Freelancer: Quickly Eating Up The Competition And Growing In Stature

outsidetheboxWhen it comes to information technology work, perhaps the best online portal for connecting those with jobs to those seeking jobs is now Freelancer. This was originally an Australian start up that has been quickly growing and changing its mix along the way. Recently it gobbled up vWorker and by doing so Rent a Coder, to become one of the largest IT recruitment marketplaces in the world.

There’s quite a lot of consolidation going on here as organisations seek to get the upper hand on the more established sites such as oDesk and Elance. Rent a Coder was as its name implies more specifically targeted to the more technical jobseekers, although Freelancer does cater to the creative arts as well, where a number of content providers, graphic designers and article writers hang out in search of work.

Interestingly in such a highly technical field base, Freelancer does claim that the average job value is under $200. This, they say, makes “outsourcing for the first time extremely cost-effective for small businesses.”

Certainly, Freelancer has an attractive interface and control room for employers and contractors alike. Jobs are allocated and payments are made based on milestones and completed work. Payment is only released when the milestone is reached. Freelancer has a somewhat more complex payment schedule and fee schedule than do the other major players in the market. For example, when you select a service provider you pay $3 or 3% whichever is higher. You can opt for a gold membership and pay a monthly fee instead of project commissions. You can post a full-time project for slightly less than $100.

Freelancer is growing rapidly and with growth comes a certain amount of “growing pain.” While they claim to be the world’s largest site in this arena oDesk and Elance continue to hog the headlines and appear to be the more popular, in terms of web traffic if nothing else.

Now that Freelancer has absorbed Rent a coder many wonder whether the emphasis placed on coding skills and associated areas within Rent a coder will diminish. In other words will the entire site degenerate into a sea of sameness, a criticism often levelled at oDesk and Elance?

You can find a good number of negative reviews in primary positions within web searches, just as you can for the other providers. When it comes to ambition alone, however, there does seem to be more of a dynamic vibrancy surrounding Freelancer in the marketplace today.

For those who wonder whether the website’s beauty may only be skin deep and whether the Freelancer portal has depth and breadth, it’s difficult to tell whether the rapid expansion is all good news. During the recent acquisitions many people who were engaged in the midst of a project were completely unaware of any major changes afoot. Once it became evident they were simply told that business will continue as usual. Perhaps the rocket icon on the Freelancer home page will give the prospect an idea of the corporate aspiration, rather than a positive side effect to be expected when doing business with them.

I hope you found this useful .. have you had experience of outsourcing?