Many small businesses are familiar with the concept of outsourcing and hiring freelancers. Some organizations hire external service providers because they have no other choice, but some do so with a conscious effort to cut costs. Aside from trying to control costs, another benefit of hiring freelancers is the ability to start new projects quickly. Building and training an in-house project team may take a longer time than simply hiring the services of trained experts ready to hit the ground running. Especially for small businesses in today’s quick-changing market landscape, time is a luxury. Freelancer.com provides a place to find help in no time.
Freelancer Technology Pty Limited is a publicly listed company based in Sydney, NSW, Australia. It does have a global presence with offices in Vancouver, BC, Canada; London, UK; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Manila, Philippines; and Jakarta, Indonesia. It was founded in 2004 and has made several acquisitions, the latest of which is Escrow.com. It went public in November 2013 and is listed as FLN on the Australian Securities Exchange. Matt Barrie is Chairman and CEO since 2009.
Freelancer is described as the largest online job marketplace in terms of total number of users (17.6M+) and number of projects posted (9.2M+). Employers can post for free a project or job to be done. Users will offer quotes or bids to complete the project. The employer then chooses to award the project to his or her selected freelancer. A built-in chat allows the employer and freelancer to communicate about the status and progress of the work. The employer can then release payment after he or she is satisfied with the work completed. Freelancer.com takes a percentage fee of the total cost of the work.
Types of Freelance Projects
Some of the projects that small businesses can outsource through Freelancer are website development, web design, SEO marketing, mobile app development, article writing, business card design, company logo design, and data entry jobs, among others. Posting a website development job, for example, is easy by clicking the link which then displays a form that allows the employer to fill in job details. A dropdown menu displays the choices for the type of job such as building a website, an online store, or creating a WordPress template. There are also choices whether the project is fixed rate or hourly rate and the budget of the project.
Is it for everyone?
Freelancer and other online job marketplace companies provide opportunities for both businesses and service providers. Aside from better cost control and rapid deployment, small business owners and company staff also can become more efficient and focus on their core business. However, there are also risks and disadvantages in outsourcing, such as poor quality control, exposure of confidential data, low morale and decreased loyalty among internal staff. These can be managed with the right attitude, well-explained strategy and project management tools. However, it is recommended that not all functions should be outsourced.
Reviews and Issues
In several sites, Freelancer has been receiving low reviews for unresolved issues particularly in their payment system. There are also issues about the need to pay for commissions charged to employers aside from service fees. As one of the largest, it is expected that problems will arise, but because they cater to a very large number of users and projects, any problem will surely be significant. Learn more about their services and the latest Freelancer news through their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page. If you have tried their site or service, feel free to share your experience with us.