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10 Best Freelance Management Systems (2024)

The best freelance management systems handpicked and reviewed by our HR experts. Get info on key features, pricing, benefits, recommendations, and more below.

Huda Idris
Written by
Huda Idris
Technical writer, B2B software advisor, and marketing strategist
Contributing Experts
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Last Updated: Mar 28, 2024
TOP
End-to-End FMS, Quick Payment Process
TalentDesk
4.1
Popularity Score
4.6
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
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TOP
End-to-End FMS, Quick Payment Process
TalentDesk
4.1
Popularity Score
4.6
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
Global payroll + freelance talent management
Worksome
4.6
Popularity Score
4.0
User Score
4.8
Product  Score
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TOP
Global payroll + freelance talent management
Worksome
4.6
Popularity Score
4.0
User Score
4.8
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
ADP-Produced FMS for Enterprises
WorkMarket
4.6
Popularity Score
3.2
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
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TOP
ADP-Produced FMS for Enterprises
WorkMarket
4.6
Popularity Score
3.2
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Learn More
Over 3 million HR leaders trust our advice

Introduction to Freelance Management Systems

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.

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Top Freelance Management Systems

TalentDesk

: End-to-End FMS, Quick Payment Process

Worksome

: Global payroll + freelance talent management

WorkMarket

: ADP-Produced FMS for Enterprises

Upwork

: FMS Great for Long-Term Services

SkillValue

: Tech Talent & Developer-Focused FMS

Field Nation

: Focus on Matching US Clients with Field Technicians

Freelancer

: FMS Boasts a Massive Talent Pool

Guru

: Affordable FMS for International Talent

Toptal

: FMS with Rigorous Talent Vetting

Worksuite

: Solid Freelance Management Platform

Our Criteria: Here's How We Chose The Top Freelance Management Systems

Finding the best Freelance Management Systems (FMS) was an extensive undertaking, led by our seasoned editorial team and guided by insights from industry leaders. To curate this SSR shortlist, we evaluated numerous tools on critical criteria including— freelancer sourcing features, onboarding features, work management features, and payment processing capabilities.

  • Freelancer Sourcing: We prioritized platforms that excel in their sourcing capabilities. The selected systems offer, at the very least, robust talent pools, advanced search filters, and smart matching algorithms that connect businesses with the most suitable freelancers for their projects.
  • Onboarding: We sought out FMS options that provide comprehensive onboarding processes. For us, a top platform must offer features such as contract management, NDA agreements, and project briefings.
  • Work Management Features: To be a top choice, an FMS needs features that assist with project management. Our chosen platforms provide tools like task tracking, progress reports, and real-time collaboration.
  • Payment Processing: We evaluated platforms that offer various payment methods, such as direct bank transfers or integration with reliable payment gateways. The selected solutions prioritize prompt and accurate payments, ensuring freelancers receive their earnings in a timely manner.

To gain deeper insights into our meticulous evaluation process and explore our handpicked selection of the finest HR tech solutions, check out our post on how we curate the best HR tech.

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Compare the Top Freelance Management Systems

Popularity Score
Best for
Key Differentiator
Pricing
Free Trial
Customers
Users Score
Product Score

TalentDesk

Most Popular
4.1
4.6
4.1

Worksome

Most Popular
4.6
4.0
4.8

WorkMarket

Most Popular
4.6
3.2
4.1

Upwork

Most Popular
4.2
4.3
4.4

SkillValue

Most Popular
4.1
3.6
4.2

Field Nation

Most Popular
4.1
4.4
4.0

Freelancer

Most Popular
4.1
4.5
4.2

Toptal

Most Popular
4.0
4.7
4.3

Worksuite

Most Popular
4.0
4.6
4.3
Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast

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Detailed Reviews of the Best Freelance Management Systems

TalentDesk

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TalentDesk
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Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
4.6 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked TalentDesk

TalentDesk makes it easy for you to compliantly grow your team of freelancers, independent contractors, and even full-time employees with talent from over 150 countries. It can also help you process multicurrency payments and track the progress and budget of your projects.

PROS

  • The Freelancer Management System (FMS) plan is free for freelancers and independent contractors to use. 
  • With TalentDesk, all your team’s financial data will be stored in your accounting system automatically so you don’t have to do extra manual work to update your books.
  • Users get free access to the top 3000 freelancers from their 4-million marketplace of pre-vetted and rated candidates.
  • TalentDesk’s built-in legal, tax, and privacy support ensure you are hiring, managing, and paying your workforce compliantly.
  • Freelancer payments can be automated with TalentDesk, which saves a great deal of time. The system will send each of your freelancers their invoices while you get your own synthesized invoice to pay them all at once.
  • The software’s centralized dashboard can help you save time and effort in keeping track of and monitoring your projects’ deadlines, expenses, and budgets.
  • The Freelancer Management System (FMS) plan is free for freelancers and independent contractors to use.
  • With TalentDesk, all your team’s financial data will be stored in your accounting system automatically so you don’t have to do extra manual work to update your books.
  • Users get free access to the top 3000 freelancers from their 4-million marketplace of pre-vetted and rated candidates.
  • TalentDesk’s built-in legal, tax, and privacy support ensure you are hiring, managing, and paying your workforce compliantly.
  • Freelancer payments can be automated with TalentDesk, which saves a great deal of time. The system will send each of your freelancers their invoices while you get your own synthesized invoice to pay them all at once.
  • The software’s centralized dashboard can help you save time and effort in keeping track of and monitoring your projects’ deadlines, expenses, and budgets.

CONS

  • TalentDesk does not have a free version for employers, but they do have a 15-day free trial that you can sign up for to test their offering.
  • A few users reported experiencing bugs and crashes, but have noted that TalentDesk’s support team is quick in providing assistance.
  • TalentDesk does not have a free version for employers, but they do have a 15-day free trial that you can sign up for to test their offering.
  • A few users reported experiencing bugs and crashes, but have noted that TalentDesk’s support team is quick in providing assistance.

TalentDesk Review

TalentDesk is a cloud-based freelancer management platform that helps companies source, onboard, and manage freelancers. Naturally, the tool can also be used to consolidate invoices and automate payments. We especially like this last feature, which can save a lot of time when you’re dealing with ongoing contributors.

From the cloud-based platform, you can manage everything through a real-time dashboard that provides a bird-eye view of project progress, budgets, and deadlines. One of our favorite aspects of the tool is how you can subdivide projects into tasks and allocate them to specific people instantly.

The system also facilitates collaboration between freelancers and internal teams through built-in 1:1 and group chats. Tied to this, the tool also facilitates the finding of new talent through their TalentMarket arm. Briefly, businesses can reach out to freelancers and discuss project specifics before inviting them to join the platform.

We’ve been reviewing TalentDesk for a few years now, checking in with their team from time to time, and demoing and trying the tool. It’s notable how they’re always adding new features and improving the platform. For example, e-contracts were a novel addition not so long ago, and one of their main weaknesses from before— not having an open API— was addressed very recently. In addition to pre-built integrations, organizations can now custom-fit TalentDesk into their established platforms and processes.

TalentDesk Customers

Veeva, Mindvalley, Berlitz, Apartment Therapy, Outside Inc, Euromonitor, Plum Guide

TalentDesk Pricing

TalentDesk has three plans:

  • Freelancer Management System (FMS): This plan starts at $449/month for three admin seats, and you need to pay $99/month per extra seat. With this plan, an unlimited number of Contractors and Freelancers get free access to the software.
  • Agent of Record (AOR): $69/month per contractor.
  • Employer of Record (EOR): The pricing for EOR support starts from $399/month per employee and may vary depending on the country.

Best For

TalentDesk is a great option for companies working with freelancers on a regular basis. Companies looking for ways to grow their remote workforce but don’t want to get involved in the admin nitty gritty, can also benefit from TalendDesk’s offering.

TalentDesk in action
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Worksome

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Worksome
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.6 / 5
User Score
4 / 5
Product Score
4.8 / 5

Why we picked Worksome

Worksome excels in freelance talent management. Designed to cater to the needs of both multinational employers and the freelancers who contract for them, this platform simplifies the entire process of freelance management while assuring all compliance requirements are in order.

PROS

  • Worksome is purpose-built for global workforce management.
  • Risk mitigation, indemnification, and peace of mind.
  • Open API for easy integration with other business ops tools.
  • Finely tuned focus on some of the most challenging aspects of operating a global workforce
  • Risk mitigation with indemnification
  • Open API
  • Utilizes vetted IC base for talent acquisition and direct-hire recruiting

CONS

  • Not a great fit for small companies
  • EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act may prove problematic – time will tell
  • Built for scale, so not a great fit for small companies
  • Some ICs report the UI is cluttered and can be challenging to use
  • Possible incompatibilities with EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act

Worksome Review

This platform is nothing short of a compliance engine. It seamlessly handles numerous operational elements, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. This all-in-one tool can be a game-changer for companies struggling to manage international freelance contractors.

One notable element is the worker classification feature which simplifies, streamlines, and helps ensure compliance. Worksome even offers customer indemnification, alleviating concerns about audits and the enormous financial consequences of tiny mistakes. By providing this peace of mind, they help their customers focus on what they really need to do: run their business!

Worksome Customers

Unilever, Ted Baker, Pepsi, Carlsberg, The Oliver Agency, and Petrol Advertising, among others.

Worksome Pricing

Basic Plan is free, with no time limit and no setup fee. Worksome collects a percentage of each contract fee.

Enterprise Plan is customized. Contact their sales team for more info.

user dashboard shows global payroll

Best For

The ideal customer for Worksome manages about 10,000 freelance contractors and is ready for an all-in-one platform for contractor/freelance management, payroll, compliance, and recruiting. That isn’t to say that smaller teams will be dissatisfied with the tool – some may even plan to grow into it.

Worksome in action
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WorkMarket

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WorkMarket
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Popularity Score
4.6 / 5
User Score
3.2 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked WorkMarket

Owned by ADP, WorkMarket offers a comprehensive and robust FMS that brings structure to many processes, from hiring, vetting, onboarding and customizing talent pools, to assigning tasks to and paying freelancers.

PROS

  • WorkMarket is fairly easy to navigate even if you’re new to FMSs. Plus, their help center is well-stocked with resources on every feature the platform offers, along with screenshots and videos for better vidualization of how to use the platform.
  • Searchable profile custom fields is an interesting feature we liked about the platform. You can add a new field to a profile and it will be searchable within the platform’s Find Talent page. Furthermore, the field is visible to your company only so it comes in handy when you want to add private notes on your candidates, such as the names of projects you’d like them to join, your ratings of their services, etc.
  • If you have a range of similar assignments line up, the Save As Template function on WorkMarket’s Add Assignment tab would come in handy as it allows you to save and reuse your submitted assignments.
  • A Mobile app is available for you to track deliverables and communicate with your contractors in real-time.
  • Through the platform, freelancers are able to keep track of their work, HR information and payments.

CONS

  • The majority of WorkMarket’s registered freelancers are based within the US, which means if you’re looking for international talent, your options are limited.
  • WorkMarket supports their customers in organizing their network of freelancers by providing two types of labor clouds: public labor cloud and private labor cloud. However, the platform does not currently offer a way to switch between these two, which means if you want make the switch, you will need to recreate a new labor cloud.
  • Some of WorkMarket’s users state don’t prefer using the solution’s mobile app due quite limited features compared to the web app.
  • There currently isn’t a ‘remember me’ box to tick and you are required to do two-factor authentication every single time you log in using your trusted devices.

WorkMarket Review

WorkMarket offers end-to-end services, enabling businesses to manage their external workforce from onboarding through payments-all in one place.

With WorkMarket, you can pick out freelancers that work best for the project at hand, manage them during the project and pay them upon completion. Apart from offering their built-in freelancer hub, the platform also provides the option for you to store your existing talent onto the platform to centralize your workforce management efforts. There are a considerable automations available to help you along the way, such as ensuring all compliance requirements are met before you engage further workers, sending bulk invitations to freelancers, and automating the payment process.

WorkMarket Customers

Quantum Installations Group, Source Support Services, ClearVision AV, NewCo Shift

WorkMarket Pricing

WorkMarket currently offers two subscription plans: SMB self-service platform and WorkMarket platform and neither of their pricings are disclosed upfront. You may connect with their team for more information.

Best For

Medium and large sized companies that are either frequently working with contractors and freelancers or looking to build a team a distributed team are likely to get the most out of WorkMarket’s tools. Also, with the majority of their talent being based in the US, the solution is most helpful to businesses looking to expand their external workforce within the country.

WorkMarket in action
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Upwork

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Upwork
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Popularity Score
4.2 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.4 / 5

Why we picked Upwork

Upwork has a large database of freelancers. It's also relatively affordable and easy to use; anyone can easily create an account and start using it.

PROS

  • Their freelancer rating and review system lets you get an idea of a candidate's abilities before making a commitment.
  • You can leave your own reviews to let others know the strengths and weaknesses of specific freelancers.
  • Periodic screenshots make it easy to verify that your freelancer is spending the appropriate amount of time on your project.
  • Integrated messaging lets users stay in touch via desktop, or mobile devices.

CONS

  • Freelancers aren’t always vetted for credentials, qualifications, and experience.
  • Many user reviews mention frequent account issues.
  • Extensive and confusing guidelines are difficult to follow for some users.
  • Customer service could use improvement, especially when it comes to dispute resolution.
  • Some technical bugs and glitches are still present in the platform.

Upwork Review

Some of Upwork’s most useful features are aimed at freelancer management. Not only can you browse their entire freelancer database at no cost, but you can invite individual freelancers to apply for job listings, review proposals, send online messages, and provide secure invoices.

Upwork also offers paid services, which include talent sourcing, compliance assistance, dedicated program managers, onboarding support, and more. Companies with specialized needs can also receive a custom-tailored plan that is designed to their specifications.

Upwork Customers

Some of Upwork’s customers include Microsoft, General Electric, Airbnb, Coty, and Bissell.

Upwork Pricing

Upwork has four pricing plans:

  • Marketplace: Upwork’s basic pricing model is free on a month-to-month basis, but it does charge a fee of 3% - 5% per transaction on their client marketplace.
  • Enterprise: This is a custom-tailored pricing plan that is determined according to the size and scope of your operation.
  • Any Hire: This service lets you bring your own outsourced freelancers into the Upwork system for management and processing. It’s available at a rate of $49 per month plus 3% transaction fees for contractors and $49 to $799 per employee per month plus 3% transaction fees and payroll fees ranging from 5% to 70%.
  • Payroll: Available as an add-on to the Enterprise plan, this service charges a total fee of 23% per contract.

Best For

Upwork is ideal for employers who often tap into the freelance workforce to fill open vacancies. It’s also a great option for organizations with minimal budgets.

Upwork in action
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SkillValue

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SkillValue
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Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
3.6 / 5
Product Score
4.2 / 5

Why we picked SkillValue

SkillValue makes it easier for businesses to assess developers. With built-in tests varying in difficulty and skill types, you can pick the ones you need, invite candidates to take the tests, and review their performance within the platform.

PROS

  • It takes a few minutes to create an account on Skillvalue platform, and you’ll be provided with 8 tests and up to 10 jobs per year without needing to pay for anything.
  • SkillValue’s database includes 40,000 pre-vetted freelancers covering most popular programming languages with demonstrated technical and soft skills.
  • We should mention the platform’s built-in IT recruitment services here as they equip employer users with quite a handful of testing templates and tools, from criteria that help you source candidates within the platform’s developer community, to internal interviews to evaluate English, certain soft skills as well as technical skills of the candidates.
  • As an employer customer, you’ll be given the access to the top 5% of SkillValue freelancer community. The platform has a criteria that requires the freelancers to meet to be proposed to you. Beyond that, you will be given the option to require their top 3%, or even the top 1%.
  • You may also notice that new tests are frequently added on the SkillValue’s website, which enables companies to design their selection process based on up-to-date and on-demand technologies and roles.

CONS

  • Even though you are already in SkillValue platform’s dashboard, the website still requires you to log in again (and verify your email if any) every time you visit its other tools, such as freelancers or outsourcing. This seems to be not so convenient for users if they’d like to switch around the platform’s functionalities.
  • There are quite an array of tests provided on the platform to evaluate candidates’ tech skills. However, when it comes to some other areas, such as content marketing, business intelligence, or design, the number of test samples is quite limited for customers to choose from.
  • You will be expected to get instant guidance messages from a dedicated person in each step you make on SkillValue, from creating your first project and publishing it on the platform’s job ads, to shortlisting freelancers and finalizing the contract with your chosen ones. Frankly, despite the quantity of assigned support executives the website gives you, the promptness isn’t so impressive. So if you need the answers fast, the better way is booking a call with the support team.

SkillValue Review

SkillValue is an assessment solution powering the hiring process of businesses. Most popular technologies can be found in their test bank and are ready for you to use with a few clicks.

SkillValue also offers customers the top 5% profiles of their talent community. The hub includes 40,000 freelancers covering quite a range of skills such as web, mobile, software development, and security. The top 5% matching your requirements will be given to you within 48 hours, as SkillValue claims. Additionally, SkillValue won’t charge for replacements if you’re unsatisfied with the suggested candidates.

SkillValue Customers

Etoffe.com, Paragon ID, Strat’Lab, INFOTEM, Agilitech, CouldMargin, MADE, MISSGUIDED, Rakuten, StraighterLine, TripAdvisor, SumUp.

SkillValue Pricing

SkillValue gives their customers the option to choose either a subscription plan or to pay for credits.

There are three subscription plans available, including a free plan for startups, named SkillValue Starter, which allows you to create up to 20 tests per month and 10 jobs per year.

The two other subscription plans are designed for growing companies and enterprises respectively. For those plans, you have the option to pay per month at $299 or per year at $2,868 for one user. These two plans both give you full access to the platform’s quiz and smart quiz test bank, and the more users you purchase, the cheaper the prices you’ll get. The only difference is the number of tests you can create during your subscription period. The 1-month subscription plan provides 50 tests per user per month while the 1-year plan does 500. Also, we notice that prices in EUR are slightly lower than in USD.

For businesses who have occasional recruitments only, SkillValue offers credit premium plans instead. There are four options for you: 30, 50, 100 and 200 credits, all with no expiration date. One credit allows you to send one test to one candidate. Prices vary and start from $417 up to $1580. Similar to the subscription plan, you have access to all SkillValue quizzes and smart quizzes tests, and the more credits you pay, the better prices you’ll receive.

Best For

The businesses that can make the most out of SkillValue are the ones looking to expand their tech team with external resources but have limit capacities in terms of candidate placement time and people with technical background and experience in candidates’ selection process. In addition to English, SkillValue also supports French, which makes the platform especially helpful for users that speak it.

SkillValue in action
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Field Nation

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Field Nation
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Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
4.4 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked Field Nation

Unlike other FMSs, Field Nation’s focus is on connecting field technicians with clients in the US. Businesses can search Feild Nation’s network of contract IT pros to get on-site work done.

PROS

  • Field Nation's search function and rating system make it easier for companies to find suitable technicians throughout the US.
  • The platform lets you create jobs and screen candidates for their skills and experience to find technicians in the area in a timely manner.
  • Customers like their ability to leave notes about technicians, assign them tasks and review and approve their work automatically or with a few clicks.
  • Another feature we enjoy is being able to get real-time field service coverage and pricing data. The platform is able to scan hundreds of zip codes to let you know what your options are. 
  • Field Nation has a mobile app that allows technicians to promptly share updates with clients, upload photos, scan packages, collect signatures, track payments, and much more.

CONS

  • Several users have noted that the software sometimes can take a while to load a page or to route work orders to multiple technicians.
  • Creating a job request is simple, yet you need to put money into it before it has been completed. Also, bear in mind that if you cancel the work order, a penalty may be applied.
  • Field Nation is exclusively available in North America at this time, so it isn’t a great fit for companies looking to engage technicians in different countries.

Field Nation Review

Field Nation is a niche platform, dedicated to helping companies find field technicians in their area. For each job request created, the system provides users several options to find technicians with relevant skills, experience, and ratings. If you have more specialized requests, the platform is also open to helping you find solutions.

The in-app messaging feature allows you to communicate with your technicians, thus, promptly and directly solving issues without dealing with a middle person. You can review work deliverables on the app to ensure their quality. Field Nation will monitor your contractors and risk while covering admin and payment work for you.

Field Nation Customers

Fujitsu, BLM Technologies, Worldlink Integration Group, Tech Data

Field Nation Pricing

Field Nations offer two plans with pricing that are dynamic and dependent on your work order value and how much you'd like to customize your workflow and integrations. The Plus plan starts from $5,250, and the Premier plan starts between $5,250 and $15,250. For exact numbers, it's advised to contact their Sales team.

Best For

Field Nation is best suited for midsize to large corporations to find short-term onsite technicians within the US and Canada.

Field Nation in action
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Freelancer

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Freelancer
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Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
4.5 / 5
Product Score
4.2 / 5

Why we picked Freelancer

62M+ users have used Freelancer to simplify how they get help on both online and offline projects. You can access thousands of independent contractors with specific skills without the need to provide workspace, pay for insurance, vacation leave, or training.

PROS

  • With Freelancer, you can access 53 million service providers on demand to get your work done onsite or offsite, whichever you prefer.
  • There are 2,000+ types of services offered on Freelancer, which makes it easy for you to complete your projects.
  • The platform has no access fees, compulsory subscriptions, or recurring fees. Posting a project or setting up a user account is free.
  • Freelancer allows you to hire service providers directly via its filter functionality, but if you're unsure how to find the right hires, you can hire their agents and get help from them.
  • The cloud-based platform, and Android and iOS apps are available in 34 languages. Users can choose what language they wish to browse Freelancer in.
  • One of the unique features of Freelancer is that companies can post jobs in a contest format, enabling employers to get multiple project solutions to choose from and only have to pay the winner.

CONS

  • Freelancer doesn't offer phone support. Customers can get help via their online customer service or via email.
  • Though Freelancer verifies the identity of users with information such as a driver's license or passport number, like any other freelance website, fake profiles still manage to get through the cracks.
  • There is no screening process available on the platform, making it challenging to ascertain freelancers' quality and experience level.

Freelancer Review

Freelancer is a marketplace platform for businesses to recruit, manage, and pay freelancers across hundreds of different service types. You simply post a job you need to be 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 more. The platform also features a mobile app with messaging functionality to stay in touch with freelancers on the go.

Freelancer Customers

Amazon, Facebook, Deloitte, NASA, IBM, Airbus

Freelancer Pricing

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

For fixed-price projects, a fee of 3% or USD 3.00 (whichever is greater) is levied when you have awarded a project. If you subsequently pay the freelancer more than the original bid amount, they will charge the project fee on any overage payments.

For hourly projects, a fee of 3% is levied on each payment you make to the freelancer. Some other fees are charged if you opt for additional project upgrades.

Best For

While companies of all sizes can benefit from the Freelancer platform, SMBs requiring junior or mid-level freelancers can derive the most value from the platform.

Freelancer in action
Reviewer's Rating
5/10

I use freelancer for multiple roles. As a consultant, I have been contacted by potential clients through the service. Freelancer allows me to search for HR projects. I have met several clients over Freelancer over the years. It is a easy matching tool.

What do you like about this tool?

Freelancer makes it easy to connect with new clients. The service has options for all skill levels. Freelancer also has good customer service.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

I have used freelancer to hire talent for small projects. Freelancer allows users to search and vet talent. It also allows users to hire multiple people for tasks that in house talent is unable to fulfill. It is especially popular for tech development assistance. I have used Freelancer since 2019.

What do you dislike about this tool?

The platform is open to all who post and that makes competing for jobs tedious. There have also been a surplus of false advertisements. Freelancer does not remove posts that are false quickly enough.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

I find Freelancer to be a cost effective tool. Over the years, I have gravitated toward other tools that are better suited to my needs. I do find Freelancer to be a good backup in my talent search when I need assistance.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Do you need consistency on deliverables and are freelancers the best option? Can you support a pro fee of $49+ per month?

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Freelancer has become more responsive to customer service requests and also expanded its options for user requests.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Freelancer is great for businesses of all sizes but I would specifically suggest it for startups and small businesses with budgetary constraints.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I think Freelancer is a broad based tool.

Guru

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Guru
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Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
4.5 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Guru

You can create job posts and get quotes to choose from at no cost on Guru. The platform’s feature also lets you decide on how and when payments will be made while collaborating, communicating and tracking work at one place.

PROS

  • What we like about Guru is its free membership option, which means you can try before you buy. The platform doesn’t cost you a penny to post jobs, get quotes, and search for freelancers on the platform.
  • You’re allowed to release payment for an invoice only after reviewing work.
  • Its seller fees (2.9% handling fee) are fairly low compared to other freelancer platforms. Plus, you’ll receive 100% cashback by paying an invoice using eCheck or wire transfer.
  • There are no fees or hidden costs for creating and executing your customized Guru’s enterprise solution.
  • Through the platform, you’re able to communicate with freelancers directly before hiring.

CONS

  • Guru has limited phone support hours (from Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm EST). However, if you’d like a speedy service, live chat isn’t available for you to use just yet.
  • The platform doesn’t provide the mobile app option yet.
  • While Guru’s flexibility can be convenient when working with freelancers, it can also cause issues. Especially, new users may find the costs quite confusing as when quoting for a job, freelancers can opt to request that the buyer pay part of that commission fee for them.
  • A few users have complained about its billing and arbitration processes.

Guru Review

On Guru, you can find and hire freelancers using built-in secure payment and flexible fee structures. Plus, the platform’s fee is quite affordable compared with other freelancing sites.

Guru’s solutions focus on providing freelancer verification, selection guidance and customizable onboarding process. You can check whether a candidate is verified right on their profiles. Also, Guru’s freelancer profile features play a role in helping employers vet candidates based on skills, experience and performance on the site. Once you decide the recruits, you can customize contracts, the onboarding process, and assign team members to help manage and execute the job with a few clicks.

Guru Customers

O.C. Tanner, TaxConnections

Guru Pricing

You can find, hire, and manage freelancers at no cost on Guru. The platform charges you a nominal handling fee of 2.9% for each invoice you pay. However, if you use eCheck or wire transfer you will get 100% cashback on the handling fee.

Best For

Guru may not get the highest rate in the freelance management market, yet the platform stands out by its low transaction fees. Plus, Guru works with agencies as well as individual freelancers. So budget-minded businesses can benefit from this platform to hire and manage multiple freelancers at once.

Guru in action
Reviewer's Rating
6/10

I use it to post jobs and to analyze potential costs and ROI before proposing the way of recruiting to a Hiring Manager.

After posting a job, I can search for suitable freelancers, and not only send them invitations but ask them for a quote of approximative cost for a project to deliver.

I like the possibility to add more team members with different scope of responsibilities.

For example, only the owner of the account has access to everything (like payment).

Sometimes when a large-scale project is planned, it’s also possible to add different kinds of help as manager, administrator or coordinator for ad-hoc assistance on projects (no payment methods access).

What do you like about this tool?

I’d say that Guru is user-friendly, and surprisingly very simple to handle.

Customer support is usually doing fine with proposing customized solutions.

Compared to other platforms where using any other app in communication with freelancers is forbidden, on Guru it is encouraged to use Whatsapp for swift communication.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Guru can be useful for posting an unlimited number of jobs - for free.

In that way it is easy to evaluate freelancers and their quota’s rates.

Compared to some other freelance platforms, on Guru without even opening an account everybody can see the number of available freelancers per industry.

Sometimes the number of all freelance profiles is 2000 higher than the number of jobs posted, which makes it quite competitive and worthwhile when exploring the talent market.

No matter what kind of project I’m recruiting for, I can suggest to an employer different ways of saying: hourly, fixed price, task-by-task based or weekly/monthly.

Being used several times during 2 years.

What do you dislike about this tool?

It requires a significant time to set an account properly by moving forward with all security options, code verifications and verifying the identity.

Despite the expected (due to high volume of profiles), often there are not many of the top freelancers applying themselves to some jobs posted.

I’m not completely confident about Guru’s search results when I’m using boolean searches.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

When posting the same job on other freelance platforms at the same time - it is possible to get lower quotes on Guru.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

It can be useful to try Guru to explore the talent market. When you are not sure about the predicted approximation of hiring expenses, it's useful to advise clients before the start of the recruitment process.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

User interface became simpler and less sections were divided (less buttons to move around the website).

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

For recruitment agencies and fresh startups.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

For high volume long-term hiring needs.

Toptal

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Toptal
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.7 / 5
Product Score
4.3 / 5

Why we picked Toptal

Toptal helps your recruitment pick up speed without trading off it for candidates’ qualities. By only offering the top 3% talent handpicked by the platform’s experts, businesses can focus on evaluating test project results to decide on the right hires.

PROS

  • As Toptal pre-vets every profile on their website and only introduce the top 3% best performing freelancers to clients, this helps companies to save time on finding and assessing candidates.
  • Trial period are offered every time you work with a new Toptal freelancer as their quality guarantee to clients. You won’t be billed useless you’re satisfied with your hires.
  • As the platform claims on their website, 90% of clients are good with the first candidate Toptal introduces, which means the failure rate is 10% - comparatively low.
  • Toptal equips their customers with a FAQs. Most critical questions regarding their solution can be answered there, including their screening process, intellectual property, and payment, and more.
  • In addition to FAQs, the platform publishes research and insights into setting up and managing distributed teams, which we’ve found quite helpful and up-to-date that businesses may benefit from.

CONS

  • You won’t have the access to Toptal’s talent pool yourself. After getting on a call with you, their executives will handpick most suitable candidates and let you decide whom to hire. While this may save you time spent on candidate vetting process, on the other hand, even though you know exactly what you’re looking for, and have provided the job details on the platform, you still have to rely on Toptal team to move things forward.
  • The average hourly rate for Toptal talent typically starts from $80, which is quite high compared to other freelance marketplaces.
  • As far as we know, there isn’t an option available as of now for you to have access to the candidate's performance results of the platform’s candidate shortlisting rounds. However, it’s worth mentioning that Toptal lets their clients evaluate themselves whether suggested freelancers can truly “walk the walk” via an actual test project and after that, decide the hires.

Toptal Review

Toptal has pretty standard after-hire functionalities built up, but their competency in delivering high-end candidates within days, compared with other freelance marketplaces, is quite impressive.

Toptal’s freelancers are tested on their subject matter expertise, professionalism, and communication skills. Through the platform, companies having on-demand JDs can get introduced with matched candidates in 2-5 weeks, and are offered a real experience working with the suggested candidate before deciding the hire without having a hand in every part of the hiring process. While Toptal talent usually are remote workers, the platform is flexible to have them on-site if requested.

Toptal Customers

Priceline, Motorola, Duolingo, Shopify, CraftHeinz, HP, Udemy, Zendesk, and Gucci are some of the biggest names on Toptal’s client list.

Toptal Pricing

Toptal doesn’t have a fixed price as it depends on the clients’ specific requirements as well as what the candidate expectations are.

In any case, as you setup your account, the platform will require an initial deposit of $500 that will be applies as a credit to your first invoice once you decide on the hire. This deposit, however, will be fully refunded if you choose to not move forward and you can use it for the next candidate. After the first recruit, Toptal won’t require you to make a deposit for the following jobs.

The cost per hire varies mostly by location and is incorporated into hourly rates. Below are the average rates for commonly hired skills on Toptal:

  • Developers: $90 - $170+
  • Designers: $80 - $150+
  • Finance experts: $90 - $230+
  • Project managers: $90 - $150+
  • Product managers: $90 - $150+

Toptal currently accepts credit cards, ACH (Automated Clearing House), bank wires, and PayPal. The platform is flexible in terms of the payment schedule, though typically their invoices are sent out bi-monthly. Invoices are generated with Net 10 terms to enable businesses to review the charges before processing.

Best For

Toptal can be a great FMS to for both small businesses and large companies who don’t mind paying a premium to cut loose from all the hoops of candidates’ screening, shortlisting and payment processing and get high-end freelancers in a matter of days.

Toptal in action
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Worksuite

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Worksuite
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.6 / 5
Product Score
4.3 / 5

Why we picked Worksuite

If you view external workers as customers, you can think of Worksuite as a CRM for your business. The platform is designed to help you build your own freelancer databases while working smarter on task management and onboarding with built-in automations.

PROS

  • Worksuite allows users to send bulk payments to their freelancers while having clear visibility into their freelancer spend at each step. Plus, the product’s built-in conditional formatting for payments and taxes setup helps ensure freelancers automatically get the correct tax paperwork, no matter where they are.
  • You can customize tasks and projects on the platform. There are also different customizable fields on profiles, which can be quite helpful for businesses that with to personalize the onboarding process and enhance the experience of their candidates.
  • The tool’s customer support is quite comprehensive. In addition to 24/7 live chatbot, the platform also equips users with a help center and 1:1 sessions with their team to ensure they get the needed help in a timely manner.
  • A 14-day free trial is available for you to try before buying. During your first-week trial, you’ll also be assigned an account manager to assist you further.
  • New features are released frequently, and the platform will notify you of those promptly in your dashboard.

CONS

  • Some bulk options for editing tasks on Worksuite are not available on the platform’s current version.
  • Reporting and project-tracking features aren’t at their full capacities, and neither does the platform’s search bar. As of now, you’re not able to search specific keywords in some places on candidate profiles, such as the resume, description, or internal notes.
  • There’s no option to preview a document on the website unless you download it.
  • Worksuite doesn’t have a mobile app at this time yet.
  • A few users of Worksuite reported that the website at times takes longer to load or respond.
  • The timesheet and payment processing cycles are weekly by default, so it may not be friendly to users that use monthly invoice schedule.

Worksuite Review

Worksuites provides a data-protected space for businesses to scale, organize, and pay their external workforce, including freelancers and agencies across regions.

The platform offers an end-to-end lifecycle solution to customize, streamline and automate the onboarding process while keeping track of external workers, project spend, and task status. In addition, their built-in features enable organizations to handle compliance, cross-border payment, and reporting with a few clicks.

Worksuite Customers

Disney, Netflix, Microsoft, The Home Depot, BetterUp

Worksuite Pricing

 Worksuite has flexible pricing, consisting of three plans:

  • The Essentials plan with five users is $500 if paid monthly and $5,400 annually. You will need to pay a separate fee for the implementation, which is $2,000. An additional $75 per month per user will be billed if you wish to add more users to the plan. Be noted though you can have up to 14 members with this plan.
  • The Vision plan with 15 users costs you $1,000 if paid monthly and $10,800 annually. The implementation fee is $4,000. The fee for an additional user is $100 per month.
  • The Enterprise plan’s price is not disclosed on the website and requires businesses to do a demo with Worksuite’s team to get the quotation.

Best For

Though Worksuite can benefit companies of different sizes, we recommend the platform mainly for medium and large businesses working with a high volume of freelancers and thus need a central place to manage them.

Worksuite in action
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Benefits of Using a Freelance Management System

  • Hire talented freelancers faster: With an FMS, you’re able to fill talent gaps around your company quicker as you’ll have access to a searchable database of talented freelancers, complete with all the information you need to choose suitable candidates; this includes freelancer rates, work history, performance history, availability, contact details and more. 
  • Ensure Compliance: Without an FMS, freelancers are engaged through different channels and information related to their potential employment is scattered across emails, docs, and spreadsheets etc. In such cases, it is difficult to guarantee that everyone is on the same page with all the terms of employment before contracts are signed. Because an FMS takes care of the onboarding process from A-Z, it leaves no room for confusion that could lead to legal issues later on. 
  • Increase productivity: Using an FMS helps you automate many processes that are otherwise quite tedious and take up a great deal of your team’s time. When different departments across your company aren’t manually dealing with freelancer sourcing, onboarding, payment, and management, they’re able to focus on other important tasks that contribute to your bottom line. 
  • Maintain good relationships with freelancers: When freelancers are managed through outdated channels and processes, it easy for them to get frustrated and dissatisfied with your company which in turn, will have a negative impact on your projects’ development and brand reputation. An FMS eliminates this dissatisfaction by ensuring your freelancers are able to access information related to their employment, easily reach out to you for any queries, receive their payments on time, and more.

Pro Tips on Freelance Management Systems

Common Mistakes Made When Buying a Freelance Management System

It’s very easy to make mistakes when choosing a freelance management system if you don’t thoroughly research what's available on the market and carefully consider the needs and budget of your business. Here are some of the most common mistakes businesses make:  

  • Choosing an FMS with a recurring monthly fee when you’re not hiring freelancers often.
  • Choosing an FMS with transaction-based pricing when you’re hiring a large group of freelancers.
  • Not aligning internally with all departments that could benefit from an FMS to determine your product selection criteria.

Pricing Models

The pricing models of freelance management systems vary from one vendor to another. Some vendors charge a monthly subscription fee, ranging from $49 to $499 per month while others charge a percentage per transaction, which can be cost-efficient for businesses that don’t engage freelancers very frequently. Some vendors may also offer free memberships with limited access to features. Do keep in mind that in all cases, additional fees may apply for on-demand services such as customizations, contract management, compliance services, and dedicated account management.

Key Features of a Freelance Management System

Freelance management systems are not created equal; they vary in terms of overall offerings and price points. While that may be the case, the following are some of the most essential features you can expect from most freelance management systems available today:

  • Talent vetting: An FMS provides you with access to a large database of registered freelancers who are ready to work. All you have to do is filter the database with your job requirements to find the most relevant candidates, then check their profiles to see if their experience and skill set is the right fit for your available role.
  • Hiring and on-boarding: Once you’ve identified a suitable candidate, you can communicate with them regarding both of your expectations, extend them an offer and get the paperwork started - all through your FMS. Your FMS will make this process easy with a structured onboarding procedure that’s easy-to-follow both for you and your freelancer to immediately get to work.
  • Contract management: An important feature of an FMS is the ability to design the terms of employment for all the freelancers you’re recruiting and have it all in writing for them to sign on; this includes the start and end date of their contract, the agreed-upon compensation, work product ownership, etc.
  • Project management: After hiring freelancers, you start assigning them projects to work on. Your FMS will help you define a clear timeline - along with milestones - for the completion of your projects so everyone is on track. All completed projects are stored in your FMS for your reference. 
  • Team communication: Communicating with freelancers can be challenging when they’re not physically working at your office. Between emails, chats, and calls, it’s easy for details to fall through the cracks and be missed. An FMS helps you keep all communication related to your project in one place. You can contact your freelancers through it to check on their progress and similarly, they can get in touch with you if they have any questions/updates. 
  • Invoicing and payments: The more freelancers you hire, the more it gets difficult for your finance department to handle invoice and payment processing, especially if the terms and methods of payment vary from one invoice to another. An FMS makes this process easy both for your freelancers and for your team as invoice creation is automated and all invoices are neatly categorized and summarized for you to just click “approve” (or equivalent) for payments to be processed right away.  
  • Analytics: An FMS provides you with a holistic view of how your freelancers are performing in real-time so you can identify areas of improvement and make decisions accordingly. It lets you know how many hours your freelancers are logging, how many projects/milestones they have completed, which of them are performing more consistently and more - all through a single analytics dashboard with downloadable reports. 
  • 3rd party integrations: The best freelance management systems integrate with a great number of business solutions to further enhance your team’s operations and minimize duplicated effort. These solutions include human resources management systems (HRMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, vendor management systems (VMS), accounting software, applicant tracking systems (ATS), E-signature and contract management software, project management software, team collaboration software, and more. You can usually find out if an FMS integrates with a product you use by checking the FMS’s pre-built integration modules, usually listed on their website.

Questions to Ask During Demo Sessions

When shopping for a freelance management system (or any solution for that matter), we always recommend that you schedule as many demos as possible with different vendors to make sure their solution is compatible with the needs of your business. Here are a few questions you can ask during your demos: 

  • How many freelancers are registered on your platform?
  • How many countries can I hire freelancers from?
  • Can you show me the filtering criteria to search your database for specific freelancers?
  • Can you show me how I can reach out to freelancers through your platform?
  • Can you walk me through the freelancer onboarding process?
  • Is there any job bidding or do freelancers just apply as they would for a regular job?
  • What processes can I automate through your software?
  • How easy is it to implement your solution, and would I be able to do it myself?
  • What business solutions does your software integrate with?
  • What metrics have you used to prove the effectiveness of your solution, and where can I see these in my analytics dashboard?
  • How much does the software cost for my team size?
  • What fees do freelancers incur (if any) if I hire them through your platform?

Implementing a Freelance Management System

Implementing a freelance management system is relatively easy, especially since the majority of them are cloud-based, delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) infrastructure. Getting started with a cloud-based solution is very quick; once you’ve purchased a subscription that meets your needs, you can create an account and start configuring it right away. This includes designing a profile for your business, defining your onboarding requirements, employment types, payments schedule, etc.

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.

About Us

  • Our goal at SSR is to help HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software for their needs.
  • Our site is free to use as some vendors will pay us for web traffic.
  • SSR lists all companies we feel are top vendors - not just those who pay us - in our comprehensive directories full of the advice needed to make the right purchase decision for your HR team.

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