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By Alex Poon
Although built to provide the widest possible pool of candidates to employers, this platform ultimately disappointed.
VirtualStaff.ph is a job-seeking platform which allows businesses to contact and hire Filipino virtual assistants in a frictionless manner. The site has over 100,000 remote job-seekers, and it assists them in getting in touch with different employers worldwide. This large base of assistants is beneficial to employers, since it allows them to reach out to a wide range of applicants and look for the most suitable person to carry out a specific task.
However, there were some aspects of this platform that turned out to be disappointing. Firstly, the website design wasn’t as user-friendly as other, similar offerings. Despite charging employers US$49 a month for an account on VirtualStaff.ph, the platform makes it impossible to access any virtual assistants’ contact information and résumés without directly messaging them on the platform. For employers and job-seekers who would prefer to use other platforms to communicate, this can be very frustrating and inconvenient, and especially so for employers who have paid for the service.
Another disappointing factor was the lack of indicators for employees to determine whether a job-seeker fully meets the requirements for the job position. A self-rating system is one of the primary indicators provided by this platform, enabling job-seekers to rate their own skill levels and competencies. However, there can sometimes be a grievous discrepancy between the skills that virtual assistants claim to have, and those they actually do have. Job seekers who exaggerate their capabilities may therefore undermine the effectiveness of this performance indicator for employers.
In order to improve and optimize this platform, I would suggest that VirtualStaff.ph implement more methods for employers to contact prospective virtual assistants, incorporate a résumé preview system, and add a feature that shows the level of satisfaction of past employers. These additions will not only make it easier for both parties to get in touch and stay connected, but also assist businesses in filtering out unsuitable candidates.
While we experienced some difficulties in using this platform for hiring, the theory of this platform is great: it provides a crucial method for people who are unemployed in the Philippines to get a remote job and maintain their living standards. It might not be the best for businesses who are looking for someone to carry out demanding, high-skill jobs, but is suitable for employers seeking people to carry out simple but essential business functions.
Header image by Scott Graham on Unsplash.