OnlineJobs vs Upwork: Which Is Better for Hiring Virtual Assistants?

August 4, 2020

We recommend you hire virtual workers on OnlineJobs over Upwork because you don’t have to weed out non-skilled local workers. Also, because OnlineJobs encourages employing dedicated virtual assistants, they do not take a cut of the virtual assistants pay.

However Upwork has more freelance talent than OnlineJobs.

You can read our individual reviews to help you make an informed decision:

Or if you continue reading, you will learn the pros and cons of hiring Virtual Assistants on OnlineJobs and Upwork.

OnlineJobs vs Upwork: Which Freelance Platform is Best to Hire Virtual Assistants?

Upwork praise and pros

Upwork does a good job of removing scammy and inactive users.

This makes it relatively easy to find virtual assistants and entry-level associates to help you get work off your plate.

If you want to do the work yourself, here’s a quick process I recommend using:

  1. Write out a detailed job description. Make it clear and specific what you want and do not want. This will give you clarity to ignore freelancers who tell you they can do the work when they can’t. Some quality freelancers will also disqualify themselves if they’re not a fit.
  2. Ask for samples of previous work. No case study will perfectly align with your project. However, it will help to find out a person has the potential to deliver the results you need.
  3. Do a video interview or two. Here you’re getting a feel for the freelancer personally and professionally. I recommend you get intensely curious on the call. Ask them about their process. Ask how they got their previous results. Ask them for the name of those clients and contact information. Then ask what those clients will say about them when you talk to them on the phone. Dig deep into their strengths and weaknesses, and don’t let them off the hook with a weakness hiding as a strength.
  4. Do a small test project. At the end of the day, nothing beats seeing how someone does live. Keep the scope small to minimize your loss if the project flops. But remember, you also want the project to be relevant in case it’s a success.

OnlineJobs praise and pros

OnlineJobs has a simple filtering system that allows you to find overseas freelancers fast.

First, you can search for freelancers by their skill level

OnlineJobs praise and pros

Filipinos have to limit their ratings to 5-star rating 3 times and 4-stars 6 times. While you’ll need to vet the freelancers, it’s easier to find talent relevant to your search.

In addition to doing a skill search, you can also filter prospects by:

  • Employment type (Full-time, part-time, or contract).
  • Monthly salary ($150-$2,000 per month).
  • ID Proof score (i.e., how confident you can be the person is who they say they are)
  • Last active time

ID Proof is a simple way to verify the worker you hire is not fake. OnlineJobs give a rating from 1-100. This is not a measure of skill or reliability.

Since OnlineJobs doesn’t provide much information about the score, I recommend filtering for an ID score of 70 or higher.

OnlineJobs also offers a “done for you” recruiting service.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you can outsource recruiting to OnlineJobs. This allows you to focus on other high-value activities for your business.

Here’s OnlineJobs recruiting process:

  • Pay the $500 recruitment fee.
  • Fill out the virtual staff request form.
  • The company sources the talent, screens for skills, and identifies people with the right culture fit.
  • The company introduces you to your virtual assistant for you to start working with your new VA.

Plus, if something doesn’t work between you and your virtual assistant in the first month, they’ll find you a replacement at no cost.

OnlineJobs doesn't add any fees or take a cut in addition to what you pay freelancers

Most freelance platforms we recommend have an overhead charge for the hours you work with freelancers.

  • Fiverr charges 5%, with a $2 minimum fee.
  • Toptal and DesignBro take a cut from the freelancer’s pay.
  • Upwork charges 3% for most clients. Then they take 5-20% from the freelancer’s pay. This doesn’t include any added upgrades or monthly plans.

Those fees add up quickly too. 

With Upwork, let’s say you invest $1,000. They’ll tack on a $30 fee to you and charge $150 to the freelancer. So on Upwork, only $850 of $1,030 will make it to your freelancer.

OnlineJobs charges a flat monthly fee.

Because all transactions between you and your VA are outside the platform, there’s no added fee. This means you’re not paying for an added middlemen or markup on their salary.

It's great that you don't have to pay massive fees with OnlineJobs. But there is a problem with this, which I will talk about later in this review.

Timeproof: VA time-tracking software

OnlineJobs offers Timeproof as a free resource for you to track your employee’s time.

OnlineJobs praise and pros

TimeProof takes snapshots of your employees' work. As the employer, you’ll also get time sheets and screenshots of what your VA was working on during their shift. This improves your odds that you’ll only pay for their actual work, not surfing the web. 

For freelancers, TimeProof puts them at ease that you’ll pay for their recorded hours.

OnlineJobs offers free training

Not sure what it takes to hire a virtual assistant? In addition to their blog, OnlineJobs has curated a list of their best resources to work with virtual assistants.

Winner: OnlineJobs

What type of virtual assistants can you hire on Upwork and OnlineJobs?

Type of Virtual Assistants on OnlineJobs

Every month, thousands of virtual workers sign up to OnlineJobs:

OnlineJobs has quite a variety of virtual assistants, including:

  1. Software and Mobile Developers: Ruby on Rails Developers, iOS Developers, and PHP Programmers.
  2. Marketing & Sales Freelancers: Google Adwords Specialists, YouTube Marketers, and ClickFunnels Experts.
  3. Office and Admin Assistants: Virtual Assistants, Data Entry Specialists, and Project Managers.

Type of Virtual Assistants on Upwork

Upwork has a massive freelance talent pool to choose from, with over 12 million freelancers. Additionally, according to Upwork’s CEO, they get over 10,000 people signing up to their website every single day. Whether you are looking to hire a Ruby on Rails developer, a brand designer, or a software engineer, if you’re looking for freelance talent, Upwork has it. 

That said, you have to filter out a lot of candidates who are not virtual assistants. 

Winner: OnlineJobs

Pricing and fees: How much does it cost to hire Virtual Assistants on OnlineJobs and Upwork?

OnlineJobs’s pricing

OnlineJobs offers three pricing plans.

In the free plan, you can post and view job applications, use Timeproof, and use OnlineJob’s employee database. You can’t message the employees or hire anyone, and job posts will take two days until you go Pro.

OnlineJob’s Pro plan is $69 per month. With the Pro plan, you get:

  1. Up to 3 job posts per month.
  2. Instant job post approval.
  3. Communicate with potential employees to hire.
  4. Read worker reviews.
  5. Contact 75 workers per month, in addition to any that apply to your job listing.

OnlineJobs also offers a Premium plan for $99/month. With the Premium plan, you get everything in Pro, plus:

  1. Up to 10 job posts per month.
  2. Contact 500 workers per month, in addition to any that apply to your job listing.
  3. Get free data background checks and the ability to contact past employers.
  4. Get a free VA mentoring program.
  5. Get access to OnlineJob’s outsource video course.

Upwork’s pricing

Upwork will charge you 3% on every payment you make. This is common among freelance marketplaces. This fee quickly adds up.

In addition, Upwork costs $49.99 a month for their Plus plan. 

Plus Upwork members receive:

  • Dedicated assistance. Upwork claims they will cut your hiring time in half with smarter hiring and 24/7 dedicated advisor support.
  • Project promotion. You’re able to highlight your projects to attract more in-demand freelancers and agencies.
  • Project tracking. Advanced reporting to track the progress of your projects for improved efficiency.
  • Seamless collaboration. Provide your team with full access and gain greater project visibility throughout its duration.
  • Hassle-free payments. Track all invoices and pay with multiple payment options.
  • Invite up to 15 freelancers per job post. This is 12 more than what the free plan currently allows.

For bigger business clients, Upwork offers a Business plan for $849 per month. You’ll pay a 10% service fee on all payments to freelancers rather than 3%.

Business Upwork members receive everything from the Plus plan, and:

  • A consultative account manager. The account manager will give you strategic guidance on how to use Upwork.
  • Sourcing support. You’ll get experienced talent specialists to help you find the best match for your project.
  • Consolidated billing. Instead of paying per project, you’ll get a consolidated invoice.
  • Enterprise-grade reports. Get company insights and trends with enterprise-grade reports.

Finally, Upwork also offers an Enterprise plan with no price listed. In addition to the Business plan, you get:

  • Worker classification compliance services
  • Custom configurable contracting and onboarding process
  • Project-based or managed solutions, and dedicated account executive

Upwork does not provide much transparency about each feature on its website beyond what’s mentioned above.

Winner: OnlineJobs

Does OnlineJobs or Upwork offer any kind of risk-free trial or guarantee?

OnlineJobs’s Policy

A cultural trait of the Philippines is honesty. Obviously not everyone is honest, so you will want to vet the workers just like you would with a local worker. At first, have them do non-sensitive tasks until you build a relationship of trust, and then later you can give them more access.

That said, OnlineJobs does not offer any kind of dispute resolution.

After you hire someone you'll probably start noticing little things that let you know you can trust them or not.

Upwork’s dispute process


For the most part, Upwork let’s the freelancer and client do their own projects without stepping in. However, if push-comes-to-shove, Upwork is willing to step in to resolve any disputes.


The length of a dispute resolution depends on the project type.


Hourly disputes related to time billed by the freelancer during the previous work week will be processed within 4 business days.


Hourly disputes outside of the above time frame along with any fixed price disputes may take up to 30 days to be resolved. Upwork will contact both parties within 2 business days to begin the process.

Winner: Upwork

Register with Upwork

Is Upwork or OnlineJobs better for hiring Virtual Assistants?

Upwork and OnlineJobs are both beneficial for different hiring needs.

When should you consider hiring on OnlineJobs?

OnlineJobs is an excellent source of low cost talent. 

With the right process in place, you can hire someone to do work at ⅓ to ⅕ of what you’d pay someone to do from a first world country.

When should you consider hiring on Upwork?

Upwork is a great source for a lot of talent at several different prices. While it will take more time to find a qualified virtual worker, there are several on Upwork’s marketplace.

Overall Winner: OnlineJobs