Freelance.com is a well-established company (started in 1996) based in France that offers opportunities for freelancers and businesses from across the world to network and find employment. It costs nothing for a freelancer to join and apply to jobs. However, companies hoping to utilize the service will have to pay anywhere from $1500-$2300 per year depending on how many applications they want to view and how many people they're hoping to hire. There is also an option for employers looking to hire one or just a few freelancers where they can essentially pay a flat rate for each person they offer a job.
In addition to fees for simply using the service, employers will also pay a percentage of whatever they pay their freelancers directly to the site. The exact percentage is negotiated on a case by case basis.
The site is easy enough to join. For freelancers, you simply give your basic information, create a username and password, and fill in your profile with as much information about your skills as possible. Freelancers can apply directly to jobs, but they can also be found by active employers seeking out applicants who meet the criteria they're seeking. This process is aided by "business managers" working for the site. Their job is to match up freelancers and employees to the best of their ability. They're also supposed to ensure that freelancers aren't paid unfairly and, conversely, that employers don't have to pay an arm and a leg to freelancers. Speaking of pay, it doesn't appear that the site plays a role in facilitating payments between parties.
- Free to use
This site has two strengths that it's clearly trying to advertise: 1) international job opportunities and 2) a well-established reputation with world class employers. The site can be viewed in English and French which has its pros and cons, but we'll cover that later. This format can be advantageous for freelancers hoping to utilize the ability to speak another language, as the site claims that employers from various countries use this platform.
The site boasts of its top notch employers. Included on their list are Microsoft, IBM, Avis, L'Oréal, and Airbus. Thus, freelancers hoping to get their foot in the door with a major company can do so here. The site also has a special membership for large corporations (this is the service that costs thousands per year) that essentially makes it so that these companies exclusively seek out freelancers using this service. However, it's unclear if any of the companies just mentioned are part of this service.
Another obvious benefit is that the site is very freelancer friendly. While many sites require a membership fee or a flat rate fee to apply to a job, this site is free. Furthermore, the business managers who match up employers to freelancers seems advantageous to those who are well qualified, although it's worth noting that this process or the exact criteria the managers use is not well described on the site. However, you can contact these managers with a specific question about a job posting.
- Lack of transparency
- Limited guarantees
- No payment services
The bad starts with the ambiguity you will encounter when trying to learn more about this service, as well as the poor design and usability of the website. Among the things that are most difficult to find are the fees one has to pay for the service. While I have mentioned that it is free for freelancers to join the site and browse for jobs, it's not 100% clear if actually applying to a job is free. Overall, the layout of the site isn't intuitive and it can be difficult to find where you need to go to actually begin using the services. These issues are compounded by some issues with language translation. Since the company is based in France, English speaking users will be reading a translation. There are some things that aren't well translated and are thus difficult to understand. Lastly, there are some broken links on the site that certainly detract from their efforts to be a high quality, professional service.
Another con to this service are the lack of guarantees. Other than a guarantee found on the homepage about ensuring freelancers are paid for their work-which seems like a no brainer-there were no guarantees that freelancers would find employment or that employers would find suitable freelancers. Thus, users enter at their own risk with no assurance that their money, time, or effort will prove beneficial.
This site also doesn't offer payment services-or at least if they do it is in no way made clear on the site. Thus, users hoping for a one-stop destination for all their freelancing needs will not necessarily find it here.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Freelance.com boasts high quality employers, and free (we think) access to freelancers. While a clumsy user interface and lack of guarantees may be a deal breaker for some, those seeking a long-tenured freelancing service or opportunities with big name employers may find this a good option to explore.