Guru.com is one of the largest sites for hiring professional freelancers. Perhaps you’re looking for an Android developer, full-time customer support agent, or a web designer. Online marketplaces like Guru have them all.
However, it is far from the only option. With so many different options for finding contractors for your projects, where should you look? You can start by reading quality reviews of sites for hiring freelancers.
The best site for hiring freelancers depends on your business, your specific needs, and other factors. In some instances, Guru may be the best source for freelancers. In many situations, though, another site will meet your needs better.
For design, dev, and finance projects, we recommend Toptal. Toptal does a fantastic job of screening and vetting their developers. This means you get high-quality employees without the added time and stress.
Only 3% of developers who apply get accepted into their program. Further, their hourly rates are what you would expect for hiring a software developer.
For outsourcing design projects at a lower price, consider outsourcing your project to a qualified designer on OnlineJobs.ph. OnlineJobs has thousands of hard working Filipino workers, many whom you can hire for $10 to $25 USD per hour.
For all other projects, we recommend Fiverr Pro. Fiverr Pro has many freelancers who meet Fiverr’s standard of excellence.
How can you compare Guru to other freelance and contractor sites? Again, the choice depends on your specific needs. Some essential questions apply to every business person who is looking for a place to hire freelancers.
Toptal has one significant difference from most other freelance sites, including Guru. They vet their freelancers before they allow them to apply for jobs. The company claims that only the top 3% of freelancers get accepted.
This feature offers a significant advantage for businesses looking to hire on a contract basis. The biggest drawback of looking for workers on freelance sites is that you have to deal with many applications from people who are not qualified.
Guru, on the other hand, does not have any vetting process, so you will have to deal with "spam" applications. Both sites are, however, ideal for finding developers for tech projects.
Toptal's vetting process is not a gimmick, either. In addition to virtual tests, the company has a video chat interview with each freelance candidate. Freelancers need to pass the interview and tests to qualify for the platform.
Toptal also has a two-week free trial period when you work with a new freelancer. If the partnership does not work out, then Toptal will cover the freelancer's contract payment.
Toptal and freelancers split the payment, so businesses do not have to pay fees over the project's quoted cost. However, you have to make a $500 initial deposit, which you can put toward the first project.
Lemon, like Guru, features developers and other tech freelancers. While Guru lets you seek freelancers at your own pace, Lemon promises to find a talented freelancer within 24 hours for your specific project.
This feature is excellent if you want to get started on your project quickly. At Guru, you peruse the applications yourself. Lemon, however, finds the freelancers for you based on your needs.
Lemon thoroughly vets their programmers so that you will get a qualified freelancer for your project. Each contractor goes through four rounds of vetting before they get added to Lemon's roster.
Lemon provides a complete estimate and benchmarks for each project, and they also have clear deadlines. For projects that require a quick turnaround, this option is one of the best among all freelance sites.
There is a flat rate for each project, which you agree upon beforehand. You deposit money onto the platform, and Lemon handles the payments, so you do not have to directly pay the freelancer.
Guru, on the other hand, does not vet freelancers and does not have guarantees related to quick turnarounds.
DesignBro is more specialized than Guru. Its freelancers provide digital design services, such as logos, website images, and other graphic designs.
DesignBro also stands out because it vets freelancers. Like Toptal and Lemon, DesignBro requires freelancers to pass a vetting process before accepting assignments on the site. This process weeds out people who are not qualified, and it makes the selection process for you much more straightforward.
The selection process works sort of like a contest. You submit a creative brief. Selected designers then submit designs to you. You can communicate directly with designers on the platform and give them a chance to improve their initial submissions.
You then select three finalists and choose your design from among these three.
This setup is very different from Guru, which has a standard freelance arrangement between contractors and businesses. DesignBro has pre-priced packages depending on the service that you need.
If you need design services, DesignBro is a better option than Guru. However, for other tech freelancers, Guru is the option that you need to choose.
OnlineJobs.ph is a site that specializes in freelancers from the Philippines. The Southeast Asian country is often the first choice for companies looking to outsource.
Like Guru, OnlineJobs has freelancers from various fields, though most businesses use the site to find virtual assistants (VAs). These freelancers have different skill-sets to perform tasks.
The most significant difference between OnlineJobs.ph and Guru is that freelancers on OnlineJobs.ph are only in the Philippines.
Because of the different cost of living in the Philippines, wages are generally lower than in most other countries. Freelance rates are, likewise, lower.
You have to pay a $500 recruiting fee when you sign up and fill in the request form. However, the payments happen outside the platform, so you do not have to pay additional fees.
If you want a virtual assistant or other freelance services at a low cost, you can try OnlineJobs.ph. For more-specialized services, however, Guru is a better option.
99Designs is a top freelance marketplace for graphic designers. If you are looking for additional services, such as programming, Guru is a better option.
99Designs allows you to post jobs online and review freelance proposals. They also offer design contests. These crowdsourcing contests are a way to ensure that you stay within your budget.
For a contest, you publish a brief. Designers create images and submit them in response to the competition.
The primary advantage is that a contest has a set prize price, so you do not have to spend more than your budget to get a design.
The primary drawback is that 99Designs does not have a vetting process. As a result, many of your designs will be below professional standards. Guru does not vet freelancers either.
Of course, Guru has freelancers who perform tasks outside of digital design, so it is the obvious choice if you are looking for other services.
Fiverr is a freelance site where contractors offer specific services that start at $5. Because people provide particular services, you can usually find a freelancer very quickly.
For smaller projects, you can hire someone for a very reasonable price.
Some freelancers offer additional services that cost more than $5, but you can negotiate with them. You can also see reviews from other clients. These can help you choose a proven freelancer.
Fiverr has a broad range of services. This selection can be an advantage because you have many freelancers to choose. However, it can also be a disadvantage because you need to weed through many freelancers to find someone who can handle your tasks.
Generally, for quick, simple tasks, Fiverr is a great option. For more complex projects, Guru is the better choice.
In 2015, oDesk and Elance merged together to become Upwork, making it one of the largest freelance marketplaces on the internet.
Like Guru, Upwork is an all-in-one freelance platform to help you hire freelancers with different specialities on demand.
Want to scale your web development to your remote team? No problem.
Looking to add a social media marketer to your digital marketing team? You got it!
Or perhaps you want a web designer to do some logo design work. Piece of cake.
Both sites have tools suitable for business owners, ecommerce stores, and startups. They both have time tracking systems to make sure your freelancer is productive with their time. And you can also check the freelancer’s user reviews before hiring them.
Guru is a web-based platform that works on internet browsers. Upwork, however, also has a suite of mobile apps for a variety of devices.
If you do not need to use a mobile app, both sites have user friendly platforms for sharing files, submitting work, and messaging freelancers.
One of the main differences is the pricing. Guru charges 2.5% of the project's total cost on top of the payment to the freelancers. If the project is $10,000, you will pay $10,250, with the $250 going to Guru.
Upwork currently charges a 3% processing fee on top of the amount that you pay to your contractors. You can also purchase monthly plans starting at $49.99 to get additional tools and support.
Overall, Guru is a slightly cheaper option. However, Upwork is better if you need to use mobile devices to manage your project or need freelancers from non-tech specialties.
Freelancer is not quite as large as Upwork, but it is one of the most popular freelance job sites. The issue with larger websites is that you will get many applications from freelancers who aren't qualified.
Being slightly smaller and more-specialized, Guru feels slightly less spammy.
Freelancer has a broader range of specialties. If you need to work with different specialists, this site is a good option. However, for tech-related projects, Guru is a better option for most businesses.
Guru charges a 2.5% flat fee on top of the amount that you agree to pay to your freelancers.
Freelancer is more expensive. The initial fee is 3% of the total project amount. However, Freelancer also has an a la carte pricing system. Featured listings and urgent listings for fast hires each cost $9 extra.
There are also extra fees for non-disclosure agreements, sealed bids, and other features. These additional costs make Freelancer a bit less attractive than Guru and some other freelancing sites.
Part of PeoplePerHour’s promise is that you can hire freelancers “in minutes.” Like Guru, the platform prioritizes placing staff quickly. At the same time, much of the appeal with PeoplePerHour is that you can play a flat per-hour rate for freelancer help.
Fixed-price offers are another hiring option, making PeoplePerHour a bit more affordable than Guru overall. Its anti-fraud promises are appealing, too. The payment system utilizes an escrow account until your work is complete, saving you from shelling out on projects that wind up unfinished.
Anti-fraud protection and responsive customer service are two more guarantees from PeoplePerHour, which is more than what Guru offers.
Also notable is the fact that TrustPilot reviews land the platform at four stars, so “Great” overall. Still, 23 percent of reviews were “Bad” at the time of this writing, so the platform isn’t necessarily perfect.
The wide range of available experts on PeoplePerHour helps it compete with Guru’s offerings. No matter the scope of your project, either platform can help bring it to fruition. But perhaps the most significant advantage PeoplePerHour has over Guru is that it’s free to join and search for freelancers.
No upfront payments or hidden fees mean you can check out PeoplePerHour before committing to hiring anyone – and that’s a significant perk.
If you’re looking for graphic design help, DesignCrowd might be the ideal platform to check out. Their motto is “good design for less,” which is reassuring for anyone who needs high-quality graphics, logos, or illustrations.
Extensive package options, a large database of hundreds of thousands of freelancers to choose from, and decent rates make DesignCrowd a solid choice, depending on your needs.
That’s not to say Guru isn’t a viable option for hiring designers, however. Part of the platform’s appeal is the variety of talent you can source. If your company needs to fill multiple positions, Guru wants to help you do it quickly.
DesignCrowd is also quick about things, though. If specialized design services are on your to-outsource list, they can offer a fast turnaround time on most projects.
When it comes to complaints, though, DesignCrowd and Guru receive comparable feedback. Users note that DesignCrowd has minimal screening for its applicants – however, you can choose from multiple bids for a project, hopefully getting past any scammers.
Guru has a reputation for letting scammers slip through the cracks, too, though their higher pricing makes it even more disappointing to experience. If you only need to hire designers for short-term work and want your choice of multiple candidates per project, DesignCrowd is a formidable option.
Envato Studio bills itself as a marketplace for sourcing “designers, developers, and creatives.” Envato Studio has a wide range of offerings, from video and animation to audio to WordPress design and even mobile services and apps.
However, the hiring platform does fall a bit short of Guru’s scope. Remember that Guru lets you find pros in fields ranging from engineering to business to legal and more.
Regarding payment, Envato offers an escrow-like format where the freelancer doesn’t receive funds until you approve the project. This adds a layer of security to the hiring process, though Guru’s SafePay transaction protection delivers similar reassurance.
Hiring capabilities also range from Express Job – a quick and easy option – to Service Categories browsing and Custom Job pitches. Envato makes it easy to outline your job requirements and find a professional that’s the perfect fit.
Envato Studio is another platform that lets employers review their freelancers, so this adds a bit of transparency to the hiring process. We like the range of project options, which seems to afford better flexibility than Guru.
Plus, Envato seems to boast better visibility than Guru does. While your Guru job posting could quickly become lost in the daily flow, Envato focuses more on fulfilling your service needs, rather than acting as a completely free marketplace.
You might recognize Hubstaff’s name outside the hiring platform realm. The company offers a productivity tracking tool that many entrepreneurs give rave reviews. Hubstaff Talent is a division of the brand that offers a free way to connect with remote talent.
The reasoning for Hubstaff Talent’s no-cost entry is simple: The company wants to offer a freely searchable marketplace for you to source talent. To that end, they deliver.
You can search for freelancers with a range of skills in a variety of locations. Once you connect with a contractor or an agency, it’s up to both sides to agree on the project scope and payment terms.
One of the highlights of Hubstaff Talent is that you and your new hire can collaborate via any platform you want. There are no requirements to remain on Hubstaff Talent’s site for your transactions, and Hubstaff won’t handle the payments, either.
For companies that are tired of scouring the web for talent but also don’t want to lock into a hiring platform’s terms or pricing structure, Hubstaff Talent sounds like an excellent alternative.
If you want more flexibility than Guru offers when it comes to hiring the staff you need at a rate you set, we think Hubstaff Talent shows some promise. There are over 100K profiles to sift through, thousands of agencies to collaborate with, and plenty of opportunities to find someone who’s perfect for your job.
While Guru offers small businesses and entrepreneurs a wide range of talent, Textbroker has a single premise. Their talent offers writing services – and that’s it.
With Textbroker, you can sign up for free, then create job postings for the projects you need completed. You set the rate for your project, though Textbroker only allows you to choose from specific tiers.
You can hire out basic articles, in-depth research pieces, and even translated copy on the writer platform. Pricing starts at 1.5 cents per word, and you can choose to post your project as an OpenOrder (available to all authors at a certain tier), DirectOrder (commissioning an author), or TeamOrder (a team of experts you choose).
Pricing tops out at just over 7 cents per word, with promises of professional-quality writing that’s ready to use.
When it comes to comparing Textbroker versus Guru, the differences make it tough. If you want to hire writers – and only writers – Textbroker seems like the clear winner. Especially if you are willing to edit a bit once you receive your completed documents, the lowest pricing tier may be a bargain.
If you need more cohesive services – like writing plus editing or SEO or marketing – then Guru could be a better choice for covering each of your bases.
You now have the information that you need to select the best site for your specific hiring needs. Hopefully, you can find the Guru alternative which works best for your particular project.
It's time to sign up for your chosen freelance hiring site and find someone with the skills for your next project.