Top Freelance Hiring Sites: Elance, oDesk & Solvate Review & Coupon Code
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Top Freelance Hiring Sites: Elance, oDesk & Solvate Review & Coupon Code

In this report

Staffing requirements for surge, project related or one time hits to get your business through a tough time is a popular these. Traditionally, the staffing or temporary agency was the only outlet for businesses. With the introduction of virtual staffing through companies such as Elance, oDesk, and Solvate the make up of temporary support has changed.

These companies offer a means for companies to post opportunities and then work through bids to find their temporary or freelance help. Additionally, the company has the leverage to search through registered freelance professionals to find their match and avid the bid process.

No matter the direction taken, companies will realize reduced costs in staffing based on freelance work. There is no overhead to consider, no spacing issues for a desk and resources needed for a telecommuting freelance professional. These cost savings are realized at the bottom-line or against the over all cost of the project.

#1 - Elance


  • Elance offers a one stop shop for multiple contract needs. These needs cover a wide range of specific or general needs of work that can easily be accomplished under a telecommuting arrangement.
  • No overhead cost for the company as each individual can work-from-home and deliver over the internet. Of course, on-site work is a possibility depending on the location of the freelance workers and the company.
  • There is a large pool of talent for the company to review and hire from or received bids based on their job posting.
  • Freelance workers have the ability to be seen by thousands of prospective employers covering a wide range of freelance work.


  • Freelance workers must build a portfolio and stick it out on the website and hope for traffic or bid against a large stock of freelance workers to secure a job.
  • Competition level among freelance workers is enormous with no real way to compete other than a virtual resume or your hourly bid rate.
  • The huge pool of contractors can make if cumbersome for the individual or business to sift through looking for the right mix.
  • Work is a hit or miss deal. Freelance workers provide their abilities either in resume form or sample form for the business to sift through but you never know what you hire until the work begins.


Based on the freelance workers posted rates plus a 6.75% and 8.75% of each job completed. This is by far the lowest between Elance, oDesk and Solvate.


Bid to hire is a common practice for many sites over the internet. The concept is popular as more sites continue to pop up. This very well could be the wave of the future, skimming some business away from temporary staffing agencies. Elance offers a great platform and process to put freelance workers in touch with companies which in the end benefits both. Competition is keen which benefits the hiring organization or individual, freelance worker beware.

#2 - Solvate


  • Companies looking for freelance work for hire will generally get a higher caliber of professional to support their needs.
  • The bid for job process is refined and generated for specific requirements under very details job postings.
  • Solvate has a great networking community to enhance the freelance professionals outreach and support within the work environment. This enables them to solicit others for advice and support.
  • The pay structure is generous and more apt to allow professionals to charge a market rate based on the guarantee and criteria under which Solvate hires their freelance support professionals.


  • Solvate’s pricing criteria may turn away many smaller businesses.
  • Many freelance professionals are looking for a longer term arrangement then a simple one project and done arrangement.
  • Limited to US based customers and ‘talent’ only.


Solvate unlike its competitor’s Elance and oDesk offer pricing schedules based on three levels. For those looking for a simple one time project or surge support, Solvate is not for them. Rather the company looking for continued and long term support throughout the year may make Solvate a better choice.


For the larger or more pressed business with steady revenue (and US based), Solvate may be the best bet. However, the restriction in location and hiring reduces the overall scope of what and who Solvate can support. This is, perhaps, more of a niche online staffing firm that caters to the more seasoned business that has an exact feel for what they need. It is not really a direct competitor in this case with Elance or oDesk but offers a look into the business models for online virtual staffing.

#3 - oDesk


  • oDesk offers a simple process for companies or individuals needing help. Simply post a job and wait for proposal to roll in.
  • Each hired freelancer is required to keep a project diary, this makes following project status easy for the hiring company. This also includes a time log to monitor expenses for the work performed.
  • Payment is completed weekly for all phases of the job. Even if the project is not complete freelance workers realize payment for their efforts thus far.
  • oDesk opens a wide variety of opportunities for the freelance worker to bid on jobs and increase their net worth and portfolio.


  • Businesses have to rely upon previous feedback from other companies or the freelance resume to determine fit.
  • Time log is based upon the freelance individual’s input. Disputes are an arduous process through oDesk but rectifiable.
  • Bid for work is often a hit and miss opportunity. Often under bidding will turn off a prospect just as quickly as over pricing or competitive bidding based on experience.
  • Often there is little feedback on jobs not won and oDesk requires you to download their software onto your computer to work for them. This is often a turn off based related concerns about vendor software.


Unlike Elance, oDesk charges a flat rate of 10%. Frankly, this is high in comparison and may lead many vendors to look elsewhere or overlook you in combination with your bid and the add-on from oDesk.


Although oDesk offers the same as its competitors, their 10% convenience fee is a major turn off for companies with fixed or limited budgets. This fee may very well be equivalent to what that can get from a traditional staffing agency or overhead costs. The concept is exceptional for businesses but less for the freelancer but either way it brings money to the table.

The Bottom Line

At the close of each comparison, impressions were discussed. The bottom-line is as the company looking for staffing support, you must decide your need. For those looking for a one time project support freelance professional, Elance is your best bet. With many of the same advantages as oDesk but a less expensive convenience fee you get pretty much the same product. For the freelance professional Elancer provides a simpler and less intrusive platform for your to operate.

If you are a professional business looking for top talent to meet a serious demand, whether it be a freelance chief Financial Offer or a professional art designer, Solvate will be your best option. With a more stringent screening process and application submission criteria freelance professionals must prove their abilities before acceptance. This gives you the guaranteed best with Solvate’s backing. For the freelance professional, Solvate is more than just a platform to find work, it is a community of professional like yourself looking to network, find work and continue their individual success.

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