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Freelancing websites: what are the negatives for companies and freelancers?



What are freelancers?

Firstly we have to define what a freelancer is. A freelancer is someone who is self employed, and not usually associated with a particular company for too long. Freelancers are more commonly associated with people who work within the arts (writers and artists) due to the constantly changing career choice. However, freelancing can be a viable and lucrative way for many different careers to earn money at home; and an easier way for companies to outsource projects, for example, currently “Google hires more freelancers than permanent employees”, and “Freelancers comprise 35% of the US workforce, based on data from the Department of Labour”, With Europe comprising of 27%. [2] And for companies, freelancing has a “projected gross volume” of “US$455.2B worldwide” for 2023. It is a quickly growing medium within our current society.


Much like with the website ebay, many freelancing websites allow you to bid on certain jobs and have bids on a job you have posted. Some websites even let you only allow people with certain qualifications, or positive reviews, to bid on your projects.


The general population of the world is an ever progressing number, which means that the number of adults entering the career field is multiplying also. This is a problem for Employers, just as employees, as the sheer amount of people that apply for a single job has also risen. This can be a problem, as it seems that all nearby jobs have either been given to someone, or you have to battle 100’s of others for the job; Freelancing is a good way to get an overseas job in an oversaturated market, as most jobs can be worked completely remotely, there's no need to keep your job search within your area.


Forbes magazine also plunged into, what was, the emerging freelance market, to take a look: “Some professionals, perhaps getting tired of feeling hamstrung by the employment market in their areas, are turning to freelance marketplaces to pick up work”. [1] but ever since that article was published, freelance platforms have evolved and grown in numbers and overall demand, and with these new found popularity comes new found problems.


Problems with freelancing and using freelancer websites

With these rising numbers of newly emerging freelancers, also comes the rising numbers of freelance websites, Including ‘Fiverr’, ‘Upwork’, and ‘Freelancer.com’. Each with their own set of platform problems.

There are 3 main problems within freelance platforms: credibility, trust, and competing with others.

  1. Credibility One key problem within modern freelancing platforms is the issue of credibility: being able to prove you are who you say you are, and you are capable of what you say you are capable of. People winning bids on certain projects are doing so purely based on their word, and their word alone. There is nothing stopping people from lying about their abilities and not completing the work that needs to be completed. Above all else, it’s a matter of reliability - understanding and knowing that they can and will produce adequate work for you.

  2. Trust Having confidence in the reliability of others is a key problem plaguing companies on freelancing platforms. Trust is built over time, but what do we do if we have to find an applicant that we trust, immediately? In my own personal experience on freelancing websites, I found it difficult to secure a writing job against the sheer number of other applicants. I couldn't prove that I actually had a degree in English, or that I had the skills to write articles, as I hadn't started any freelance jobs. The situation was a real Catch-22 in that I couldn't prove that I could write articles for the employers, without having evidentiary articles to show them, but I didn't have any articles as I had not proven to anyone I could write them. You need to prove past jobs as evidence but you can't get past jobs without evidence you could write the articles. This lack of credibility became a real hindrance while looking for work, and for those employers looking for workers and being able to trust them. áá

  3. Competing with others Competing with hundreds of others all around the world for one job can also be a major hindrance to freelancing and freelance employers, as how do you stand out from the others? You need to find a way to showcase your unique skills in a credible and trustworthy way.



Solution

The solution to these problems are simple: Credibility, proof of identity, and Certificates of knowledge in that area. We need to find way to prove someones credibility, and identity, in an unfalsifiable way, and that their knowledge is indeed genuine through tests, and certificates to prove their knowledge, understanding, and expertise within their chosen field.


There are a multitude of problems with freelancing platforms, and from the freelancers themselves, but with certain tools to help provide undeniable and unfalsifiable candidates, these websites can comfortably evolve into the new ever-expanding world of remote working and freelancers, knowing who they hired and the capabilities they possess.


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