Working with Agencies at Upwork.com

The article explains what an Upwork freelance agency looks like and describes the type of projects an agency vs an individual freelancer should be hired for. It would be of interest to startup and business owners, CEOs and CTOs of larger companies and everyone who wants to learn more about Upwork.com.

Freelance platforms are becoming more and more popular among business owners these days. Large companies prefer hiring remote freelancers to extend in-house teams or close holes for short-term projects. On the other hand, startup owners often get tempted by professional services, affordable prices, and flexible manner of cooperation with freelancers. Upwork.com is one of the most popular freelancing platforms globally. It connects businesses and independent professionals in different spheres. As of March 2017, Upwork reported 14 million users in 180 countries with $1B in annual freelancer billings.

At Upwork, business owners could hire remote workforce by posting a job offer and choosing the most suitable freelancer(s) among the ones who applied. Transparent client ratings, portfolios and job success scores visible in every freelancer’s profile would aid in finding the candidate with the best skillset and qualification. Business owners and CTOs could find the best fit - either an individual freelancer or a freelance agency - for their project, depending on its size, duration and staff needed.

Upwork Agencies

Speaking Upwork language, an agency is a business that sells the services of multiple freelancers. Agencies range from small teams of a few members (e.g., a UI designer, a front-end and a back-end developer), to large companies with hundreds of full-time employees and decades of experience. Agency freelancers appear in search results and list of proposals differently than independent freelancers, so a business owner (further referred to as “client”) could easily distinguish the two.

Upwork allows agencies to build a hierarchy of roles, though, in most cases, the work of some agency members would remain invisible for the client. The client most often communicates exclusively with the Agency admin or its freelancers. However, behind the scenes, some agencies have a dedicated financial person and a business manager who evaluates the job offers and places bids for them.

Projects Worth Hiring an Agency for

Though this depends on many factors, including individual preferences, whether to hire a freelancer or an agency, Upwork clients are advised to choose agencies if their project meets any criteria listed below:

  1. This is the first project of a client. Often, business owners and early-stage startup founders lack technical expertise and simply do not know how to implement their business idea technology-wise. They do not bear the software development life cycle in mind, so it is difficult for them to determine what to start with.
  2. The project promises to be large and complex, so it would most likely require
    • a coordinated services of multiple freelancers with a similar skill set, and/or
    • cooperation of multiple specialists in different areas (engineers, quality assurance specialist, designers).
  3. The project is long-term, which means
    • it requires careful planning and estimating;
    • there would be multiple work streams and phases to manage;
    • it demands the continuity of services, transparent replace and knowledge transfer when people are quitting.
  4. The project may require future work phases, including maintenance and support.

Agencies would also be a preferred option in case a client does not have time or capacity to manage the team of freelancers themselves. More often than not, agencies at Upwork offer a higher level of service as compared to a team of individual freelancers: agencies have an Admin or Manager, and all communication with the client may go through this person.

Logicify is also present at Upwork. We are registered as an agency and bring our centric approach with us to partner with the clients and align our visions of the projects. Our goal is to gradually build trust and establish long-term relations. We do not simply write code; we offer a solution that helps the client to grow a business and remain competitive on the market.

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