- Quick and complete search option
- Low service fee
- Numerous categories
- Feedback on freelancers
- Lack of active user base
- Terrible helpdesk
- No extra features
Project4Hire (P4H for short) is a marketplace where not only talented freelancers can sell their services to employers, but clients can post open job positions or projects for freelancers with matching skills as well. In fact, practicality is the motivating force behind Project4Hire, as they created a page where workers can easily find the most fitting positions, while employers are able to specify their needs or look for people according to their skills. Although the site doesn’t seem to be buzzing with much life, it still kept many of its attributes from the glory days when it was a major force on the freelancers’ market. Such an attribute is the reason the site earned its popularity as a pioneer in freelance platforms to begin with: asking for only 5% of the users’ earnings.
Project4Hire cuts to the chase right off the bat when it comes to defining itself: it’s a true online marketplace where clients are able to hire freelancers with various talents. Project4Hire supports any kind of job that can be performed remotely via a computer: programming, web design, graphical work, writing, translation, HR, marketing assignments and so on. Regardless of the chosen job, you can be sure that the site stays true to its main selling point and doesn’t hinder you in any way. In other words, for your registration you get all the important features of Project4Hire without limitations (aside from certain extras). The site also functions as a job board where the relevant assignments can be easily found. Posting a job is simple as well, not to mention the implemented search feature with which freelancers and clients can find each other much faster.
In order to do anything besides browsing job requests (or posting a project as a client, for that matter), you need to create a profile. During the registration you are asked to choose between a freelancer or client role. However, no matter how hard you try, you cannot be a client and a freelancer with the same account.
Once the profile is set up, it can be customized in more than one way. The full profile shows your location, your skills, and your hourly rate. There is also a feedback tab which is shaped by opinions and comments of those clients you’ve already worked with. Be sure to get positive feedback, because the feedback page serves as a referendum for future employers, who can see your success rate and positive/negative ratio from the past months. Clients can also rate your skills in detail, awarding points from 1 to 5 for your professionalism, work quality, speed of delivery, price and communication.
As a client you can post a job request through a responsive menu which opens up more possibilities as you go deeper. For example, choosing translation unlocks a list of languages, while picking programming leads to a non-exhaustive list of software. However, like we mentioned before, you need a client’s account to be able to proceed.
During the job posting process the most important part is to set whether you wish to offer a fixed pricing for the gig or you let the freelancers bid on your job. The setup is basically the same in both cases, but if you go with the bidding, you must also set a time limit therefor. If you have a well-established freelancer base, it’s possible to invite them to the job and prevent unfamiliar faces from applying. As with almost all freelancer websites, you must look after the budget; therefore, Project4Hire allows you to put the payment into an escrow and release it only upon the satisfactory completion of the job. However, keep in mind that this is a bonus service which costs an extra.
Browsing through interesting job offers or the available talents is one of the many strong points of Project4Hire. On the homepage you’re welcomed by the latest featured jobs, helping workers to stay informed about open positions. The site also displays a collage of trending skills, always pointing to the top contractors of that particular talent. At first, the categories presented on the site seem to be limited, but they are flashed out to many sub-categories; thus it’s not hard to find freelancers specialized in a particular area of expertise.
This is why it is so sad to see that most categories are empty, containing no offers whatsoever. Most of the profiles also seem to be abandoned, not to mention the total lack of profile pictures, which makes it hard to tell individual users apart. The company also fails in terms of mobile support: since the website is not mobile screen compatible, accessing it from a smartphone or even a tablet is a nightmare.
Project4Hire, just like most of its competition, doesn’t charge users for joining its ranks. In fact, it earns its living by deducting a percentage from the freelancer’s earnings. The process goes as follows: once the client accepts the final product or service, the final amount will be directed to the freelancer’s account, minus the above mentioned “acceptance fee”. Said fee is usually 5% of the final price the two parties agreed on (the minimum is $3), making Project4Hire stand out from its competitors who usually take up to 20% of your earnings. In case an employer wishes to secure the payment via escrow, he/she has to pay an extra $10.
The customer service of Project4Hire is below average. Your only way of getting in touch with the personnel is by submitting a support ticket, which, unfortunately, can take quite a long time to be answered. Furthermore, there is no phone number to be called and you have no option to initiate a live chat either. Although the site shows the most important features upfront, the FAQ is not the best place to turn to for additional information, as it’s badly organized, with some answers straight up missing. Project4Hire’s social media presence is not better: although the Twitter account seems to be frequently updated with new job requests, the Facebook page can be considered dead due to the lack of updates.
Sadly, we were highly disappointed in Project4Hire. What initially started out as a decent site hiding in the shadows, quickly turned out to be a featureless and mostly abandoned service. Despite showing some traces of its former glory, all of them are overshadowed by the total emptiness of the site. The service seems to be desolated, with abandoned profiles ranked among featured users. The underwhelming customer support and lack of mobile compatibility may not be Project4Hire’s biggest sins, but these kinds of annoyances are the ones that might lead to this once-glooming site’s ultimate demise. Still, the site has some features with which it can prove it is still worthy of attention. The homepage provides easily sortable searches, and freelancer pages showcase client satisfaction and success stories in many ways. Employers are able to specify their request, and set a fix price or roll with the bids of the workers. And let’s not forget the ace of the deck: the extremely cost-friendly pricing, a feature that is missing with many competitors.