5 job sites that are under your radar for contract work
As someone who has used these sites to attract, qualify and hire talent. I can tell you that the talent pool in these job sites is tremendous.
If you are a freelancer or contract worker then you are in luck, especially those in the digital design industry. The number of people in the digital and design industry working as freelancers increased five-folds in the UK last year, meaning the self-employed now account for more than a quarter of the British workforce in the digital world. Similar trends are observed in Canada and the US. While Canada saw a decrease in employment in various sectors, including finance and manufacturing, an increase was recorded in the number of self-employed individuals by Statistics Canada.
The Canadian economy is recovering from a recession but companies continue to seek cost-cutting measures, mainly by reducing the size of their workforce. Economists say, Canada’s labor market recovery is presently being fuelled by self-employment, temporary work and part-time positions. These figures automatically increase the demand for freelancers and contract workers, meaning, people like you. If in the past you have only worked in full-time capacity, perhaps now is the time to look at your overall job description, extract transferable skills and apply for freelance or contract work. For instance, people experienced in web 2.0 may want to apply for freelance work as a webpage designer.
As a freelancer how do you ensure getting noticed? A simple Google search for job sites directs you to Monster, CareerBuilder, and even Craigslist. However, applying to those massive places may not get you noticed. It’s analogous to going to the football stadium and wearing your team’s colors – you blend right in. But what if you showed up in a mascot costume? That would certainly get you noticed. The point is that even though there has been an increase in contract work, you need to stand out to get employed. The easiest way to get noticed without affecting your credibility is by narrowing the competition. Independent research shows that certain freelance job websites are making their way to the top of the search engines. So, if you are a freelancer, here are 5 sites you NEED to be on.
FlexJobs – With over 50 career categories and jobs ranging from entry-level to executive, freelance to full-time, FlexJobs offers something for everyone. “FlexJobs is different from 99% of the job services out there in that we focus tirelessly on the quality and professionalism of the job leads you’ll find on our site. You won’t ever see any ads, scams, MLMs, duplicates, or other junk… just great, hand-screened jobs, and all of which offer some kind of work flexibility such as telecommuting, part-time or flextime schedules, or freelance contracts,” says Sarah Fell, CEO of FlexJobs.com. FlexJobs also offers benefits for job-seekers such as Skill Testing, expert tips and resources, excellent customer service, and a satisfaction guarantee. Most of the jobs on their website are US-based, but FlexJobs also have a good handful of jobs in Canada and abroad. FlexJobs offers a full refund policy in case they are unable to find a job that matches your location, interests, or requirements.
Elance – Elance saw a stagnant traditional job market and capitalized in the world of online jobs. “Online jobs offer great flexibility to the employer and minimize the overhead charges associated with a new hire and from a potential employee’s perspective, online work not only offers a one-minute-commute but also more independence and control over a project,” says Ellen Pack, VP Marketing and Communications for Elance.
Elance welcomes freelancers from all industries, as well as those needing projects completed in all industries. To ensure the quality of both freelancers and project creators, Elance recommends that freelancers and project creators use the escrow system. This system allows project creators to place the payment for the project in an account and keep it there until the freelancer has turned in the work. When the project creator is satisfied, he or she can release the payment to the freelancer. This system helps prevent conflicts or problems from arising. The feedback system takes into account the professionalism, speed, expertise, and communication of both the freelancer and the project creator and thus protects the interest of everyone involved.
oDesk – With a clear focus of creating a hub for contract workers, oDesk is a breath of fresh air in the world of online job search. In your profile, you can set the times you are available to work, your rate, business projects and proposals, and off you go.
The most outstanding feature of oDesk is the transparency of the entire process and Gary Swart, the CEO of oDesk, takes great pride in that. “Employers love oDesk because they can trust that an hour billed is an hour worked, and contractors because an hour worked is an hour paid. oDesk facilitates trust throughout the relationship from hiring, contracting, managing and working together, and payment, regardless of where the contractor is in the world,” says Swart. Once hired, everyone on the project can see the progress being made as oDesk maps out a visual completion date for the project. According to Gary Swart, “the economy, globalization and the internet are creating a greater opportunity for global employment more than any other time in history. oDesk, the largest and fastest growing global work platform is proud of the work we have done to create opportunities for companies to get more work done for less and for contractors to make money regardless of where they live in the world.” In the last few years, oDesk has made its place in the online world and today it is considered “the largest, fastest growing, and most trusted marketplace for remote work.”
Guru – This site is the world’s largest online marketplace for freelance talent. Founded in 1998, Guru.com is free to join and connects businesses with freelancers specializing in over 220 professional categories including: website design, programming, graphic design, business consulting, and administrative support. Employers seeking professional expertise locally, nationally or globally get quotes from freelancers for free. While some other sites deal strictly with one type of contract work, this is the hub and the number of projects is doubling each month.
Freelancer – Freelancer.com is yet another global marketplace for online and freelance jobs where businesses connect with independent service providers and freelancers to outsource their work. The site connects over 1.8 million total users globally from over 234 countries & regions. Through the website, employers can hire freelancers to do work in a wide range of areas, from software and design to engineering and the sciences, sales and marketing, and accounting & legal services. Since the average job size is under US $200, freelancer.com is extremely cost effective for small businesses, which often need a variety of jobs to be done, but cannot justify the expense of hiring full-time employees. What this means for you is that there is never a shortage of work for you and you can be employed and working from your home office, managing your salary and schedule while enhancing your network and resume at the same time.
Start researching and if you think you have some talents that might be contractible, you have an excellent stepping stone in these sites and major companies will soon start calling. Make sure to read the online reviews and use your own diligence before signing up for a website. The key to your success will be research and preparation. Good luck!
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