• 5 Issues Posed By Freelance Marketplaces For Small Businesses

    Many small and medium enterprises hire freelancers to reduce the workload on full-time employees while maintaining the cost-effective nature of this hiring. The first place of search for these enterprises is freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer. Isn’t it?

    When anyone would ask you about where to find freelancers, you would answer with any of these three websites without giving it much thought.

    However, is the model of these freelance marketplaces right for SMEs? Is it possible for SMEs to find the right freelancers on freelance marketplaces? 

    In this article, we will discuss the top 5 issues that freelance marketplaces pose in front of small and medium enterprises. Let’s see how. 

    5 Issues Posed By Freelance Marketplaces

    From fake posts to too many applicants, a lot of things create a bottleneck in hiring the right freelancer. Here are some of the issues which can keep you from hiring skilled freelancers.

    1.    Drawbacks of Cost Model

    While freelance marketplaces are good for finding freelancers of every type of expertise, their cost model is flawed. Think about it, if you have a budget of USD 100 for a 1-day task, your freelancer might get only USD 80 for this task through the marketplace.

    This means that not only you end up spending USD 100 but also you receive a freelancer of little less experience. This is because, at their end, freelancers are going to consider their marketplace fee. So, if a medium-level freelancer would usually take USD 75 or USD 80 for a task, you would still be paying USD 100 for this task. In every manner, you are at loss. 

    One of the consequences of this model is that ultimately good freelancers move from these marketplaces to job boards and you have fewer people to choose from. The fee is just too high! 

    2.    Too Many Fake Posts

    There are too many fake posts, which can confuse your applicants. This issue arise because most of the freelance marketplaces don’t directly charge you for posting, so a lot of people can post fake jobs and then get work done without money. Hence, this bad reputation sometimes reflects on new businesses that register. 

    Freelancers are less likely to trust you if you have not prepaid the order or secured their money in advance. But, every time, it is not possible to pay for a job in advance. This becomes an issue for freelancers and they prevent applying to avoid fake posts.

    3.    Poor Dispute Resolution

    Dispute resolution amongst these marketplaces is extremely poor. 


    This is because if you have paid the money in advance but the freelancer has not given the full work, what will you do?

    Or let’s say that the freelancer asked for half of the money in advance, which is in the escrow. After the project is half complete, you dispatched the money but the freelancer refused to offer full work. What will you do?

    Your money is lost because it is almost unlikely for any other freelancer to pick from the mid-stage. So, you have to start afresh. 

    Generally, the issue resolution offered by marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer is poor in this case. 

    4.    Too Much Competition

    The competition is just too much. Almost every next person is on marketplaces. If you post a job, you will get 20 applications in 30 minutes. How can you filter?

    There’s no way of doing it.

    If you select the one with the lowest price, this freelancer might not offer the right quality. If you select the one with the right price, then also there will be a better candidate in these profiles. The selection process is just too hectic and impractical. 

    5.    Too Much Hassle

    The entire process is a hassle, and there’s no doubt in that. 

    Firstly, you need to make a profile and fill multiple details. This alone can take up a lot of time.

    Secondly, you need to post jobs, answer queries, and clarify the rate you can offer. This decision is also time-consuming considering the fees that marketplaces snatch away from freelancers.

    Lastly, the selection process that we discussed above is also a hassle.


    There are several issues that you have to deal with when you start hiring from freelance marketplaces. The model is impractical and the overall hiring procedure is time-consuming and tiring. As a small business owner, it is not possible to spend that much time on this task. Hence, select a better route and reach out to ExpertTal. We will help you find the right IT or software development talent in the desired time at the desired rate. 


    About the Author

    Kamal Rastogi is a serial IT entrepreneur with 25 yrs plus experience. Currently his focus area is Data Science business, ERP Consulting, IT Staffing and Experttal.com (Fastest growing US based platform to hire verified / Risk Compliant Expert IT resources from talent rich countries like India, Romania, Philippines etc...directly). His firms service clients like KPMG, Deloitte, EnY, Samsung, Wipro, NCR Corporation etc in India and USA.

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