Businesses have changed their approach to hiring in recent years. More and more companies are relying on freelance talent as opposed to in-house contracts. It's not surprising that the paradigm has shifted in this way: Freelancers can be less of a drain on company resources and more cost-effective than in-house hires. Before hiring them, though, businesses need to find freelance sites that offer talented individuals, accessible search functions and escrow services in some cases. All of these factors contribute to a long-lasting business relationship with a freelancer.
The rise of freelancing has caused different sources to open up around the internet that offer businesses a chance to interact with professionals for hire. Because there are so many freelance sites to sort through, finding the right fit for your needs may take some trial and error. Businesses need to be careful about sourcing their freelancers to avoid hiring someone who is not a good fit for the project or may have unprofessional behavior. So how does a company narrow down the best places to find a freelancer online?
We consulted 18 entrepreneurs from YEC about the best places to source freelance talent online. Here's what they told us.
"If you need someone quickly, Upwork is the place to find them. We've recently taken on the task of changing our project management platform, and we were able to find someone who specializes in the software we're transitioning to within a day of our initial post. The site has talented freelancers that can fit your budget." – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
"Indeed works well because it offers a wide range of freelance talent and allows an employer to list a comprehensive job description. It makes it easy to track talent that applies or to search through the existing talent without creating a job description." – Peter Daisyme, Hostt
"Fiverr is a great marketplace to find talent that can get you fast, very cost-effective results. It tends to lean toward cheap and fast rather than expensive and good, but sometimes that's exactly what you need." – Ryan D. Matzner, Fueled
"A great option would be iFreelanced.com. I like it because of the diversity of freelancers available and how easy it is to navigate and find the right freelancer for your project." – Serenity Gibbons, NAACP
5. We Work Remotely
"Reddit, believe it or not, has many dedicated subgroups focused on connecting talent with opportunities. I first discovered a freelance writing group there a few years ago that was filled with active opportunities. Naturally, this option does not provide an escrow or proxy like other similar job portals, so it is important to be diligent and transparent with your rates and scope." – Jared Polites, LaunchTeam
"We look on ProBlogger for content creators for our brands. They have a system to ensure that only highly qualified candidates apply for our job listing through their premium features. We have hired plenty of employees on ProBlogger who ended up working with us for years." – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
"It's no secret that social media has some great job opportunities, but Twitter threads in particular host a goldmine of them. What's great about these Twitter threads is that they're usually posted by the recruiter themselves, so you're in direct contact with them when you apply." – Jared Atchison, WPForms
9. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
"Linkedin is a very professional tool for scouting out the talents and getting more clients. If you're a premium profile holder, use an extension called Sales Navigator to filter out the relevant profiles and message them. And the best part? It allows you to send direct messages to profiles, even if you're not connected. And the open rate of those messages is comparatively higher than traditional emails." – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
"Toptal is a great freelance network for finding business professionals who specialize in software development, design, finance and project management. Their experienced talent pool is tested and vetted before they can join the network, so you know you are only working with quality freelancers with either a certification or industry experience. It's an excellent place to find qualified talent." – Shaun Conrad, My Accounting Course
"Fairygodboss is a LinkedIn-style platform that is centered around females in the workforce. There are a handful of freelance groups and contacts available on this site to work with for a variety of projects. If you find a freelancer, you can send them a message directly to connect and request an interview." – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers P.A.
"Textbroker is great if you need a freelance writer to create content for your e-commerce pages. You can easily create assignments with detailed descriptions of what kind of content you would like and assign it to a writer. You can also create open orders if you do not know any dependable writers." – Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow
13. Smashing Magazine's job board
"Smashing Magazine's job board is a great resource for designers and developers anywhere in the world. Since we're a 100% remote company, we can hire from anywhere, so it's easier when the site already does that for us. Plus, Smashing Magazine has already narrowed down the candidate pool through their awesome online content. Designers and developers know this is the place to go for info and jobs." – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
"Craigslist is another way we can find freelance talent. It is one of the most popular websites, with over 50 billion page views per month, with the average user viewing more than 20 pages per visit. With those kinds of statistics, you can rest assured that your job opening will be viewed with a targeted location of where you want to hire and a minimal fee to keep it posted for a long enough period of time." – Daisy Jing, Banish
"If you're looking for great WordPress developers and consultants, then Codeable is a great place to check out. Developers are vetted and screened, and you're pretty much assured that hiring someone from Codeable is risk-free." – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
"FlexJobs is a helpful job board when looking for freelance talent. It has a healthy user base, and I think the subscription fee for freelancers helps yield better results when looking for talent. It's not prohibitive, but it is something that narrows down the talent pool to serious freelancers wanting to do serious work." – Jordan Conrad, Writing Explained
17. Websites of great companies or products
"The idea is simple: Think of or look for a great product, service or company, and chances are their employees are the experts you are looking for. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook make it easy to look them up, but sometimes you will have to dig a bit (e.g., look up their repository on GitHub for developers). If you don't know where to look, sites like Product Hunt are a great start." – Joey Bertschler, Bitgrit
18. Your network
"There is no better place to find talent than through your own personal network. Referrals from people that you know and who are willing to vouch for that particular candidate are a great way to find freelance talent that you can trust. Always go to your network first for hires and then branch out if you need to." – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff