Welcome to the Ebay for jobs

Welcome to the Ebay for jobs

Freelancer.com has quickly become one of the biggest freelancing platforms in the world with over 23 million users. How did it become the go-to place for freelancers online?
In an increasingly dynamic, flexible and ever-expanding labour market both the notion and appeal of traditional, structured employment is dwindling. The world is on the move, and the world of work is adapting to follow suit.
In a freelance industry predicated on networking and contacts, traditional word of mouth has become too restrictive. Online digital platforms have taken centre stage to liberate a highly skilled, specialised and flexible workforce.
Global reach has become imperative. And all that’s required to access a global marketplace? An internet connection. Where freelancers were once restricted by proximity to a client and a limited circle of contacts, the scope of potential work is now limitless. That’s where Freelancer.com comes in.
“Think of us as an EBay for jobs,” Joe Griston, Regional Director of Europe at Freelancer.com, told IPSE. “We connect businesses of any size with freelancers of any skill, anywhere on the planet.”
Freelancer.com – founded in Sydney in 2009 – is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace with over 23 million users and 11 million jobs. The website has 950 categorised sub sections of work to represent the widespread expertise of the freelance workforce, connecting people of all ages from a diverse demographic of backgrounds.
Employers post jobs which freelancers bid for in an open auction, where they pitch their talents and suitability for the advertised work. The clients can evaluate the worth of each potential candidate by looking at their freelance profile which acts as an allencompassing CV.
On top of the standard work portfolios, skills and qualifications the profiles have a host of different metrics to ensure the clients know exactly who they’re working with. There’s a 5-star rating system from previous employers, metrics on work that a freelancer has completed on time and completed on budget, the re-hire percentage and compulsory reviews from all previous engagement. Maximising efficiency and quality is essential.
“It encourages everyone to give as best quality work that they can,” Griston added.
“It allows the freelancer access to employment wherever they are around the globe. It’s never really happened on this scale before; there’s such a huge amount of employers that are potentially waiting for freelancers to work with. It allows freelancers to show their skills in the best way possible and get work that they just couldn’t have access to before.
“You can get people on Freelancer.com to do a whole different number of jobs for you. We’ve got individuals who’ve got their entire business operation on Freelancer.com. They run a business, but they just hire freelancers to do various aspects of that business for them. The ways that you can now run a business are so much more flexible, so much easier, so much more efficient than it’s ever been before.”
Freelancer.com – founded in Sydney in 2009 – is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace with over 23 million users and 11 million jobs.
Research carried out by ComRes showed only 25 per cent of UK hirers are aware of digital work platforms, of which 31 per cent have used digital platforms in the past year, and 25 per cent say they’re an important way for companies to source workers. Online platforms appear only beginning to flourish, and the expectation is increasing amounts of work will find its way there.
“If you’re a small business and based in rural Scotland, for example, there’s a very small amount of people that might get a logo designed for you or do some accountancy work for you or whatever type of activity it might be. Now there’s so much choice it’s crazy. 70 per cent of projects get a bid within 60 seconds. It’s a very liquid marketplace, and the choice is phenomenal. You’re only limited by your imagination regarding how you can get work done through these platforms.
“Freelancers have existed for hundreds of years. But these platforms are enabling people to work together in a very efficient and secure manner, and that’s key for what’s happening at the moment.”
Research carried out by The McKinsey Global Institute calculated that, by 2025, digital work platforms could add $2.7 trillion, the equivalent of two per cent of global GDP, increasing employment by 72 million full-time equivalent positions. In the UK that equates to £45 billion, and work for 766,000 people.
The study also estimated that up to 200 million people could benefit from using these platforms regarding allowing the unemployed to find work as freelancers and employed people to find additional supplementary income.
“There’s no stopping the craze at the moment because it’s such a useful and valuable tool for any business out there. The only thing that was stopping freelance growing was the gap in the access to work. You’re going to have many people wanting to prove themselves in numbers that we’ve not really appreciated before. The days of being the average worker are over.”

Finding work online - where should you go?

It has suddenly become much, much easier to go freelance. The creation, and subsequent rise, of online digital marketplace platforms, has helped facilitate a freelance boom.

At face value, they’re a win-win for everybody. Flexibility, availability of work, worldwide networking and removing the potentially time-consuming rigours of finding work are all huge upsides to the contemporary way of working.

With dozens of platforms to choose from, ranging from minimum-wage to high-spec, high-skill work, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

They work by taking a commission based on the value of the work undertaken. They vary from five per cent on some platforms to a fifth on others.

Here IPSE outlines some of the major players in the world of the online freelance platform and how they’re helping to spearhead the dynamic Twenty-first-century labour market.


Weliketowork's offering is uniquely geared toward providing clients with a quality service by ensuring freelancers are paid fairly for their skills and experience. To deliver a quality service, weliketowork.com is an exclusive UK only marketplace, which means clients can be confident of finding a freelancer with the additional benefits of local qualifications, market knowledge and cultural awareness. "The essential thing when hiring a freelancer is trust", says Jonny Dunning, CEO, weliketowork.com.

"We're trying to deliver quality over quantity and believe that good work deserves a fair price. It's why we're exclusive to the UK, to create a very transparent marketplace and a simple model our freelancers and our clients trust."

All kinds of freelancers, from accountants to app developers, use the platform. Digital, design and marketing professionals are particularly well represented, reflecting a wider trend towards remote working in these sectors. Average day rates vary by assignment, but the majority of freelancers using weliketowork.com charge in the region of £20-£50 per hour.

Jonny is keen to stress the weliketowork.com platform supports freelancers by avoiding the auction scenario that creates a race to the bottom. "We don't have an auction bidding structure and use blind bids to avoid people undercutting each other for the sake of it and encourage our freelancers to put forward their best offer." He continues, "There's a high calibre of freelancers using our platform - that's the part of the market we're tapping into. We're concentrating on helping talented freelancers find higher value work by tackling more complex projects that clients need to outsource."


Whatever your skillset, you’re bound to find somebody on Freelancer.com who needs it. It’s easy to sign up and, for peace of mind, both freelancers and clients are vetted with freelancerverification of identity, address, phone number and payment methods. There’s an abundance of work available, with new jobs posted every few minutes.

“Businesses are able to get any work done that they can think of,” Joe Griston, Regional Director of Europe at Freelancer.com told IPSE. “They don’t have to go through the rigorous process of hiring permanent staff; they don’t have to take on the cost of hiring permanent staff.

They can have freelancers with a multitude of skills. They can use many different freelancers on a regular ad hoc basis as and when the work comes up.”

Over 11 million jobs have been posted on its pages, and 23 million freelancers currently use the site, making it the biggest of its kind in the world. This means that there is both lots of work and plenty of competition.


Upwork hosts a wide variety of projects and assignments. The site uses sophisticated algorithms to recommend a select few freelancers to clients posting a job, making the freelancers and client ideally tailored to work together. It allows clients to set questions for all potential applicants before getting in touch, so as to better ascertain their individual suitability for the required work.


YunoJunoCreative freelancers with strong existing experience should consider YunoJuno, a hand-picked community of London’s top independent talent. If you’re based elsewhere, fear not – there are plans for a big rollout to other locations too.

There’s the potential to work with some big names; tech agencies like Ogilvy and Havas, top brands including Selfridges, Virgin and Ted Baker, and some of London’s fastest growing start-ups all use YunoJuno freelancers.

“The work is extremely appealing,” says Steve Cater, YunoJuno Communications Partner. “As we’re a curated community – on both sides – freelancers get to work on exciting, awardwinning and innovative projects for the best businesses and brands in the world.” 

YunoJuno also removes some of the inconveniences that often come with freelancing. Payment, for example, is always made within 14 days and freelancers never have to chase an invoice. Timesheets are made simple and are linked directly to freelancers’ invoices.

Independent professionals can make extremely good money on the platform if they have the right background. Day rates range from £300 to upwards of £1,500, while the average user falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

“One of the tenets that drive us at YunoJuno is the idea of adding value rather than extracting it,” Cater continues. “Everything we build, and the partnerships we secure, passes through this filter and is delivering a new way to be, and hire, a premium level freelancer.

Most importantly, the freelancer can discuss their day rate directly with the employer about the work required. As a real marketplace, it’s those who need the resource and those who have the skills who are in control.”