Why You Need a Freelance Marketplace Comparison
As a business owner, you want to hire only the best for your business. This means having a freelance marketplace comparison to go to so you can find the best freelance professionals.
Have you ever wondered which freelance marketplace provides the best freelancer options? Many business owners have often wondered the same. In fact, the seeming lack of good options is part of what led the two founding entrepreneurs behind the FreeUp Marketplace to create this hiring platform.
You might need full-time assistance or want to set up a group of part-time or project-based freelancers. Whichever the case, you first need a freelance marketplace comparison — whether you use a pre-made one or do one yourself — to know where you can hire the people that you need. These people, your future hires, are going to be key in helping you make your business more successful – and of course, free up your time.
When you go remote, this means relying on one of the many freelance marketplaces from which to source candidates. When you are trying to fill a position, there is a lot involved in the process – reaching out to them, identifying who best matches your time and expense requirements, and who has the most appropriate skill sets, experience and attitude.
You need a freelance marketplace comparison because the way that each of them deals with these aspects of the hiring process is different — and these differences are vitally important in making your choice. The setup will determine how convenient it will be for you to hire through them, and what kind of support you can expect to get throughout the process.
Below is a freelance marketplace comparison for four of the leading online hiring platforms to help you find the best site to use for your hiring needs:
Upwork is the combined platforms oDesk and Elance, making it the current biggest freelance marketplace in the world. It gets about 43 million hits per month from its estimated 5 million clients and the 12 million freelancers that they look through for their hiring needs. Upwork’s estimated annual revenue is over 1 billion US dollars. But this doesn’t automatically mean that it’s top-ranking based on our freelance marketplace comparison.
The Hiring Process
Upwork allows you to browse a range of services by category. This allows you to identify the freelancers that closely match your needs. When posting a task description, you are given options to invite recommended freelancers to submit bid proposals for. The search feature does not always give you the most relevant results, however, and you have to chat with the candidates to make sure that they can do the work.
You can also add descriptive text to your post to explain your requirements for each task. These requirements do not, however, limit potentially unqualified candidates from responding to your posts. You can, however, propose your own terms and negotiate on projects with them.
You are solely responsible for sorting through proposals and interviewing candidates on this freelance marketplace. Upwork provides support only as far as billing goes, with options for escrow on payments. If you do not properly set up milestones and timeframes with a freelancer and monitor progress, however, you could end up paying for work that wasn’t done. Upwork provides a handy app that you can use for task and time tracking.
Upwork has one of the broadest ranges of skill sets and freelancer types. The price range for freelancers in and outside of the US is also broad. You can hire freelancers for as little as a few dollars an hour or post fixed-price tasks for the same amounts. Freelancers may charge higher rates on Upwork since the platform charges from 5% to 20% of their earnings, depending on how many dollars’ worth of projects they have completed there.
Delivery time is one of the most common client complaints regarding Upwork freelancers. Though there are many reliable freelancers on this freelance marketplace, you have to closely monitor them to ensure that schedules are met.
Clients are charged from 3% to 10% in processing and administration fees based on the cost of their projects and the plan they are subscribed to. Clients who are based in Australia, Canada, the U.S., the UK and some European countries may have the option to pay monthly fees of about $25 in lieu of the fees. Moreover, fees for currency exchange have been noted as a common client complaint on this freelance marketplace.
Freelancer has over 14 million registered freelance users who have completed over 7 million projects through the site. It’s a good choice if you have money to spare; otherwise, it also leaves something to be desired.
The Hiring Process
Like Upwork, Freelancer has one of the broadest ranges of skill sets and freelancer types available online. The price range for freelancers in and outside of the US is also broad, though the platform gives preference to their paid users.
Many freelancers don’t want to pay fees to a freelance marketplace, so this can throw you off. You will be presented with premium candidates and could easily miss good freelancers who happen to be free users and have only 8 bids per month.
You can hire freelancers for as little as a few dollars on the site, but many of the member freelancers are from Australia and the US. Part of this is because of the high fees charged for premium freelancer accounts, causing many global freelancers to prefer other options. Freelancers may also tend to charge higher rates as a result.
The process of posting and sorting through candidates is the same as on Upwork. Freelancer also offers an escrow system for payment protection, but you have to set up your tasks and hires properly to make sure you are protected. Freelancer also has a similar app for task and time tracking.
Freelancer offers a broad range of skill sets and freelancer types, though they tend to charge more. As mentioned above, freelancers may charge higher rates on the site since the platform charges high fees for membership and takes 10% of their earnings for fixed price projects with a 5 US dollar minimum. 10% of the total bid amount or project cost goes to the platform for hourly projects.
Freelancers on this platform tend to be reliable although some clients have reported being scammed. This situation is not absent from any similarly structured posting site, however.
Both the freelancer and the client pay fees on Freelancer. At entry level membership, Freelancer takes a 3% cut of the project price for fixed price tasks with a 3 US dollar minimum. 3% on the total bid amount or project cost is charged for hourly projects. Standard and Premium members don’t pay project fees. Membership fees can go as high as about 200 dollars per month, however.
FreeUp is the youngest contender on this freelance marketplace comparison, having been in operation only since 2015. Consequently, and because of selective membership, the freelancer pool on this platform is smaller compared to other sites. Still, FreeUp boasts thousands of pre-vetted freelancers from all over the world. This freelance marketplace also has fewer clients, numbering in the thousands as well, but is growing rapidly.
The Hiring Process
The FreeUp process to find the freelancer you need is intentionally simple. Clients sign up for free on the platform and submit freelancer requests in lieu of the traditional posts. There is a short form that you can fill up within minutes. You’ll receive an email introduction to the best fit for your project and you can do a 15-minute interview or hire on the spot.
The FreeUp system allows you to cut down on the time you spend searching for and interviewing prospects. The request form identifies your specific needs so that FreeUp can find the most suitable candidate to present to you. That’s right, you don’t do your own search.
You can indicate, for example, if you want a freelancer from the US or outside of the US, if it’s a rush project, an ongoing gig, if you want a freelancer who is available during certain times, and how many hours per week you need. Clients are typically introduced to a suitable candidate within hours.
The notable difference of FreeUp from other platforms is the pre-vetting process that allows only the best freelancers into the network. Clients may therefore run into situations where there is no one with the right skill set who is immediately available to take their project. In these cases, FreeUp recruits for them specifically at no extra charge. The waiting time can be an issue, but the result is a prime candidate versus gambling with a freelancer who may not work out. At least the option to recruit is there, and it’s free.
Anyone can join any of the other platforms mentioned here. FreeUp stands out on this point since they pre-vet all the freelancers who wish to become part of this freelance marketplace. FreeUp accepts and maintains only the freelancers who have shown outstanding professionalism, including exceptional communication skills and the ability to meet deadlines.
FreeUp gets thousands of freelancer applications every week, and only the top 1% of those who pass are allowed to enter the network. This freelance marketplace has developed a 4-step interview process and a final test to vet candidates for tech capabilities, skills, attitude, communication, and experience. The freelancers in the network represent the top 1% of all applications that are received.
Moreover, any client who is dissatisfied with a freelancer can get a replacement quite quickly, and FreeUp will cover any replacement costs for a freelancer who quits without proper notice.
The FreeUp marketplace has a wide variety of freelancers available, though they specialize in eCommerce related tasks. Freelancers are available for hire from 5 dollars per hour on a first come, first served basis. Fixed price is also available.
FreeUp doesn’t take a cut from what freelancers make on projects. Instead, the marketplace charges those fees upfront so that it doesn’t cut into freelancers’ rates. Clients pay only the freelancer rate that they see on their account, whether hourly or fixed price. There are no transaction fees for being introduced to a freelancer through the marketplace. Clients don’t pay monthly minimums, either. It’s free to sign up on FreeeUp, and clients aren’t required to meet any monthly minimums on freelancer requests or billable hours.
Fiverr has an estimated annual revenue of over is 5 million US dollars. It is one of the top 100 most popular sites in the US with about 35 million visits per month. About 1 million transactions are conducted on Fiverr every month. Because of its unique setup, it’s worth adding to this list.
The Hiring Process
Fiverr offers a very broad range of skill sets and freelancer types. It’s knows as the site where you can get almost anything done starting at 5 dollars. Amazon lashed out at them recently because a ton of Fiverr freelancers were offering to post fake reviews for sellers. It just goes to show that you can find almost any kind of offer on this site.
This price range and range of opportunities can be great, but can also be exhausting when you are looking for a specific type of skill set. There is a search feature, however, which allows you to narrow down results by task type and also the freelancers’ rating.
You can find almost any kind of freelancer on Fiverr who is willing to do an odd task or two. The skill sets therefore vary widely from graphic design to dog walking – sort of like Craigslist. Fiverr hosts such a wide variety of users and does not have a support system, so you are completely responsible for making sure that you get what you need, and get it on time. There is no guarantee of reliability on the site, although clients can leave freelancer ratings that you can base your selections off of.
The site was popularized for 5-dollar projects, but not all are strictly 5 dollars. Freelancers post fixed-price offers on the site and clients can purchase these services. There is not much negotiation involved in these gigs since the freelancers provide the scopes. Freelancers tend to charge between 5 and 10 dollars per project, but the scopes can be deceptive and you can end up paying more for bits and pieces of larger projects.
This is a freelance marketplace comparison of only four hiring sites that are operating on the internet today. There are many other sites out there offering many more options These four are representative, however, of the three basic freelance marketplace types that you can expect to encounter:
- the posting board — anyone can offer services and hire freelancers for tasks
- the network — clients can sign up to access a pool of freelancers
- the freelance marketplace — clients get access to pre-vetted freelancers
Since FreeeUp, the latter type has further split to offer a freelance marketplace where clients can forego the usual hiring process in favor of the quick hiring process where they are introduced to candidates rather than having to wade through an unlimited number of profiles and applications.
There’s no best freelance marketplace, strictly speaking, but only the best one for your needs. Using this comparison, you can spot the one that you think will work best for you.
Want to try FreeUp? Sign up today and submit a freelancer request!
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and decades-long lover of the art of words on paper, the stage and the big screen. She spends most of her time doing freelance eCommerce content and project management, adventuring with the Greenhouse Christian Fellowship, volunteering with the Philippine Advocates for Resilient Communities, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.