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How to Find Trustworthy Remote Employees to Help You Grow Your Business

Virtual assistants are easy to find. Trustworthy virtual assistants? Not so much. Read on for tried-and-tested tips on finding reliable and honest VAs,
How can you tell if a virtual assistant is legit?

If you're new to the remote delegation game, you might have asked this question once or twice.

"I think a lot of traditional entrepreneurs are weary of trusting people across the world because they don't feel as ‘close’ or ‘familiar’," shared Daniel C., a Delegation 101 participant.

And he’s right — it's not easy to trust someone with the keys to your business, let alone give them access to sensitive information like your inbox, credit card information, and schedule.

The good news is that there are proven ways to find a legit virtual assistant.

Here are some of them:

Use reliable hiring platforms

The skill ratings you see on job boards like Onlinejobs are often self-reported.

The popularity of remote work has paved the way for tons of job sites and recruitment platforms. LinkedIn, for example, claims that 61 million people use its platform to find jobs each week.

While this gives the remote employer more hiring options, it also makes the job search more tedious. Not all job sites are reliable or secure — nor can they assure success.

Most job sites can’t vet the candidate’s actual skill level and experience, either. The skill ratings you see on sites like Onlinejobs are often self-reported by the candidates themselves. It’s easy for them to pad their resumes or misrepresent their skills.


When choosing a hiring platform or service, choose one that:

  • Verifies the identities of the applicants through ID screening.
  • Allows you to review the candidate’s portfolios.
  • Allows previous employers or clients to leave reviews and testimonials.
  • Specializes in hiring the kind of talent you’re looking for. For example, since you’re hiring overseas talent, use job boards that cater to remote opportunities vs local ones.

Using a trustworthy platform with these features will help you weed out bad candidates from good ones right from the start.


Somewhere uses its own talent pooling platform on top of actively seeking out candidates for our clients. This process ensures that we only get real resumes from real virtual assistants.

Watch out for early red flags

Another way to find trustworthy candidates is to watch out for red flags early in the hiring process.

“Watch out for the candidate's availability and responsiveness in communication and scheduling interviews,” recommends Jay Mariano, one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists for Latin America. “Their level of responsiveness is crucial during the hiring process as it reflects their commitment to securing the role.”

Jay also mentions other red flags like:

  • An intermittent work history pattern - Watch out for candidates who hop from one job to another without valid explanations. Jay says that this can raise concerns about the candidate's reliability and potential attrition risk.
  • Shady answers - Stay away from candidates who use unethical approaches when answering situation-based questions.

By being vigilant early in the hiring process, you can save yourself a lot of time — and your company from a potential headache.

Review the candidate’s track record

Nothing says legit more than a proven track record. For example, if you’re hiring for a creative role like a multimedia designer, ask the candidates to submit a portfolio or live links to their previous work. This allows you to personally review their capabilities and determine if they’d be a good fit for the role.

Make sure to review their work history, too.

“When a candidate is frequently changing jobs, this indicates that the candidate has some issues staying for a long-term goal and can also reflect what character they have,” shares Sweet Yabut, a Talent Acquisition Specialist for the Philippines.

Other factors that you should consider when reviewing a candidate’s track record include:

  • Their experience - have they worked in a similar role or industry before? Are they familiar with the tools that you use? What kind of tasks did they work on?
  • Their contributions to their previous company - what results have they delivered in the past?
  • Their character references - what do their team members and managers have to say about them?

Conduct a mini test

To further filter for ideal candidates, give them a small task that tests their competence.

Adding a test as part of your evaluation process is also a great option if you don’t like wasting time on rounds of interviews, just like Milkroad founder Shaan Puri.

"I don't want my own time doing 3 rounds of interviews to be the most expensive part of this process,” shares Shaan.

Instead, he gives candidates a mission and sees how they do. According to Shaan, 30% of the people don’t even do the “mission” and end up filtering themselves out of the competition.


Evaluations don't have to be super complicated. Here are some mini-tests that you can try:

  • Name a task and ask the candidate how they’d go about doing it.
  • Create a scenario based on some real problems you've encountered before. Ask the candidate how they’d solve the problem.
  • For customer service roles, make them draft a response to a couple of critical reviews.
  • A small paid trial task like a sample article for your blog, a social media graphic, or a short podcast episode.

“Pay attention to how the candidate communicates throughout the hiring process,” recommends Sweet. “If they’re not responsive or don’t follow instructions, this indicates that the candidate may have potential issues with reliability or professionalism.”

Related: How to evaluate a VA’s performance

Go beyond their resumes

By this time, you should have a pretty neat shortlist of qualified candidates. The next step would be to get a glimpse of unquantifiable skills like:

  • Social skills
  • Culture fit
  • Willingness to learn
  • Potential

This is where the interview comes in. Lots of candidates can look good on paper but fall short in real life. If you want to find a candidate you can get along with — and trust with your business— use the interview as an opportunity to get to know them beyond their resume and technical ability.

Ask questions that’ll help you gain insight into what they’re like. While you’re at it, keep an eye out for green flags like the following:

  • being presentable and punctual
  • doing their homework about you, the role, and the company
  • giving specific answers and being able to express themselves well
  • asking insightful questions
  • having similar values

Learn more: Green flags to look out for during remote interviews

Ask your network for referrals

Lastly, referrals can be a great way to source trustworthy remote staff. Your direct network — your friends, current and former employees, colleagues — have networks of their own that you can tap into. They probably have a clearer picture of how you work and what you’re looking for in an assistant, so they can vet candidates for you.

To get high-quality referrals, let your network know about:
  • The problem you want to solve or position you need to fill
  • Your candidate non-negotiables
  • The experience or background needed for the role
  • The best way for candidates to reach you

The caveat? If your network is small, then you’ll need to cast a wider net. You’ll also still need to exercise due diligence and screen these candidates properly.

Hire trustworthy remote staff with Somewhere

You can do all the steps above — or you can skip the hassle and hire with Somewhere.

As a headhunter agency, we take the vetting process very seriously. Each candidate that goes through the Somewhere system is thoroughly screened, vetted, and reviewed even before they even meet the client.

Here’s a quick look at how we vet candidates:

1. Search

Our team will help you build a job description and then set out to find the best candidates for the role. We also have our own talent pooling platform where aspiring remote employees can send their resumes and be profiled for the right jobs.

Combining these two methods has allowed us to develop an efficient search process.

2. Screening

Our team will then screen the resumes of all potential candidates. We confirm their identities, call their previous employers, and if needed, ask for a national security clearance. Anyone who doesn’t meet the requirements set will automatically be reprofiled or disqualified.

Applicants who pass the first round of resume screening will proceed to do a behavioral assessment test (BAT ) and a communications skills assessment (CSAT). We’ll also review their track record and character references.

If you wish to conduct a specific skills test, we’ll do that at this stage.

3. Initial interviews

After the assessment, we’ll invite the candidates to an initial interview. We’ll further assess soft skills like communication, thought process, and overall demeanor.

4. Final client interview

Candidates who pass all these screening stages will be shortlisted and presented to the client. From there, all you have to do is choose the best candidate for the job and hire them.

With Somewhere, you’re assured that everyone presented to you is trustworthy and reliable. The best part? They cost 80% less than local hires and are just as competent.

Learn more: How much can you save when you hire remote talent?

Trustworthy virtual assistants are hard to come by

Virtual assistants are easy to find. Trustworthy virtual assistants? Not so much.

To find a reliable remote assistant, you need to exercise due diligence and screen candidates with care. Following the tips above can help you find someone you can trust with the keys to your business.

And if you're feeling overwhelmed about the whole process, we're here to make things easier. Simply let us know about the positions you're looking for and we'll start a thorough search that will help you land the virtual assistant of your dreams.

FAQs about hiring a trustworthy remote assistant

How do I know if my virtual assistant is legit?

You can tell if a virtual assistant is legitimate when they:

  • don't misrepresent themselves or their skills
  • can provide a strong resume and body of work
  • Are honest and have solid character references
  • care about the role
  • have both technical skills and soft skills fit for the role
What should you look for in a virtual assistant?

Virtual assistants, in general, should possess the following traits:

  • strong research skills
  • impeccable communication skills
  • time and task management
  • resourcefulness
  • basic knowledge of online tools
  • reporting

Related: Technical skills every VA should possess

How do I find a VA in the Philippines?

Use a headhunting agency like Somewhere. We find, screen, and vet top remote talent for you. Let us know what you're looking for and we'll help you find remote talent that cost 80% less than US equivalents.

Get the hiring guide here

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