At some point or another, most small business owners will need to expand their workforce to handle a one-off project or add a skillset that their full time, on-site employees lack. And given the significant shortage of qualified workers searching for jobs today, hiring freelance talent in these situations is very often your best bet. Freelancers are typically flexible, motivated and ready to work on demand. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find someone with the right set of skills.
But where do you go to find top-notch freelance talent? Keep reading to get some great ideas.
Craigslist attracts freelancers from all over the United States, many of whom are looking for a remote gig. It’s obvious advantages include low cost and exposure to a huge talent pool. According to the company website, Craigslist accepts more than 100 million classified ads each month. That translates to millions of users, many of whom are looking for a job. The talent pool is diverse and rather shallow. But thousands of employers find qualified workers on the website every day.
The cost to run a Craigslist job posting ranges from free to $75. If you’re advertising in large urban areas such as Houston, San Diego, Chicago and New York, you can expect to pay between $35 to $45. Job postings in the San Francisco Bay area are the priciest, at $75 each.
Upwork (formerly Elance & ODesk)
Upwork is one of the largest freelance platforms on the internet today. It boasts over 12 million freelancers and posts about 3 million jobs each year. That means you’ll have access to a nearly unlimited pool of freelance talent from all over the globe.
Upwork attracts entry-level, mid-level and expert workers in hundreds of categories, so you can usually find someone who will agree to do a job for what you want to pay. The downside there is that you might get exactly what you pay for — but not what you need. Precisely because Upwork is so big, there are few systems in place to ensure that workers who bid on your project are actually qualified to handle the job. (Note: If you sign up for Upwork Pro at $149 per month plus a 10 percent processing fee on all transactions, the company will assign an account manager to help you find the most qualified candidates.)
Upwork recently changed its pricing structure, a move that has more than a few clients less than pleased. In the past, freelancers bore the full cost of the service. Now, clients pay a 2.75 percent processing fee per payment transaction on top of what they pay the worker. So if you pay a freelancer $500 for a job, Upwork will tack on a $13.75 processing fee.
Clients who spend more than $910 per month may be able to negotiate a flat monthly fee. But Upwork decides this on an individual basis, and rumor has it that it doesn’t happen very often. And only customers in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and certain European Union countries are eligible at all.
Another giant freelance marketplace, Freelancer claims nearly 25 million registered users and has posted a total of 12 million jobs. Like Upwork, Freelancer charges no fees when you post a job, preview workers’ portfolios, accept bids or discuss project terms. The platform charges 3 percent, or $3 USD, whichever is greater when a freelancer accepts a fixed-bid project. For hourly projects, the fee is 3 percent each time you initiate payment.
Freelancer also offers a number of membership plans that range from $0.99 to $52.95 per month. There’s also an extensive a la carte menu of add-ons, such as private postings, urgent postings and full-time postings ($199.)
Speedlancer’s claim to fame is — not surprisingly — speed. Unlike other platforms where freelance talent bids on your projects, Speedlancer charges a pre-set rate for a discreet set of tasks (for example, $59 for a 600-word blog post; $149 for web scraping, and $97 to set up Google apps.) In exchange, you get a guarantee that your job will be completed in 4 hours or less. If the finished product is delivered on time but isn’t up to snuff, you can request one revision. If you’re still dissatisfied, you get your money back in the form of a credit to your account.
Speedlancer is also unique in offering what it calls “bundles,” a group of discreet tasks that customers usually purchase together to get a project done. Some examples of bundles include:
- 40-page whitepaper and e-book ($1702)
- Infographic research and design ($337)
- WordPress site maintenance ($89)
Each bundle comes with a predetermined workflow, and Speedlancer manages the project and resources from beginning to end.
Arguably the most exclusive of the freelancing websites, Toptal hires only the best of the best, and only in three categories: developers, designers and finance experts. The company vets each applicant extensively and accepts a mere 3 percent of freelancers who apply. Not surprisingly, its clients include some pretty heavy hitters, including J.P. Morgan, Airbnb, Pfzizer and ZenDesk.
Toptal doesn’t post prices on its website, but it’s a fair bet this kind of freelance talent doesn’t come cheap.
At The Carmoon Group, we work hard to meet our clients needs. We have years of experience in business insurance, risk management, small business capital growth and more. Give us a call today to talk about your business and what you need to succeed. Or simply contact us online. We’ll get back to you right away.