee Applicants
When it comes to screening an applicant for a job you’re outsourcing, there are multiple ways to screen them and various things to check for to make sure they’re a fit for you.
A resume is an obvious place to start with when you want to understand an applicant’s skills. Beyond the basics like grammar and spelling, skills, and their use of language, take a proper look at their work experience. If this is your first time hiring a remote employee, you may have better results with someone who already has experience working for a foreign employer. That way, the onboarding process is easier as they know what to expect.
If you are hiring for a job that needs a consistent quality of work (for example, graphic design or content creation), ask to see a portfolio of their work. Asking questions about why they chose to include it in their portfolio as well as questions about the time it took and the revisions it needed can also tell you a lot about their technical skills and what to expect from them and their output.
Aptitude to do the job
There are many cases when a job you’re hiring for needs someone with a specific skillset and specific work experience and background. But with many jobs that are delegated to virtual remote employees, it is usually recommended that you be more open and imaginative when finding a suitable employee.
It is extremely rare for you to find an applicant with the exact qualifications for the role, so it is far better for you to think about your applicants in terms of what they can bring to the role and how quickly they can pick up the technical details of the job.
For example, an opening for a job like a Real Estate VA may need specific tasks done but there are generally no specific requirements that are needed for the job. In that case, an employer or the company’s hiring manager may have better success by looking at the general skill set of the candidate and their skills in time management, organization, and computer literacy that do not necessarily stem from a specific educational background or work experience. What is important is that they have the skills to serve as a foundation for completing specific tasks.
Connectivity & equipment
There is simply no way to overstate how important it is to screen a potential remote employee’s connectivity, which includes their personal computer, their internet connection, and their electricity connection. For a remote employee, all three are crucial to getting tasks done and communicating effectively with their employer and team.
For screening purposes, always ask for a screenshot of their personal internet connection at home. If you are hiring for a job that requires a strong internet connection, this can easily narrow down candidates but if it isn’t a crucial part of the job, you will at least want to make sure it’s strong enough to communicate easily. It’s also helpful to be aware of any internet issues they have beforehand in case they suddenly go offline or become slow to reply to emails, but it is generally recommended that they have a backup internet source.
Similarly, always ask for a screenshot of their PC’s specs before hiring. For jobs that need a fast processor or that needs a lot of data storage like graphic design or video editing, this is crucial information.
When screening candidates, always ask for a written backup plan in case the internet becomes disconnected or they experience an electricity outage, which is common in certain areas of the Philippines. Make sure you know that they can access the internet using a portable WiFi device or by going to an internet cafe or computer shop.
While some hiring managers shy away from using the technique, screening an applicant’s online presence can sometimes be the only way to properly screen a potential hire.
There are multiple ways to go about this but the most basic way to start is with a simple Google search. A general search can sometimes uncover more information than most people expect; it can show results for social media profiles but also any things they may not have mentioned in their resume like perhaps having another job. But if an applicant has a common name as many Filipinos do, you may have to become more specific with your Google search.
Many online marketplaces for remote employees ask for an applicant’s Facebook account to supply to the employer, which can be a great help. Most Filipinos use Facebook and Instagram and a lot can be seen on their profiles that can help you make a decision.
Pay attention to the way they present themselves online and whether there is anything that could reflect badly on your company.
Step 2: Give Your Candidates a Personality Test
When hiring a remote employee, you aren’t just looking for someone with the right skill set and experience background. You also want someone that can fit in well with your company’s culture and with the personalities of your other members on staff that they would be working directly with.
That’s why using a personality test during the hiring process is so great. It effectively evaluates the personality of candidates that can tell you things about the person you would not otherwise know.
For example, if the job you’re looking to fill is one with tight deadlines and that often has unpredictable tasks that will need to be taken care of, someone who has an anxious and worried personality may not be the best fit. Or if you need someone to work with other members of your staff, someone who works better alone is not an ideal hire.
Free Personality Tests Available Online
The DISC assessment is based on William Moulton Marston’s theory of the four central components of personality: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness.
We particularly recommend it for the hiring process of remote employees because it assesses three components that employers should know before they make the hire. It assesses skill level, things that affect their productivity, and personality. All these things are central to predicting the way an employee will work that can help you make the decision on who to hire.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The MBTI test is a popular personality test that was developed based on a theory of personality by Carl Jung. It measures four components of a personality with two poles:
- Attitudes, which determines whether a person is an extrovert or an introvert;
- The Perceiving Function, which measures whether a person understands and interprets new information with their senses or with intuition;
- The Judging Function, which measures whether a person makes decisions based on rational thinking or on their own feelings; and
- Lifestyle Preferences, which determines if a person understands the world with their judging or perceiving functions
The four components with two possible results for each means there are 16 personality possibilities, each with a distinct description. It can also be done online with many websites offering the test for free. It is a popular personality test that is used by many employers, but it has often been criticized for its unreliability, lack of empirical evidence supporting the test, and for the fact that its developers were not licensed psychologists.
Cattel’s 16PF Test
The 16 personality factor test is based on Raymond Cattell’s theory of personality that was revolutionary at the time for its use of statistics and psychometrics instead of observation. He posited that there are 16 basic factors of personality.
The test has become a popular tool for many clinical and non-clinical tests of personality and the questionnaire is available online to be used by candidates. It is different in that its test relies on hypothetical scenarios and how the person taking the quiz would react to them.
Step 3: Efficiently Interview Your Remote Employee Applicants
Interviews can be a daunting prospect for both the employer and the potential hire. There may be a million things running through your head as to what you need to ask.
We’ve made that job easier for you. When it comes to interviewing your applicants, these are the things you absolutely need to touch on:
When it comes to hiring a remote employee, understanding their background is crucial to understanding how they will work in your company and what to expect from them in the role.
Luckily, Filipinos are generally an open kind of people. They rarely take offense to personal questions and are often comfortable talking about their personal and professional lives in detail, especially to a figure of authority. That makes learning about their background relatively easy. The key to taking advantage of this is knowing exactly what to ask.
For someone looking to hire a remote employee, it is essential that you understand how, where, and when your employee works. Ask about their home and family dynamic, who lives with them, where they plan to carry out work, and their other non-work related responsibilities that could interfere with the work you assign them.
If you’re unsure about asking directly, ask them to run you through a typical day they have – pay attention to the way their day is set up and what kind of tasks they need to do. It’s also a good way to find out if they are married, have any marital problems that could stop work for them, and if they have any young children that could distract them. Make sure to also cover any health issues they may have and whether those issues could possibly affect their output.
It can also help you understand your candidates to give them hypothetical situations for them to respond to. For example, if you’re hiring for a supervisory role, give them scenarios to respond to like uncooperative employees, conflicts at work, and other situations that could come up during work.
For hiring remote employees, it is extremely important that you ask for references and follow-up on their references. Understanding how they work and their skillset from previous employers can give you a perspective that you would not be able to gain from only interviewing the employee.
Again, we don’t just mean the skills they have on their resume. Give each applicant a chance to explain their core skills and why they think it is something important for the job opening. It gives you a chance to hear them talk about themselves and to assess whether they know enough about the job opening.
Asking them about the work they are most proud of also gives you an opportunity to hear what they look for in their own work and to assess their self-motivation. An applicant who does not sound enthusiastic about the work they produce may become an employee that is not open to learning new skills or taking initiative in the workplace.
It is also important to be open-minded, flexible, and imaginative when hiring remote employees. For some jobs, it will be extremely difficult to find someone with the exact skill set and work experience you are looking for on online marketplaces. That’s why it’s important to read between the lines when interviewing a candidate.
Sometimes you will come across a candidate with a degree in a completely different field with irrelevant work experience. But when you look at what they’ve done and their interests and skills, their critical thinking skills and time management make them a perfect fit. Remember that intelligent people can be very easily trained in the tasks you need to be completed and it may sometimes be more important to have someone with a commitment to the job and an admirable work ethic.
Their interpersonal skills
Beyond their hard and technical skills, you may also want to know how they get along with other people. Any job position will have some kind of teamwork involved in it, whether that is just between you and your remote employee or between your remote employees.
Asking your applicants if they’ve ever collaborated on a project is a good way to start. Inquire about their role, how they felt about working with other people, and what they think can get in the way of successful collaboration can tell you more about the applicant’s work ethic.
But beyond this, the exchange of feedback is vital to a company’s overall health. It is essential that you have an open and productive discussion about work and what can be improved. Unfortunately, many Filipinos can be sensitive to receiving feedback and can likewise be hesitant to give feedback to their employers even when they’re dissatisfied with something at work. This dissatisfaction can often lead to the remote employee going AWOL and ultimately quitting. We have information and tips about how to deal with this cultural difference in the previous installment of this series.
But to ease the entire relationship, you should make sure the candidate is comfortable with that kind of two-way feedback process you will need to grow your company. That’s why you should always assess the applicant’s interpersonal skills to decide if they will fit in with your company’s culture or if you are hiring your first employee, be able to communicate with you efficiently and honestly. You will need to be patient, however, as most Filipinos are shy and easily submissive and the idea of being frank with their bosses can be terrifying.
While the reliance on digital and virtual means for hiring may seem daunting for someone hiring their first remote employee, many brick-and-mortar companies have also transitioned to digital hiring, which has helped make the process much easier and smoother.
But because it’s all done online, you will have to take additional steps to fully know your potential employee. Screening an employee online can help you understand their professional background, personality, and their ability to connect online and complete work effectively.
Giving them a personality test like the DISC assessment can also help you understand their skills and the way they work, which can help you build an environment for them to thrive in.
But before that, you will need to get as much information out of them from the interviews you conduct. Dividing the questions into background, skills, and interpersonal skills categories can help you organize the questions you need to ask.
All these things can help you hire your first remote employee from the Philippines, but you will have to use your own judgment when it comes to the final hire. Remember, you’re hopefully hiring for the long-term, so it pays to take your time with the process.
If you want to know more about hiring remote employees from the Philippines, you can read our previous articles on the subject here. If you have any questions or want to know more, you can also contact Remote Staff Seeker here or on our LinkedIn page.