What are some oDesk alternatives? I know a lot of freelancers and businesses are looking for alternative sites like oDesk. This is for a variety of reasons – oDesk has grown too big and it seems that the quality of jobs and freelancers has been on the decline. I have been on oDesk for several years now, and personally, I have seen the quality of postings deteriorate. Of course, the number of job openings might be increasing too, but that isn’t the whole story. Freelancers want better paying jobs and small businesses want quality freelancers.
Why look for oDesk alternatives?
Don’t get me wrong – oDesk is a fine marketplace, but you should know what it is about, its pros and cons. I did a thorough oDesk review and a follow up oDesk review from an employer’s perspective that outline under what circumstances you should consider joining oDesk.
However, there are many reasons to look for oDesk alternatives. Some don’t like the quality of freelancers and that is a cyclical problem – quality freelancers don’t want to go on oDesk because most assignments don’t pay very well. Good freelancers know what they are worth and don’t want to waste their time wading through a ton of crap. It is a hard problem indeed to overcome. No wonder most freelancers decide to scout for clients on their own and thus exacerbates the problem of finding them for the employers who know that quality works costs more.
Is there a solution?
That, in a nutshell is the whole problem with oDesk – lack of quality freelancers and lack of quality jobs. They are related. Some oDesk alternatives try to address this issue in their own way. Even if they don’t fully succeed, in a competitive marketplace, it is always good to have some alternatives both for the freelancers and the employers. You shouldn’t, after all, be too dependent on just one site.
Honestly, I haven’t seen this problem being addressed adequately on any other marketplace. That being said, alternatives are still good to have. In addition, if you read through the comments of the above mentioned articles, you’ll realize that not everyone is happy with oDesk but might want a site similar to it.
To really solve the problem of quality freelancers/pay is a much trickier proposition and needs a whole analysis of itself. I don’t pretend to know it myself but is a worthy question to pursue.
So if you are looking for oDesk alternatives, here are some websites to consider -
Elance is a site very similar to oDesk. However, it is older than oDesk and somehow has managed to keep its reputation. Compared to oDesk, I find that the jobs at Elance are, on an average, better paying. There are usually few to none extremely low-ball offers (you know the kind – 50 cents for a 500 word article offers). Most jobs are decent paying and a few high-end ones. Most established companies (not small businesses), when they have to turn to freelancing marketplaces to get a job done, almost always turn to Elance because of its reputation. Being older though, it might be harder to break into the top here. Also read my Elance vs oDesk post to get more information about these two sites.
Freelancer is another site that is similar to oDesk and Elance. I doubt its claim of being the largest freelance marketplace online, but it is true that its Alexa rank (as of today) is better than both Elance and oDesk. This means it is definitely one of the biggest freelancing marketplaces. Honestly, I haven’t played around this site a lot, but have heard a lot about it, so definitely one of the options to consider whether you are joining as a freelancer or looking to hire freelancers.
From the little that I’ve poked around on the site, the quality of jobs seems to be higher than oDesk, which makes me confident of including this on the list of legitimate oDesk alternatives. The assignments are higher paying than at oDesk. I would love to hear from my readers about their experience here.
PeoplePerHour is a relatively new site out of UK, but I mention it here because it is indeed a legitimate alternative to oDesk. The quality of jobs posted here is definitely much better. Naturally, the freelancers are pretty good too.
Somehow, at least for now, the site has managed to keep quality postings/freelancers. It doesn’t have as many jobs as oDesk though, since it is relatively new. However, it is definitely a legitimate oDesk alternative to consider especially because it is quite different from oDesk in many ways. Read my PeoplePerHour review to learn more about this site.
One attractive feature of this site that immediately distinguishes itself from oDesk is the introduction of the ‘Hourlies’. Here, instead of employers posting jobs, employees post what they can do and for how much. This means if you specialize in a skill, you can advertise on the site through an hourlie. If someone likes and needs what you offer, they will buy this and the payment will be released to you when you complete the work. It is a nice feature for freelancers to advertise themselves and let employees contact them for work rather than the other way round. It is good for employers because they can look for very specific tasks and specialized people to fill the roles.
WitMart is an interesting site in that it allows you to post contracts and contests. Contracts are like any regular job posting that you see on oDesk or Elance. However, contests are, well, contests – you post a content, determine an appropriate prize money and in the end, choose a winner who will get all the money.
Contracts work just like anywhere else, but contests are an interesting addition to the freelancing marketplace. For an employer, if the prize is good enough and there are enough talented freelancers working, it can work great. The site allows you to look at submissions that have been made public. The quality is reasonable, and I think it is a good way for employers to get their work done and get quality submissions. There is a risk of course, but it is better than the risk that a single freelancer you hire isn’t going to deliver. The risk with a contest is that every single submission is bad, which is usually not very likely.
The site is more specialized for graphic designing, web designing, logo designing, etc. and less for hardcore programming and even writing, although there are definitely those jobs posted as well. I think a lot of designing related jobs tend to go well with the contest format.
vWorker was previously Rent A Coder and specialized in web programming and web designing jobs. It is a site similar to oDesk but smaller, so there are most things that you would see on oDesk.
Lets not forget the good old job boards. These are especially effective when you are looking in a specific niche, whether it is a job as a freelancer or a business looking to hire. These can be specialized and if you are looking at a reputable jobs board, then there is definitely good quality of freelancers and good jobs being posted. These are also a great way to make lasting industry contacts. Well known sites like FreelanceSwitch and ProBlogger have their own jobs board that can be a good source of jobs.
What are some of the oDesk alternatives that you use? Share in the comments.
Photo Credit: Victor1558