Deciding to hire a freelancer to help you grow your business is an excellent decision. Getting the services of someone who is considered an expert for a certain skill is a good investment.
If you’re past that stage and are now ready to hire someone, the question you probably have in mind is “where do I begin?”
There are several freelance marketplaces you can sign up with. Among them, FreeeUp and Upwork are considered two of the more popular ones today.
Upwork is the love child of two of the leading virtual assistant marketplaces, Odesk and Elance. Elance was founded in 1999 while Odesk started operations in 2003. In 2015, the companies decided to join forces and rebrand as Upwork.
FreeeUp on the other hand came onto the scene in 2015. Initially focused on e-commerce support, this newcomer has since grown to become one of Upwork’s leading competitors.
While there are similarities between the two, there are a number of glaring differences that can help you decide which one to use for hiring freelancers.
1. The approval process
One of the major differences between the two is the approval process. This is a major consideration for anyone who’s looking to hire freelancers because it can determine the quality of freelancers you stand to get.
Anyone can sign up for an Upwork account and freelancers can apply to any posting as long as there are no specific requirements from the client. This doesn’t limit the possibility of hiring unqualified candidates since most members can respond to posts. The chances of hiring the wrong person will always be a possibility.
On Upwork, you’ll also be in charge of sorting through numerous proposals and conducting interviews until you find the right candidate.
FreeeUp makes the hiring process simpler. All you need to do is sign up as a client for free and submit a worker request. FreeeUp will then send you a pre-vetted candidate – or as many as you’d like to meet – within 24 hours. Each candidate will already be a best match for the description you sent.
FreeeUp prides itself in allowing only the Top 1% of freelancer applicants onto the marketplace. This gives you the assurance that every candidate they send your way has been thoroughly vetted.
If you are looking for an email virtual assistant, for example, posting the project via Upwork will get you several candidates applying for the said post. Some of them may have email virtual assistant experience while others may not. FreeeUp sends you candidates that have email virtual assistant experience, and if available, they will send you an expert.
2. The work process
On Upwork, many freelancers can apply for the same project. With its more than 12 million registered freelancers, the chances of getting a ton of applications are very high. This simple fact can drive competition and price wars, giving you more things to consider other than the number of candidates you have to interview.
This lack of filtering also increases the potential of getting unqualified applicants, which can be a huge waste of time. Instead of entertaining certified email virtual assistants, you’ll end up getting applications from freelancers who may not have any experience at all.
FreeeUp only sends you one candidate at a time for you to evaluate. There’s always that option of asking for two or three if you want additional freelancers to choose from. Regardless of the number of candidates they send, everyone is a match because they’re all pre-vetted.
This only leaves you with one more thing to do and that is to select the best person and hire them so they can start helping you. If you do end up hiring and eventually find out that the freelancer doesn’t suit your needs, you can always request for a new worker to replace your existing one. The great thing about it is that it won’t take more than 24 hours to do it with FreeeUp marketplace assistants on standby.
3. Client request process
Upwork lets you identify the freelancers you need by allowing you to browse services filtered by specific categories. You are then given the option to invite recommended freelancers to apply.
If we base it on the example we gave for an email virtual assistant, you are bound to get applications from candidates who have experienced working in that area. You’ll also hear from those who are just starting out but do possess the skillset.
You need to take note that submitting a request can get you many freelancers applying so you have to be ready for the influx of applications as soon as your description gets posted.
Everyone who matches the qualifications you requested will see your post so it will be up to you to decide who makes the cut and who doesn’t.
FreeeUp worker requests are more simple and direct. The platform introduces you to a matching freelancer within 24 hours upon request submission. Unlike Upwork, FreeeUp assistants take care of getting you the most suitable candidate.
All you have to do is wait to be introduced via email and arrange a 15-minute interview just to check if you are a good fit. You don’t have to worry about their abilities or skills because FreeeUp has already done that for you. If things don’t work out, you can request for another candidate until you find the right one for your preferences.
The process is less complicated and a lot faster because you can hire a freelancer within 24 hours. This means you could be working with them immediately the day after.
4. Client experience
One of the key differences that set the two freelance marketplaces apart is the client experience. It makes a huge difference for a client to have someone to talk to and assist them. It’s much better than sending emails that may not even be replied to immediately or getting canned responses and being redirected to a FAQ page.
Real live support that’s focused on your particular issue is exactly what you’ll get with FreeeUp. This freelance marketplace has hands-on assistants who are ready to help and talk to you at any time. The time difference won’t be a problem either because FreeeUp assistants are on standby round the clock.
This goes a long way especially if you have concerns with freelancers. If they’re not showing up for interviews or if you want to interview more candidates, you can contact an assistant. They’ll take care of the rest. You can also talk to them about billing issues, complaints and other problems. Having standby client support helps make things easier.
With Upwork, you are on your own most of the time. Though they do provide billing support, you have to have followed their policies if you want a positive resolution.
You are also solely responsible for most of the tasks especially those involved in the hiring process. You’re in charge of sorting out resumes and conducting interviews, something FreeeUp already provides from the get-go. Though Upwork does provide more than just the basic level of support, you have to pay for a higher tier to avail of such personalized services.
5. Freelancer skills
Being the top dog in the freelance market, it’s not surprising for Upwork to have every kind of freelancer there is. From data entry to web developers and email virtual assistants, the range of skills that can be found is almost limitless.
Upwork also encompasses multiple business types and industries. BPO companies, Real Estate, Law and Engineering firms outsource tasks through Upwork. The same goes for startups and small companies who don’t have the means to pay for full time employees or don’t need them.
FreeeUp specializes in e-commerce freelancers but also networks with digital marketing, web development and graphic design freelancers, among others. Though not as big as Upwork, they do support a wide range of skills beyond e-commerce, and they are growing at a rapid pace.
The e-commerce industry has been on the rise for the past couple of years. With more online stores opening up year after year, the need for e-commerce skills saw an increase as well. From inventory managers to social media specialists and blog writers, FreeeUp has them all. And if you want to hire someone that they aren’t yet connected with, they will recruit a suitable candidate, free of charge.
While Upwork does offer the same kind of e-commerce skillsets as FreeeUp does, they don’t have the same amount of focus that the latter provides, and what you see is what you get.
Hiring a freelancer to help you grow your business is fast becoming a worthy alternative among business owners. It’s an efficient way to get things done without going hard on the budget.
Upwork and FreeeUp, two of the better freelance markets today, provide clients a platform on which to find and hire freelancers. Though both freelance marketplaces share a lot of similarities, they also have several differences you need to be aware of.
Hiring freelancers is not a one size fits all solution. Knowing how each of the marketplaces work and the processes involved should help you decide how you want to proceed with your online hiring process.
It’s not a case of which one is better than the other. The better platform is the one that fits your needs and this comparison should help you determine which one works best for you.
If you’re still undecided as to which marketplace to sign up with, we encourage you to go through each of the points we gave above and make a small checklist. Use the comparison to finalize your decision on which marketplace to sign up with and hire freelancers from.
Should you decide to go with FreeeUp, you can begin by signing up as one of our clients.
Noel Rosos is a personal development writer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and founder of Life’s How You Live It, a personal development blog dedicated to helping people live the life they’ve always dreamed of. He is also a writer/contributor for Arianna Huffington’s wellness site, Thrive Global. He is an affiliate marketer, a full-time husband and father, and a self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST.