Upwork - Global marketplace for hiring freelancers
Justin Roodman | TrustRadius Reviewer
November 18, 2018

Upwork - Global marketplace for hiring freelancers

Score 7 out of 10
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Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Upwork

We use Upwork to hire contract developers for small to medium sized projects. While we have some technical skills in-house, Upwork provides us with a marketplace to hire short term workers for skilled positions. The majority of the individuals that we hire on Upwork are programmers - specifically individuals who have experience with PHP, WordPress, and the LMS that we use. Upwork has other types of professionals available as well; from writers to graphic designers, to virtual assistants.
  • Allows us to filter freelancers by location. This is especially important when working across time zones.
  • Upwork is one of the only freelancing websites that actually provides a filter for US based contractors; and they rigorously verify this.
  • Huge candidate pool. You're almost guaranteed to find a few individuals who specialize in whatever you're looking for.
  • Allows both fixed bid and hourly. Each one is useful for different kinds of projects.
  • Costs and fees. Upwork is not cheap. As a client you pay a fee to Upwork on top of what you're paying to your freelancer. As a freelancer, you ALSO pay a fee (20% of the first $500 earned from a client and 10% until you hit $10K, where it then goes to 5%).
  • The process for using Upwork can be lengthy when you're trying to find a new freelancer for something you have not hired for previously. Per Upwork, it takes an average of 3 days for a client to hire a freelancer.
  • Job success scores are not exactly accurate. If a freelancer ends a contract that has been sitting open too long, clients are not required to leave feedback. No feedback counts as a negative toward job success score.
  • Upwork has provided us with a unique pool of talent to develop our SaaS platform. These individuals aren't bound by location so we have a greater amount of opportunity to find a skilled candidate.
  • It saves us the cost of hiring individuals on a full time basis - which would come with a larger payroll and the need to offer benefits to those people.
  • The drawback to hiring freelancers is that they may not always be available. Upwork does not provide a way to see freelancer schedules so you can find out if your preferred contractor will be available without explicitly asking them.
Freelancer.com is another online marketplace to hire freelance individuals for short terms projects. The site is less robust than Upwork in terms of features. The cost is cheaper, but in this case, you get what you pay for. Freelancer does not provide for filtering projects to "US Only" so it makes it much harder to get bids that would be in line with specific project requirements (such as time zone, English fluency, etc.)
On the client side, Upwork is great for accessing a huge pool of talent in a wide variety of skill sets. It's also excellent for finding US-based freelancers. It allows you to interview (chat with or ask questions of) freelancers before you hire them, so you can get an idea of whether or not someone will be a good fit for your project.

On the freelancer side, Upwork is a mixed bag. Their policy of "receiving no feedback hurts job success score" seems unfair. This is far overshadowed by the 20% fee on the first $500 though. It makes doing small projects on the platform a lot less profitable or desirable (maybe they do this on purpose?). It is extremely nice though to be able to filter projects for "US only," though.