Be it major corporations, start-ups or SMEs, freelancing is a system of collaboration that is increasingly valued by companies, insofar as they desire:
- Immediate access to specific skills
- Flexibility to adapt their teams to their backlogs
- Cost savings in comparison with traditional recruitment
- Contractual convenience
As a reflection of this trend, which is here to stay, the number of freelancing platforms has risen to keep pace with demand.
How do you choose the best freelancing platform for your needs? What are the services and rates on offer? We’ve prepared a comparison of the different freelancing platforms to give you a clear overview of the marketplace and help you make a time-efficient and well-informed decision.
To this end, we’ve chosen to compare Fiverr, Malt, Toptal, Pentalog Freelancers and Upwork.
Freelancing Platforms: how much do they cost?
On freelancing platforms, the initial fee charged to companies is the commission added to the freelancer’s average daily rate.
Certain websites offer supplementary packages granting access to various choices of services.
|Freelancing platforms||Rates of commission|
|Fiverr||$2 for projects under $40
5% of projects over $40
|Malt||5% and 7% for the Standard and Advanced offers
Personalised rate for the Corporate offer
|Pentalog Freelancers||15% for any contract period|
|Toptal||$500 deposit for the 1st invoice – Personalised rates|
|Upwork||3% for the Basic and Plus offers
10% for the Business offer
Personalised rate for the Enterprise offer
On Fiverr, each freelancer can offer three rates: basic, standard and premium.
Main advantage: the rates are very affordable and almost everything can be outsourced.
Main disadvantage: in terms of development projects, for example, the company may be restricted as to the number of changes it can submit to the freelancer.
On Malt, Pentalog Freelancers and Upwork, the freelancers offer a single rate. Added to this rate is the commission detailed above.
Freelance rates are not displayed on Toptal, as the platform does not give access to its community. However, it does share the average rate by profession:
- Developer: $60-$150/hr
- Designer: $70-$150/hr
- Project Manager: $90-$180/hr
- Product Manager: $90-$200/hr
|Freelancing platforms||Paid packages|
|Fiverr||Fiverr Business: $149/year (1st year free)|
|Malt||Advanced and Corporate: prices on request|
|Pentalog Freelancers||No package|
Enterprise: price on request
The above packages correspond to different levels of service, for example:
- Response time
- Email or chat support
- Dedicated Account Manager
- Custom interface
- Number of users
Only Pentalog Freelancers and Toptal do not offer packages.
In addition to bespoke solutions, Pentalog Freelancers always provides the support of its CTOs and Talent Acquisition Managers, regardless of the size or financial means of the company.
Searching, Selecting and Contacting Freelancers
Depending on the freelancing platform, the company may have the option of selecting candidates with total autonomy.
Access to the freelance community is an ideal solution for companies with the in-house technical expertise to communicate with tech or marketing freelancers. The CTO will often have an important role in defining and possibly testing the ideal project. Alternatively, this might fall to the HR Manager, who is briefed by the CTO.
It also allows them to compare average daily rates, skill levels and specific product expertise before selecting the freelancers.
Finally, there are some platforms that do not grant access to their freelance community: a third party always handles the company’s request.
Access to the freelance community for autonomous searches
|Freelancing platforms||Access to the freelance community for autonomous searches|
The freelancing platform Toptal is the only one that does not allow direct contact with its freelancers.
Consultant support by the platform
|Freelancing platform||Free support||Paid support|
In the absence of time or internal expertise, the company can delegate its search for a freelancer to one of the platform’s consultants.
- The company can focus on its core business
- If the company does not know the exact profile required, but has a specific idea of its product, the platform can identify the relevant skills or build the team to deliver it
Pentalog Freelancers stands apart as the only freelancing platform to offer personalised support as standard. It is included in the 15% rate of commission, which means that the company has nothing to pay until it has found the right freelancer. One of the platform’s CTOs and Talent Acquisition Managers will be assigned to oversee the company’s search.
Replacing freelancers in the event of a bad match
|Freelancing platforms||Free replacement service||Paid replacement service|
|Fiverr||No replacement offered||No replacement offered|
|Upwork||No replacement offered||No replacement offered|
Malt only replaces freelancers as part of its Corporate offer.
Pentalog Freelancers replaces the freelancer at no extra charge and without condition if the match does not completely satisfy the expectations of the company.
On Toptal, every new collaboration with a freelancer begins with a trial period of two weeks. If the company is dissatisfied, it can request a replacement at no extra charge, subject to a three-profile limit.
According to our research, Fiverr and Upwork do not appear to offer a solution if the freelancer turns out to be unsuitable for the project.
What About the Skills and Aptitudes of the Freelancers?
For a long time, freelancing platforms suffered a bad reputation on account of unscrupulous and irresponsible freelancers.
Also known as cowboy freelancers, they prioritise quantity over quality for two main reasons:
- Some platforms incorporate turnaround times into their algorithm and promote the most responsive freelancers as the highest search results
- Due to their low rates, they have to take on more projects to earn a decent wage after expenses
In order to eliminate this problem, equally detrimental to companies and serious freelancers, certain platforms have chosen to subject their candidates to technical tests designed to validate their skills. Going one step further, others screen candidates who achieve the highest scores by means of individual interviews.
Validation of the freelancer’s hard skills and soft skills by the platform
|Freelancing platforms||Validation of soft skills||Validation of hard skills|
Pentalog Freelancers systematically evaluates the skills of freelancers via its online assessment platform. Their aptitudes are validated as part of an individual interview with one of its consultants. Additionally, Pentalog Freelancers provides companies with direct access to its online assessment platform, which is not the case with Toptal.
Whereas the technical skills of freelancers are not validated by Fiverr, Malt or Upwork , the search and selection process can be assigned to one of their consultants (as a paid service), which may suggest a certain degree of validation of soft skills.
In order to get the project started as quickly as possible, some platforms can take care of the administrative side of the collaboration: terms of the assignment, purchase orders, invoicing and payment.
|Freelancing platforms||Contract management|
With the exception of Pentalog Freelancers, it appears the majority of the platforms selected for this comparison do not provide a contract management service.
Freelancing Platforms: Overview
|Commission||5%||5 à 7%
|15%||N/A||3 à 10% or more|
|Access to the freelancer platform||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Free consultant support by the platform||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Free handling of freelancer replacement||N/A||No||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|Systematic validation of freelancer skills||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Systematic validation of freelancer aptitudes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
The average score is designed to simplify the decision-making process for companies, with one point awarded for each criterion (excluding the percentage commission).
Undecided about the best freelancing platform to choose?
Pentalog Freelancers offers to pay for one week of freelancing by a specialist of your choice (development, testing, marketing or security, etc.).