When you have a limited-time project that requires specialized expertise, hiring a freelancer makes sense. Your organization gains a specialist with broad experience and you only need to pay them for the project’s duration. Your company can keep its costs low, hire top talent and complete the work quickly.
Knowing how to access talented, reliable freelancers can be challenging. However, the following 12 platforms make the freelance hiring process easier and can help you find valued on-demand team members.
Ways to find freelancers
Companies choose freelancers over full-time employees to outsource project-based jobs and cost-effectively build their team’s skill set. Consider the following top sites for freelance services when seeking talented on-demand workers to grow your business.
If you have a robust network on LinkedIn, you may be able to find qualified freelancers in your expanded network (first-, second- and third-level connections). You can also look within relevant LinkedIn groups or network on LinkedIn to ask your connections for recommendations.
Additionally, LinkedIn has an entire section dedicated to freelance work called Services Marketplace. You can find it under the For Business tab at the top. In the Services Marketplace, you can view a potential freelancer’s overall rating, entire resume, degree of separation and recommendations. You can also search in your area if you’re looking for someone local.
Visit LinkedIn online to get started finding freelancers.
Upwork has thousands of freelancers from all over the world with myriad skills. Unlike LinkedIn Services Marketplace, the site facilitates both freelancer and hiring company posting, so you can post a job with detailed requirements and let potential freelancers come to you.
If you don’t find the right person for the job that way, browse freelancers’ profiles, check out their portfolios and invite them to bid on your project.
Upwork also includes a payment platform, which adds some cost but provides security for both parties. For more complex projects, you can sign up for the Plus Program, which gives you a dedicated account manager for an additional fee.
Visit Upwork online to start your freelancer search.
Many freelance sites, including Upwork, let you view a freelancer’s feedback history and contracts, so you can see job references on the spot.
If you have a remote company or your freelancer can be remote, you can find highly qualified candidates via FlexJobs. FlexJobs is an employment site for remote and hybrid workers that also showcases job opportunities for freelancing, seasonal and temporary work. FlexJobs lets organizations post jobs and view prospective freelancers’ full resumes.
Because many job seekers are looking for full-time or steady part-time work, you might be able to find an experienced professional with a very specific skill set who’s willing to freelance until they find a permanent position. You’ll also find plenty of dedicated freelancers with a breadth of experience.
Visit the FlexJobs website to post job opportunities and view resumes.
Fiverr started with the idea that you could pay freelancers $5 to complete small projects. While those opportunities are still available, most projects have custom pricing based on the project’s details and scope. Unlike some other platforms, work on Fiverr is project-based, not hourly, so your cost is fixed once you accept a bid. Any changes in scope must be approved along with the associated additional costs.
Freelancers on Fiverr tend to work more quickly than on other platforms because they give you a time estimate upfront. Fiverr shows you how many jobs each freelancer has in the queue, so you can judge whether they can do your job by your deadline or are too busy.
In addition to the regular Fiverr (Fiverr Marketplace), there is also Fiverr Business. This is for more complex projects that involve multiple freelancers and people from your internal team. It provides a collaboration platform and a dedicated Fiverr Business Success Manager to help you find and sift through the best freelancers for your project to enhance workplace teamwork.
Visit Fiverr’s website to find your project-based freelancer.
According to a Fiverr survey, 73 percent of American workers plan to become freelancers or continue freelancing in 2023.
Scripted is a great place to find web content writers. In addition to having many freelance writers to choose from, Scripted narrows down writers by subject matter. It also provides a menu of artificial intelligence-driven tools to optimize your content strategy, generate the best headlines, research keywords, create optimized content briefs and analyze content performance. Actual human writers write all content.
Scripted screens its writers to ensure they’re actually skilled. The screening process involves reviewing their LinkedIn profiles, personal websites and writing samples, including one given by Scripted in a timed format. The platform claims that only 4 percent of writers who apply successfully make it through its rigorous review process.
Visit the Scripted website to find skilled freelance writers.
Freelance writing is a business you can start on the cheap. Other freelance business ideas include social media marketing, virtual training and sales consulting.
Indeed is a traditional job board where employers post jobs and job seekers post resumes. Employers can post freelance opportunities, along with full-time and part-time jobs. Like FlexJobs, you can find career freelancers and traditional job seekers willing to pick up freelance work as a side hustle.
A significant benefit of using Indeed is its huge user base: more than 63 million people use the platform monthly. To help you narrow your search, include screener questions before reading through resumes. Indeed also allows you to message job candidates and do free live virtual interviews.
Visit Indeed online to evaluate a vast array of freelancers.
7. Specialized sites
Some websites are freelance marketplaces for specific work types. If you’re seeking a particular freelance niche, you’ll find a more focused group of candidates on one of these platforms. For example, if you’re seeking a virtual assistant with a high level of experience or specialized skills, go to Boldly online. Are you looking for talent or production people for television or film? Try The Mandy Network website. Companies that want to outsource customer service to freelancers can filter candidates by industry on the Workana website.
Guru was one of the original freelance sites, so its user base has a vast amount of freelancers and employers. Although Guru has freelancers in various fields, it is best known for marketing professionals, software developers, graphic designers and writers. The platform is similar to Upwork, allowing you to post a job or search the freelancer database for matches. Freelance work on Guru can be project-based, hourly, task-based or recurring.
The platform allows you to review and compare freelancer quotes, hire a freelancer, collaborate during the project and pay.
Visit Guru’s website to learn more.
If you’re a freelancer, setting fair prices for your services is crucial. Consider material costs, overhead costs and labor costs and keep your business competitive by researching your industry’s going rates.
9. Word of mouth
Sometimes, the best way to find a freelancer is to ask around. If you’re involved in a business networking or industry group, ask other members if they’ve used good freelancers in the area where you need help.
A personal recommendation from a businessperson you know can be much more informative than reading an online proposal, resume or profile. You can get more detailed information about the person’s skills, work habits, expertise and pricing than through other venues. On the negative side, you will probably have a limited pool of freelancers through this method.
When negotiating with freelancers on price, let them reveal their rate first to avoid appearing like you’re “lowballing” them.
When your project demands a freelancer with deep experience and expertise, consider Toptal. Unlike many other freelance platforms where any freelancer can create a profile, Toptal institutes a rigorous screening process that only 3 percent of freelancers can pass.
Toptal subject matter experts screen candidates for communication skills, personality characteristics like passion and drive, technical knowledge and problem-solving.
Toptal freelancers are limited to specific jobs, including software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers and project managers. You work with a Toptal contact who searches for you and presents the freelancers that best fit your requirements.
Once you make a hiring decision, you’ll work with the freelancer on a trial basis to ensure it’s a good fit.
Visit Toptal’s website to learn more about this platform.
Contently is focused on freelance content creators. It provides a network of vetted content writers, journalists, videographers and designers to provide a one-stop shop for all your content needs. You can also drill down to find freelancers with industry-specific experience. Its in-house editors oversee projects and train freelancers in content best practices.
In addition to human content creators, Contently has technology tools to analyze and predict the content that will connect with your target audience. Its platform also analyzes your content’s performance to ensure it aligns with your audience’s interests, is optimized for SEO and brand guidelines and is plagiarism-free.
Visit the Contently website to find a freelance content creator.
OnlineJobs.ph is focused on linking employers with freelancers in the Philippines. It includes various freelancing types, including virtual assistants, SEO experts, software developers and specialists in Amazon, Shopify, eBay and Google Ads.
Generally speaking, the freelancers on this platform are longer-term and less project-based, providing ongoing offshore support at an affordable rate. OnlineJobs.ph lets you track your freelancer’s time; you can even get a background data report before hiring.
Visit OnlineJobs.ph online to find your next freelancer.
The benefits of hiring freelancers
Hiring freelancers can be a smart business strategy, whether temporarily or as an ongoing relationship. Here are some ways hiring freelancers can benefit your organization:
- Hiring freelancers can save money: Full-time employees can be costly, especially after factoring in their salary, employee benefits, equipment and payroll taxes. With a freelancer, your costs are limited to their hourly wages or project costs, plus the expense of using a platform or posting a job. If you use a remote freelancer based in another country, your costs can be much lower than a United States-based freelancer or employee.
- Hiring freelancers brings flexibility: Since you have no real commitment to a freelancer outside your contract, you can stop using them, cut hours or add hours as needed. This can be helpful when you have seasonal cash flow fluctuations or when you must react quickly to market forces.
- Hiring freelancers brings affordable expertise: When you hire a freelancer with specialized skills, you’ll likely get a higher expertise level for the same money as hiring an employee. A project’s limited scope allows the freelancer to work for multiple clients and charge less per hour. Additionally, working in the same field for multiple clients gives freelancers a wider breadth of experience than someone who has only worked for a handful of employers.
- Hiring freelancers opens a large talent pool: Since most freelancers are remote, you’re not limited to candidates who live in your area. Most freelance resources have freelancers worldwide. More choice means getting the skills, experience and expertise you need without settling.
- Hiring freelancers brings lower risk: Hiring an employee requires an investment of time and money in recruitment, training and onboarding ― and this investment is at risk if the employee quits or misses work. With freelancers, investment is minimal. They typically only get paid if they work and produce a deliverable.
- Hiring freelancers enables rapid growth: In fast-moving industries, time is of the essence and freelancers can help you get your projects done quickly. Their high level of expertise and lower need for organizational support can help your company stay agile and dynamic, enabling you to grow and establish your market position quickly.