Recruiter Top 10: Platforms to Help You Find Work in the Gig Economy
Welcome to Top 10, Recruiter.com’s weekly rundown of the best of the best in recruiting! Every Friday, we release a list of some of our favorite people, things, and ideas dominating the industry. From awesome tech tools and cool companies to great books and powerful trends, no stone in the recruiting space will be left unturned.
This Week: Top 10 Gig Worker Platforms
By now, you’ve likely heard the stats: 55 million Americans now work in nontraditional jobs. That’s a little more than one-third of the workforce.
The message is clear: The gig economy is here to stay.
Whether you’ve already joined the ranks or are considering making the leap, you should know your gig-based career can only succeed if you’re using the right resources to find work. That’s why we’ve dedicated this week’s Top 10 to our favorite platforms for freelancers. Some you may have heard of, and others may be brand new to you, but either way, each item on this list can help you set up a long and fruitful project-based career.
With more than 2.5 million businesses using it to find freelancers, Upwork is the largest freelancing site in the world. That’s probably because the caliber of your average Upwork freelancer is rather high: According to McKinsey Global Institute, freelancers on the platform tend to be more educated than their competitors on other sites. Collectively, freelance workers on Upwork make more than $1 billion a year.
If you’re a knowledge worker who isn’t on Upwork yet, you should fix that ASAP.
All the best freelance software developers and designers are on Toptal. Don’t believe me? The platform only accepts 3 percent of applicants – and it receives thousands of applications a month.
That might sound daunting, but think about it: If you’ve got the skills to be in that 3 percent, you’ll earn yourself access to top-tier projects paying serious money. So go ahead. Give it a shot.
(Thanks to the folks at Stacklist for recommending Toptal for our list. Stacklist runs a really cool operation where they assess the tools available to startups and present you with the best ones for your needs. As a freelancer, you’re essentially an entrepreneur – except you are your own startup. So check Stacklist out for more tools that might be helpful.)
Already drive for Uber? Then check out Uzurv, an app that allows Uber customers to directly request your services. It’s a great way to cultivate a dedicated customer base instead of simply taking rides as they come.
The tool can also help you turn your Uber driving into a serious business, allowing you to set your schedule, establish financial goals, and market your services to riders.
(We hadn’t heard of Uzurv until Teajai Kimsey, who runs Uber G1rl, shared it with us. A big thanks to Kimsey for her help!)
For those who work in the world of live events – audiovisual, IT, lighting, staging, etc. – HireMeDirect is a great way to land project work. It’s essentially an online staffing firm that connects talented people with the organizations and events that need their skills. It also takes some of the risk out of being a freelancer by paying freelancers as W-2 employees and providing workers’ comp, thereby ensuring some stability for workers in a historically tumultuous industry.
You already know about Airbnb. You also already know that you’re not really going to be able to make a career out of it. You can’t exactly be a freelance room-renter.
But the reason we’ve decided to add Airbnb to this list is because as Nelson Chu, founder and CEO of the thinktank Tritan Collective, said when he nominated the platform for our list: “This could serve as a source of very passive income.”
Especially when you’re just starting out, freelancing can be a rocky business with plenty of ups and downs. If you have some spare space you can rent out, you can keep your income relatively steady regardless of how many clients you’ve landed.
As far as professional networking sites go, Opportunity is the best one for freelancers on the lookout for clients. Each day, the system scans its network of millions of professional profiles to find people who have indicated a need for your skills. It then recommends these people to you as possible connections.
Essentially, Opportunity allows you to passively network and generate leads. Given that finding clients is one of the toughest – if not the absolute hardest – aspects of freelancing, it’s a good idea to find a platform that can take some of that off your plate.
HackerOne is a platform that major companies use to identify bugs in their software by asking users to help them out. It’s sort of like a crowdsourced form of cybersecurity. And given that the average payout for finding a bug is $500, you stand to earn some serious money on the platform.
Worried HackerOne isn’t for you because your hacking skills aren’t up to snuff – or are totally nonexistent? Don’t be: HackerOne is also a great way to learn some of those skills by working with security teams and other network contributors.
That makes HackerOne a great way to get paid while learning valuable new skills.
Fiverr’s another one that you’ve likely already heard of, but we’d be remiss if we left it off the list. As one of the biggest marketplaces for creative and professional services on the Web, Fiverr is a great way to score new projects. Simply list your skills and services, and let the people who need them come to you.
And then there’s Etsy. For those of you who like to make and sell things, there’s really no better marketplace. Enough said.
Perhaps you want to freelance, but you’re not a huge fan of the frenetic gig-to-gig-to-gig pace of marketplaces like Fiverr. If that’s the case, then CloudPeeps is where you want to be. Rather than focusing on transactional relationships, CloudPeeps likes to make connections between freelancers and clients for longer-term assignments. The average working relationship on CloudPeeps is more than six months, which means it’s the perfect platform for freelancers who like to really dig into a project.