How to Choose the Best Freelance Marketplace

There are hundreds of freelance websites out there but they are not all created equal. 

You might get lucky with recommendations by fellow freelance creatives, LinkedIn job postings, and a quick Google search.

Or you might not.

Avoid hours of wasted time, money, effort, and potential scams by doing your homework before jumping headfirst into a partnership with freelance websites that promise to find jobs easily.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Read on to find out what type of freelance website fits your needs and your niche, the essential questions to ask as a freelancer, and how to unearth an in-depth skill review you can use.

Young troubled woman using laptop at home

What is outsourcing recruitment?

A recruitment process outsourcing provider is the technical term for a freelance marketplace–or RPO for short. These marketplaces create long-term partnerships with organizations that need help managing all or some of their recruitment processes.

RPO providers engage with their partner organizations in various ways by combining two or more of the following models.

On-demand recruitment process outsourcing

Largely contract-based, with the provider’s focus restricted to specific projects that are limited in time and scope. Fixed-price projects are the norm here.

Function-based recruitment process outsourcing

Focused on a particular department or division within an organization on an ad-hoc, short- or long-term basis.

Full recruitment process outsourcing

This describes an outsourcing company that becomes the human resources team of its partner organization.

Who do outsourcing companies serve?

The Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association (RPOA) explains that an outsourcing company can design and manage an organization’s recruitment process and be accountable for the results of the newly implemented process.

Outsourcing companies are as diverse as the organizations with which they partner. RPO providers service small-to-medium businesses, large enterprises, and non-profit organizations.

Freelance websites can choose to focus on local or regional employers or expand their offerings globally.

And in this period of human history, where innovation and technological advances are multiplying exponentially, freelance websites can focus on as small a niche as they wish or service organizations across multiple industry verticals.

To narrow your search for the best freelance website, be clear on your niche and decide how wide a net your outsourcing partner should cast. If you’re a technical writer in the healthcare sector looking for freelance jobs, for example, a multi-industry marketplace may not be the ideal fit for creative professionals like you.

How do I select the right freelance marketplace?

Before looking for the best freelance website, ask yourself the right questions about what matters to you as a freelance contractor looking to join an RPO provider’s network.

Here are some factors you should consider as a first step:

Should freelance websites have community?

While freelancing is often perceived as a solitary occupation with remote jobs worldwide, it doesn’t have to be this way. A supportive community of your peers is the best place to network, learn and share resources and information. Creative freelancers and remote workers such as professional designers and content marketing professionals can offer more than just career advice. They can be friends and colleagues in the same way as a traditional workplace operates.

a grid of video feeds as if on a zoom video call.

In a freelance marketplace like Quickly Hire, freelancers who specialize in graphic design, web development, data entry, account management, and writing jobs regularly get together to attend professional development courses and team-building exercises. It’s another reason it’s one of the best freelance platforms on the web.

How do freelance websites pay?

 A freelance marketplace is a go-between that has the best interests of its partner employers, you, and other job seekers. By taking ownership of their client’s recruitment processes, RPO providers use their industry in-depth knowledge to ensure that you are paid market-based rates on time, regularly, and in compliance with the regulations of the countries in which you and your employer operate.  

Do I look for industry-specific freelance jobs?

You should decide whether to focus on a niche or find job categories across many industries. The best freelance websites should allow highly skilled professionals like yourself to choose job listings and the types of clients and industries you wish to work with, depending on their size and services.

people sitting around a table in a professional setting looking at a speaker standing. A man has his hand raised to ask a question

How flexible are the best freelance websites?

You choose to work as a freelance professional because the freedom to use your valuable time as you wish is essential. A freelance website accountable for most or all of the recruiting processes is more likely to offer you flexibility. 

How do I assess the freelance website?

Just as you are being assessed and vetted as a suitable freelance talent to join an outsourcing company, you must proceed with your own assessment of the best freelance websites.

An interview as a freelancer does not necessarily put you at a disadvantage–you, too, get to interview the outsourcing company, discover job opportunities, and assess their clients. You have skills you’ve spent years developing and honing, and you must entrust them to the right team.

Word-of-mouth marketing is real, and your first port of call should be freelancers with past and current partnerships with the freelance websites you are interviewing. Assessing their digital marketing efforts, customer support, and project management team is also a clever starting point.

Connecting with other freelancers in your niche or industry will yield valuable insights such as the hiring process, which RPO providers are sought after, and which ones are to be avoided at all costs.

When you know what freelance websites you wish to work with, it’s time to find a reputable one.

Check reviews

Reviews on independent platforms such as Yelp or the SMB Guide are a great way to weed out the freelancing websites to avoid. Having “RPO” or “outsourcing” in its name doesn’t mean a company is such a provider.

Verify associations

Just as a community is essential for freelance copywriters, freelance designers, web developers, and other creative freelancers, it is equally necessary for an outsourcing company. 

Verifying a potential partner company’s membership in a trade association like the RPOA that operates by clear guiding principles is a great idea. 

Assess expertise

When you have narrowed down your options, it’s time to assess a marketplace’s domain knowledge.  Some freelancing sites exist solely to make a profit and don’t care too much about the types of work you get or your skill set.

If the freelance outsourcing site you choose has domain expertise in your niche or industry, you’ll have a better chance of landing technical jobs or projects that best fit your skills and experience. 

Check Customer Service

A freelance website that is invested in its partner organizations understands that it is the first touchpoint you have with its clients, your potential employers. The way an RPO provider treats you reflects on the potential employer. Good freelance job sites employ a project manager or account manager to ensure you and the end client are happy.

Understand the application process

According to SHRM, a lengthy and complex application process is a deterrent to most job applicants. 

While technology and AI are excellent tools to support a company’s recruitment process, they should not be obstacles or used to “weed out” unsuitable candidates. Your outsourcing partner should be customer support focused and use technology as an aid. Make sure you have access to real people throughout the application process.

laptop computer screen with job application form

Ideally, freelance applicants shouldn’t have to pay a service fee. The best freelance websites will clearly state their clients’ expectations of shortlisted candidates. 

Choosing Quickly Hire

At Quickly Hire, you can expect a team of experienced, talented industry experts with deep insights into the trusted organizations we partner with.

Quickly Hire is a transparent, tech-enabled freelance marketplace with established diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) recruitment practices. 

You are not simply another body to fill a position. Your Quickly Hire project management professional will always make time for you before, during, and after the successful recruitment process. 

Navigating our trusted client organizations’ vetting and recruitment processes is a breeze with our Quickly Hire freelance platform.

Choose Quickly Hire as your outsourcing recruitment partner to ensure easy access and management of your projects, payments, and paperwork. Our outsourcing experts are just one click away.

Join now!