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Why Hiring Freelancers Online Sucks

28 Jun 2019

There a ton of freelance marketplaces with millions of freelancers from Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork and many more. But their focus on quantity and lack of quality control have created some glaring issues. I like to use this analogy –  imagine using Uber, typing your destination, and instead of one driver, you get thirty drivers, all sending you their profiles telling you how they’re the best person to get you from point A to B. That’s how it feels when you’re on one of these platforms.

But instead of losing 8 bucks on the wrong driver, picking the wrong freelancer could mean $10,000 down the drain. And worse, the wrong freelancer could mean fatal delays to your product innovation. Think about the consequences of what not delivering on time can mean to the metrics you need to secure that next round of investment. 

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 biggest problems with freelancer marketplace platforms: 

They Increase your workload – Typically when people are hiring freelance talent it means they’re looking to add a helping hand to their team. They need a specialist that can come in and help them solve a problem. But if finding that specialist means spending 20 hours digging through proposals and interviewing potential candidates, aren’t you just adding to your workload? Yes, yes you are. 

They waste your Time -The freelancer you hired has been driving you nuts. When you first hired him, you asked if he had any experience in using php and mySQL databases. He said, “Of course, of course, yes so much experience – many many times”. Now he’s apparently not able to perform an inner join on a couple of tables to retrieve even the most simplistic of data out of this database. And his PHP code is horrendous. Deep breath, focus. It’s game time. You wiggle your shoulders, crack your knuckles, and hunker down to type up a very detailed and specific set of instructions for this special person. They are supposed to be the expert, not you. This is a waste of your time.

They Increase your anxiety – Now you’re just pissed off. He hasn’t responded to any of your emails, calls, or Skype chats. This is not going well. You start thinking about your options. You could cancel the project and deny further payment, or you could extend the proverbial “one last chance.” Either way, you’re screwed. Because the reality is you’ve already lost a month. And losing a month could mean life or death, hence the increased anxiety. 

Just to be clear, the problem is the platform, not the freelancer. Sure, there are some bad eggs out there, but more often than not the freelancers are just put in the worst possible situations and expected to do their best work. At the end of the day, it’s the job of the platform to ensure quality, but instead, they focus solely on the quantity which becomes a race to the bottom and drives away skilled freelancers.

It is a disservice to both the client and any freelancer, which is what happens when a marketplace is driven by price, instead of value

It’s much more important to laser-focused on high quality, value, and making the best match. 

This is my personal experience and research data, and I would love to hear from you. What are your experiences with freelance marketplaces? 

Please share with me at ronnie@meaningfulgigs.com 

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