The freelance industry is booming thanks to a shift in attitudes toward traditional work as a result of the great resignation, quiet quitting, prioritisation of work-life balance, or simply people looking to supplement their income. Whatever the reason, with the pool of freelancers growing, there’s never been a better time for businesses to outsource skills from the best talent money can hire.
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What is a freelance marketplace?
A freelance marketplace is an online platform for freelancers and businesses that works in two ways:
- Freelancers sign up and complete a profile with key information about their skills and experience. They can then view & apply to job briefs posted by companies. Some platforms may charge the freelancers a fee to join, or for each job they secure via the platform.
- Businesses will create their own account where they can post briefs for jobs and projects that they need freelance talent to work on. Often the platform can handle all the necessary admin around compliance, contracts and payments.
Depending on the platform there are a range of other features that help simplify the recruitment process for both parties. Think of them as alternatives to LinkedIn Jobs purely for freelance and contract work.
Why should you use a freelance marketplace?
With the freelance talent pool growing, the knock-on effect for businesses is that the recruitment process can absorb more time and resources than ever before. The wading through applications, compliance requirements, paperwork and vendor setup can seem endless.
That’s where a freelance marketplace comes in.
With a freelance platform, your business can:
- Quickly and easily post briefs for your project.
- Find exactly the right talent for your needs.
- Save money on using expensive recruitment agencies.
- Easily generate contracts and agreements.
- Get support on local compliance.
- Project manage the entire process from brief through to sign-off and payment.
There are many platforms around the world that provide these freelance-finding services. But as you’ll discover, not every platform has the same set of features, and some will be better suited for your company than others.
What are the best platforms to find freelancers?
The best freelance platforms attract the best freelance talent, plain and simple. We’ve done the legwork for you and rounded up some of the top freelance platforms below, alongside their key features and details.
YunoJuno (that’s us!) is the biggest marketplace for elite tech and creative freelancers. We’re proud to work with over 90,000 of the best freelance talent and with world-renowned clients like Canon, Pepsi, Google, Depop, The BBC and more, helping them find the right people for their brief.
It’s free for clients to sign up to YunoJuno and get instant approval to access our platform. Once you post a brief, you’re matched with the most relevant freelancers in our Talent Pool in minutes and can hire in as little as eight hours! Payment from the client is made depending on the payment method chosen (credit card or invoice finance) with a 12% flat fee per job—no extra costs or upfront payment.
Our YunoJuno Management System is a one-stop-shop with built-in global worker classification and compliance, allowing you to access highly skilled freelancers, pay them quickly and easily, and access real-time data reposting.
If you already work with freelancers you know and trust, we can help there too. Make use of our Managed Service Provider service, an all-in-one solution to managing the day-to-day admin of freelance recruitment, compliance and payment, regardless of where you sourced the talent from.
We pride ourselves on not only providing a best-in-class platform, but our dedicated Sourcing Support Team are on hand—at no extra cost – to help in a variety of ways, from helping you put your brief together, shortlisting the best candidates, and even arranging interviews.
But don’t just take out word for it. The testimonial below is from PepsiCo, who we helped to shave off 256 hours a month of admin, save 77% in recruitment fees and reduce time to hire by 78%!
YunoJuno really helps from an agility and productivity perspective, quickly answering the business needs and helping to create a much more diverse and output-focused team. The quick payment of freelancers at YJ is a game changer. We've managed to reduce time to hire from a week to a couple of hours.
Senior Project Manager, PepsiCo
On the talent side, YunoJuno makes it easy to attract freelancers thanks to our easy-to-use freelancer portal, enviable client pool, zero fees and 14-day payment terms for completed briefs, making YunoJuno one of the fastest and easiest ways for freelancers to get paid.
The benefits of using YunoJuno:
- We’re the biggest marketplace of elite tech and creative freelancers.
- We’re fast and efficient, making it easy to hire talent in less than 8 hours.
- Our Sourcing Support team comes at no extra cost.
- Our fees are lower than other elite freelancer websites , with no deposit, up-front payment or minimum amount required.
- We provide a range of solutions to meet any freelance hiring or management needs.
- Freelancers pay nothing to use the platform & receive payment in 14 days.
Why YunoJuno might not be for you:
- We only work with elite, vetted talent.
- It takes a few days for freelancers to be manually vetted and approved by our team to ensure quality.
Fiverr is one of the original freelance platforms and offers a broad range of disciplines with more than 500 skills and nine industry verticals.
The matching process works both ways on Fiverr, where businesses can post briefs and have freelancers respond, but also in reverse where freelancers (called Sellers) post a profile with the services (called Gigs) they offer, and businesses (called Buyers) buy whichever service fits their needs.
Fiverr is lauded for its ease of use for freelancers, with no compulsory vetting for candidates and instant access to the platform. The drawback, however, is that freelancers are charged 20% on the value of every brief secured, making it one of the more expensive platforms out there.
Clients will pay a 5% fee on each job completed, plus an additional USD$2 Gig fee for purchases of USD$50 or less.
The benefits of using Fiverr:
- There is a wide range of freelancer skills and niches to choose from.
- Freelancers can set their own prices.
- Quick turnaround of projects.
Why Fiverr might not be for you:
- There’s no compulsory vetting of freelancers to guarantee their skill or experience.
- The fixed pricing model on Fiverr is fairly inflexible, making it difficult for any negotiation between clients and talent.
- There’s a long payment process for freelancers, up to a few weeks.
- Freelancers are charged 20% on each job, reducing their profit margin.
Malt is a UK-based platform offering 100+ skilled roles spanning marketing, design, tech and consulting.
There is a heavy dose of vetting required for freelancers, with Malt only accepting midweight to senior freelancers with day rates of £250 or higher. Given this, it takes a few days for freelancers to be manually approved to join Malt. And when they secure a brief via the platform, they’ll pay a fee that’s anywhere from 0-10%
Similarly, Malt also manually approves all clients, needing to understand their business history, needs and project requirements to ensure they meet Malt’s criteria for working with freelancers. Once approved, clients can post briefs and quote on an hourly or daily basis, paying the full amount upfront before work starts, with a 15% (standard) and 20% (advanced) fee attached to each brief.
The benefits of using Malt:
- Malt has built-in project management tools to aid collaboration.
- Freelancers are legally verified.
- Clients are also legally verified to make sure they meet Malt’s guidelines.
Why Malt might not be for you:
- The client fees are relatively high, with increased rates for support from the Malt team.
- Freelancers can only propose daily rates, not hourly or per project.
- The slow verification process can delay hiring a freelancer and therefore getting a project started.
Toptal is arguably the most competitive freelancer website, accepting only the top 3% of freelancers “with exceptional backgrounds” who apply to join the platform. Naturally, all applicants are subjected to rigorous skills and reference checks, which can take from a few weeks to months to approve. Clients are also manually approved, with the process including a phone screening to check they’re a good fit.
Toptal are pretty hands-on when it comes to the brief process, assessing the right candidates for each brief themselves before providing to the client. Fees sit around the 20% mark for clients, alongside a USD$500 deposit.
The benefits of using Toptal:
- Toptal only accepts exceptional freelance talent that pass their rigorous testing & evaluation.
- There is a free trial period for clients for each freelancer they work with to ensure quality and fit for the task.
- Toptal offers tools for project management, time tracking, invoicing and payments.
Why Toptal might not be for you:
- High client fees and an up-front deposit might not fit within all budgets.
- It’s very hard for freelancers to be accepted to Toptal, limiting the pool of talent to choose from.
- Clients can’t directly access the talent pool, Toptal handpick candidates on a per-job basis.
Worksome is a London-based freelance marketplace that operates predominately in Europe and the US. With a focus on the tech and marketing industries, they promise to “help clients to easily find, hire and manage highly skilled talent on flexible terms.”
Both clients and freelancers can sign up and get instant access, but with freelancers being subject to vetting before they can apply for jobs. In terms of fees, both freelancers and clients pay a flat 4% on each completed brief.
Worksome offers easy client account setup, guaranteed compliance, automated contracts, billing & payments, as well as integrations with popular third-party services such as Workday, Trello, Xero, Sage and more.
The benefits of using Worksome:
- Clients can instantly create an account and post a brief on Worksome.
- Freelancers are manually vetted, but approval can take up to two days.
- Worksome offers payment support and protection to both freelancers and clients.
Why Worksome might not be for you:
- Worksome works predominately in Europe and the US, limiting the scope for working outside of those regions.
- Freelancers pay a 4% fee.
- Key details like day rates are hidden from freelancer profiles for clients until you have a brief live.
Upwork is undoubtedly one of the world’s largest freelance websites, with a global pool of 12 million freelancers and five million clients. Within Upwork’s talent pool clients will find a range of skills and levels of experience, with freelancers being legally vetted but skills test remaining optional.
Clients can sign up to Upwork instantly and post a brief or search within their pool of freelancers. Fees are means-tested for clients, charging anywhere from 5-20% on successful briefs depending on their business’ earnings.
The benefits of using Upwork:
- Upwork has one of the largest global pools of skilled freelancers.
- Clients can access a range of project management tools.
- Upwork provides payment protection for clients and freelancers.
Why Upwork might not be for you:
- Upwork’s fees aren’t super straightforward and can prove to be high, depending on your business’ earnings.
- With a high number of freelancers and clients, it can be hard for your brief to stand out, therefore making it harder to hire.
LinkedIn is a platform that hardly needs an introduction, being arguably the world’s biggest professional networking and job search platform. While LinkedIn serves a great number of purposes, we should note it’s different from the other platforms listed here as it’s not a dedicated job site, or dedicated to freelancers.
As LinkedIn is primarily a social and professional networking service the profiles are its best feature, with clients getting a good overview of workers’ experience. Likewise, LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your business on a branded page and attract top talent to work with.
The benefits of using LinkedIn:
- There are no fees for clients or freelancers.
- It has a truly global reach and a wide variety of industries and professionals at all different levels.
- It’s a great platform for networking.
- The profiles are great for showcasing a candidate’s professional experience.
Why LinkedIn might not be for you:
- It can take a long time to find a recommendation, and that may not be exactly what you’re looking for.
- There are no end-to-end hiring capabilities, making the hiring process more time-consuming.
- There’s a mixture of full-time employees and freelancers, so it can take longer to comb through and find the right people.
Having been established in 2007, PeoplePerHour is without a doubt the longest-running dedicated freelancer website. As a result, they have a large and varied pool of freelance talent, but with a focus on the creative and tech industries.
Clients can instantly access the platform and add a project, after which relevant freelancers are suggested for review. Before freelancers can access the service, they’re required to complete identity checks and a profile, providing key information about their skills and experience, as well as submit samples of their work.
PeoplePerHour charge clients a flat rate of 10% per job, as well as service fees on payment methods. It’s a bit more complicated for freelancers, who will pay service fees on a sliding scale that can be anywhere from 3.5-20% depending on their earnings.
The benefits of using PeoplePerHour:
- The platform allows detailed communication between clients and freelancers to liaise on projects.
- Money is protected, with clients paying once the project has been completed and signed off.
- Clients can choose from a wide pool of global talent.
Why PeoplePerHour might not be for you:
- With such a wide pool of talent, it can be difficult and time-consuming to find the right person.
- Because anyone can sign up to PeoplePerHour you may find variations in the quality of freelance talent.
- Certain services are charged extra, such as featured listings and premium memberships. This is added to the cost of the platform, which can prove too costly for some clients.
Finding the right freelance website for your business
There you have it—we know it’s a lot to digest but it really is worth getting all the information to decide which freelance website will best fit your business needs. When weighing up each platform, the key things to consider are:
- Quality vs quantity – bigger doesn’t always mean better. You know your business and what it needs, and we’ll bet you won’t need every skill set or industry under the sun. So, consider whether having a bigger pool of freelancers will help your hiring, or slow it down.
- Cost – This is an important point for both sides of the business, naturally, businesses will want to avoid paying higher fees than necessary, but the same goes for freelancers. Platforms that charge higher fees might be a deterrent for talent to join or be as active.
- Compliance – One benefit of outsourcing freelance talent is being able to access some of the best people from around the world. Make sure the platform you choose offers specific local compliance so as not to run into any issues in the future.
- Speed - Another key benefit of using a website to find you freelancers is being able to cut down the time it takes to recruit talent and get projects rolling. So, make note of how long it will take to get your brief live and relevant freelancer matches coming in.
- Ease – Similar to our point above, joining a freelance marketplace is meant to make your life easier, so look out for end-to-end management solutions that can take care of admin like creating briefs, compliance checks, payments, and invoicing.
Hire the best freelance talent with YunoJuno
If you’re ready to streamline your freelance recruitment and shave hours, budget (and stress!) off your current process, then YunoJuno could be the platform for you.
Sign up today for instant access to our website and see how YunoJuno can help your business find, hire and manage all your outsource talent needs in our all-in-one freelance management platform. Combining best-in-class tech with dedicated Sourcing Support, we can provide your team with both speed and quality when it comes to sourcing the best freelancers for your briefs.