Top 12 Freelance Management Systems - February 2021

The best freelance management systems along with key features, benefits, recommendations, and more.

The workforce today doesn’t look as it used to. Instead of hiring full-time employees, companies have increasingly been recruiting freelancers and independent contractors all over the world to benefit from specific skill sets for a specific duration - all while keeping HR costs low:

  • Freelance job postings rose by 41% during the second quarter of 2020 mainly due to the pandemic.
  • In the current shift to remote work, the number of highly qualified freelancers has increased. In the US alone, 57 million workers are freelancers and it is expected that nearly half of the American workforce will be freelance in the next couple of years.
  • Companies save up to 50% by hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees.
  • Close to 40% of small businesses have outsourced some business functions to freelancers and international contractors.
  • Around 33% of Fortune 500 companies turn to freelance platforms to outsource certain functions.

As more companies continue to seek skilled individuals to work on contract/project basis, platforms known as Freelance Management Systems (FMS) have become popular. A Freelance Management System is a cloud-based solution that streamlines contractor sourcing, onboarding, work assignments, and payments. It may also offer features for contractor screening, job bidding, and proposal comparison to ensure you find the right fit for the job. 

If you’re looking to buy a freelance management system, we’ve put together this guide of the best FMS vendors along with features, benefits, pricing, and more considerations to help you in your selection process.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  Most of the vendors featured on our site have no commercial relationship with us, we want to feature the best software for our readers regardless. Learn more

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Top 12 Freelance Management Systems 2020

We track thousands of HR Tech solutions. Here are the best freelance Management Systems as of February 2021.

Toptal is a global network of top freelance talent in design, business, and technology. Each applicant to the Toptal network must pass a screening process designed to measure their subject matter expertise, professionalism, and communication skills. The full screening process takes between 2-5 weeks to complete. Of the thousands of applications received each month, Toptal reports that fewer than 3% are accepted. When freelancers are selected, the administrative portion of hiring as well as invoicing are handled by the platform.

Toptal

Stats

  • Toptal connects companies to the top 3% of freelance talent from over 100 countries
  • The average time to match companies with the right freelancers is under 24 hours.
  • 90% of Toptal’s clients hire the first candidate introduced.

Toptal

Pricing

Toptal’s pricing isn’t disclosed on their website. Pricing is determined by Toptal’s sales team upon evaluation of the size and scope of your operation.

Best For

Medium to large companies looking to hire top talent in software development, UX/UI design, project management, product management, and more.

Worth Checking Out:

Guru is a web-based, easy-to-use, and cost-effective platform for companies to recruit talented freelancers around the world across different service types. All businesses have to do is post jobs, compare the received quotes you receive then hire the best freelance applicants for the job. Guru offers flexible payment options including fixed, hourly, task-based, and recurring payments with SafePay payment protection. The platform also offers features to collaborate, communicate, and track the work of recruits.

Guru

Stats

  • 800,000 Employers Worldwide
  • 1 Million Paid Invoices
  • $250 Million Paid to Freelancers
  • 99% Customer Satisfaction Rate

Guru

Pricing

Guru allows businesses to find, hire, and manage freelancers at no cost. It charges a nominal handling fee of 2.9% for each invoice paid. However, if eCheck or wire transfer are used, a 100% cashback on the handling fee is received.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes looking to recruit freelancers across multiple service types both locally and internationally.

Worth Checking Out:

Transformify is a cloud-based freelancer management system and applicant tracking system for companies to source, onboard, assign projects to and pay their contingent workforce. Businesses can easily communicate with freelancers through the platform and pay them on time with Transformify’s invoice consolidation capability. To further reduce your team’s efforts, Transformify integrates with many business solutions including those for enterprise resource planning, project management, team collaboration and more.

Transformify

Stats

  • 1.3 million freelancers
  • 4500 business
  • 150+ countries
  • 130+ currencies
  • 15+ CSR programs
  • 60% cost saving

Transformify

Pricing

Transformify prices its ATS and FMS separately as follows:

  • FMS: $5 per team member, billed monthly. This includes everything you need to manage and pay remote teams, consultants, and freelancers.
  • ATS: $50 per posted job. This plan provides insights into candidates’ skills and salary expectations.

Best For

Companies of all sizes looking to hire and manage 100+ freelancers. The platform would also make a good addition to companies looking to implement CSR activities.

Worth Checking Out:

TalentDesk is a cloud-based freelancer management platform that helps companies source, onboard and manage freelancers, as well as consolidate invoices and automate payments. TalentDesk features a project management dashboard that enables managers to keep track of project progress, budgets, and deadlines, as well as subdivide projects into tasks and allocate them to specific people. The dashboard also facilitates collaboration between freelancers and internal teams with built-in communication capability.

TalentDesk

Stats

  • 1,003,622 businesses
  • 2,909,437 freelancers
  • £137,354,376 earned by freelancers

TalentDesk

Pricing

TalentDesk’s pricing is not disclosed on their website. You may reach out to their sales team for a quote according to the scope and size of your operation.

Best For

Medium to large businesses looking to source and manage freelancers across different departments/roles.

Worth Checking Out:

Shortlist is a user-friendly platform for companies to compliantly source, onboard, manage, and pay freelancers in over 180 countries. It features AI-based talent matching, multi-step workflows, an analytics dashboard, and 3rd party integrations with HR, project management, accounting tools, and more to reduce your efforts and streamline your operations. Customizations such as white-labeling are also available on-demand for enterprise customers.

Shortlist

Stats

  • Over 100,000 users and the world's top brands use Shortlist
  • Quick approvals and secure payments to over 180 countries

Shortlist

Pricing

Shortlist has two plans:

  • Growth: A good choice for growing companies who are scaling their freelancer network.
  • Enterprise: A full-featured plan for large scale companies with a large network of freelancers and vendors.

The pricing of the above plans isn’t listed on Shortlist’s website. You may however contact their team for a price quote, demo, and sign up for a 30-day free trial.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes looking to recruit and manage freelancers locally and internationally.

Worth Checking Out:

Freelancer is a marketplace platform for businesses to recruit, manage, and pay freelancers across hundreds of different service types. Simply post a job you need completed, receive competitive bids from freelancers, then choose the freelancer that best suits your needs. Freelancer’s desktop app allows companies to track progress, monitor hours, communicate, share, and do much more. The platform also features a mobile app with messaging functionality to stay in touch with freelancers on-the-go.

Freelancer

Stats

  • 48 million professionals on demand
  • Get work done in over 1800 different categories

Freelancer

Pricing

You can sign up, post a project, receive bids from freelancers, review the freelancer's portfolio, and discuss the project requirements for free. If you choose to award the project, and the freelancer accepts, the platform charges a project fee relative to the value of the selected bid, as an introduction fee. The cost and how this fee is charged depends on the type of project.

  • For fixed-price projects, a fee of 3% or $3.00 (whichever is greater) is levied at the time a project that has been awarded by you has been accepted by each freelancer you award. 
  • For hourly projects, a fee of 3% is levied on each payment that you make to the freelancer.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes with projects available for freelancer bidding.

Worth Checking Out:

Field Nation is a cloud-based workforce management solution that connects businesses with US-based freelancers offering over 20 different service types. All they have to do is post work orders, then choose the best candidate for the job from the technicians responding to the post. Each technician’s qualifications and reviews can easily be viewed before reaching out to them and offering them the job.

Field Nation

Stats

  • 1mm+ work orders processed annually
  • 7000 clients
  • 100,000+ technicians across North America
  • 20+ service types
  • 98% success rate

Field Nation

Pricing

Field Nation allows businesses to assign up to 50 work orders per month for free. It doesn’t charge any fees to search for workers or place work orders. Businesses fund the cost of the work order and technicians pay 10% of the work order price.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes looking to recruit US-based freelancers across multiple service types.

Worth Checking Out:

SkillValue is a platform for businesses to hire top talent in tech roles; this includes full-stack developers, DevOps engineers, data scientists, product managers, SEO experts, and more. To help businesses assemble their team of tech freelancers, SkillValue’s CTOs & talent acquisition experts carry out a rigorous selection process that involves interviewing a shortlist of developers to assess their tech skills as well as their understanding of the architecture potential clients have in place or want to create. When this process is complete, a final list of developers is provided to the client to choose from.

SkillValue

Stats

  • SkillValue has a talent database of over 30,000 certified freelance developers. 
  • SkillValue works with SMB clients, software publishers & key accounts including 7 unicorns and 450+ startups.
  • SkillValue has assessed over 400,000 developers using 700+ different tests that cover 160 technical skills.

SkillValue

Pricing

SkillValue’s pricing is not disclosed on their website. You may reach out to their sales team for a price quote according to the scope and size of your operation.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes looking to recruit coders and developers on a freelance basis.

Worth Checking Out:

Kalo is an easy-to-use FMS that handles everything from freelancer sourcing to onboarding and payments. It features a comprehensive database that’s searchable by skill and keywords, as well as filtered by availability, location, and highest-rated. With Kalo, you can organize and group your freelancers, rate and review their performance, check their availability, store their contracts, NDAs, W9s, add private notes on their profiles, track and approve their invoices, and more. You can also integrate Kalo with your favorite apps such as DocuSign, Slack, and Asana.

Kalo

Stats

  • Kalo is used by over 5,000 teams to organize over 220,000 freelancers.
  • Easily pay your freelancers in over 75 countries.

Kalo

Pricing

Kalo has two pricing plans:

  • Starter: costs $149/month for access to the freelancer database. This plan permits up to 100 freelancer contacts and 5 team users.
  • Pro: costs $499/month for access to the freelancer database plus features for project, invoice, and report management. This plan doesn’t have any limitation on freelancer contacts and allows up to 10 team users to have access to the platform.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes looking to recruit and manage freelancers locally and internationally.

Worth Checking Out:

TalonFMS is a cloud-based FMS that helps businesses safely source, hire, manage, and pay freelancers. It features a searchable directory with AI-powered matching for you to find the most suitable candidates, fully branded and configurable accounts, bespoke reporting to see how your team is performing; and last but not least, 3rd party integrations with your existing systems HR and accounting systems for seamless synchronization of your data.

TalonFMS

Stats

TalonFMS

Pricing

TalonFMS offers two plans for organizations with large or complex on-demand resource requirements: Professional and Enterprise. The pricing of both plans isn’t listed on TalonFMS’s website and is determined by their team based on the size and scope of your operation.

Best For

Medium to large businesses looking to source and manage freelancers across different departments/roles.

Worth Checking Out:

Owned by ADP, WorkMarket is a platform that enables companies to efficiently and compliantly assemble and manage their extended workforce of 1099 contractors and freelancers. Through it, companies can identify freelancers, verify their credentials, manage their assignments, pay them, rate their performance, and more. To further streamline operations and have data sync effortlessly, WorkMarket integrates with many popular business solutions including, CRMs, service desks, accounting systems, recruiting systems, learning management systems, and communication tools.

WorkMarket

Stats

  • A global security team with over 300 specialists
  • The financial strength of a Fortune 250

WorkMarket

Pricing

WorkMarket’s pricing is not disclosed on their website. You may reach out to their sales team for a quote according to the scope and size of your operation.

Best For

Medium to large companies looking for a robust FMS to hire and manage freelancers in the US.

Worth Checking Out:

Formally known as Elance-oDesk, Upwork is a platform that connects businesses of all sizes to freelancers across different service types. First, businesses post projects in need of freelancer help, and Upwork’s AI-powered talent matching will bring up the best freelancers available for the job. All that’s left to do is to recruit, manage, and pay the selected freelancer, all through the platform.

Upwork

Stats

  • Trusted by 5M+ businesses
  • A database of freelancers with over 5,000 skills across more than 70 categories of work
  • Businesses report cost savings of 50% vs traditional hiring

Upwork

Pricing

Upwork has three plans: 

  • Basic: Free.
  • Plus: $49.99/month.
  • Enterprise: Price is determined based on the size and scope of your operation. 

 A 3% payment processing fee applies when you pay your freelancers.

Best For

Businesses of all sizes looking to recruit freelancers both locally and internationally across different service types.

Worth Checking Out:

Looking for an HR Tech consultant to help out?

We've hand picked a shortlist of consultants who can help with vendor selection, implementation, strategy, and more

Final Thoughts

If you are thinking of assembling a workforce of freelancers and independent contractors, then it is time for you to ditch that messy spreadsheet and invest in a freelance management system to achieve your vision quickly and effectively. All of the solutions we’ve listed in this guide would make a great addition to your tech stack. All you have to do is: 

  • Align with your HR, Finance, and Operations managers regarding their needs and expectations before selecting a product; 
  • Carefully consider those needs as well as your budget and choose an FMS that meets them; 
  • Request a trial account to test the platform’s features first-hand and see if they cover all of your needs;
  • Schedule demo sessions with different vendors to get all of your questions answered.

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