According to the Freelancers Union, a national nonprofit organization, 81% of freelancers refer work to their freelancer network. When businesses are looking for freelancers to hire, they have a wide range of options from in-person networking to online hiring sites and referrals. Freelancers hire fellow freelancers, and businesses hire freelancers.

Recommendations, strong portfolios, and even stronger networks are at the core of freelancers looking to get hired. Finding the right freelancer to hire isn’t always easy, but online resources make it easier for business communications.

Check out these top 5 freelancer hiring sites.


Formerly known as Elance-oDesk, Upwork reaches freelancers and businesses globally. The company rebranded in 2015, connecting business owners with remote workers.

Its interface allows businesses to find freelancers by posting company project needs. Upwork will send a list of candidates that might interest the business owner, but Upwork leaves most of the communications up to the businesses to decide who would be the best fit for a job.

Businesses may pay via PayPal or credit card, manually or with recurring payments depending on the project type. Upwork also has a billing cycle based on the type of contract – hourly, fixed rates, and bonus payments.

There’s no membership fee for businesses to use Upwork to find freelancers. Businesses will simply pay a 3% processing fee once they hire a freelancer and the project is completed.


For more security, the hiring site FlexJobs requires companies to apply to their program. FlexJobs screens companies to ensure they’re a good fit for job seekers on the site.

They offer a few business membership options: Basic – Free, Premium Placement – From $199 to $179, and Pro – $399/month.

The Basic option allows businesses to apply, and it may take up to two weeks for a company to be approved. The Basic membership isn’t recommended for businesses looking to hire immediately.

The upgraded Premium Placement option promotes job listings on the FlexJobs professional social media platforms.

In the upgraded the Pro option, FlexJob offers unlimited job posts, resume searches, discounted email marketing campaigns, and quick approval to give business owners access to the site within a business day.

Payments are discussed and processed directly between the company and the freelancer.


Hiring site allows businesses to post a project detailing the job description, the end goal, and timeline.

Businesses can wait for freelancers to apply for the job -or- browse the website’s freelancer database, searching by country, profession, and skillsets. The website is free for both freelancers and businesses.

The Freelancer headquarters are located in Australia, connecting more than 32,885,000 employers and freelancers throughout 247 countries, regions and territories.

When businesses browse for freelancers to hire, they’ll be able to browse a list of projects completed, freelancer on-time delivery percentage, and average ratings. These details help businesses make an educated decision on hiring the right person from the start.

To pay freelancers on the site, companies must accept a freelancer’s bid prior to beginning a project, and then the money will be held in escrow in the company’s Freelancer account.

Once the freelancer completes the work, the company will agree to release the payment in full to the freelancer. Similar to Upwork, businesses sign up for free on and pay a 3% fee for completed projects. works as a job posting site. Founded by Sara Sutton, the Founder and CEO of FlexJobs and 1 Million for Work Flexibility, the company serves as a Glassdoor or Indeed type of site targeting remote workers.

The company deploys email newsletters to 51,000 subscribers, advertising job postings and promoting companies to hire remote freelancers.

The site’s pricing model varies:

  • $249 for a 30-day job posting
  • $473 for a 60-day job posting
  • $672 for a 90-day job posting
  • $99 to include job posting in the newsletter
  • $49 for to highlight job posting in their category list

Project payments are handled directly between the business and the freelancer as simply serves as a method to post job opportunities.


Launched as an influencer network in 2018, Muses quickly transformed into an innovative entrepreneur network, connecting businesses and freelancers through creative talent.

“Muses” are the freelancers, entrepreneurs, creative talent working on their businesses.

It’s free to sign up as an individual or as a business through the Muses website and the iOS app. To find freelancers, anyone may create a “Gig” – a freelance job opportunity, a community event, a group – for a one-time payment of $9.99 per Gig.

After posting a Gig, freelancers will apply for the job, and the company may choose to accept or decline applications. Payments are handled directly with the company outside of the Muses app.

The search-friendly app categorizes freelancers by profession such as graphic designer, photographer, makeup artist, chef, fitness coach, and music producer. Businesses may also connect with Muses by requesting to join their network and reaching out directly within the app’s messaging option.

With more than 100,000 Gigs joined, Muses connects the creative community and offers business opportunities to hire freelancers.

Circle back to in-person networking outside of freelancer hiring sites.

There’s a wide variety of options to hire freelancers, but every successful business owner knows we need to step outside the screen and interact with our network in person.

The freelancers we hire might work remotely, but we can still connect with our community through sites like Meetup and Eventbrite – sometimes even for free.

Remember to build meaningful connections with people both on and offline. Let’s remind ourselves why we started our business and why we want to work with a freelancer. Set the right intention going into each project to set everyone up for success.

Written By: Kelly Lamano
With 9 years of multimedia experience, Kelly helps businesses connect with audiences through quality content and vibrant photographs. Outside of creative projects, you’ll find her exploring nature trails and re-watching episodes of The Office. Keep up with Kelly’s adventures at 
Twentysomething Vision.