Freelancer websites are the trendy new way for intellectuals to maintain their independence, while also enjoying the freedom of working from anywhere. Software developers, design artists and copywriters all sell their skills and “themselves” on these kinds of platforms. But where should you turn to when you are looking for the very best? In case you only wish to work with top-tier people and are willing to pay the price for it, we have two candidates for your attention. Toptal and Upwork both emphasize quality over quantity, but their methods for delivering it largely differ.
Toptal (which stands for Top Talent) is a fairly unique freelancer website: while other sites welcome every newcomer with open arms, Toptal only works with the very best. They promise that all their freelancers speak fluent English, are exceptional in their field of expertise, and fit into any position or team. In order to achieve this, Toptal sorts out 97% of the applicants. In fact, if you wish to become a member of the “Top 3”, you must pass a rigorous series of screening interviews, mental exercises, portfolio reviews, and at least two personalized scenarios that take weeks to complete. This may be hard for the freelancers, but clients are provided extra benefits, like the 14-day risk-free trial. Aside from that, clients can take each creative worker to a “test spin” and they can be fully refunded should the selected person fail to live up to the expectations.
Upwork is the kind of freelancer business that shakes up the dusty old formula. First, the service is available free of charge for all users, whether they are sellers or buyers. Second, you can find all sorts of jobs available for home office work: software engineering, visual design, copywriting, translating and even customer support. The site is very strict about its policy: an hour worked is an hour paid, and all payments must be deposited beforehand. Then it’s up to the client to decide whether to release the whole payment at once, or gradually when certain milestones are met. Upwork’s biggest attraction is its desktop application, called Upwork Team App, which connects the worker and the client to share files, discuss the to-dos via the built-in messenger, and organize available projects with the management function. Furthermore, it also tracks the working time and creates snapshots to ensure that the freelancer is properly concentrating on finishing the project. In addition to the desktop program, Upwork also has a smartphone app which serves as the miniature version of the website, so it can be used for not just browsing, but project management as well.
Toptal and Upwork are really different from each other, most likely because they see freelancers under a different light. Upwork believes in the power of alliance and shared interest, so they motivate both the freelancer and the employer to work together. It also provides numerous desktop and smartphone applications to make your life easier. Upwork deploys service fees on the freelancer’s paycheck, which can go up to 20%, making it one of the pricier freelancer websites. In contrary, Toptal’s policy says that only the best of the best are worth to be showcased in their freelancer base. They strictly screen their applicants to ensure the highest quality of service, which also comes with quite a harsh pricing.
In the end, both services are expensive in a different way, but they ensure that you’ll never be disappointed, whether you are a client or a freelancer.
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