HireSmart’s Top VE for 2023 Blends Empathy with Expertise

The tears flowed for Ina Bonaobra on Dec. 2. Happy tears!  


The HireSmart Virtual Employee was named the company’s “Top VE” among more than 700 fellow HireSmart employees at the international hiring agency’s annual Christmas party.  


“I cried a lot,” said Ina. “I really wasn't expecting it. I just prayed. I asked God to bless me with whatever his plans are for me. So I just gave it to him.” 


Ina works as a homeowner service representative for a property management client managing HOAs.  


“We assist homeowners, take calls, manage chats, and handle tickets,” she said. “We’re usually busiest on Mondays and Tuesdays.” 


Ina said she wants everyone she helps to feel they have a true friend. 


“I always talk to them (the homeowners) like we're friends,” she said. “So I think that's also a great factor for me being able to get a lot of reviews for the company. Because I always talk to them with respect and empathy, and then you just feel like you're talking to a friend.” 


Ina’s client said she is “truly a marker for excellence in every single way,” adding that Ina “is the total package.” 


“She is one of the reasons I show up to work everyday and why I love leading the team!” the client said. “She always exceeds expectations when it comes to completing tasks and leading a hand when there is one needed. She respects everyone she comes in contact with — clients and co-workers alike. She always checks on her team and makes sure if there is something she can help with communicates what may needs to be addressed.” 


Ina’s ability to build rapport and respect among her colleagues is one of the many reasons she stands out.  


And she has the following words of wisdom for fellow VEs: “Always be on time and communicate well, not just with your client but with the agency, and especially with your co-VEs.” 


She said “respect” is the HireSmart core value she identifies with the most.  


“Respect is very important; you should give respect first before you can earn it,” she said. 


An employee of HireSmart since May 2022, Ina has always made it a point to be an active participant in company programs and to bring passion to her work. “Just love what you do,” she said. “When you love what you do, you won’t get tired of doing it every day.” 


She and her husband, Mark, have two young boys, Isaiah Ambert, "Ice," 4, and Ishaan Amani, "Amani," 2. Ice received one of HireSmart’s 19 educational scholarships in 2023.  


Ina, who received a laptop computer as a prize for Top VE, says her job with HireSmart provides plenty of wonderful feedback, which she didn’t enjoy while working in the BPO industry.  


“You wouldn't feel that you're very much appreciated,” she said of the BPO work. 


Ina is also now able to balance faith, family, and fun. Sundays are reserved for church, while leisure time is spent watching movies at home or playing at arcades. 


Ina also loves the camaraderie she feels with her clients. As she waited to be interviewed about the “Top VE Award,” she and her co-workers discussed Christmas decorations. She planned to send a picture of what she saw in her neighborhood. 


“They are sending photos of our offices in the U.S., so I was actually about to send them a photo of our neighbor because I told them, my neighbor has a Christmas tree, but their Christmas tree is a literal mango tree of lights,” she said.  


Transforming Operations in Your Association Management Company 


As Ina continues to shine in her role, HireSmart’s “Top VE” is a reminder that in the digital age, humanity and warmth can transcend any distance. 


And her tears of joy at the Christmas party warmed the “digital room,” connecting the HireSmart team in a moment of happiness for an honor well deserved. 


If you're interested in learning more about bringing HireSmart's virtual employees onto your team, click here to schedule a free consultation at your convenience. 


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