If you’ve been doing some digging on hiring offshore and freelance talent for your team, then I’m sure you would have come across either one of these two industry giants: Fiverr or Upwork. Although booth platforms provide freelance help, they’re positioned very differently, and each have their strengths.
In this comparison, we dive deep into both sites, looking into both their pros and cons and giving you various situations on which platform is more suitable.
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services. Based in Isreal, this tech giant provides services from talent all across the globe. Unlike what the name suggests, Fiverr originally provided services at $5, but now has premium services from world class talent, valued into the thousands of dollars.
The platform allows businesses to easily hire talent, like an e-commerce shopping experience , which is how they’ve built out their platform to be like. With over 300 catalogues, you can easily select what you need and simply buy the service you need.
Abundance of Categories
One of the biggest selling points of Fiverr is the abundance of categories. With sellers offering logo designs to video creators open to reading anything you want out of a script, Fiverr is a place for you to get work created for your business.
Honest Review System
Fiverr’s review system is incredibly transparent, and I always trust it when I pick my service suppliers. Not only can you see the average number of stars a seller has received, but also the services they have provided in the past.
Multiple pricing levels
In a world where it’s common knowledge that “you get what you pay for”, Fiverr embodies this in their pricing for all services, where each seller will have 3 tier pricing packages, where the cheapest option will usually get you the bare minimum service, usually just enough so you have what’s need to get the job done, and the next two levels up will have either better designs, consulting packages or custom work.
I love this level of transparency, as you know exactly what you get for what you pay.
Pros and Cons
- Ideal for quick work
- Easily get quotes for custom work
- Buyer protection from the platform
- Trustworthy review and seller ratings on the platform
- Wide variety of talent
- Very transactional relationship
- Long term collaborations can become clunky
Upwork is a platform that allows you to hire talent from all across the world. The platform allows you to post a job ad, which then freelancers across the globe can apply for the role. Similar to hiring someone locally, you can then shortlist people, then set up interviews to find your perfect match.
You can find both talent for both one off jobs and ongoing roles, and the platform also has built in employee monitoring systems and payment gateway, so you can easily pay your new hires.
Verified freelance work history
Freelance platforms in the past have notoriously known to be fake and littered with fake reviews in order for sellers to climb to the top of the categories. Upwork fights this by having a transparent review system, where you can see everyone that has reviewed a freelancer and see the exact task they were asked to complete.
This is extremely useful when you’re looking for candidates to do a specific task and want to find someone who has done it before.
Employee Management Tools
The name of this tool is quite vague, so I’ll explain it properly here. Basically this tool allows you to not only time track your employees when they work under the hour, but the software will take a screenshot of their screen every now and then, to ensure they don’t procrastinate and you’re paying money for them to browse Facebook. As a manager, I think this tool is great, but I’m not one to really check the screenshots, but rather, if they can finish their assigned tasks in the set time, then all is well. However, this tool can give you some comfort if you do want to ensure new employees are productive.
Paying international employees is actually a big headache for a lot of business owners when their new to working with international talent. Before the days of Upwork, to pay an international employee would mean the banks would dig into your account and eat up that transaction fee like a cake. Upwork solves this by allowing you to easily pay your talent with any VISA card, and takes no fees in the transaction. You don’t need to worry about conversions and any of that, and can pay them with a press of a button.
Pros and Cons
- Able to properly vet applicants for a role
- Ability to ask applicants to do a quiz and send a cover letter in along with their application
- See a profile picture of the person you’re working with
- Will take more time to hire someone
- For more complex tasks, you need to give your new hires your process on how to do things. You will find that bad instructions will give you bad quality work, so it’s essential that you give solid briefings.
When you should use Fiverr
Based on personal experience, I usually use Fiverr when I need a one off job completed. Because of the transactional nature of the platform, the eb and flow you get with an ongoing employee is not there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get great work from the talent there.
With a quality brief provided, and clear expectations set, you can still receive well crafted work in return.
- Editing a batch of photos (e-commerce)
- Creating an explainer video
- Designing a book cover
When you should use Upwork
I normally use Upwork when I need ongoing staff. Sure, the platform caters to on-off jobs too, but i found that because you’re spending more time hiring that talent, on-off jobs are more suitable on Fiverr.
Upwork does take a bit more time to make that hire, from posting up a job ad, to waiting a period of time for applicants to come in, and then for you to finally sort thought them and make that hire, it will take a lot more time than simply choosing someone on Fiverr.
On top of that because of Upwork’s more robust contract system where you can pay your hires for completing specific tasks, and is integrated within their messaging system, you can easily communicate with your team and assign and pay them easily.
Here is what I use Upwork for hiring:
- Virtual assistants
To wrap things up, I know that these two platforms are always being compared with each other, but seriously, they’re very different platforms for 2 very different use cases.
If you want on-off jobs to be completed, then Fiverr is your solution, but if you want someone on-going to be part of your team, then you should look on Upwork.
Felix is the founder of Society of Speed, an automotive journal covering the unique lifestyle of supercar owners. Alongside automotive journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects.