Gold Penguin Logo with Text 2024 Review: An Easy But Messy Way To Hire Filipinos

Discover the pros, cons, and best practices for hiring affordable, skilled Filipino workers through, based on my very own experience using the platform for over a year
Updated May 16, 2024

Let's be real — finding good workers can be a total pain. Add remote to it and you're in for even more of a pain. Many choose to hire in the Philippines because it's affordable and workers are generally well-adapted to the remote work vibe. I could go on for hours, but I'm assuming you already know this and are just trying to outsource work.

We all know Upwork is a reliable option, but they take fees from workers, artificially inflating salaries. Many business owners (myself included) need to find high-quality talent without sacrificing extra cash. I discovered Onlinejobs a little over a year ago when my friend Alex West (Twitter) showed me how incredible his hires were.

This Philippines-based job board is basically the only option you have to search for, hire, vet, and pay your Filipino talent without a middleman. It works, even though it comes with lots of headaches, but is currently the best option for hiring virtual assistants (and other career positions) in the Philippines.

Virtual assistants, content (SEO) writers, software developers, project managers, and more. And I want to write this to give my honest and authentic take after using it to search for talent multiple times a week over the last year.

  • is the largest platform for hiring Filipino virtual workers with over 500,000 registered workers.
  • Pros: Posting jobs and communicating with workers is easy with no middleman fees. Talent is very affordable compared to U.S./Europe. Workers are skilled, trainable and have great work ethic.
  • Cons: Truly skilled talent is leaving the platform due to exploitative practices encouraging low wages. Vetting candidates is very time-consuming with many unqualified applicants spamming. Some workers may request more pay after hiring.
  • Tips: Post jobs for free first to validate if the platform has the talent you need before paying. Use a Google Form application to filter out unqualified candidates. Always clearly communicate pay rates, schedule, payment method upfront. Consider paying for test tasks to vet finalists.
  • For highly skilled roles, better platforms like Upwork may provide pre-vetted talent worth the higher fees. For more generic VA type work, is still the best for access to affordable Filipino workers.
  • Overall, is a useful hiring tool for small-to-medium businesses if you invest the time to properly vet workers yourself. Be fair with compensation - paying a bit more ensures better long-term results than exploiting the lowest rates.

The short answer: You should totally create an account and search for talent. I ended up switching from a free to a paid user within the first week of creating an account. I've hired over 20 workers in the last year, and I am still working with around 10 of them (because of how amazing they are). The other 10 have been horrible, lied, or didn't complete the job well enough once they got hired (all bark no bite).

The ones I still work with are incredible. I pay them well above average, talk to them daily, and couldn't run my business without them. I have nothing but love and respect for the talent that exists in the Philippines.

Here are my brutally honest thoughts on using the platform and, most importantly, what you need to be careful of when using it.

What is OnlineJobsPH? is a popular job board based in the Philippines (hence, the “PH” in the URL) that connects virtual workers with employers around the world. You can fill basically any remote position using this website, but the most popular postings include virtual assistants, content writers, project managers, bookkeepers, developers, and social media managers.

My Video Review

If you want to hear me talk about things more in-depth, check out this new video I released about the pros and cons of OLJ:

Features of & What To Expect

There are many variables to consider when outsourcing work virtually, the biggest of which is establishing a certain level of trust between you and a potential employer. This begins with an in-depth vetting process—something that the platform tries to do but doesn't really seem to care about once it gets your money (intentionally, though).

The eBay of Hiring (both good & bad)

Hear me out... I say eBay because it's a coin toss with what you're going to get. Your job application getting put in front of the right people and having them apply will depend on many things

  • Randomness & luck
  • Time of year/day of the week
  • The salary you offer
  • The actual job itself (and who you are)
  • The current reputation of the website (which has been rapidly declining because of spam, low-quality employers, and exploitation)

There is very little employer verification that hires can rely on, completely turning some of them off from being active on the platform entirely. If you want to skip this hassle, go to Upwork. You'll pay more, but it has a higher reputation and employers (us) actually have profiles and scores that tell talent how legit we are.

I personally feel like Onlinejobs belittles how they speak about Filipinos. And this is coming from an employer's perspective. They seem to act like Filipinos are expendable, you can throw any money at them, and they'll stick. Like, c'mon... these are people.

So yeah. It's eBay because they just unlock thousands of potential workers for you to choose from, and leave it all up to you to figure out who is worth it and can do the job for you.

If you offer higher-than-average salaries, respect them, and foster a team, you'll likely have way better hires, retention, and quality of work. Treat this service like a worker mill, and you'll be heavily disappointed.

You can, and many do, but you'll attract talent to fill that niche.

You're paying a fraction of the price of a US/UK/AU worker, so going beyond the "average" salary has been extremely rewarding for me. I've never had an employee leave, I've found talent quicker than most of my peers looking for the same, and I've built some insane relationships with them.

I'm even going to Manila next year for WordCamp Asia to meet up with some of the team. It's changed my life– really!

ID & Worker Verification

They have a system called ID proof, which aims at showing an employer how trustworthy a potential hire will be. It's based on various factors. I don't hire based on this, but it may be a red flag for certain jobs if a score isn't high enough.

A candidate’s ID proof score (basically their "trust factor") can only increase by:

  • Uploading a government ID that will be checked by a real person.
  • Taking a photo holding the government ID.
  • Providing a valid phone number.
  • Adding proof of address.

The higher the score, the more you can trust your hire. I've had hires with low trust scores that are perfectly normal and complete the job above and beyond what they were hired for. I've also had hires that look wonderful on the website and knew how to game the system but they were horrible. Promised skills that they didn't have, got lazy, and had no incentive once they got hired. This is partially my fault, but also something to be wary of when posting an application.

Here's what it looks like on the employers POV:

I'd highly recommend giving a test task when you are interested in a candidate and not just relying on this score. Offer paid samples, a paid week of work as a trial, etc. Balance out what the website suggests with ways of vetting by yourself.

Filtering Applicants

Once you upload a job posting, you'll get 200-300 posts if your post description was fairly generic. You can use their internal application (which you'll get an inbox message for each applicant with anything they want to say), or you could use something a bit easier to manage: Google Forms.

I have all my applicants read the JD on Onlinejobs and then apply using a Google Form (where I ask multiple questions to filter through applicants who actually care to answer).

Generally, this brings 200 applications down to 20. ~10 are good, I offer a sample task to 5, and end up hiring one. If I can't decide, I'll do multiple rounds of paid samples. I pay for samples depending on how much work it takes them to do (basically, multiply the hourly salary you're willing to offer for the position * how long it will take for them to do this). This also helps me filter out higher-quality talent, as I know it will encourage people to apply because I won't be wasting anyone's time (even if they don't get the job, they at least get paid for attempting something).

Other Candidate Information

If you’re worried about a candidate’s performance in their last job, the site also provides additional background information about an applicant in the form of the following:

  • Jobs Applied For: Logs indicate how many applications they are sending out (internally) based on the day. (are they working other jobs while they told you they're only working for you?)
  • Related Accounts: Shows if an employee has a previous or alternate account that they use to circumvent Onlinejobs policies (potential scammer)
  • Past Employer Review: You can also view what previous employers say about the potential applicant. This is a great way I've found to auto-vet applicants. If I see a bad review, I don't even bother. Maybe it's too strict, but I don't want to take chances.

Outsourced Recruitment

If you’re too busy to do the recruitment, they offer an outsourcing package to vet and hire professionals from the website for $500. Their process includes initial recruitment, vetting of skills and fit, and even setting up an initial interview for you. I've never used it and probably never will, but it seems interesting. I'd rather use that money for the first few weeks of work.

If you have a higher budget to pay for vetting, you could go for a bit higher quality of talent and check out SupportShepard, but I believe they charge ~$3000 for a finders fee. I've never used them either, but I consulted with them a few months ago and just thought that was way too high of a price to pay based on the reviews I read about it.

Why Hire Filipinos?

Since only Filipinos can make applicant accounts in OLJ, why them specifically?

  • No language barrier: Filipinos learn English at a young age and is considered to be one of Philippines’ two official languages. Most Filipinos don’t speak pure Filipino, but code-switch between Tagalog and English conversationally.
  • Follows chain of command. Filipinos are courteous to a fault sometimes. You may not like it, but expect a lot of “ma’ams” and “sirs” when talking with them, especially when you’re their employer. They are very respectful.
  • Resourcefulness and eagerness to learn. If there’s one thing you should know about Filipinos, it's that they can weather any storm. Probably because of the literal extreme weather conditions in the country. This quality transfers to their work ethic, especially in times when they’re forced to adapt and evolve as the role changes (as it does often with online jobs)
  • Culture fit. Filipinos are culturally close to Americans because, well, the country did, unfortunately, colonize them for a few decades... They have their own working culture, but it’s close to what you can expect from Western countries. 
  • Large talent pool. The increasing population in Manila and rising temperatures means there are more and more Filipinos looking for virtual work every day.
  • They’re cheaper. There’s no other way to say it. You can hire a Filipino worker at a lower rate than most Americans or Europeans. However, I want to emphasize again that you shouldn’t take advantage of them. Always pay them a fair wage that reflects their skills,, and remember that you get what you pay for.

I should also mention that there’s a somewhat recent trend with OLJ where employers are receiving resumes from other nationalities. While there’s nothing wrong with hiring non-Filipino workers, this is a bit concerning especially since IDs are supposed to be vetted by real people. Many workers and employers on Reddit & Facebook complain the service has been declining in quality over the last few years.

It’s also worth noting that no two people will ever be the same and you can’t categorize a nationality based on one anecdote. Many people have had success when hiring from the site, but I also know people that would never touch it because of a few bad experiences with some bad actors in the field. You can’t prevent that, so always do your due diligence in vetting a candidate. Once you get past this barrier, it will be the best business decision you've ever made.

What Are People Saying About OnlineJobsPH? currently has a 3.9 score on TrustPilot, 4.1 on Indeed, and 4.8 on G2. Most of the positive reviews can be categorized into a fast hiring process, trustworthiness of applicants turned employees, and the cost-effectiveness of hiring virtual workers from the Philippines.

On the other hand, bad reviews usually stem from the occasional scammers that have somehow got a high ID score and the fact that you can only pay employees (through their website) using Payoneer or PayPal.

It's nice that you can take talent off the platform without paying anything extra. You can hire, track, and pay your hires however you want. This is why I continuously go back to the platform. It beats all the other cons for me. And for that:

OnlineJobsPH: Pros & Cons

- Extremely large talent pool
- Native English speakers
- Cost-effective & loyal employees starting at $400-600/usd per month
- Moderate filtering and background check system (still at your own risk)
- Resourceful and eager-to-learn workers
- Great training resources for employers
- Flexibility to take workers off the platform (to track, vet, and pay)
- Scammers and bad talent are possible
- Time zone differences for US and EU that could conflict
- Limited job posts on cheaper plan
- Janky/old website features
- Employers have to vet themselves
- You get what you pay for
- You have to invest your own time in hiring, vetting, and training

How Much Does It Cost?

You have three pricing options:

  • Free Plan: You can post a maximum of 3 job posts per month and 15 applications per post. There's a two-day job approval period, and you can't contact talent once they submit applications. It's worth it to see who you get, but it's also worth the upgrade when you're ready to pull the trigger.
  • Pro Plan. $69 per month or $299 annually. Maximum of 3 job posts per month and 200 applications per post. No job post approval period. You can also view reviews from past employers.
  • Premium Plan. $99 per month or $349 annually. Maximum of 10 job posts per month and 200 applications per post. All the benefits from the pro plan are included, along with unlimited background checks and a mentoring service for your new employee. I use this one because the background check feature is particularly helpful.

The Bottom Line

So, there you have it — a full rundown of my experience using over the last year and some months including the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you stack all this information up, I'd say it's definitely worth using the platform.

The vetting process isn’t perfect, but with a bit of work and reading their guides, you can definitely weed out a good number of applicants who aren’t worth your time. The pricing is also more than fair, the talent pool is insanely large, and let's be honest — it's hard to beat the value you get when hiring skilled Filipino workers.

At the end of the day, this platform deserves some serious consideration if you're looking to build a remote team on a budget. But of course, it’s no magic solution. You'll still need to apply due diligence when vetting candidates if you don't want to pay for it up front, and that's where this service isn't great. Best of luck!

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Written by Justin Gluska
Justin is the founder of Gold Penguin, a business technology blog that helps people start, grow, and scale their business using AI. The world is changing and he believes it's best to make use of the new technology that is starting to change the world. If it can help you make more money or save you time, he'll write about it!
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