Technical Hiring Marketplaces

Technical Hiring Marketplaces

Created
Aug 3, 2023 6:03 PM
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🏢 Startups🧠 Product Strategy🛠 Web Development🤝 Hiring
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🌇 Product: Strategy | Startups | Ecosystem
Last edited time
Feb 3, 2024 9:37 PM
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Freelancer marketplaces are online platforms allowing companies to find and hire freelancers (talent). Marketplaces all evaluate talent differently, but generally smaller marketplaces offer more vetted talent than larger ones. Some marketplaces (like Upwork and Fiverr) defer to customers to do their own research and project management. Others (like A.Team or Gun.io) handle much of the talent sourcing, matching, and often some project management on behalf of customers. Most marketplaces offer managed freelancer payments: you pay the platform and the platform pays the freelancer. Some marketplaces also offer contract-to-hire or direct recruitment options.

This is a non-exhaustive and work in progress guide of freelancer marketplaces with a focus on technical talent (software engineers, product designers, data scientists, product marketers, etc.). It’s written from my own research, my work with startups, and my own experience as an entrepreneur hiring talent and technical freelancer. I also wrote some advice on startup technical hiring:

Freelancer Marketplaces Mentioned:

Freelancer Marketplaces Not Mentioned:

  • Freelancer.com
  • Fiverr

A.Team

https://invite.a.team/chip (thanks for using a referral link!)

Talent Pool:

  • Managed Freelancers (you pay the platform)
  • Engineers, designers, marketers, product managers, data scientists

Talent Pool Size: 1,200+

Ideal Customer: Enterprise / Growth-Stage Startup Looking to test a new product / channel

Notable Projects: Lyft, Pepsi

Average Rate: $130/hr

My Bias: I’m a listed builder with A.Team and have worked on several client contracts through them

A.Team was born from a very simple idea — that teams matter. The best things in the world are built by great teams. That’s why we came together to create the best place on earth for product builders to reclaim their freedom and team up to work on things they care about with companies building the products of the future.

A.Team is a members-only talent marketplace of top engineers, designers, marketers, product managers. A.Team connects startups and enterprise companies with complete contracted technical teams (i.e. a product manager, a designer, and two software engineers), instead of single freelancers. A.Team manages payments and contracting.

Media:

Pros:

  • Team-first model
  • Vetted talent marketplace

Cons:

  • Teams are more expensive than single freelancers

Tips:

  • Hire a team that’s worked together before

Huddle

https://app.huddle.works/invite/chip-kennedy (thanks for using a referral link!)

Talent Pool:

  • Managed Freelancers (you pay the platform)
  • Product design, software development, branding, marketing

Talent Pool Size: 750+

Ideal Customer: Seed stage - Series A startup in need of robust and interdisciplinary technical talent to accelerate product development

Notable Projects:

Average Rate: $100 - $150/hr

My Bias: I’m a listed builder with Huddle, but have never worked on a client contract with them.

Huddle is a platform uniting startups with top-tier builders in hours instead of months, a payment structure that bakes in ownership for contributions and a community of friends who enjoy the work.

Huddle is a members-only talent marketplace of designers, engineers, and brand specialists. Their digital community is made up of talent and the customers they serve - mostly startups.

Pros:

  • Equity and Cash payment options
  • Vetted talent marketplace
  • Community is for customers and talent

Cons:

  • Small talent pool means fewer options
  • Teams are more expensive than single freelancers

Tips:

Gun.io

Talent Pool:

  • Direct Hire (20% recruiter fee) or Managed Freelancers (you pay the platform)
  • Software engineers

Talent Pool Size: 1,000+

Ideal Customer:

Notable Projects:

Average Rate: $100 - $200/hr

Gun.io prides itself in being a partner in your hiring journey. Long gone are the days of sorting through stacks of resumes – we present you with a short list of great matches who are ready to work. Our operations team manages all payments between you and the talent, while our customer support team sticks with you to provide guidance and support for as long as you need it.

Pros:

  • Developer-led sourcing and matching
  • Vetted talent marketplace

Cons:

  • Software-centric, lacking other product skills

Toptal

Talent Pool:

  • Managed Freelancers (you pay the platform)
  • Software engineers, product designers, finance experts

Talent Pool Size: 100,000+

Ideal Customer:

Notable Projects: Bridgestone, USC

Average Rate: $75 - $175/hr

Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects.Hire Top Talent

Pros:

  • Vetted talent marketplace, including testing

Cons:

  • At Toptal’s larger scale, despite their vetting, talent is not always a good match

Upwork

Talent Pool:

  • Managed Freelancers (you pay the platform)
  • Development and IT, AI Services, Design & Creative, Sales & Marketing, Admin & Customer Support, Writing & Translation, Finance & Accounting, HR & Training, Legal, Engineering & Architecture

Talent Pool Size: 18M+

Ideal Customer:

Notable Projects: Microsoft, Nasdaq

Average Rate: $15–$45/hr

If you’re a client that’s come here to get things done, use this workforce of independent talent to build faster and transform your business. If you’re independent talent that’s come here to realize your potential, know that you are a valuable and instrumental part of someone’s team.

Pros:

  • Unlimited talent options
  • Very, very inexpensive

Cons:

  • Non-vetted marketplace, you have to do your own research
  • Freelancers often do not provide effective project/product management

Tips:

  • Do your research
  • Consider less expensive freelancers like a bet (high risk, high reward)