Upwork vs OnlineJobs.PH. If you can’t decide between Upwork & OnlineJobs.PH let me fill you in with what it was like first hand for me, to hire a Filipino virtual assistant for my food blogging business.
After yet another disaster of hiring from Upwork, Dominic said to me that I needed to change my strategy and see if there was an alternative to Upwork and that is when Google led me to OnlineJobs.PH.
I was ready to try something new and see how Online Jobs compared to Upwork.
The FIRST Time I Discovered Outsourcing To The Philippines
It was back in 2008. I hired a team through the Warrior Forum that would give me full access to one of their virtual assistants for about $270 a month. She would be my assistant for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Her work was awful, and she would complete about 2 hours work over the week. I could have done better myself and I was not impressed.
So, I went hunting and found Odesk.
It was the perfect solution. I could hire by the hour and the average proposal rate was $0.56 an hour. That meant for a full-time assistant from the Philippines would cost me just short of $90 a month.
Whenever I found a good one, I would put their rate up to $3.33 an hour, which was 320% over their minimum wage in their country and everyone was happy.
That was in early 2009. I even published an ebook out and sold it on the Warrior Forum showing people how to do the same.
Odesk In The Beginning
When you posted a job on Odesk you would get 600 interested applicants. After removing the spammy ones and the non-Filipinos you would be left with approximately 100 applicants.
Out of those 100 you would interview about 20 of them and take 5 new virtual assistants on.
You could pay your assistants with Paypal or Credit Card and monitor their hours and it worked perfectly.
I had absolutely no complaints until I experienced it from the point of view of the employee and not the employer.
Odesk Offered Me ZERO Protection
Everything you read said that an employer couldn’t screw you over, but they could. We ran an Odesk agency of assistants for a client. One day he woke up and said that he didn’t want to own a blog anymore and didn’t pay the months salaries that everyone was due.
That was $20,000 in earnings that people lost and 10% of that was lost by Odesk. But they didn’t care.
He left everyone that worked for him 1 stars and quit.
Never to be seen again.
That meant that all those assistants couldn’t get hired again because of their low rating and was left without a month’s wages.
He also did a chargeback on his previous months work, to us all as well. Which Odesk never fought over, because if they had, they would have won.
After that I never hired through Odesk again and pulled my team out of there. I estimate that Odesk taking the clients side meant that they lost about $200,000 a year in revenue.
I never hired through their service or recommended them to people again.
Odesk Became Upwork
Then Odesk became Upwork and the system got worse. The fees went up, you got less applicants and more spammers and the people that applied to your jobs was casual but never told you that they were casual.
You would hire someone, spend time investing in teaching them what you wanted. Then just like that they left.
I found on average that an Upwork assistant would last 6 weeks, compared to 16 months in the old days.
The fees also went up a LOT for the Filipinos that you were hiring. Instead of the only cost being 10% for the assistant, there was more costs than what you could keep up with.
Then there were rules that made you feel like you were back at school and being lectured. It felt like being at school and no mobile phones allowed in the classroom or you must keep your bag under the desk.
You had to do all communication through Upwork and that means I wasn’t allowed to train my assistants through Facebook Messenger, like I had already done. Or do a lot of the other communication that I was so used to doing.
It also resulted in no loyalty towards Upwork as people didn’t care and wanted to cut out Upwork. Yet in the early days it was the opposite and you took your current team to work through Odesk because it was so easy.
On my last job opening with Upwork, after removing spammers, I had 15 possible virtual assistants to interview out of 200. When only 20% ever show up for interview nowadays on Upwork that would mean that I had 3 to interview. A regular business would always interview at least 10 before shortlisting for a second interview.
Of course, you could pay an extra fee for more people to see your job opening, but to me that is yet another way for Upwork to make even more money from you.
In the end it was a case of holding interviews every 2 weeks and I have a blog to run here and this shouldn’t feel like it’s taking over my life.
After reading all this, I am sure you can see why Dominic said we need a Plan B!
I Joined OnlineJobs.PH
I had Online Jobs recommended to me by one of my virtual assistants, as in one of them that had been working with me for a while and wasn’t just a flake like what you got from Upwork.
She told me that it was the place to be if you wanted full time reliable staff.
The problem that I found with Upwork is that a lot of them were people that already worked full time, didn’t earn enough, but were applying for any job that they thought they could do.
A lot of them had no experience but still expected to earn $4 an hour with no experience. They would also say they could work 40 hours a week and not mention they already had a job somewhere else.
But OnlineJobs.PH from my first glance had a lot of virtual assistants that were looking for long term jobs and offered a competitive Filipino rate.
With the minimum wage in the Philippines being $0.83 an hour and that those that go out to work, having a lot of travel costs, the standard rate from home should be around $1 an hour for no experience.
I like to pay my Filipinos $2 an hour and find that $300 a month is a reasonable rate for someone with average experience.
On OnlineJobs.PH there is a lot of applicants offering between $200-$400 per month and just think how many jobs you can get from one assistant and how much it can free your time.
I placed a job opening with OnlineJobs and paid their $69.00 fee for one month and decided to give it a go.null
I wasn’t expecting much. Upwork boosts having a lot of members and Online Jobs has around 250,000. But they are also ALL Filipino, so once I had got rid of non-Filipino entries on Upwork I was thinking it might be a similar amount.
I had about 250 responses. I had 125 people that were worthy of contacting for an interview, out of those 36 replied to me, and I invited 22 to interviews. Out of those 22, 14 turned up for interview and I hired 11.
If you do the maths that means that for one job posting, out of those that applied for your job, 5% will turn up for an interview.
My thoughts are that every Filipino that applied, will have also applied for many other jobs and because the internet is faceless, then it doesn’t matter if they don’t turn up for the job.
Add to this the job out rate and I have 5 virtual assistants from this original job opening. 3 of which have been flawless and 2 that are okay, but I wish they were better.
I then posted a second job opening. I had paid for a month, so I wanted to get my monies worth! In the second application I had JUST a 2% interview success rate and had my Online Jobs account flooded with spammy applications.
The spam was so bad that I had to ask one of virtual assistants to go through and delete off the spam for it as it felt like it was never-ending.
What I Don’t Like About OnlineJobs.PH
My HATE about Online Jobs is sorting through the applications. On Upwork it was easy to glance through your applicants, but on Online Jobs it is like individual emails.
It makes it a much longer job to get rid of the poor applicants. I have epilepsy and scrolling excessively is not good for me.
Also delete an application and it throws you to the front of page 1 of your list of messages. So, like the Cold Play song it’s like “going back to the start again”.
It needs to have the list available where you can show 50 a page rather than 10 and not drag you back to the start.
I always ask my applicants to mention a word in the application in order to check that they have read it in full. Next time I do this I will ask them to mention it in the subject, that way I won’t have to click through to the spammy applications.
At the top of each application there is the persons contact email, do use this to get in touch and not the messaging system. I used the messaging system not realising you are on a limit of how many you can send. This is NOT made clear until you are at your limit. Though I was never charged extra for those that I sent that went over my allowance.
Online Jobs Is Very One Sided
I had such high hopes about Online Jobs but I has caused my nothing but stress and I will never pay again for their service or recommend it to others.
You see if you have a flake. I.e. someone that leaves you and doesn’t do the work, or isn’t up to the job, it is expected by the team behind Online Jobs for you to pay the assistant anyway.
So, imagine if you hire someone, and they spend all week surfing FB to get their working hours up, rather than doing the work they are paid to do.
All you have in return is the ability to leave feedback on the Filipinos job profile page.
What if you have hired someone to do a web design for you and they have ruined your site, yet it’s PAY THEM or else!
I also received a threatening email, as one of their own VA’s was supposed to email me and didn’t.
We have still not heard from you about this case.
If we don’t hear from you we will be forced to ban your company from using our site and
we’ll put a warning on our site about your company.
Please get in contact with us ASAP to resolve this dispute.
The person in question, had agreed to generate for me 700 leads, and while the rest of the new team that I hired had, she had produced just 100. Out of the results, I went through them and most were missing information.
So, for the $69 it had cost me to hire her via Online Jobs + $5 to have her on my Screenshot Monitor account + my own time I had approximately 10% or 4 hours work from her. Yet she was demanding 40 hours pay from me.
If she had put as much effort into her work, as she had done with complaining, then she would be the best worker I had ever had!
When she got abusive with me via email and Facebook I blocked her, only for Online Jobs to send me her abusive messages instead.
It feels to me like it is very one sided and that they don’t care about us employers and just want our money and that is it.
It also feels like it is nanny led. Like you have a disagreement at school with someone and the other person goes moaning to the head teacher and apparently it is ALL YOUR FAULT.
Upwork Vs OnlineJobs.PH
Online Jobs charges a $69 fee per month for using their site for finding virtual assistants. There are no further fees to either side and it makes it a LOT cheaper than Upwork. If using Upwork you would spend this amount of money from JUST 1 assistant. You can also cancel your subscription when you’ve hired and just pay again when you next need assistants.
Online Jobs seems like a job directory. From the outset you assume that it is like a job directory, yet you feel like you’re being monitored by Big Brother. It is very one sided and only takes in mind the Filipinos opinion and not your own.
Online Jobs is about experience. I found that the virtual assistants I hired on Online Jobs had a lot more experience and knowledge than those on Upwork for half the price.
Online Jobs has a lot of small print that you’re not aware of. It comes across as a good Upwork alternative, but I am really disappointed and won’t be using them again.
Online Jobs doesn’t support employers. You can be removed from their site if you refuse to pay an assistant that didn’t do their work, BUT if a person commits fraud and lies about their experience and doesn’t work the hours, they get to STAY.
Online Jobs Specialises In Filipinos – Over the last 10 years my team has always been Filipino. I love working with them and have had a lot of good experiences over the years too. With Online Jobs you don’t have to delete off non-Filipino applicants as they are all Filipino.
Upwork & Online Jobs Alternative
I have found good virtual assistants from both places. But the truth is to find one good Filipino virtual assistant you will need to hire 50 of them. It can become a long term thing, finding the right one and its all about rinse and repeat.
For a Plan B I would recommend Facebook groups or even posting a quick ad on Facebook advertising your services. You can then target the Filipino community only.
You could of course be lucky and have good experiences on these sites, it is like winning the lottery.
After planning to add new virtual assistants to my team I have built up a new team of 9, but I understand how hard it must be for you starting out.
Sometimes I wish it was just the three of us running the blog and that we didn’t need the outside help.