Staff.com was founded in April 2012 as an online staffing solution for long-term telecommuting jobs. Membership is free for companies and job applicants to join Staff.com. The company states it may charge a fee to post jobs in the future, but it is currently using the site to promote its Time Doctor product to companies for a fee of $9.99 per month per employee. Time Doctor provides companies with screen shots of their employees' computer screens so they can monitor what their employees are working on. The software also reports on websites and applications employees are using and tracks hours that employees work.
Staff.com requests employers only post job openings for work that is over three months, provides a minimum of 20 hours per week, and that can be done by telecommuting. Open positions found during a recent search of the site, were for work in various categories, including:
- Software Design and Coding
- Administrative Assistant
- Call Center/Technical Support
Many of the available positions are posted by companies outside of the U.S. Job seekers who join the site post their own rates, which show up when your profile is searched. Many of the members on the site are from outside of the U.S. and their rates in U.S. dollars are significantly lower than the rates charged by U.S. workers.
- Free membership
- Variety of jobs
- Global perspective
Free Membership: Job applicants and companies can join Staff.com for free. Membership allows freelances to search and apply for jobs. Members may also upload their resume and create a profile on the site that lists their relevant skills and experience. Companies can search available candidates' profiles to locate potential hires.
Variety of Jobs: Staff.com accepts job openings for all jobs that can be done via telecommuting. Types of jobs available on the site range from highly skilled software design and development work to administrative and customer support positions. Staff.com also posts its available positions on its Facebook page.
Global Perspective: Staff.com has both job applicants and jobs available throughout the world. Recent jobs posted on the site included work for companies based in Dubai, the Philippines, the European Union, the U.S., and other areas.
- Few jobs
- Low pay
- No verification of jobs or applicants' skill level
- No oversight or tracking of jobs
- No negotiation assistance
- No mobile app
- Lack of educational resources
Although the membership is free to join Staff.com, job applicants and employers are locked into using Time Doctor to manage their work. Use of this program may cause concerns for employees due to privacy issues. Time Doctor takes screen shots of your computer and monitors what websites you visit and what applications you use. Time Doctor then sends the data collected on your computer usage to your employer. Although some employers may find this a useful tool to make sure their employees are focused on work, some employees may find it intrusive.
Here are our other concerns with Staff.com:
Few Jobs: There were only 120 jobs posted on Staff.com during a recent visit. The company claims to have a staff of 190,758 so the ratio of applicants to jobs is very high.
Low Pay: Many of the jobs are international and the pay is low by U.S. standards. Job applicants post their own rates when they join the site. As many of the applicants are located outside of the U.S., their rates are much lower than U.S. workers' rates. Recent searches of the site turned up graphic designers and accountants who were willing to work for less than $2 USD per hour. A search of available jobs showed companies that wanted to hire .NET developers for less than $800 per month and web designers for $5-$7.5 per hour.
No Verification of Jobs or Applicants' Skill Level: Staff.com does not verify that companies that post to its site are legitimate and does not screen jobs to prevent scams. The company also does not pre-screen job applicants. Employers are required to do any interviewing and testing of candidates' skill levels and Staff.com leaves it up to the applicant and the employer to determine if there will be a trial or probationary period.
No Oversight or Tracking of Jobs: Staff.com does not keep track of job progress, provide a way to securely pay freelance employees or provide dispute resolution. Freelancers will not be able to track their earnings or job history through the site.
No Negotiation Assistance: Staff.com does not assist in negotiating employment terms or provide any support in matters of how workers are paid.
No Mobile App: Apple and Google Play do not offer a mobile alternative for Staff.com, which limits where and how members can search for and apply to jobs openings.
Lack of Educational Resources: Unlike many other staffing sites, Staff.com does not offer articles or blogs about hiring or getting work.
The Bottom Line
With its small amount of available jobs and the low pay offered for many of the positions, Staff.com is probably not a good fit for most U.S. freelancers. Freelancers outside of the U.S. may want to review the payment terms offered by the hiring companies to determine if they are competitive with jobs offered for similar positions in their area. There are sites that offer a much larger amount of freelance job opportunities with much higher pay. Other sites also screen out low paying or scam jobs and provide educational resources and ways for freelance workers to communicate.
Freelancers who do decide to accept work through Staff.com should realize that they will have to use the Time Doctor product the company has created. This product will monitor your computer usage, take screen shots of what you are doing on your computer, and report that information to your customer. If you look for work on Staff.com, be prepared to handle all of the negotiations for compensation on your own. Staff.com does not assist in negotiating employment terms or provide any support in matters of how workers are paid. The company also does not offer dispute resolution should problems arise between a freelancer and a client. The bottom line is that Staff.com's available work and support of freelance workers is not that impressive.