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How To Hire Freelancers & Where To Find the Best in 2024

Roxana David Roxana DavidFreelance Jobs Expert July 12, 2024
July 12, 2024
Hiring through platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed often feels like a gamble, especially when finding the right freelancer can be time consuming and hit or miss. You need a solution that streamlines the process and minimizes the risk. This is where some of the top freelance websites step in, making it much easier and quicker to get the right person for the job.

When hiring freelancers, you should consider using platforms designed specifically for freelance employment, as they offer tools and features that generic job boards don’t. For instance, they provide detailed filters to narrow down candidates, secure payment channels that protect you and the freelancer, and reviews that offer insights into a freelancer’s reliability and quality of work.

After exploring the popular platforms and considering various factors like ease of use, cost, and the breadth of talent available, I’ve concluded that Fiverr is the standout choice for hiring freelancers. Fiverr simplifies the search for skilled professionals and offers a vast array of freelancers in multiple job categories, ensuring you find someone who meets your specific needs.

Keep reading to discover other great platforms that also excel in connecting businesses with freelance talent.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Websites for Hiring Freelancers in 2024

  1. Fiverr1 – A wide range of freelance services at competitive but affordable fixed prices.
  2. Upwork1 – Custom job listings to reach the right freelancers for long-term projects.
  3. Toptal1 – Connecting companies with top-tier, pre-vetted technology freelancers.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table

How To Hire Freelancers the Easy Way

When considering hiring freelancers, online marketplaces offer the most efficient, cost-effective, and straightforward path to finding the right talent. These platforms provide numerous candidates and facilitate communication, payment, and project management in a seamless environment. So, the first step in hiring a stellar freelancer is selecting the appropriate marketplace.

To evaluate the top online marketplaces, I considered several factors during my research:
  • Advanced skill matching. A platform that accurately matches you with freelancers with the necessary skills saves time. I value systems that allow me to quickly find the right talent without sifting through countless profiles.
  • Transparent review and rating system. It’s crucial to trust the feedback on a freelancer’s profile. I looked for platforms with detailed reviews and ratings that reflect the actual experiences of previous clients.
  • Flexible payment options. Whether you prefer to pay by milestone, hourly, or at project completion, having flexibility can streamline financial transactions. I recommend platforms that offer multiple payment methods to suit different project needs.
  • In-depth freelancer vetting process. A platform that thoroughly vets its freelancers provides peace of mind that you’re hiring qualified professionals. I favor platforms that conduct background checks and skills assessments.
  • Useful project management tools. Efficient project management tools within the platform allow you to track progress easily without the need for third-party applications. I look for features like time tracking, file sharing, and communication tools.

An example search on Fiverr's website for a website designer
Fiverr has freelancers for all budgets
I found Fiverr to be an excellent platform for businesses seeking a broad spectrum of creative services. It hosts everything from graphic design to digital marketing, positioning it as a one-stop shop for outsourcing tasks. This versatility ensures that no matter the project, you’ll likely find an expert ready to assist at competitive rates.

Pricing on Fiverr starts incredibly low, with services available from just $51, making it accessible no matter the size of your business. This flexibility in pricing allows for precise budget management, letting you scale services up or down based on your current financial status and project demands.

Thanks to its user-friendly interface, navigating Fiverr is straightforward. Simplified search tools and clear category filters make it easy to find the right service quickly. This ease of use enhances the overall experience, allowing you to focus more on selecting the right freelancer and less on figuring out the platform’s mechanics.

Features

  • Secure payment system. On Fiverr, payments are held in escrow until project delivery is confirmed. This guarantees financial security for both parties.
  • Direct messaging. Fiverr allows you to communicate directly with freelancers before committing to a project. You can easily send a message on the platform to clarify project details and establish a connection with the freelancer, ensuring a better match and understanding before work begins.
  • Seller badges. Fiverr assigns badges such as “Top Rated Seller” and “Fiverr’s Choice” based on a freelancer’s performance and customer satisfaction, helping you quickly identify top-tier talent and make well-informed hiring decisions. You can easily see these badges displayed on the freelancer’s profile.
  • Gig packages. Fiverr freelancers offer different levels of service grouped into packages that vary in depth and breadth of work and cost. This structure helps you easily choose a service that fits your scope and budget without negotiating complex contracts.
Read our expert Fiverr review for more details.

Best for Creative and digital
services (e.g., graphic
design, digital marketing,
writing)
Contract flexibility Primarily offers one-time
gigs with options for
package deals or recurring
services
Support for dispute
resolution
(via Resolution Center)
Starting price $5 per gig

An example of a search on Upwork's website for a customer support specialist
Upwork has lots of filters to help you sort through its many offerings
Upwork offers access to millions of freelancers from numerous industries and skill levels worldwide, making it a prime choice for tapping into global freelance talent. You can find specialists for nearly any project1, whether that’s web development, content writing, or graphic design.

The platform expands your job search options by allowing you to post custom job listings. You can detail the project and outline the required skills, attracting freelancers suited to your needs. This specificity helps streamline the hiring process and increases the likelihood of a successful match.

Client control is another significant advantage of Upwork. The platform includes tools for tracking time and project milestones, which helps you manage freelance work efficiently. These features provide peace of mind by fostering transparency and accountability, allowing you to monitor progress and enforce deadlines effectively.

Features

  • Feedback system. Upwork’s robust rating and review system enables you to evaluate potential freelancers based on previous client feedback. This is great if you’re a first-time hirer, as it helps you make informed decisions by choosing freelancers with proven track records and high-performance ratings, reducing the risk of hiring the wrong person for your projects.
  • Invite to job. This function allows you to proactively invite specific freelancers to apply for a job posting, helping streamline the selection process by targeting candidates who directly fit the project’s needs. It’s helpful if you feel overwhelmed by the large pool of candidates.
  • Work Diary. The Work Diary feature provides visual proof of work done, with time tracking for hourly projects. It offers transparency and builds trust between you and freelancers by ensuring billing is based on verifiable work hours.
  • Skill tests. Freelancers can showcase their expertise through Upwork’s skill tests, which are visible on their profiles. This allows you to easily verify potential hires’ competencies, adding more confidence in the selection process.
Read our expert Upwork review for more details.

Best for General freelancing (e.g.,
IT and networking, design,
writing, customer service)
Contract flexibility Offers both one-time
projects and ongoing
contracts
Support for dispute
resolution
(via customer support)
Starting price $3.00 per hour
In a hurry?
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3. Toptal: Exclusive Access to Elite Freelancers1

A quiz on Toptal's website asking what type of service you seek
Toptal asks you questions to find out who’s your business’s best fit
Toptal prides itself on its elite roster, admitting only the top 3% of talent1 through a rigorous screening process. This selective approach gives you access to high-quality business, design, and technology professionals. It’s particularly beneficial for high-stakes projects where expertise and proven skills are paramount.

The platform also offers a focused matching service that aligns your specific project needs with freelancers who possess the exact skill set and experience required. This tailored matching saves you time and increases the likelihood of project success, as you’re working with professionals already vetted for your particular demands.

Toptal mitigates risk with its no-commitment freelancer trial period of up to 2 weeks. This allows you to assess the freelancer’s fit for your project without financial obligation. If a freelancer does not meet your expectations, you can part ways without penalty, providing peace of mind and flexibility in managing project personnel.

Features

  • Client support. Offering customer support via phone or email, Toptal assists you with any queries or issues you might encounter during the hiring or project management process. This provides a safety net, with help always on hand whenever you need some guidance.
  • Industry-specific freelancers. Toptal provides access to freelance developers, designers, marketing experts, product managers, project managers, and finance experts, making it easier to find experts in specific industries. This removes the hassle of sifting through less relevant candidates.
  • Team integration. Toptal facilitates the integration of freelancers into existing project teams. This provides smooth collaboration and cohesion with ongoing projects, minimizing disruption.
  • Managed Delivery service. For more complex projects, Toptal offers the option to work with a delivery manager who can oversee the freelance work. This is a significant advantage if you need additional guidance in managing freelancers and their projects efficiently.
Read our expert Toptal review for more details.

Best for High-end technology and
finance professionals
Contract flexibility Offers flexible
engagements, from hourly
to full-time or part-time
engagements
Support for dispute
resolution
(via dedicated account managers)
Starting price $60.00 per hour

GrowTal's homepage
GrowTal is great at vetting marketers for you
GrowTal excels in providing specialized freelancers exclusively in the digital marketing arena. It offers direct access to marketing niches, like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and social media marketing. This way, you’re hiring not just a generalist but a seasoned professional in the specific marketing area your business needs most.

The platform maintains a high standard with a thorough vetting process for all freelancers, focusing specifically on marketing skills. This quality assurance means that regardless of whom you hire through GrowTal, they’re guaranteed to bring proven expertise and impactful strategies to your projects.

While GrowTal boasts a skilled pool of marketing professionals, their availability can vary due to high demand, existing project commitments, and personal schedules. This can occasionally lead to longer wait times for project initiation or challenges in securing a freelancer for long-term engagements. If you have strict deadlines or require consistent collaboration, you may need to factor in these potential delays when planning your marketing initiatives.

Features

  • Dedicated account managers. GrowTal provides each business with dedicated account managers, who serve as a primary point of contact. This simplifies finding and managing freelancers and offers personalized assistance throughout the project lifecycle, from initial hiring to project completion.
  • Project-based recommendations. GrowTal provides personalized recommendations for marketing strategies and the freelancers best suited to execute them based on the project’s specific needs. This tailored approach helps you hire with confidence and precision.
  • Adaptable hiring models. Whether you need temporary project-based assistance or more permanent ongoing support, the platform accommodates different levels of engagement to suit your business’s evolving requirements. This flexibility makes it easier to scale marketing efforts up or down without compromising on the quality of your freelance talent.
  • Scalability options. GrowTal helps you scale your marketing efforts, offering flexibility in quickly adjusting the team size or skill set as the project evolves. This feature is particularly valuable if you need to expand your marketing activities based on performance and growth.
Read our expert GrowTal review for more details.

Best for Digital marketing
specialists (e.g., social
media, PPC, SEO)
Contract flexibility Flexible, offering both
project-based and
long-term contract options
Support for dispute
resolution
(but you can easily
switch hires if unsatisfied)
Starting price $30 per hour, depending on area of expertise

5. DesignCrowd: Competitive Custom Design Solutions1

DesignCrowd's website showing part of a list of their design services
It’s almost overwhelming how many creative types you can find on DesignCrowd
DesignCrowd harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to offer a unique advantage: receiving multiple submissions from various designers. This approach not only provides a plethora of creative options but also a diverse range of perspectives on your design brief. It’s an ideal scenario for seeking innovative and varied design ideas.

The platform operates on a fixed-price contest model, which is particularly budget-friendly. You set a flat fee upfront for a design contest, attracting designers motivated to deliver their best work within your specified budget. This model simplifies financial planning and avoids the unpredictability of hourly rates.

DesignCrowd ensures client satisfaction by allowing multiple revision rounds, enabling designers to fine-tune their submissions to meet your specific requirements. However, the cost-effectiveness may decrease if you need multiple revisions or new designs. Each contest incurs separate charges, which can add up, especially if you need continuous, diverse design work.

Features

  • Money-back guarantee. DesignCrowd offers a money-back guarantee if the design submissions do not meet the client’s expectations. This policy adds a significant layer of financial security, making it a safer option for you who might be hesitant to invest in freelance services without assurance of satisfaction.
  • Interactive feedback tools. This feature lets you directly provide real-time feedback on submitted designs through the platform. It simplifies the revision process, ensuring that the final designs align with your vision.
  • Local designers option. DesignCrowd allows you to hire from a pool of local designers, perfect for projects requiring specific cultural or market insights.
  • Designer portfolio access. Access to extensive designer portfolios helps you gauge the style and quality of work before hiring. This transparency ensures you choose a designer whose vision and capabilities match your project requirements.
Read our expert DesignCrowd review for more details.

Best for Custom design services
(e.g., logo design, web
design, t-shirt design)
Contract flexibility Primarily project-based
with options for multiple
design submissions and
revisions
Support for dispute
resolution
(but limited to money-back guarantee and dispute management support)
Starting price $109.00

6. Mayple: Matched Marketing Experts for Measurable Growth1

Mayple's website showing a diagram of its services
With Mayple, you can find a freelancer to hire and keep track of their performance
Mayple stands out by using a proprietary algorithm to match businesses with marketing professionals tailored to specific industry needs. This strategic pairing guarantees that you’re working with someone who understands the nuances of your market segment and can effectively drive targeted strategies.

The platform enhances this matching with efficient performance monitoring tools. These tools allow you to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns in real time, making it easy to see your return on investment and make data-driven decisions. This transparency is crucial for adjusting strategies swiftly and maximizing marketing spend.

However, the sophisticated services offered by Mayple come at a premium cost. While this investment can be justified by the potential for higher returns and the expertise provided, it’s important to consider if the expense aligns with your budget and financial goals. If you own a small business, a service like Fiverr might be better suited for your needs.

Features

  • Vetted marketers. All marketers on Mayple are thoroughly vetted and required to maintain high-performance standards. This rigorous vetting process gives you peace of mind, knowing that you’re working with professionals who are skilled, reliable, and committed to delivering quality results.
  • In-depth onboarding process. Mayple uses a detailed onboarding questionnaire to capture your business needs and goals. With this meticulous approach, Mayple matches you with marketing experts who can drive your project forward.
  • Continuous optimization. By continuously assessing and adapting marketing strategies based on real-time data, Mayple ensures that campaigns remain effective and yield measurable growth.
  • Flexible engagement options. Whether you need comprehensive campaign management or specific marketing services, Mayple adapts to your business’s requirements. This flexibility is invaluable for scaling efforts up or down based on performance and budgetary changes.
Read our expert Mayple review for more details.

Best for Marketing expertise
tailored to specific
business needs (e.g.,
digital marketing,
performance marketing)
Contract flexibility Flexible, with options
ranging from short-term
projects to comprehensive
campaign management
Support for dispute
resolution
(dispute management platform and dedicated account managers)
Starting price $1800.00 per month

5 Tips To Hire Great Freelancers

Now that you know the best online marketplaces to find freelancers, you must refine your approach to select the right person for your project. Here are tips to ensure you hire a great freelancer who can meet your expectations and contribute to your project’s success:
  • Use detailed filters and search criteria. Use the platform’s proper search and filter tools to narrow down candidates. Specify skills, experience level, and other relevant criteria that align with the needs of your project. This targeted search will help you sift through the vast talent pool more efficiently.
  • Read ratings and reviews carefully. Take the time to read through the ratings and reviews left by other clients. This will give you insight into the freelancer’s work ethic, reliability, and service quality. High ratings and positive reviews are good indicators but also read negative reviews to see how the freelancer handles criticism or issues.
  • Conduct interviews. Even if it’s just a brief virtual meeting, an interview can help you assess whether the freelancer fits your project. This is also an opportunity to clarify project details, gauge their enthusiasm and creativity, and discuss expectations.
  • Evaluate portfolios and past work. Always review the freelancer’s portfolio so their style and expertise match what you’re looking for. Ask for specific examples of similar past projects to help you visualize what they can bring to your project.
  • Set clear communication guidelines. Before starting the project, agree on communication frequency, updates, and preferred tools (like email and project management apps). Clear communication will keep your project on track and help avoid misunderstandings that might delay your timeline.
By following these tips, you can more confidently navigate the process of hiring a freelancer and increase the chances of a successful collaboration.

Finding the Right Freelancer for Your Business

Each business has different needs when hiring freelancers for the first time. Identifying the right platform can set you on a path to successful collaborations.

Fiverr offers a vast marketplace1 where you can find freelancers for almost any job at competitive rates, making it ideal for businesses on a budget seeking various skills. The turnaround rates are also great, so you’ll get your work done fast as well.

On the other hand, Upwork is great for long-term collaborations1 and if you prefer a more tailored approach. Its platform enables detailed project tracking and contractor management, ideal for larger projects or ongoing needs.

Toptal stands out1 for its top-tier technical expertise. It meticulously screens its freelancers, ensuring that only the top 3% of talent makes it to the platform. This is especially beneficial for specialized or high-stakes projects.

For a concise comparison of these services, see the accompanying table detailing my top picks for hiring freelancers.
Pricing Best Feature Best For
Fiverr $ Gig packages that offer a
variety of services at
different price points
Small businesses and
startups
Upwork $ Large talent pool with a
wide range of skills and
expertise
Businesses of all
sizes
Toptal $$$ Access to the top 3% of
freelance talent in tech,
finance, and project
management
Companies requiring
elite professionals for
high-stakes projects
GrowTal $$ Specialization in digital
marketing with access to
vetted experts
Marketing teams
needing specialized
skills
DesignCrowd $$ Crowdsourced design
solutions that provide
various creative options
Businesses looking for
custom design work
with multiple revisions
and creative inputs
Mayple $$$ Proprietary algorithm that
matches businesses with
vetted marketing experts
Small to
medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs)

FAQ

What to do when hiring a freelancer?

I recommend clearly defining your project scope and expectations before you begin searching for a freelancer. Outline your timeline, deliverables, and any necessary skills or experience. It’s also wise to review the freelancer’s previous work and ratings to ensure they match your requirements. Platforms like Fiverr are great because they feature detailed freelancer profiles you can consult.

How do I hire a freelancer directly?

You can hire a freelancer directly by using platforms that allow you to view profiles, portfolios, and reviews from previous clients. Communicate your project details and expectations clearly, and consider conducting a brief interview to assess their suitability. One of my favorite picks is Fiverr, where you’ll find freelancers for all types of work and easy-to-use communication tools to set up your project.

What is the best platform to hire freelancers?

The best platform often depends on your specific needs. For a wide range of freelancing services, Upwork offers extensive tools for tracking work progress and communicating with freelancers, making it a top choice for many businesses.

How do I hire a freelancer to work under a company long-term?

When hiring a freelancer for long-term work, clearly outline the scope of work, project timeline, and deliverables. Look for platforms like Upwork that allow you to post custom job listings to reach the right freelancers for extended projects. For more options, check out our list of the best freelance websites in 2024.

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