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Upwork or Stuffing Agencies?

When you lack the capacity to complete a project or have skills gaps, finding qualified employees right away quickly becomes a priority. Nowadays, talent acquisition specialists have many possible talent sources to choose from. Choosing which will work best for your company requires a closer look at what is involved with each and how effectively they fulfill your hiring needs. In this article, we will take a closer look at the differences and similarities between hiring talent through Upwork and a staffing agency and will see which comes out on top.

What is Upwork and How Does It Work?

Upwork is one of the most popular freelance platforms to outsource talent in web development, graphic design, and writing. As of today, Upwork remains one of the largest freelancing platforms, with an estimated 18 million freelancers. Upwork allows businesses to interview, hire and work with freelancers through the company's platform.

The client posts a job description and a price range they are willing to pay for a project. The client has an option to invite specific freelancers to apply for their jobs or else post a job for any freelancer to apply for. Once clients decide who they want to consider for a job, they hire that freelancer by signing the contract. After the contract is signed, the client can use the platform's tools to communicate, collaborate with a freelancer and pay for the job. 

Advantages of Using Upwork

Upwork makes it easy to find a skilled person for your project

When you use a job board or a staffing agency, you must base a hiring decision on the talent's resume and an impression a candidate made during the interview process. However, that does not tell you about the person's performance and other critical information. Upwork may help you make better decisions when it comes to choosing the right candidate because:

  • Upwork gives you access to candidates' profiles which include valuable information about their qualifications, such as work history, certifications, skill assessments, and feedback from other clients.
  • Upwork allows you to look at previous projects completed through their platform to see if the talent's experience matches your job's needs.

You can start a project sooner

Freelance platforms like Upwork can help companies find the right talent faster and start the projects sooner. On average, Upwork clients find qualified talent within three days, compared to an average of six weeks it takes through traditional staffing agencies or other talent sources. 

You can save money

When hiring on a freelance platform, you can save an average of 50% over in-house agencies. When you hire talent through Upwork, you avoid staffing agency markups. You and the candidate simply agree on an hourly rate or flat project. 

When Working with a Staffing Agency Can Be Better?

When used correctly, staffing agencies can become a better solution to your hiring needs. For instance, if you are looking to hire talent for a more permanent position or considering hiring an employee for a full-time position after their temporary employment ends. A staffing agency is better at filling:

  • Temporary jobs that might be needed during the holiday season.
  • Long-term contractual jobs that involve specialized roles that last up to a year.
  • Contract-to-hire jobs that have a trial period after which a person may be hired for a full-time position.
  • Permanent jobs where a candidate is directly hired for the role if their skills and qualifications meet the company's needs.

Staffing agencies' market knowledge and recruiter's industry expertise may benefit you if your candidate requirements are specific and challenging to find. Recruiters who work for staffing agencies have access to niche candidates so they can provide an employer with CVs of skilled candidates in as little as 72 hours. Even if candidates are employed, the agency can still reach out to them and make an offer.

Staffing agencies typically charge around 15% of the hired employee's wages. However, some recruitment agencies like Employa offer lower commission rates. Employa helps find and hire tech talent just for a 10% fee.


Ultimately, you can find and hire top talent through either a staffing agency or a freelance platform. Using a reliable provider for either can help ensure an efficient process with qualified employees who produce quality output. Freelance platforms like Upwork have the edge in cost and a larger pool of talent. However, if you are looking to fill a long-term or permanent position, then a staffing agency will probably be your best choice.

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