You want to find a freelancer, but you’re not quite sure where to start. 

You’ve traditionally only worked with full-time employees, but perhaps the transition to remote working over the past few months has given you the confidence to onboard freelancers. Maybe your company is growing and you'd like specialist support to complete a project? Or, you've enjoyed working from home so much that you've decided to transform your business into a fully flexible, agile workforce? Whatever your reasons, you now have to find talented freelancers to do the work

For over 6 years, Freelancer Club's team of researchers, developers and designers have been exploring how they can help companies connect with freelance talent in the most productive, fair and ethical way possible. They've considered pain points from both sides of the hire. They've thought about recruitment costs, time spent sifting through portfolios and CVs, internal hiring processes and freelancers not investing in a company's mission. On the freelancer side? Freelancers reference late payments, a lack of diversity and inclusion and scope creep (adding more work that was not included in the contract) among their pain points. We've come along way but have not yet mastered the dynamic of freelancers and companies working together. 

In this article, I'll explore the different types of freelance job posting sites, the positives and advancements associated with each one and the reasons why friction sometimes exists between freelancers and clients.


1. Marketplace platforms 

There are loads of marketplace platforms out there that businesses of all sizes use to source freelancers. They tend to cover an array of freelance sectors although niche marketplace platforms are emerging. 

While these types of platforms are well marketed and are often portrayed to be the most convenient place to find a freelancer, there’s a catch -  marketplace sites take a percentage cut (around 20% on average) of every transaction and they require you to conduct business via their platform. Much like using a recruitment agency, every hour you hire the freelancer, 20% goes to the marketplace platform. 

Their origins tend to stem from corporate business with the stakeholders at the top. While marketplace platforms often appear to have the freelancer's best interests at heart, they don’t necessarily value these workers as much as they could do. 

Their advertising and brand messaging profess to help freelancers realise their passion, however, the functionality of these sites encourages freelancers to quote 'competitively' and undercut the market. After taking a percentage of the transaction fee, freelancers are left with very little profit. New freelancers who start their journey on marketplace sites often run a loss as they are forced to undervalue their work and themselves.  

Add into the mix that some marketplace platforms allow companies to post a ‘competition’ that requires freelancers to submit work for free coupled with the fact that freelancers are competing on a global scale for many of the remote jobs on these marketplace sites -  it doesn’t seem like a great deal for freelancers. 

Companies may feel as if they are getting a bargain but as we all know, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.  


Post freelance job free, freelance job posting sites, employing freelancers

2. Freelance job posting sites

Similar to marketplace platforms, there are A LOT of freelance job posting sites out there. This business model has been around for years and is fairly straightforward. Pay a set fee to post a job, review the applicants and choose a freelancer.

Basic freelance job posting sites will ask you to enter your email address for applicants to send their proposals, whereas more advanced job posting sites will provide an applicant management system (a fancy way of saying 'a place to review and organise applicants').  

What are the pros and cons of job posting sites? Job posting sites give you more control. You can chat with applicants freely, add them to your payroll, and use them in the future without having to pay ongoing commission as you do with marketplace platforms. 

However, the value of the post is only as good as the talent on the site. You might end up forking out a lot money for very little return if you don’t find a suitable freelancer. Most freelance job postings sites charge around £200 - £300 per post. 

Freelancer Club deals with a lot of startups and SME’s who operate within very tight budgets and as result, the prospect of paying to post a freelance job is something they tell us they’d rather avoid where possible.


3. Freelance community platforms 

I use the word ‘community’ here because at Freelancer Club we've created a community where freelancers are supported and empowered. 

As a startup founded by a freelance photographer, we understand why freelancers and startups alike are careful with their finances and reluctant to fork out money to cover unnecessary costs.

Freelancer Club, therefore, allows startups to post freelance jobs for free and as we let clients and freelancers connect directly once a freelancer has been taken on, we don’t take a cut of any transaction. We want freelancers to be paid 100% of the rate advertised. We also want clients to be able to find freelancers without having to cut into their carefully managed budgets.  

Moreover, we operate on a principle called ‘Ethical Hiring’ that comprises fair pricing, an unbiased search process and encouragement of inclusion which has been proven to benefit freelancers and hiring companies. Forming real working bonds and nurturing the relationship between supply and demand not only improves the experience but also the bottom line. 


Employing freelancers for the first time shouldn’t be a daunting or costly experience. While there are loads of different job platforms out there, it’s worth taking a minute to understand how they operate and what they stand for before you post a job. Always suss out whether or not you can post freelance jobs for free on a jobs site or if there are hidden costs involved. 

It goes without saying that people produce good work when they feel valued and freelancers are no exception. We’d therefore always recommend that startups use job platforms where freelancers retain the full rate that’s advertised and are not encouraged to undercut other freelancers to the benefit of the platform.

Freelancers can add great value to your business. Taking a bit of time to find a freelance platform that aligns with your HR values will help you to connect with highly skilled, creative freelancers who can help take your projects to the next level. 

Post a job for free here.


Liked this piece? Check out our articles Your Start Up Journey: Where Can Freelancers Add Value? and 7 Tips Interviewers Should Take On Board Before Meeting With Freelancers.