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Several entrepreneurs have discovered an opportunity using Craiglist to find virtual assistants. They simply go to the Craiglist site for where they hope to find a reliable but affordable assistant, and post a help wanted ad detailing their job requirements. Manila in the Philippines is a particularly popular location.

craigslist logoThe benefit of using craigslist to find a virtual assistant is that you can find talented workers for a very low cost, but it is not for the faint of heart. In contrast with the other freelance virtual assistant resources, using Craiglist leaves you no feedback mechanism or avenue for resolution if things don’t go the way you planned. At that point, someone half way around the world has your money and there’s little you can do.

To prevent this worst-case scenario, there are a few steps you can take. First and foremost, you’ll need to interview for the position as if you were hiring an in-house employee. That means reviewing resumes, evaluating both written and oral English language skills, verifying work history, and checking references. It is very possible to find a rock-star virtual assistant on Craigslist, but just be prepared to deal with the unqualified candidates, the spammers, and the scammers.

There are also the issues of data security and tax implications. With someone working from their home in Manila, how secure will your personal and business information be? Also, not being a tax professional, I would be nervous directly hiring someone overseas because I don’t know what kind of paperwork burden that would create for me down the line.

Still, you can’t argue with the allure of Craigslist, and the potential to find great help for as little as $3 an hour. If you’re up for the challenge, you can definitely save some money over other established virtual assistant companies and freelance virtual assistant platforms.

If you’ve had any experience, positive or negative, with a Craigslist virtual assistant, please share it here.

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