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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Hiring a Dedicated Development Team vs. Freelancers

For businesses looking to hire software engineers to work on a project, the temptation is often there to look at freelancers. To some extent, this is seen as the faster and easier route. The alternative, to hire a dedicated development team for your software, app development, or web development, can be a daunting task for companies with little experience in the field. But which choice is best in the longer term?

It’s sometimes possible to break up a project into smaller sub-projects as you go along, outsourcing each individual task to the person who appears to offer the best value for money. Within this industry, it’s not difficult to find and hire developers with the requisite skillset and working part-time looking to make some additional income by completing your tasks as quickly as possible.

However, there are several drawbacks to using freelancers which tend to become apparent fairly quickly. When working remotely with people you aren’t familiar with, it’s common for communication to become a major issue, and many important points may get lost in translation (often literally, since many freelancers may be overseas). Security is another concern, depending on the project you’re working on since it’s hard to judge how trustworthy your freelancers are.

In fact, with little vested interest in your larger project, they are likely to be less careful overall. This not only applies to security concerns but perhaps, more importantly, it affects the quality of work you’re getting back in most cases. It’s not surprising that someone with very limited knowledge of your company, your vision, and your overall project may struggle to produce work that perfectly satisfies all criteria you were looking for.

Some of the advantages of hiring freelancers:

  • If the project you have is a short-term one.
  • If you know the due date of your project for sure.
  • If the quality of the projects is not the highest priority.
  • If the fixed price for the project is not very big.
  • If you clearly know who you need exactly for this project and you know for sure that requirements will not change during the workflow.

In contrast, hiring dedicated software development teams to work on your project from beginning to end tends to offer a range of advantages. Of course, the initial cost may be higher, but that investment goes into securing the expertise of the individuals in your team for the duration of the project. By integrating a team of top developers with your in-house work, you can quickly give them a much better insight into what you are trying to achieve compared to dealing with freelancers.

When assembling a team, you should be able to find highly specialized and experienced software development outsourcing companies in the UK with people who bring exactly what you need to the table. This allows for a much more considered and detailed approach to your project on the part of those developers, as each team member has a specific focus. This tends to result in much higher quality products than those completed by freelance developers.

Talking about the advantages of hiring a dedicated development team we can see the following:

  • If you don’t clearly know the due date of the project.
  • If the quality of the finished product is the most important thing.
  • If the candidates may change due to some requirements, needed for different processes of the project.
  • If the project’s budget is not defined during the work on the project.
  • If you have a large project which requires many people in it or you have some unfinished ones.

Ultimately, the costs incurred by hiring a dedicated team are often counteracted by the significantly higher returns you can expect. Too many great ideas are wasted due to poor implementation, often resulting from attempts to cut corners. Putting high-quality work into your product will invariably produce better end results, and if you have full confidence in your product when it’s completed, it has a much better chance of reaching its potential. 

YouTeam vs Upwork: what to choose

Below we will compare and contrast two similar yet decidedly different digital HR platforms for hiring Tech Talent. The first is the largest freelance platform – Upwork. The second is  YouTeam, which doesn’t offer freelancers, but instead, offers full-time specialists employed by established and pre-vetted outsourcing software companies.

Both of them can be described as a talent pool that provides high-rated project management for small businesses but still have their own differences. The table below details why and how these platforms are different so that you can decide which approach best suits your needs.

Parameter Upwork YouTEAM UpWork vs YouTEAM – Implications for users
Type of Marketplace Mainstream Freelancer Marketplace Niche Tech Talent Marketplace Niche 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 Providers Freelancers – self-employed, independent workers Selected full-time specialist employed by established outsourcing software companies pre-vetted by YouTeam Engineers available for hire on YouTeam’s platforms are not freelancers but specialists with higher rates who were selected among hundreds of candidates through the screening process which means they are dedicated to one project at a time, their work is managed, their skills are verified, their workplace is well organized, 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 Market Solopreneurs to SMEs of different industries Tech 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.

Pricing Angular JavaScript (Web) US$16 – US$80

Objective-C (Phone) US$25 – US$80

Java – (BackEnd) US$17 – US$80

AngularJS (Web)
US$24 – US$84Objective-C (Phone)
US$24 – US$48Java – (BackEnd)
US$33 – US$130
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. And YouTeam takes a 10% fee.

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-Diligence None Rigorous 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 Process The process similar to Social Networks where you can reach out to everyone The 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 assembly from 30 min to 2-3 weeks Team 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 Model Standard Freelancing model Dedicated resources Freelancers 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 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 on site which is why they use YouTeam platform to hire outsourcing software companies and their engineers.
Independent payment services provided Automated payments (PayPal, Payoneer, Direct to the Bank), with the built-in ability to dispute. Payment process.

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 Management Not 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 the best 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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