PeoplePerHour offers a platform for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners to connect and exchange services.
Founded in 2007, PeoplePerHour has gained recognition in the freelance world and claims to have brought together over 1 million freelancers and clients. PeoplePerHour caters to various industries offering digital services, such as design, consulting, development, writing, SEO, and marketing.
However, there are a few caveats to consider before deciding whether PeoplePerHour is an affordable option for you as a freelancer. So before you jump on board, let’s take a comprehensive look at what PeoplePerHour offers and what you need to know before signing up.
A glance at PeoplePerHour:
|Average Pricing||At least $8 per hour. Job postings typically start at $10.|
|Customer support and dispute resolution||Yes|
|Approximate number of freelancers||10,000|
|Top Industries||Writing. Social Media. Web Development. Business Consulting. Marketing & PR. Design.|
How PeoplePerHour Works for Sellers
Once logged in, you’re greeted with the main dashboard to manage your buying and selling activities. Everything is neatly displayed, showing job offers, workstreams in progress, and billing activity. I found the website easy to navigate, saving a lot of time. You can set your own rates and work hours. There’s also extra security when accepting work, as buyers must deposit a small percentage of the overall payment into an escrow account.
Sellers have two options when offering their services: to browse freelance job listings or post a service. As with most platforms, listing your service requires the typical information, such as delivery time, portfolio samples, and optional add-on services. However, it’s quick and straightforward, as everything is laid out on one page.
How PeoplePerHour Works for Buyers
Outsourcing work and hiring a freelancer isn’t always plain sailing, particularly in a highly competitive marketplace. PeoplePerHour provides buyers with three options to help find the ideal candidate. You can either:
- Search services that freelancers offer and filter results based on delivery time, country, and pricing.
- Search freelancers based on skill set, hourly rate, completed projects, ratings, and CERT level (more on that below).
- Post a project to receive proposals from freelancers.
I found that all of these options gave me enough flexibility to customize and narrow my search down to a list of potential freelancers. From there, it’s simply a case of checking their feedback, ratings, and portfolio to find the right person for the job.
You should expect to pay at least $8 per hour for the cheapest hourly rates, and job postings can start at $10.
What are the Main Features of PeoplePerHour?
- The CERT algorithm
PeoplePerHour has implemented a ranking algorithm called CERT (Content, Engagement, Repeat Usage, Trust) to indicate how experienced, professional, and trustworthy a freelancer is. The algorithm takes into account your skills, response time, number of completed jobs, reliability, and overall track record. Freelancers are given a score from 1-5, with 5 being the highest, to indicate their level of competence and consistent track record of delivering high-quality work.
However, it’s hard to ascertain precisely how the algorithm calculates each score. Nonetheless, it’s still a valuable feature that allows users to evaluate a potential freelancer, besides the regular customer feedback and ratings. PeoplePerHour’s search feature allows you to filter search results to display only those high-flying CERT4 or CERT5 freelancers.
- On-Site Work Opportunities
The freelance gig economy predominantly revolves around remote work. However, sometimes face-to-face meetings or regular on-site work is necessary. Therefore, PeoplePerHour allows buyers to search for freelancers in their local area who don’t mind undertaking on-site work.
- Customer Reviews and Ratings
Of course, you’re unlikely to hire someone without reading previous customer reviews and ratings. When searching freelancers, you’ll see an average rating and the number of reviews next to each freelancer, and you can even filter results by rating.
Reviews and ratings are displayed chronologically on every profile, with the most recent first. I thought it was very convenient that reviews from repeat buyers are clustered together, as knowing that a freelancer has regular clients is reassuring. However, it would be even better if I had the option to filter reviews further based on ratings or even keywords, as I want a balanced view of their good and bad points.
- Ease of Use
The visual interface is clear and straightforward, and you’re not bombarded with clusters of text or images. It consists of various nifty features, such as bookmarking freelancers and saving job offers to view later.
- Workstream tracking
All communication relating to projects stays within the workstream tracker. Whether a job or project is in discussion, in progress, or completed, all messages, delivery of work, and invoices are accessible via this portal.
What are the advantages of PeoplePerHour?
- Access to a large network of freelancers and businesses
The platform has attracted a large network of freelancers and businesses over the last 15 years, and it’s easy to find multiple freelancers for any digital service on the market. So you have a lot of potential to build and maintain a customer or client base.
- Freelancer Approval Process
PeoplePerHour’s approval process ensures that sellers are screened and verified before selling services. First, a freelancer fills in details about themselves and their skills, after which PeoplePerHour will accept or decline.
- Smooth user experience
Once logged in, you are presented with your account dashboard, which is clear and straightforward to navigate your projects, and proposals and keep track of finances.
- Easy access to the ratings and history of freelancers
Reviews and ratings will give you a clear idea of who you’re hiring and what to expect from them regarding communication and the final delivery of your work. In addition, factors such as their response time, feedback from buyers or sellers, and whether they have regular clients show you how reliable they are.
- A mobile app is also available
What Are The Disadvantages of PeoplePerHour?
- Highly competitive environment
While competition is healthy as it can force you to look at ways to improve your services and communication, the downside is that buyers can be inundated with proposals after posting a job. This means buyers have less time to scrutinize each offer, thus minimizing the chances of being awarded the job.
Furthermore, when many freelancers offer the same services, it can get overcrowded and make it harder to rise above the rest, especially if you’re new to the platform. To combat this, you must rely on your feedback profile, sales, and overall track record to do the talking. Your CERT score, ratings, and feedback will help you gain a strong reputation, but that can take time.
- Unpredictable income
Nothing in life is guaranteed, and that’s certainly the case when trying to secure regular fixed income on PeoplePerHour. A freelancer’s income, in general, is unpredictable and constantly fluctuating, but using PeoplePerHour won’t necessarily change that reality.
- No time tracking app
Many freelancers like to offer their services for an hourly rate. Unfortunately, PeoplePerHour hasn’t provided a tracking app to ensure accurate time-keeping, so the correct wages are correctly calculated. This means you’ll have to use an alternative program or rely on freelancers to track time manually.
- Lack of customer support
PeoplePerHour’s help center is handy for troubleshooting most issues. It’s as simple as typing your query into the search bar, and you’ll have access to articles and support threads created by other users.
You can also post questions yourself in the community forum. But the quickest way to receive a tailored response is to email the support desk directly. However, many users report slow response times and not receiving adequate answers. This is perhaps one area where PeoplePerHour can improve.
What are PeoplePerHour’s Fees and Commission?
Let’s face it, the main reason why we’re here is to get paid. So how much is PeoplePerHour going to earn from your work?
The good news is there are no registration or sign-up fees; after approval as a freelancer, it’s free to post a service.
However, there are, of course, PeoplePerHour’s fees and commissions to consider. As a freelancer, when you start a project with a client, the first $350 (£250/ €600) you earn is subject to a 20% fee and then drops to 7.5% above $350. When you reach the $7000 (£5,000 / €6000) mark with a regular client, it reduces to 3.5%
It’s also important to note that there is a minimum service fee for each invoice of $1.40.
As a buyer, every project payment is subject to a 10% fee no matter what payment method you use (Credit Card, PayPal, etc.). This is something that freelancers should be aware of, as it’s easy to forget that clients are paying an extra 10%. This can also affect a buyer’s choice of whether hiring a freelancer on PeoplePerHour is worth it. On top of that, optional extras such as marking a project as “featured” will incur a $20 (£15 / €17) fee, and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) prices are $34 (£24 / € 29).
Lastly, you need to factor in currency conversion. The chances are you’ll be working with clients or freelancers from around the world. PeoplePerHour typically lists buyer fees in pounds, whereas freelancer costs are in dollars.
How Can I Stay Safe On PeoplePerHour?
All users should communicate and pay via the platform and avoid off-site interaction. If any goes wrong outside of the platform, PeoplePerHour won’t get involved. If a buyer refuses to pay, you’ll have evidence of your work and messages within the account.
For freelancers, sometimes buyers may wish to interact with you outside the platform. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trying to scam you, but they may want to avoid paying fees. However, you’re much safer remaining on the platform in case of any unforeseen disputes that arise where PeoplePerHour can offer solutions. It’s also against the terms and conditions to exchange contact details, which can flag your account for inspection.
As a buyer, always ensure delivered work is up to your standard before paying. Stick to using PeoplePerHour’s payment methods to avoid falling victim to scams. If an order remains undelivered, you can cancel and apply for a refund of the money held in escrow.
PeoplePerHour has undoubtedly stood the test of time and continues to deliver much of what we, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners, expect from such a big platform. In addition, they’ve certainly invested a lot of effort in having successfully crafted a highly intuitive, smooth user interface.
They do need to improve customer support. But more importantly, their higher-than-average fees for freelancers and buyers are what you need to be concerned with.
So, before deciding, carefully check the terms and conditions (as prices can and terms can change), and work out what you stand to lose or gain financially.