If you are looking to start your own business, the growing market of freelancers may be just what you are looking for. For some, your skill set may put you in the perfect position to be a freelancer, or for others there may be a certain task needed for your company which you are not comfortable with – but there will be someone out there, a freelancer, that can help you.
A freelancer is someone who is self employed and is not committed to certain a employer long term. They are hired to complete specific projects both by individuals and companies. These freelancer sites below put freelancers offering services (web design, programmers, writers) in contact with those in need of temporary assistance. These freelance sites take the place of agencies that once were needed to help resell labor. Today’s freelancers can work as independent contractors, thanks to the internet market place bringing workers and consumers together.
Odesk (now called Upwork) allows employers to hire a freelancers without paying any additional fees. Most sites charge a monthly membership fee, but Odesk charges 10% of the project amount, which is taken from the freelancers payment. Posting of projects is also free to employers. When looking for a freelancer, you can explore their profiles, which may include results from some of the 142 qualification tests available for to freelancers. When hiring someone, you can choose between paying them an hourly rate or a fixed price for the project. Regardless of which method is chosen, you only pay for verified work.
Odesk has a time logging verification system where you can view a work diary, time analysis, and even view a screen snap of your freelancers progress. Also at your disposal is a task tracker to make sure your employee stays on task. At the end of each project, there is an opportunities for both the provider and employer to leave feedback.
One unique feature of Odesk is the lack of a monthly membership fee that most freelance sites change. Instead Odesk charges 10% of the project amount. This fee is taken from the worker; employers use Odesk free of charge.
For the freelancers there are over 142 free qualification tests that can be taken to demonstrate competence. Projects may be paid by the hour or a fixed price. Employers have the added feature of a time logging verification system, so they can see how much their freelancer is working on their project. They even can see screen snaps during the work. Additionally, task tracking helps to make sure the freelancer is on task. Payment is only for verified work.
Guru is another freelance site with no fees to potential employers. In fact, employers can even earn loyalty dollars with Guru’s SafePay system. You can search the profiles of over 250,000 freelancers, many with video profiles, from all over the world. Once you select a freelancer for your project, deposit funds into an escrow account. During the project, an instant messaging system can be used to communicate. When the project is completed and you approve the work, the payment is sent to the employee, minus a fee that Guru keeps. The fees for the freelancers are typical and reasonable. This escrow system protects both you and the freelancer. Once projects are completed, both the employers and freelancer are able to rate and leave feedback.
While Elance does not charge a monthly fee for employer accounts, there is a one time activation fee of $10. After selecting a qualified freelancer for your project, use Elance’s platform to collaborate with your contractor and view work in progress. This allows you to maintain tight control of projects and hourly jobs. Once you have a contractors you are comfortable with, you can post your job privately if desired to only gain bids from contractors of your choice. Elance really focuses on improving they quality and knowledge of freelance members. They provide Elance University for support, information, and instruction. A community forum, known as well the “water cooler” is available to all members for education and support. There are numerous skills tests available to verify the skills and abilities of the freelances.