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Business landscape is rapidly shifting in one direction or another because of several drivers including globalization, a new knowledge-based economy, technological growth, and a new brand of consumers. Business demands can suddenly decrease or increase due to uncontrollable external factors. Small businesses do not have the resources for or need of taking and maintaining a large number of full-time employees, especially for projects that are temporary in nature. One solution is hiring talented freelancers in online job marketplace websites.
The Top 5
The freelance economy is growing. Studies have shown that in the near future, almost 50 percent of the full-time workforce will be made up of freelancers. We present here five of the most popular websites where project managers, recruitment officers and small business owners can find freelancers to fill up their team. No site is a perfect site, but most issues and problems can be addressed with adequate knowledge, preparation and clear communication between employers, freelancers, site administrators and support agents.
Toptal is a San Francisco-based company that specializes in technical freelance talent such as software developers and designers. Freelancers that apply undergo a strict screening process where only the top 3 percent are hired. It is available in over 35 countries, mostly in the North America, Europe, and Middle East. It has received good reviews. Freelancers in Toptal tend to focus on larger projects and charge clients with higher rates compared to others. Read our review
Freelancer is a publicly listed company with headquarters in Sydney, Australia. Among the five online job websites, it has the largest registered user-base of 17.6 million. Its services is available worldwide, but it is also promoting local services where demand will be matched first with service providers in the same area or region. The site is easy to use. Those wanting to hire or post a job can easily do this through an online form with many ready-made selections. Read our review
Upwork is the new name of Elance-oDesk merger that happened in 2014. The combined communities resulted in a network of more than 10 million registered freelancers, 4 million registered clients, and over $1 billion worth of work done annually. Some of the most hired talents in Upwork are those in the web and mobile development, design, writers, virtual assistants, customer service agents, sales and marketing, as well as accountants and business consultants. Read our review
Guru is a Pittsburgh-based company that has allowed both business owners and freelancers to get work done in a way that suits them. It has one of the largest services offered by freelancers, about 3.4 million distributed in different categories such as web and IT services, design and multimedia, writing and translation, management and finance, sales and marketing, engineering and architecture, and many more. It is a site that uses a ranking performance score called Total Marketing Score that influences the order of quotes from freelancers. Read our review
PeoplePerHour is a company based in London, UK. It differs from the rest with services offered as small as 1 hour jobs. This is a great way to test and qualify the talent of freelancers. It minimizes the risk of mismatch or unsuitable hire. Although most platforms have a way to manage work, communication and payment, PeoplePerHour’s WorkStream provides better functionality in handling proposals, payment and messaging. Read our review
Flexibility of Freelancers
Aside from money savings, freelancers provide flexibility as they can work on demand as needed. Full-time project teams will take a longer time to build and train. Full-time employees will always be needed, but freelancers can help companies to adjust staffing needs as required by the business. Furthermore, freelancers are business owners (service providers) themselves, recognizing and sharing the same values as the employers and business owners that hire them. And the hiring process for finding suitable talent is now easier than ever with these online freelance job platforms.
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Jose Santos is a long-time contributing writer for project-management.com. He is a subject matter expert in the field of project management and has many years of experience writing about project management software and tools. He has written hundreds of articles for the project management industry, including numerous software reviews, book reviews, training site reviews, and more.