How Does Determine The Top 1% Of Freelancers?

By Connor Gillivan

With the freelance industry growing rapidly in the United States and around the world, more and more professionals are turning to freelance marketplaces to find clients.

What started as a tiny percentage of the workforce has turned into a global industry that is a force to be reckoned with. According to a recent study, around 34% of the US workforce is involved in the freelance economy. And it’s projected to reach over 50% within the next 10 years.

Similarly, companies large and small are adjusting their hiring strategies to take on freelance talent when it makes sense. And they’re tapping into the freelance marketplaces available. is one of the newer freelance marketplaces founded in 2015 by Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan touting to only take the top 1% of freelancers that apply to their site.

The duo founded FreeeUp after spending years hiring from other marketplaces to build their first eCommerce business. They were sick and tired of posting jobs, getting 15+ applicants, interviewing, hiring, and running into turnover. They wanted a better way.

Today, the marketplace boasts over 1,000 pre-vetted freelancers from all over the world offering 85+ different skill sets from $5 to $75+ per hour. They receive thousands of freelancer applications every month and only allow the top 1% into the network.

As the freelance marketplace industry continues to evolve, this aspect of “pre-vetting” could play a major role so that business owners gain immediate access to the top talent that they need.

Here’s how FreeeUp is making sure that they only accept the top 1% of all freelance applicants they receive.

Determining The Top 1% Of Freelancers

FreeeUp takes the responsibility of connecting reliable and capable freelancers with businesses very seriously. Heck, they’ve built their entire business around it.

The FreeeUp vetting process is broken down into three core steps that all freelancers must go through in order to be considered for acceptance into the FreeeUp network.

Stage 1: The Freelancer Application

First, freelancers must fill out the Freelancer Application that is available directly on the FreeeUp website. Anyone is welcomed to fill out the application, but only the top 1% are given access to the marketplace.

The freelancer application requires freelancers to provide information about their past experience, education, and projects with clients. It asks them a series of questions about their freelancing work and gets to the bottom of their intention on joining the network.

For freelancers outside of the US, FreeeUp even requires them to run an Internet Speed Test and upload the results. FreeeUp understands that slow internet speed can lead to issues when working with clients.

Once the application is submitted, the FreeeUp Freelance Success team reviews the freelancer’s answers, compares it to an internal rubric, and decides if the individual will be invited to a 1 on 1 interview with the FreeeUp team.

Stage 2: The 1 on 1 Interview

For those that are invited to the 1 on 1 interview, they schedule a time then conduct the interview via Skype. The 1 on 1 interview is focused on diving deeper into the freelancer’s expertise, attitude, communication, and English skills.

If a freelancer says they are an expert at Facebook Ads, FreeeUp’s team has a list of questions that they can ask to dive deep into the skill set to determine how much knowledge they actually have.

For example, “do you have experience creating custom audiences with Facebook Ads and, if so, what are your strategies to build those out for the companies you work with?”

And when it comes to developers, FreeeUp requires all developers to pass a development test that they contract through a third party partner. The development test focuses on basic operators, syntax, functions, and string manipulation in the given programming language that the developer claims to have experience in.

With regards to attitude and communication, FreeeUp looks for freelancers that are passionate about building their freelance business, have a positive attitude, are open to feedback, and have a strong track record of happy clients.

Once the interview has ended, the freelancer is notified if they will be invited to the third and final stage of the vetting process within 1 business day.

Stage 3: The Terms of Use and Best Practices Test

The third and final stage of the freelancer vetting process is the Terms of Use and Best Practices test. The test is a combination of multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions that hones in the freelancer’s understanding of the FreeeUp Terms of Use and Best Practices.

If, and only if, the freelancer passes the test, they are then invited to join the FreeeUp Marketplace to offer their services to the 5,000+ clients hiring through the platform.

At the end of the day, FreeeUp seeks out the top 1% of their freelance applicants by looking at all three factors (skills/experience, attitude, and communication) as a whole.

FreeeUp is not for newbie freelancers so freelancers must have a strong level of experience within the skill set/service that they’re looking to offer. We’re talking 1-2+ years of working experience.

On top of that, FreeeUp has seen the most successful freelancers to be ones that have strong core values that define their life and how they work with others.

Finally, the freelancer MUST have a strong explanation for how they communicate with clients on a regular basis…from setting expectations on the project to providing estimates to daily checkins to weekly updates.  

Don’t Get Left Behind

As the freelance economy continues to flourish around the world, business owners will need to find out how to adjust.

The option of being introduced to pre-vetted freelancer that FreeeUp and other freelance marketplaces are offering stands to make the adjustment simpler and less stressful for business owners.

To get started with hiring freelancers online from the FreeeUp Marketplace, head over to and create a client account. You’ll be able to request the freelancer you need directly from your account and they’ll introduce you to 1 freelancer match within 1 business day.

About The Author

Connor Gillivan is the CMO of He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of He currently lives in Denver, CO.

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