The freelance market has long ago turned from a cheap side job for students into one of the most serious sectors of the global labor market, where hundreds of millions people from all over the world work.
Large world economies are increasingly turning their attention to the use of labor freelancers and outsourcers. There are already circulating finances, calculated in trillions of USD, and in the future, these volumes will only grow.
Freelance — the basis for the global labor market future
These are not just pretty words, but an objective agenda, which is increasingly being translated into reality. For example, according to the “Freelancing in America: 2017” research, 36% of the total workforce in the US are freelancers — 57.3 million people. They bring to the economy of the country $1.4 trillion. extrabudgetary funds. And the number of remote personnel in the United States is growing 3 times faster than the overall growth of the workforce. Moreover, it is expected that by 2027 freelancers will be the majority of the workforce.
As we can see, one of the world’s most developed economies is using freelance services more and more often and in large volumes. What can we say then about the less wealthy countries where freelance for people is almost the only one chance to improve their well-being.
For example, in Payoneer.com it was considered that the Philippine freelancer copywriter, who writes in the low-end price category for $3–5 per article, can earn up to 759 Filipino pesos per day. This is 55% more than the daily minimum earnings in the country — 491 Philippine pesos.
Before the creation of Unolabo Skillmarket, we were wondering whether today the freelance industry is well equipped with effective tools for work and interaction between freelancers and employers? We did not find a positive answer for ourselves, so we decided to implement the concept of a fundamentally new freelance platform, which would fully meet the needs of the ever-growing freelancer’s army.
But first, let’s see what today the average freelance exchange represents itself and how it works. Let’s take a few the most popular global players.
What is wrong with Upwork?
As the first example, we took one of the largest freelance exchanges — Upwork. It is included in the recognized leaders’ list of the freelance segment, where work about 15 million freelancers from around the world. In addition, this exchange is multidisciplinary and provides an opportunity to place orders and perform work in a wide variety of specialties.
What does immediately catch the eye? The restrictions and commission fees. With this, Upwork introduces restrictions on the number of connects with customers per month. There is a free account (Basic) with 60 connects per month and paid (Plus) with 70 connects for $10 per month and the ability to buy connects (1 connect = $1).
However, these are far from the main Upwork problems. Today the exchange seeks to minimize its own costs and increase profits at the user’s expense.
For example, the exchange started heading for getting rid of freelancers with low earnings turns, beginning to cut their access to new orders. This approach has hit hardest on performers from the developing countries (like Philippines, Bangladesh, etc.).
It has not been without the increase in commission charges. For the first $500 earned on the platform, the exchange took from the performer 20% of it. Earning up to $10 000 has a commission of 10%, and starting from $10 000 and over — 5%. This is not taking into account the constant 2.75% commission from each transaction. As we can see, it is the beginners who will have the hardest time. Initially, they will have to give the exchange a total of 22.75% of their not the largest earnings.
But it is not all. In pursuit of increased profits, Upwork went even further. Aiming to get rid of low-paid freelancers, which bring less income to the stock exchange, Upwork began to systematically tighten the work rules on the platform.
The Upwork moderators began to ban performers for unproductive connects spending. If a freelancer for the first months of his work on the platform has spent all the connects and received from them a small percentage of responses/interview calls, Upwork can temporarily or even permanently block a profile of an ineffective performer.
And for the latest changes in the exchange’s policy — Upwork began to refuse to register some new users profiles, despite the fact that the account was filled according to all of the platform rules.
The reason for the refusal is simple: the exchange informs freelancers that an excessive number of artists with the same skills are already working on the platform and Upwork does not need new ones.
Comments are needless. Actually, it is not surprising that now more and more freelancers prefer to look for an Upwork alternative and work on other exchanges. However, they also tighten their policies, reducing for newbies the room for maneuver.
Unolabo as a solution
What did we see in today’s Upwork and on other exchanges? The platform with a huge amount of resources, which runs more than 10 million projects per year. At the same time, there is not much democracy left in Upwork, while it is too much centralized.
For this reason, we are creating Unolabo Skillmarket on completely different principles. We set a goal of developing a decentralized freelance platform, which is comfortable to work at for both customers and executors.
Due to the blockchain technology orders can be secured as much as possible, and performers will, among other things, have at their disposal a convenient tool for saving and confirming their rating and portfolio.
The “Skillmarket” principles demonstrate that we are creating a global database of performers skills from all around the world. Unolabo will contain relevant information about staff skills and abilities, and the freelancer will be able to track exactly where his skills are the most demanded at the moment.
Moreover, today freelance platforms pay little attention to the development of their performers’ skills, leaving it to the users themselves. Nevertheless, the Reskilling option is now very much demanded.
For example, if we refer to the “Freelancing in America: 2017” research once more, only in the last half of 2017 55% of freelancers were engaged in improving old skills or learning new ones.
Here in Unolabo we are developing our very own detailed system for training and improving the skills of our users. Within this system, we are also creating a special program to encourage the freelancer’s professional growth (MotiVa).
The Unolabo professional growth tracker monitors and encourages the development of each freelancer’s skill. MotiVa charges bonuses for gaining new skills, for successfully completed transactions, etc.
The received bonuses allow you to get professional master classes, preferential loans, discounts on purchases, etc as part of the loyalty program. It means in Unolabo a user will be doubly interested in self-development, and customers, in turn, will receive more competent and qualified executors.
In Unolabo Skillmarket you will not hear “sorry, but too many people with the same qualifications already work on our platform”. On the contrary, Skillmarket will offer you a powerful Reskilling-functional, with which you can be fully realized as a professional.