Upwork vs YouTeam

Upwork vs. YouTeam: freelancers or dedicated engineers?

In this article, we compare and contrast two similar yet decidedly different digital HR platforms for hiring Tech Talent. The first you will know, as the largest and most established HR platform for hiring freelancers – Upwork! The second is a newcomer called YouTeam, which doesn’t offer freelancers, but instead, offers full-time specialists employed by established and pre-vetted outsourcing software companies.

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The table below details, why and how these platforms are different so that you can decide which approach best suits your needs.

ParameterUpworkYouTEAMUpWork vs YouTEAM – Implications for users
Type of MarketplaceMainstream Freelancer MarketplaceNiche Tech Talent MarketplaceNiche HR marketplaces provide clients access to top-level and uniquely qualified engineers, previously hidden within high-performing outsourcing companies.

Niche marketplace also make it easier to shortlist candidates and finalise hiring decisions.

Both plaforms contain a huge database full of:

  • Mobile languages
  • Web languages
  • Back-end Languages
  • Platform development
  • Design
  • And just about every programming language you can imagine
Service ProvidersFreelancers – self-employed, independent workersSelected full-time specialist employed by established outsourcing software companies pre-vetted by YouTeamEngineers available for hire on YouTeam’s platforms are not freelancers, which means they are dedicated to one project at a time, their work is managed, their skills are verified, their workplace is well organised, salary and social package are taken care of.

Freelancers and agencies thereof will often be missing many of these elements, detracting from their overall productivity and effectiveness and naturally there will be less corporate accountability when the freelancing model is applied.

Target MarketSolopreneurs to SMEs of different industriesTech startups & scaleups (professional Founders, Chief Product and Technology Officers)

SMEs & Large IT Corporates

Being a mainstream freelancer marketplace, Upwork is open for anyone looking for an extra pair of hands.

YouTeam is designed for professional tech executives looking to build or extend their development team.

PricingAngularJS (Web)
US$15 – US$60Objective-C (Phone)
US$25 – US$80Java – (BackEnd)
US$13.33 – US$60
AngularJS (Web)
US$20.7 – US$59.49Objective-C (Phone)
US$20.7 – US$47.85Java – (BackEnd)
US$15.52 – US$59.49
It is interesting to note that both pricing ranges for key technologies (as tabulated) even though UpWork operates with non-vetted freelancers (as every individual is free to set up their profiles) while YouTeam provides prescreened profiles of full-time employed Engineers (within rigorously pre-vetted software companies).

The cost structure of services is very similar between the platforms, with most of the cost of running the platform being passed onto the vendor side, however in UpWork’s case they charge client-side ‘Processing Fee’ of 2.75% on top of the advertised costs. This is not the case with YouTeam as its commission is charged to the vendors, not clients. For software companies this is a completely new marketing and sales channel so they gladly pay YouTeam a commission which is balanced with their advertisement costs.

Information about Engineers– Name
– Hourly Rate
– Tech Stack
– Work History, Feedback & Ratings
– Portfolio
– English Level
– Job Success Rate
– General Availability
– Name
– Hourly Rates
– Tech Stack, incl. years of experience in each technology
– Work History
– Comprehensive project experience
– English Skills– Real-Time Availability
– Soft Skills
– Communication Skills
– Development Tools
– The company they work for (Size of Company, Time Zone, City, Technologies, Industry Experience)
Similar level of transparency, a little more technical information provided through YouTeam, UpWork is more focus on providing portfolio within their Engineer profiles.

YouTeam is solving the problem of information asymmetry by proving a comprehensive information not only on engineers’ hard and soft skills (which often are very important for early-stage startup teams).

The real-time information on the availability of every engineer is now publically accessible, so it is super easy to plan for delivery in advance.

Last but not least, information on software companies who these engineers work for is also now available, allowing YouTeam’s clients to get insights into what kind of organisational environment these professionals operate in before proceeding to shortlisting and interview stages.

Pre-Vetting / Independent Due-DiligenceNoneRigorous pre-vetting occurs at company level before approved vendors are admitted to the platform.

Upon Client request, the skills of individual IT Professionals can be verified using Codewars & HackerRank.

As a result, YouTeam platform saves time and cost associated with undertaking multi-stage due-dilligence on vendors, which makes the hiring process faster and more transparent.

More on vetting here.

Hiring / Renting ProcessThe process similar to Social Networks where you can reach out to everyoneThe booking paradigm

(similar to Booking.com or Airbnb)

YouTeam’s process is much more controlled, it is definitely less of a free-for-all where a huge amount of unanswered correspondence goes back and forth.
Lead time for team assemblyfrom 30 min to 2-3 weeksTeam Assembly in less than 24h

Project Commencement in less than 1 week

Both digital HR platforms can support rapid project commencement, far quicker than the Traditional Outsourcing process.

However, with YouTeam you have an opportunity to source an entire team from different software agencies in less than 24h.

Typical Engagement ModelStandard Freelancing modelDedicated resourcesFreelancers hired through UpWork tend to be working on multiple projects. YouTeam on the other hand usually assigns full-time dedicated resources. In this way, engineers aren’t constantly switching between different projects. A typical use case for YouTeam is where a professional founder has raised a round of financing or is just about to start a developing a new product. They would typically have a CTO and a few engineers employed in-house, but the team needs more resources but doesn’t have the budget to hire engineers onsite which is why they use YouTeam platform to hire outsourcing software companies and their engineers.
Independent escrow services providedAutomated payments, with the built-in ability to dispute.Payment and Code escrow

All billing goes through the platform. Contractors only receive money after you accept the work. Our project facilitator assists you free of charge.

Both digital platforms provide decent solutions to protect clients from having to accept sub-standard work.
Project/ Account ManagementNot provided as part of the Standard UpWork offering, but only within UpWork Pro or UpWork Enterprise.Independent Project Faciliator, employed by YouTEAM who manages legal, financial and communication issues on behalf of the client. Acting in the client’s best interest.

Tech Lead from selected Vendor Organisation.

YouTeam provides assistance with the legal, financial and communication aspects of the project as well as Tech Lead from selected Vendor Organisation. All of this is over and above the support provided by Standard UpWork.

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In our comparison of two of the world’s most prominent digital platforms for hiring external tech talent, UpWork and YouTeam, our conclusion is that there is definitely room for both models.

However, YouTeam Platform provides a newer channel, which is better suited to B2B outsourcing, because it provides:

–  Pre-vetting of Vendor Companies
–  Pre-screening of Engineers Profiles
–  Engineers dedicated to your project
–  Considerably more information about the companies who employ the engineers on their platform
– A more appropriate hiring process for B2B
– Assistance with the legal, financial and communication aspects of the project

So if you are looking for engineers to build or extend your tech team and maybe you have tried Upwork without success, feel free to jump on youteam.io to see who’s available to start work right away.

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Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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