There were complaints that some business owners had horrible/bad experienced hiring virtual assustant. This article is based on our experiences with oDesk.

Business owners problem with their virtual assistant
Business photo created by yanalya –

The Freelancer

We used to find and get web projects in oDesk. Back then, it was easy to get verified in oDesk. All you need to do is verify payment method and you are ready to go. In my case, I verified my account using PayPal. Another way of verifying is thru credit card.

In Freelancers account, one should complete and passed the oDesk Readiness Test in able to apply for job. There are several quizes and test based on different skills or specialties. Like for example you are a WordPress developer, there are test in connection with WordPress design & development. The result of each test and quizzes the freelancer’s took will be displayed in the freelancers profile.

But there’s a glitch in here. Freelancer can get a high score even without so much knowledge about the topic. If a freelancer has a good and fast typing skills, they can make a quick Google search and find the correct answer. Another way of getting a high score is to, first create a dummy Odesk account, and take test and quizzes. Tho the questions appear in different order, It is easier to get high score.

Freelancers also upload their portfolio. And here comes the self proclaimed up experts. Many first time freelancers considered theirselves as expert even they lack experiences in VA & Freelancing career.

The Business Owners

We found out there are many startups business owners in oDesk. Some are local business owners who sell goods and services locally. There are individuals who thinks of blogging. There are some who do dropshipping. And these business owners needs Virtual assistants who will manage their social media, VAs who can add content to their site.

There are business owners who lacks the skills on how to spot the right candidate for the job. They only hope that oDesk had a thorough filter of the candidates already. Also, this kind of business owners does not have any experience hiring VA.

The fact that, I myself was able to work 3100+ hours in oDesk using my Alias. Only the past years, Upwork got strict in Candidates name whereas it should match the bank account name or PayPal account name.

The problem in some oDesk Candidates and Agencies

The previous process was taken advantage by some candidates and some groups. In behalf of the real candidate, they apply for the job. And once they got hired, they will pass the tasks to newbies. Tho oDesk stated that sharing of account is not acceptable and will get penalyze once proven, there are still some doing it. While the business owners have high expectations, the newbie VAs can’t deliver these expectations.

The problem with Startup Business Owners.

It is not as easy as what you were told to believed.

The internet is huge and brought huge opportunities for everyone. Many people would like to make full use of online or internet marketing. Startups business owners are really excited attending webinars, online course and programs.

However, there’s another catch. There were many self-proclaimed internet experts. They provided training and they gave people false hope. Most of these so called experts, tell their audience or should I say mindset their audience that “It is damn EASY”. This is a FALSE hope. If it is so easy, everyone should be doing it sucessfully. And the result, business owners had horrible/bad experienced hiring VA.

oDesk Hiring Process Today

oDesk is now Upwork. Job application had been revised. The number of job applications changed, as far as I know. Minimum hourly rate was also set to 3USD which is good to provide candidates decent earnings.

While Upwork fees for employer changed, Candidates can now upgrade their account to enjoy more benefits. Since I stopped using oDesk, I have no idea what’s the hiring process now but for sure it greatly improved for the sake of Business Owners, and for the sake of the candidates.

The question of many Business Owners, how to get reliable and dependable Virtual Assistants?

The eCommerce University

Maybe it’s a coincidence that the CEO of eCommerce University aim to help Virtual Assistants and to provide business owners get a reliable and dependable online worker too. eCommerce University provides quality training to candidates helping them to stand out of the crowd.

When I started my freelancing career, one my goal is to bring job and opportunities to Filipino Youth through online work, since there are lot of undergraduates and and can’t get a decent job.

The candidates are being interviewed by one of the eCom Uni staff making sure that the candidate is real and not some dummy account. After completion of the course, candidate will be given a certificate.

eCom Uni also provide scholarship program from time to time. Their staffs try to reach and inform their friends and colleagues about this great opportunity. eCom Uni has helped not only Filipino VA, they was able to provide online work to different people around the globe.


In 2010, Michael started his online career. With no formal education and training in Website Design and Development, his passion drives him to learn more using free online resources.

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