Looking for a Freelancer?
Did you know that approximately 300,000 positions are outsourced every year?
The advancement of technology, remote work, and social media has made outsourcing a viable and advantageous option for many companies worldwide.
Outsourcing allows companies to go beyond borders and contract work to specialists in different areas of the world, allowing them to save costs while maximizing efficiency.
With the vast growth of the gig economy, individual and self-employed contractors known as “freelancers” have become a popular option for companies, too. And the Internet has made their expertise more accessible than ever.
This article will review why you should hire freelancers, the benefits of outsourcing, will compare a few of the most popular outsourcing and freelancing websites out there today.
Upwork: Freelancer Marketplace
When you think of outsourcing, Upwork.com is one of the first freelancing platforms that come to mind.
Considered to be one of the biggest online platforms for freelancers, Upwork (formally known as Elance) offers employers a gateway to connect with individual freelancers whose expertise can be assessed based on their profile.
Their profiles act as marketers for them—displaying their job success score, past work experience, portfolio, and hourly rates (for both part-time and full-time).
Upwork is also well known for its security checks in place. It has strict policies to identify and prevent scams from occurring. Thus, employers feel more secure leveraging the platform to hire freelancers.
Upwork’s platform hosts a wide variety of freelancers in many industries and across several different countries. Ranging from graphic design services to web developers, offerings are incredibly varied. Its genuinely global nature allows companies to browse through thousands of potential contractors before choosing the best fit.
Upwork’s features also promote total transparency upfront compared to other freelancing sites. The platform makes it easy to connect and engage with freelancers from the get-go, offering security above all else. There are also various payment methods available.
Businesses can also opt for paid membership services such as Upwork Pro and Upwork Enterprise, which are upgrades to the free platform. With these offerings, you can leverage a dedicated Account Manager, integrated cloud solutions, and better payroll management.
Being the biggest freelance platform comes with the specific challenge of oversaturation. Freelancers flock to Upwork. Because of that, it can be difficult for employers to weed out the inexperienced from the more quality offerings on Upwork. This may lead to more time going into the hunting process.
Upwork also charges high fees to both parties. When hiring a freelancer on the platform, employers have to pay 2.75% of the rate to Upwork itself. The freelancer also has 10-25% taken out of their final price as platform fees. This is not an incentive for the freelancer in the long-run, and for employers, this cost can be cumbersome.
There is also the problem of verification. It’s challenging to vet freelancers on the platform, and there are limited methods to check if the freelancer is really who they say they are.
New clients can read more about Upwork’s offerings for businesses in their guide.
Freelancer: Freelancer Marketplace
Next up, we have Freelancer.com. Created in 2009, Freelancer is another crowdsourcing marketplace that offers employers millions of freelance professionals to vet and choose from. Freelancer also incentivizes growth for professionals by hosting competitive contests.
Spanning across 247 countries, employers have a wide variety of professional skill sets to choose from, ranging from copywriting to software design and development.
Compared to other freelance sites, Freelancer’s fees are lower, especially for the professionals on the platform. For fixed-price projects, fees are set at the higher of 10% of the project or $5. It charges 10% for hourly projects and for services, 20%.
Freelancer has robust security systems and customer support, too. With a helpful FAQ section, instant live chat support, and email support, employers can quickly have their doubts and issues clarified.
When it comes to the variety of skill sets on the platform, Freelancer boasts over 15 million registered freelancers. There are more than 1,800 industries and niches to choose from. Freedom of choice is abundant on this platform.
There is a risk of encountering scammers on the platform—companies have reported facing issues from even their top freelancers. Sometimes, freelancers have falsified their identities and skills to make more money or shut down projects halfway through. There have also been instances where both parties were neither paid/refunded, with the platform itself keeping the money and closing their accounts.
Furthermore, the platform doesn’t have a thorough screening process for applicants. Freelancers of varying ability levels join the website, making it more difficult for companies to find the right ones for them and verify their actual skill level.
Companies may desire instant phone support with such negative experiences, but this is not an option on Freelancer. While they have live chat support and FAQ section, there is no direct phone number for customer support, feeding into a longer waiting time during conflict resolution.
STAFFVIRTUAL: Managed Freelancers
Do you know that the Philippines is one of the top 10 countries in the world for outsourcing? In fact, 34% of the outsourcing industry there consists of knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), guaranteeing higher-quality services for companies.
STAFFVIRTUAL, an outsourcing company located in the Philippines, offers professional services related to customer support, back-office operations, hiring and training, payroll, and more at affordable rates.
So, why opt for an outsourcing solution in comparison to freelancer platforms?
Outsourcing agencies usually provide higher quality services that are thoroughly vetted and attentive to your unique needs. The risk of being scammed is virtually eliminated compared to freelance platforms online due to the quality of the professionals on the other side. Here, companies work with an agency as opposed to an individual contractor.
Outsourcing also generally has reduced operational and recruiting costs. There is no platform fee, and the prices are straightforward from the start. Countries like India and the Philippines also have a lower cost of labor, greatly benefiting global companies.
When working with an outsourcing agency, you can also spend more time focusing on value-add activities and less on support processes. There would be fewer back-and-forth and communication bottlenecks than compared to negotiating with an individual freelancer.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing
Outsourcing means contracting work out to professionals in another country, so you are bound to face the challenge of time zone differences. This can be a disadvantage with regard to the loss of regular communication.
Irregular communication can also lead to rushed decisions or project handling, which can feed into reworks.
Unless there is a solid contract in place, companies also risk exposing their confidential data to a third-party. Thus, they have to do their research before partnering with an outsourcing agency. It helps to check if the agency upholds quality standards such as the ISO 9001, as STAFFVIRTUAL does.
You can read more about how STAFFVIRTUAL’s outsourcing solution works here.
Upwork vs. Freelancer vs. STAFFVIRTUAL
Depending on your goals, the solution you opt for may vary. Consider the following factors when you make your decision on which platform to use for your outsourcing:
- User Groups
- How Do These Companies Work?
- Technical & Customer Support
A great way to gauge a platform’s success is by looking at its corporate clientele and see if they come from your industry or have similar interests.
For instance, Upwork’s famous clients are varied across industries ranging from software (Microsoft) to companies in aviation and power (General Electric).
Read more about Upwork’s success stories here.
Likewise, Freelancer also houses clients across niches, with IT being the top industry leveraging the platform, followed by Social Organizations.
STAFFVIRTUAL offers services streamlined for specific industries such as Travel, Logistics, Digital Marketing, providing IT solutions, and more.
Check out more of STAFFVIRTUAL’s clientele.
With specialist teams spread across the globe, STAFFVIRTUAL offers many services for all types of organizations (startups, retail, manufacturing, and even eCommerce companies), depending on the user’s specific needs.
How Do These Companies Work?
Both Upwork and Freelancer have similar processes for hiring and vetting freelancers, with the former platform’s verification process being more stringent. The sign-up process and business solutions are also relatively straightforward on both. However, the onus is on the companies themselves to sift through freelancer profiles and make a judgment call before hiring.
On the contrary, STAFFVIRTUAL offers hiring solutions and does the vetting process itself for its freelance team, helping you build a team that is fine-tuned to your needs.
STAFFVIRTUAL will develop your team according to your exact needs in these four easy steps. Offload your business project or workflow to us, and we’ll begin planning all the ways to meet your needs. Then, we’ll thoroughly screen all applicants and present a vetted to you. Before the project deploys, we’ll fully train your team and continue to manage them throughout the entire project.
Upwork levies a 3% additional charge as a payment processing fee to companies. However, they also offer other subscriptions and services like the Enterprise Suite for businesses that want to scale their hiring on the platform.
Freelancer is also free to sign up for and only levies a 3% fee on the project cost itself. They also offer project upgrades which are priced as “extras” on top of this fee.
STAFFVIRTUAL offers an all-in-one outsourcing model and thus customizes pricing based on your needs. You can book a free consultation with them and obtain a personalized quote.
Technical and Customer Support
Upwork offers all the standard customer support options, including a help center, live chat, email, and telephone calls.
Freelancer offers the same except telephone calls, making them inaccessible in this regard.
With STAFFVIRTUAL, you can reach out to us directly via our Contact page or Book a Call.
Upwork vs. Freelancer vs. STAFFVIRTUAL
How Do These Companies Work?
A more secure verification process for freelancers.
Free membership; 3% of the project fee. Higher rates for freelancers.
Available on all mediums.
A less secure verification process.
Free membership; 3% of the project fee. Lower rates for freelancers.
Available on all mediums except telephone.
Robust screening and verification of high-quality freelancers.
Customized pricing tailored to your specific project needs.
Contact Us and call booking options available.
And the Winner is…
When it comes to Upwork vs Freelancer, the victor here depends on your company’s unique goals and vision.
If you are looking to explore a vast number of services, freelancer platforms are a great place to make a job posting and explore in the short-term. However, the screening process can take time, and there is no guarantee of having a scam-free experience. The same rings true for any freelancing site, not just Upwork or Freelancer.
You are likely to face similar challenges across most freelancing sites, such as Fiverr, Toptal, or Guru.
How do you avoid the challenges and drawbacks of freelancing websites?
With outsourcing solutions like STAFFVIRTUAL, you can be assured of quality work with a pre-screened team of the best freelancers suited for your needs from the get-go.
So, what are you waiting for? Consultations are free and we can discuss how we’ll handle your customer support, back-office, IT solutions, and even your payroll processes.
Start outsourcing with STAFFVIRTUAL today!