Rethinking Freelance Websites

By: Crossover on May 24th, 2016

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Rethinking Freelance Websites

You've heard the saying: "People who say you can't buy happiness simply don't know where to shop." Well, here's a new one for you: "People who say there's a global talent shortage simply don't know where to look."

Are you finding the top talent in your field?

The Evolution of the Talent Search

Once upon a time (translated: "shortly after the age of the dinosaurs"), companies looking for talent operated their searches on a local level. Geography basically dictated the available talent pool. Of necessity, the teams you worked with were made up of the people who were locally present.

That model worked fine, in its time. However, that time is now long gone. The Industrial Age has given way to the Information Age. No longer are talented people constrained by their geographical location. Business is now a global affair.

This shift led, briefly, to the idea of outsourcing. Suddenly, companies were imagining a fantasy world where offshore labor and onshore profits could cohabit. While there is still some outsourcing being done, what is the real result of that little exercise in futility?

Crossover's "Outsourcing is Dead" sums it up nicely, saying: "The outsourcing industry is dying. Because they hire bargain basement talent at $0.70 an hour. Wages in the outsourcing locations are outstripping these rock bottom rates so only the dregs of the talent market work for outsourcers. After all, why should a qualified Indian developer work for an outsourcer at $0.70/hour when homegrown companies will pay her $15 or more per hour? So you're entrusting your precious product to the lowest common denominator."

That hardly sounds appealing, right?

The Rise of Freelancing

Frustrated with the poor quality results of outsourcing and searching for an alternative that would leverage the power of the Internet to connect talented professionals with the firms who need them, companies have found working with freelancers to be a better option.

In 2014, the Forbes article "More than a Third of U.S. Workers Are Freelancers Now, But Is That Good for Them?" reported on the rise of the freelance worker in America, listing these eye-opening stats as proof:
    • 14.3 million Americans freelanced as "moonlighters", picking up the odd job now and again to supplement a full-time job elsewhere.
    • 21.1 million were traditional freelancers, doing temporary work on a project by project basis.
    • 9.3 million had multiple sources of income from a variety of freelance jobs.
    • 5.5 million freelancers were temporary staffers, working under contract for months at a time with the same company.
    • 2.8 million were entrepreneurs with 1-5 employees.
As it turns out, those 2014 numbers were just the tip of a steadily rising wave. Freelancing has taken a serious turn from the typical small job here or there that serves as "mad money" for the occasional moonlighter to something much more substantial.

Entrepreneur's "The Rise of the 6-Figure Freelancer" reports that, of the 17.8 million independent contractors in the U.S. in 2015, 2.9 million are making more than $100,000 per year.

This change in the nature of freelancing is drawing the attention of talented people looking to make a change from more traditional company-bound positions that sometimes come with an unsatisfactory work/life balance. In turn, companies looking for talented workers are re-evaluating where to look for ideal IT workers to fill current gaps in their talent pipeline.

With outsourcing becoming a less attractive option because of the questionable talent pools it offers to prospective hiring companies and freelancing attracting a growing number of talented individuals looking for a change, it is almost a no-brainer that companies are factoring freelancers and independent contractors into their talent management strategies.

Thus, freelance websites like Upwork and Guru have become popular options for companies seeking help with IT projects. And, on the surface, that seems like a good thing.

But the reality is, you don't really just want a good thing when it comes to finding talent. You want a great thing.

The Problem with Freelance Websites

Cloud-based solutions embrace the possibilities of the Internet in truly remarkable ways. With this technology, suddenly your talent search is no longer local, regional, or even national. It is global. That being said, freelance websites like Upwork and Guru miss the mark in one key way.

The workers available on these sites do not go through an adequate vetting process. What is the result of this important missed step? Simply put, inadequate vetting of workers can result in poor quality work and wasted money for your business. Who needs that?

Making the Most of a Better Model

So, what is really needed for you to gain access to the best of the best in the IT field? It is simple, really. Instead of working with freelance websites where you are constantly re-inventing the wheel with workers or worse yet, spinning the roulette wheel as to the quality of the talent offered, you need to work with a company that has a serious vetting process.

Here's the deal. The more rigorous the vetting process, the better the quality of the candidates. Cream rises to the top, and workers who are tested in multiple key areas successfully are the people you want on your team.

Crossover's innovative vetting process shines when compared with the less rigorous methods of freelance websites.

Crossover's vetting process is no joke. It is not a mere aptitude test or a review of a resume. It is a multi-levered approach to separating the wheat from the chaff, talent-wise. In addition to resume screening, background checks, and interviews, Crossover's vetting process involves rigorous skills testing, simulated work scenario trials, and much more. This process is not about ticking boxes on a checklist. It is about proving by research that the talent Crossover finds is the finest talent to be found worldwide.

Crossover is a new kind of company, with a new vision for how to connect the top one percent of talent globally with the companies who are changing the world.

We are disrupting the way talent is sourced and providing the finest talent available on the planet.