If you run a small business, you should consider hiring freelancers to tackle a variety of responsibilities, from handling financial information, to coding apps, to graphic design. They are more cost-effective and flexible than full-time employees and can get started ASAP.
While hiring freelancers has clear benefits for your business, it can be a challenge to know where to get started. There is a huge number of freelancers out there looking for work and several top freelancer platforms to choose from.
Hiring and managing freelancers is one of the most frequently requested tasks we receive at Magic. We’ve tried most of the popular platforms and hire and manage freelancers from around the world for our clients. Here are some of our favorites.
Our Picks For The 5 Best Freelance Platforms:
1. Upwork – With 2 million freelancers and 5 million clients that adds up to about 3 million jobs for all different kinds of freelance gigs, it’s certainly one of the most popular platforms.
Pros – Upwork is one of the largest platforms for freelancers and one of the fastest growing. They have a “snapshot” feature that allows your freelancers’ work to be tracked with periodic screenshots. Upwork has a lot of talent from a wide variety of geographic locations, so you’re bound to find someone that will work for you.
Cons – Freelancers on the platform have complained about high fees and may ask to leave Upwork because of it. Upwork is a huge platform, so be prepared to sort through a lot of options.
2. Fiverr – Fiverr is designed to be an online platform for several people to exchange digital services, which they called “gigs”. It’s now sitting with the rest of the 100 most popular sites in the United States and top 200 in the world since the beginning of 2013.
Pros – Fiverr’s website is easy to use. You purchase the result you’re looking for, not the time spent working. It’s similar to the Amazon marketplace but for work instead of physical items.
Cons – Fiverr specialized in small projects, so if you’re looking for larger scale work, it’s not the best option.
3. Freelancer – Freelancer boasts that their platform is now connecting over “44,738,077 (and counting by the second) employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions, and territories”.
Pros – Their website is easy to navigate. Payments can be sent only once the freelancer hits agreed upon milestones. They also offer a wide availability of freelancers all over the world.
Cons – For the free version, you pay $3 or 3% of the total project cost, whichever is greater. With the premium version, where they pay $199.95 monthly, there are no project fees. They also charge if the currency needs to be converted. Freelancers can reject projects because of high processing fees. It’s also a bit harder to know if the freelancer is actually qualified or not on this platform vs. platforms like Upwork.
4. Toptal – Founded in 2010 by Taso Du Val and Breanden Beneschott, the startup created a bridge for designers, developers, programmers and analysts, to connect with clients.
Pros – Toptal screens 3% of the talent and uses a 5-step screening process (top tier freelancers available). 95% trial-to-hire success rate, with $0 recruiting fee. They also offer a No-Cost Freelancer Trial.
Cons – Toptal requires a $500 deposit which applies to your first bill, making it not the best option for smaller projects. Their freelancers are on the higher end, ranging from $60-$200 + per hour.
5. PeoplePerHour – PeoplePerHour was founded in 2007 and is now the leading online marketplace for freelancers and clients in the UK. They boasts connecting “1 million businesses and freelancers and paid over £135 million to freelancers”.
Pros – They offer a wide variety of local skilled freelancers. If you’re in the UK, this might be the best option for you. Their payment is secured via Escrow. They also encourage personal contact for deeper collaboration. Their email support is quick and responds after a few short hours.
Cons – Their UI is not as user friendly as some of the US-based companies such as Fiverr or Upwork, and they have higher rates. If you’re not based in the UK, it’s not as appealing of an option.