Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast. I am your host Arlen Robinson. And today we have a very special guest John Jonas John has helped. Thousands of entrepreneurs succeed in their business by doing Outsourcing differently. He created and runs online jobs the largest website for finding Filipino virtual workers with over 500,000 Filipino resumes and over 100,000 employees from around the world using it.

He works about 17 hours per week choosing to spend his time with his family rather than working. Welcome to the podcast John. Appreciate you joining us here. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Yeah, not a problem. Yeah, that’s um, quite impressive what you’ve done with online jobs. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about about your business how you got started and you know what you were doing prior to launching the site, so I launched the site at kind of to help me like to find people because when I got started hiring people 1213 years ago, there wasn’t a good way to find people and I had hired these guys in the.

And I had I was part of this Mastermind group and I found myself. I found the people on The Mastermind group asking me every single time. We had a phone call. How are you doing? This? What are you doing? Well, how’s this working? What and I was teaching at every single time and I was like dang this like I can’t just keep teaching this to you guys every single time.

So I started I put together a recorded phone call and made that available publicly and the response to it was incredible. So many people wanted to know. And because because I had kind of stumbled into I didn’t know this that that the Filipino people would be so much better than what I had experienced elsewhere in the world.

Okay, and it was hard to find workers and I wanted to hire some more workers and the people that were learning from me how to hire people wanted of hire people. And so I was finally like there’s got to be a better way to do this. That’s that’s when we started online jobs. Okay. Gotcha. Would actually prior to you launch the job so prior to launching it and after launching and I was running an affiliate businesses.

Okay, like affiliate websites. I was also teaching and selling selling a training product okay for hiring Filipino virtual assistants, but the but online job at the database that job board. Was kind of an afterthought to all of that. Okay, so I wanted to find workers that could build websites for me.

Okay, that’s what we were doing. We were good at it. Gotcha. I gotcha. Yeah, that’s awesome. You know, you always hear about the stories of you know, people that launch businesses and a lot of times they do they are birth out of a necessity that that person has, you know, they’re they’re looking for something that’s not there or the process just isn’t quite right.

And because of that, you know kind of stumble onto it so it’s because it’s not like you were you know had just the thought of just launching it was it came out of your need and then you seeing that there was a need that others also had as well and that you know, the Philippines was a ripe market for that.

So yeah. Yeah, it’s a great that’s a great testimony when we when we started I thought oh, you know, maybe we’ll get 10 or 20,000 Filipino profiles over the years right? Well now we get more than that. Wow, okay, that’s that is that’s that’s massive. So yeah, I mean I can imagine that I mean with that amount of the amount of profiles that you mentioned and the amount of resumes that you’re getting because you said over 500,000.

I mean I could imagine that your site alone is has a sizable effect on their overall economy. I mean, I wouldn’t doubt it. I mean that’s yeah, that’s yuge. That’s that’s really huge. Yeah. Now, you know, most of our listeners here of course are. Commerce businesses selling the product or service online and you know just looking for ways to increase their sales improve their marketing, you know, a lot of people may have thought about virtual assistants with regards to that.

I mean, what would you think what would you think are some tasks? That virtual assistants can help in e-commerce business. Do you know a day-to-day tasks or just long-term? What do you think? Okay, so I don’t I don’t run any Commerce business, but I’m gonna give you a bunch a bunch of specific things that you can have.

Someone do sure so photo editing you got pictures of your. Make them look great and someone in the Philippines can easily achieve do that. Wow, managing managing inventory. So like Amazon, here’s inventory. That’s you know, it’s getting low you need to reorder or dealing with the supplier to say.

Hey, we need to reorder customer reviews managing customer reviews or or customer support social media. So like building a social media following following following. People commenting responding making social media posts what else I’ll just tell you a kind of some of the some of what what I have working for me full-time.

I have programmers one. So like anything technical can be done a webmaster can easily be higher. And they’re really really good at I have designers like graphic design creating creating Graphics or front-end web page design making it look really good or user interface design. I have customer support people.

So I never. C customer support issues. Okay. I have content Riders. So all the content that we write gets created in the Philippines. I have social media people that run that creates that do everything for social media. I personally hate Facebook and we have a Facebook page that has I don’t know 180,000 likes or something like that and I’ve never made a single post.

Right? Right. So there’s there’s a whole bunch of stuff that that can be done. Yeah. For sure, and I think you know, I guess one of the things that I know businesses are thinking that are listening, you know, what’s the million-dollar question is, of course, a lot of those tasks are course are are are things that you know that take up a lot of time that a business owner doesn’t need to do like you said optimizing images managing reviews, you know, those are a lot of those are kind of tedious tasks that owners time would be spent better spent doing a lot of other things other than doing those type of things.

So, I mean, what would be like average cost of getting a virtual assistant to do something like that as far as you know image editing review management just you know, some basic things like that just a so yeah, so I would say $400 a month for full-time work. Well, okay. So and that’s you know, that’s an entry level person but you know image editing isn’t that hard right or looking at reviews or customer Supports?

Not the hard right? So maybe you pay 500 a month for a full-time person. Okay, you know that’s 40 hours a week for someone who can do four things for you take for things off of your plate. Yeah, that’s that’s pretty affordable. Yeah, for sure for sure, you know as opposed to of course hiring somebody in-house, uh full time to do stuff like that.

I mean, it’s I mean it’s kind of night and day now even as opposed to hiring someone part-time like with the Philippines if you know, you’re in the u.s. You’re hiring some of the Philippines. There’s no 1099 to send them. There’s no taxes. There’s no insurance. There’s no utilities. There’s no.

Discrimination lawsuits, you know, there’s none of that stuff. Right? Right, you know, none of that exists. You just get the benefits of the employee but you don’t and it’s still a tax-deductible expense. Sure sure, but you don’t have to deal with yeah. That’s a that’s a huge benefit. Yeah, for sure.

You have no here at Omni star also software. We’ve we’ve used virtual assistants for quite a long time. And so we know the the power in them and how they can really help. Out of business and commerce businesses alike. For sure. Now one of the things that I know for a new business an e-commerce business looking to let’s say hire a virtual assistant for the first time.

What do you think are some of the key things that they should look for and trying to select the right person so it kind of depends on what you’re having them do so if if they’re going to be doing images, you know, make sure they have some image experience. Look at what they’ve done with images before that’s not that’s not a hard thing to.

Right the harder the harder thing to hire for is like doing taking over your social media posting something like that where you should be looking for their English. How good is their English someone with good English can do customer support they can they can talk to customers they can deal with reviews.

They can do social media. You can teach specific individual tactics you can teach. Individual items you don’t need to have someone with customer support experience. That’s easy to teach sure. You can’t teach English right right now it’s not worth it to teach it right gotcha. So that that’s that’s a big deal is looking at their English skills.

Okay? Yeah. That’s that’s huge and you know a lot of businesses these days social media is a big part of what they are doing as far as marketing, you know, I talked to business owners all day every day. And you know, that’s what I see every business is concerned about what they’re doing on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn and and if you’ve got one someone to manage that for you your posts that’s that’s that’s really a big deal.

But yeah, like you said, it’s got to be somebody that’s you know whose English is. You know, it’s definitely on point because like I said, you can’t you can’t teach that it’s not a cost effective to try to you know, help somebody with their English or their grammar, right? Because uh, yeah, that would just be a waste of time and it shouldn’t be hard to find someone in the Philippines with really great English.

Right? Right. I mean like they watch American TV. They watch American movies that elementary school is taught in English, you know, like you’ll often find a little Oddity where they’ll use. British phraseology for something, right? You know for the most part you’re gonna find really really good American thinking English.

Gotcha. Gotcha. I know may have a personal bias to the Philippines, of course because your site is based on the workers there. But but if somebody is, you know, looking for virtual assistants and in as casting just a wide net and it’s not ruling out other countries, I mean, you know, of course we know India is a big player in the in the virtual.

Space do you know of any other countries that I guess kind of check a lot of the boxes as well or do any really even come close to you know what Philippines workers can provide so how politically correct do you want me to be or how honest do you want me to be? Definitely be honest. I think our listeners are looking for, you know tool honesty for sure.

So there’s nothing that compares to the Philippines and that’s why I only focus on the Philippines. That’s why we. That’s why people tell me all the time. You should do this in Vietnam or you should do this in Mexico and like no, why would I do that? The experience is so much better in the Philippines than anywhere else in the world and there’s a whole bunch of cultural reasons.

Why and I can I can tell you those and it’s not any one of them. It’s a combination of a whole bunch of things. So really quickly number one, there’s a culture of honesty with foreign employers. So, you know, obviously not everybody in the Philippines is honest, but as a foreign employer there is a culture in the Philippines of.

Foreigners really well and being honest with them. They’re very loyal like almost to it being a fault of their so if you hire them and treat them well, they will never quit working for you which means you can have them face your customers and when your customers realize oh my gosh. This is a really great employee.

I’m gonna try and hire them. I’m gonna double their salary they won’t quit and leave you which is you know, that’s always a concern like, oh what happens if they gonna jump ship the second they see a better offer for 50 bucks more. No, they won’t. Okay, they have computers. Internet access in the Philippines which means you don’t have to go through a service to hire them they can you can hire them on their own they can work from home and that there is like a six to twelve thousand dollar a year difference.

They’re very Americanized they speak very good English. They’re very hardworking. They want to please you culturally the Filipinos are a pleasing people. They want to make you happy and then they’re not entrepreneurial and this is such a big deal. They don’t want to steal your business. They don’t want to see your business ideas.

So when you combine all these things together, it was someone who’s going to work for you for a long time because they’re loyal where you can trust them because they’re on us. They’re don’t they want they don’t want to steal your stuff. You can teach them things and have them do things that you would never have someone in India do because you know, they’re not going to steal your junk or someone from the US because you know that $10 an hour person isn’t going to be with you in eight months and so you can teach them things and have them do things that.

That will take something off of your plate as the business owner and take it off of your plate for ever. Wow, like I got a report today from a guy who has been with me for 12 years, and I thought to myself just just an hour ago. You are amazing. This dude who works for me so much. He’s been with me for so long.

I’ve taught him so many things and I thought to myself you’re amazing and I completely trust you. I completely trust everything you do and that is a unique circumstance, you know, obviously you can find that anywhere, right but it’s common in the Philippines. Okay. Wow. Yeah, you touched on a lot of things.

I had never really thought about but that’s those are definitely things that you know, If you’re looking to have a long-term relationship, it’s something to be concerned about because you know, you mentioned a few things because you know, there’s a pretty big Marketplace, you know, you’ve got your site and not of course, you know, you’re not the only player in the space.

Of course, there’s a lot of other companies out there that do Outsourcing and so. You know you have these workers that are competing for jobs. And like you said you want to have loyalty because because you know just because there’s so many other platforms that they can look for jobs on and so, you know, if they get a bid for a little bit higher because that $50 higher you don’t want someone jumping ship when you know, you spent so much time and effort training them up.

So that’s that’s painful. Yeah that, you know can be in that that’s 100% turnover. Right and that’s hard to run a business like that. You know, you can find people on up work you can find people. Freelancer you can find people on five or whatever and that’s all fine. Right you just have to deal with what contract work brings right instead of full time work.

Yes. Yeah for sure. Now, you know, of course, you’ve talked a lot about the upside for sure over as far as virtual hiring is concerned, you know, are there really what would you say are some of the challenges in hiring a virtual assistants opposed, you know to an in-house person. What would you what would you say?

That’s it really? That’s a really good question. So recruiting is hard. Okay. No, you know recruiting’s hard in-house to right but but with a virtual worker you don’t get to sit with them and look at them. And so this is the number one issue people have with the Philippines is Filipinos want to make you happy they want to make sure that you’re happy.

They don’t want to disappoint you and so. If they think they’re going to disappoint you or if they’re not sure they’re gonna make you happy they get really scared and shy and embarrassed and disappear and because because they’re not in house, you don’t see them sitting at the computer working or you don’t see them sitting there worrying or it’s not so easy for them to just come and talk to you right and so.

When this happens to you because this isn’t the question of if this is a question of when when when someone disappears it’s not because they don’t want the job which this is an easy thing to take care of in the US it’s not because they don’t want the job or because they’re lazy it’s because they don’t understand something because they.

No, what happened or they don’t know what to do or they don’t know if you’re gonna be mad at them gotcha. So when they disappear, you have to seek it out. You have to seek like go to them and say what’s going on with you. I know something is wrong. What’s wrong? What are you stuck on? What can I help you with?

Right if you’ll do that, you’ll solve this problem. Okay, um, but that’s that’s the biggest another another big challenge is you know, the Philippines the third world country and it’s it’s very. Third world so they have like planned power outages. Sometimes the year. I have some workers that have had they call them rolling brownouts where the power is going to go out for five hours.

It just is what it is and it’s gonna happen every single day. Okay during these next three months and you have to deal with it. You know, that’s something that doesn’t exist. If you hire local worker. Yeah, that is true. That is true. That is that’s something you have to definitely work around, you know, and that makes sense.

Yeah, I know. You know and it it does depend on the country, you know, there’s some some countries where these rolling brownouts or blackouts could be more prevalent than others. And yeah, right you have to consider that when you’re hiring them because you you know the middle of the day if you’ve got like a.

And you have to you really kind of playing what you’re giving them in the middle of the day. If you’ve got some Mission critical things going on that you want them to do. You’ve got to keep that in mind that you know, they could lose their power and you know, you kind of uh up the creek. So yeah, you got to definitely.

Really organize the work that you’re giving them a little bit more than if somebody’s just right there in your office because you know, they’re not kind of under your whole kind of protection there. So that totally makes sense. We don’t we don’t have any Mission critical stuff. Okay. So let you know we don’t have like dead level that we promised a client that we’d have this done it this time and you know, so that’s not an issue with for us.

Most people is not an issue either but you know, if you have it, you’ve got to be aware. Right right first and also I just want to point out when I talk about the Philippines I say, you know, you’re gonna find great people in the Philippines. It doesn’t mean you can’t find great people elsewhere because obviously you can you know, like the Ukraine or Romania has really great programmers.

Okay. I’ve just found the experience the overall business building experience is different and that’s why I talk about, you know, the Philippines so sure. Yeah. I don’t want I don’t want to make it sound like. This is the only thing that exists right? Right, right. I understand, you know, just like like anything you can you can find great workers anywhere.

It’s just like you said with your experience and compared to some other places that checks a lot of the boxes more than some of the other places that totally totally makes sense. But you know, just like anyting you when hiring someone within your company whether they’re a virtual employee or not.

You’ve got to do here due diligence, you know, you gotta. You got to make sure you got the right person. So there’s a way to avoid that doing your research and even if there’s some you know initial tasks that you can give and I know that’s that’s pretty common as well because we’ve done this on our end and I’ve talked a lot of business owners that do this.

They’ll give different little trial tasks before they actually fully hire someone, you know, whether it’s maybe they’re looking for a Content writer, or maybe they’re you’re looking for someone to design a HTML email for your business. Stuff like that. You can say, okay. I’ve got I want you to do a sample for me, you know, give them a deadline see how they perform are.

They timely with it. Are they you know, how is the work does IT professional is it what you expected? And you know, that’s I think that’s a really a good way to also screen people by you know, giving them some initial tasks before really hiring them and pulling the trigger. Yeah very much. So I totally agree definitely and you know with virtual assistants and virtue.

Hiring in general like where do you see this whole industry going? I know, you know things have changed a lot just in the past 10 years, you know, there’s a lot of other sites where you can get virtual employees and its really I think change the global economy, but where do you really see the future headed in Virtual hiring?

I see fewer barriers happening where when I started it was really hard like it was hard to find someone and I I see that coming down completely. Okay, we’re you know, like upwork charges like 20 to 40% fees on on salaries and I see that I mean, they just raised them. I see over time it decreasing though right quite a bit.

I actually see more people hiring more virtual. And maybe that’s because that’s what I see every day. Right but it’s so affordable and you can get such good work done that I don’t see why an employee at a business in the u.s. Wouldn’t wouldn’t have someone helping them if they can make them more efficient, you know, you pay $80,000 a year for someone why not?

Give them someone to make them more efficient that cost you five thousand more per year. Actually what you’re saying you’re saying just if you’ve got an in-house full-time person, you’re paying a salary, but you know, they may need some estate may be the assistant. You know, why not make them more effective.

Yeah, that looks like it’s like a computer you’re buying him a computer because it makes it more effective. Right? Right, right and I think for a lot of a lot of business owners, why would you not bring someone in to help you, you know, Yeah, yeah for sure of time the day to get everything done yourself.

Yeah, that’s that’s for sure. And I know everybody listening kankan definitely agree attest to that and you know, I know I can’t do you you know, just no matter what you do, even if you were to work and I’m within what I see is a business owner and most people do as well. You could you could actually work 24/7 and you still wouldn’t get everything done that you need to get done.

Yeah. It’s just over the name of the game and the way things go that definitely makes sense of your full-time. Lawyer in house has an in-house person just getting it in Virtual assistants to assist that salary person that makes sense now, so, you know, finally to wrap things up. We always like to ask our guest, you know, what’s one thing that any Commerce business can do right now to help their business grow, you know, get traffic get sales.

What do you think? I would say pick one process that you know works for your business and get someone else to do it. I reveai to to do that process. For you and teach them how to do it. And then you as the because you know, you’re the business owner. You’re the you’re the most knowledgeable person in the business, you know, what works and what doesn’t you know, or you can figure it out then you can figure out what works and what doesn’t right when you’re not the one doing the menial tasks your brain gets so much better at solving.

The bigger tasks right? True true. Yeah, that’s glad you mentioned that that’s a lot of people a lot of business owners don’t realize that you know, when you’re a business owner you kind of get so, you know, Deep in the stuff you don’t you know, you don’t look out, you know, you don’t realize what it is you’re doing, you know, some of the tasks that you’re doing can burn you out and it’s not even moving the needle at all, you know.

Yeah, that’s a great experience. Yeah, a lot of businesses falling at that trap so that yeah, I appreciate that that definitely makes a lot of sense. Uh, well John, well, we definitely appreciate you joining us here on the e-commerce marketing podcast. If uh, if any of our listeners want to reach out to you, how can they do?

So I’m always available through email. And if you use any of the contact us link, like online jobs, if you contact us and ask for me, it’ll get to me obviously initially. It’s not going to go to me right but it’ll come to me if I have also been forced into using Facebook. So I’m available through Facebook Messenger.

So those are those are two good ways. Okay. Well, that sounds great. Well, thanks again for joining us. We appreciate you providing your Insight on Virtual hiring and you have a great day. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast to access the e-commerce videos and other resources to help your business.

Grow. Please visit get forward slash videos subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for e-commerce marketing podcast, and please leave a rating and a review. Thanks for listening. See you next time.

Podcast Guest Info

John Jonas
Founder, OnlineJobs.ph