Well…I was going to talk about background checks, but then I read what my OFS wrote for this email:

“No background check beats doing the work yourself.”

I laughed.
Out loud.

My OFS gets it!

We’re so used to background checks here in the US it’s impossible to think that there are places in the world that don’t do it.

We go through background checks to get a job, rent an apartment, do business, volunteer, establish credit. It’s so ingrained in our culture that we think nothing of it and expect it from everybody else.

So it surprises people when I tell them that there’s no way to do a background check on a Filipino VA. At least, not in the way that we’re used to.

When Filipinos look for jobs, a typical job requirement is the NBI clearance. It’s a document that states whether or not they have a police record. It’s the closest thing they have to a background check and something you could ask for. It could be a deterrent, but it won’t make much sense because you could get a record in the Philippines for littering or jaywalking.

The Philippines has started rolling out a National ID System similar to our Social Security. But it’s going to be years we can use it due to COVID delays.

I understand why background checks are important for many people. It gives them a sense of security. But I think the best way to really know the person you’re hiring is really to do the recruiting yourself and exercise some common sense.

That’s why in OneVAAway.com, I emphasize the importance of doing multiple email interviews. Really get to know the person you’re talking to. Ask for references and check them.

Aside from the NBI Clearance (or the Barangay Clearance I talked about recently), the Background Data Check at OnlineJobs.ph is the closest thing you’ll get.  We have all kinds of data on people. We noticed patterns for people who are problems.

In the end, Julia is correct:
No background check beats doing the work yourself.

Get someone else doing the work.
Stop procrastinating because you’re worried about their background.