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9 best platforms to hire freelancers

Top Platforms to Hire Freelancers in 2020

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
June 2, 2020

Hiring freelancers in 2020 will let you secure some of the top talent in the world while reducing overhead costs. A growing number of SMBs and larger companies are embracing supplementing their teams by tapping into international freelance talent pools, boosting productivity across a range of business operations from marketing to web development.

So, what’s the best way to find quality freelancers for your business? Find vetted, expert freelancers quickly and easily via the top online marketplaces.

The State of Freelancing 2020

The global outsourcing market is rapidly expanding, with an increasing number of businesses worldwide supplementing their permanent workforce with freelancers. In 2019, the outsourcing market reached $92.5 billion and is anticipated to grow significantly in 2020. Close to 40% of small businesses in 2019 outsourced some business operations to freelancers and international contractors and in the current shift to remote work, the number of available, highly qualified freelancers is increasing. In the US alone, 57 million workers are freelancers and it is expected that nearly half of the American workforce will be freelance in the next couple of years.

While the outsourcing market is growing under the pressure of the coronavirus economic lags, this means that it may get harder to determine which freelancer is right for the job but is also opening up opportunities that didn’t previously exist. The recent downturn has impacted freelancers, but there is a lot of confidence that this industry will not just recover but will actually be strengthened by market trends.

outsourcing freelancers

Freelance marketplaces can help you find the best talent for any job and many marketplaces typically offer addition capabilities to improve and streamline your business operations. Hone in on specialized skills while lowering costs, get immediate turnaround on minor tasks, or find a long-term contractor for ongoing gigs.

Here are just some of the best freelance hiring platforms available today.

1. Upwork

Upwork is one of the most well known and reputable freelancer marketplaces out there. With advanced search filters and access to freelancers’ work history and ratings, Upwork gives employers the tools to weed out mismatches. They offer a convenient built-in messaging functionality so it’s easier to communicate with candidates throughout the hiring and execution process. Upwork has three tiers of membership including a free plan that gives you access to the job board and lets you vet 3 freelancers per job post.

You won’t need to put out any money at this tier, but a 3% fee will be collected on any payment issued through the platform. The two paid plans are Plus and Business, priced at $49.99/month and $499/month plus processing fees.

2. 99designs 

If you’re looking to hire a graphics or design professional, 99designs is the marketplace for you. Focusing on this niche, 99designs offers two ways for freelancers to secure gigs. The first is by contest and the second is by private project. With the contest option, employers submit a proposal and receive a range of designs to choose from. If purchased, the design is wholly owned by the buyer. Single projects such as logos or stationery are also available at fixed prices. 99designs membership packages will cost between $299/month and $1299/month, depending on your business’s design needs.

3. PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is a UK-based marketplace for freelancers founded in 2007. The platform boasts a user-friendly interface and a free-to-post payment plan. The freelancers featured on PeoplePerHour are vetted and reviewed by the platform’s team and if that isn’t enough, you get comprehensive payment protection. With their unique escrow system, users put money into their account, but it is only released upon successful completion of a job. This means that when you hire a freelancer for any project and pay a small deposit until the work is done. Plus, transaction fees are also only collected when payment is released.

4. Designhill

Designhill is a marketplace helps businesses secure custom designs across a wide range of categories at affordable prices. The site operates on a contest basis: just join for free, submit a project proposal and choose from submitted designs from around the world, or contact a designer directly after perusing their portfolios. With over 90,000 designers and 4 million monthly visitors, Designhill is quickly becoming a go-to place to find exceptional design talent for any project.

5. One Hour Translation

One Hour Translation, is, as the name suggests, an online marketplace for freelance translation professionals. Founded in 2008, the platform hosts 17,000 translators in over 100 countries delivering a super-fast turnaround. The site operates 24/7, offering affordable translation in 75 languages for business and legal documents. While legal certificates or industry-specific translation costs slightly more, One Hour Translation pricing starts at around $0.10/word and the platform is free to join. All you need to do is upload a brief and document for translation and you’ll instantly get a price quote. If you require editing services, this is also on the menu.

6. Fiverr 

Fiverr is a low-cost gig marketplace that has achieved widespread global popularity. The platform is free to sign up for and pricing is customized by the freelancers depending on the project. The name of the company is a riff on the $5 price tag on many jobs, but there are numerous pros available for almost any job and at a wide range of pricing. As an employer, you can check out available freelance services and communicate with candidates for free. You’ll only pay a $2 service charge on purchases below $40 and 5% on purchases above $40.

7. Golance 

Founded in 2015, Golance connects entrepreneurs and business owners from all over the world with top talent. The platform was designed to make work life and collaboration better and easier for businesses and the online talent they hire. If you’re looking to hire remote freelancers in fields related to marketing, web development, programming or IT, then look no further as Golance will offer you a plethora of highly skilled freelancers in these fields.

When seeking freelancers, you can directly invite individual freelancers to jobs or put the job out for bids, letting you see who is interested. In addition, it’s completely free to sign up – meaning no monthly fees for clients! 

8. Freelancer

Founded in 2009, Freelancer is an Australian freelancer marketplace connecting employers and professional freelancers around the globe. With clientele including some of the biggest companies in the world, to date, the platform has matched 22 million gigs, either through direct projects or contests posted by employers. Freelancer operates a network of sites tailored to outsourcing niche markets, such as website domain creation, marketing services, design and art, and other fields.

It is free to join Freelancer, view freelancer profiles and ratings, and communicate with potential candidates before committing. You can post a project at any time for a bidding contest or book a project with a specific freelancer, paying a 3% fee on any payments on completed work.

9. Guru.com 

Guru.com is a freelance marketplace platform with eight categories of jobs on offer. This easy-to-use service lets businesses search freelancers or post a job. Once you join and post a project, you’ll receive proposals from talented freelancers. Aside from individual projects, the site also lets enterprise clients manage teams of freelancers. It is free to post a job on Guru, with a low 2.5% transaction fee levied on payments. Payment to freelancers is flexible, letting employers choose hourly, project-based, or retainer payment plans.

10. Lemon.io 

Looking to hire an extremely talented software developer? Founded back in 2015, Lemon.io isn’t your typical freelance platform, but instead, a community of startup sidekicks. They are your go-to freelance platform for hiring trusted developers on demand. With professional interviews and a clear vetting process, Lemon.io will match you with the perfect talent that is best suited for your business or project.

11. Toptal

While many marketplaces for freelancers host a broad set of professionals from diverse fields,   Toptal is exclusively for top talent freelance engineers and developers. With only 3% of applicants to the platform, this site caters to seasoned experts and top-tier global companies. The pricing is high, with a required initial deposit of $500. This amount is refundable if you don’t move forward after a trial period, but if you choose to work with a Toptal freelancer you will bear this cost as well as paying upward of $60/hour in freelancer fees. Toptal is the best freelancer site for securing hand-picked global freelancers for high-level projects.


The gig economy is growing steadily with more and more workers moving to freelance in lieu of traditional office work. With the wide availability of top global talent, employers have the opportunity to hire talented freelancers online for almost any project using these top freelance marketplaces.

Once you’ve hired a freelancer through one of these top websites for hiring outsourced talent, you’ll need to make sure you issue payment for services in full and on time. Payoneer is a leading cross-border payment platform, empowering businesses worldwide to pay their international freelancers, contractors and suppliers easily and securely.

Pay your international freelancers with Payoneer

The content provided in this article including any information relating to pricing, fees, and other charges is accurate and valid only as of the date it was published. In addition, changes in applicable regulations, policies, market conditions, or other relevant factors may impact the accuracy of the mentioned pricing and fees and other associated details. Accordingly, it is further clarified that any information regarding pricing, fees and other charges is subject to changes, and it is your responsibility to ensure you are viewing the most up to date content applicable to you. Payoneer will provide the most up to date and accurate information relating to pricing and fees as part of the account registration process. Registered customers can view this information via their online account.

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