PROhq: market research of remote work (freelance) and new solutions
Today, we, the development team of the PROhq remote exchange exchange, are launching the publication of a series of posts on the study of the freelance market conducted by our specialists. This study was based on our experience on several freelance exchanges.
The first post will be devoted to the description of the Russian-language market of freelance services and its problems, as well as a general acquaintance with new solutions to these problems that PROhq offers.
The formation and development of each new business is always accompanied by difficulties, mistakes, problems and misunderstandings. The young market of Russian-language freelance was no exception to this rule. It is well known that among the many problems of the developing market of services provided remotely, the following are most relevant and require special attention and speedy resolution:
1) customer selection of a suitable contractor,
2) honest competition of freelancers,
So what rules should the market regulate in order to develop a favorable, safe and comfortable environment for all participants in it? We found several answers to these questions and developed the PROhq remote work exchange (Professional's Headquarters or Professional Headquarters). Our exchange in a new way builds relationships between freelancers, their customers, provides useful tools for remote work and provides a secure payment system.
We think that acquaintance with the results of research and the new exchange will be interesting for those who have long and seriously moved to work in freelance, and those who begin to take the first steps in it, and those who have only heard about this opportunity, but do not have own experience.
Russian-language freelance market and growth diseases
The Russian-language market of freelance services originated seven years ago and has been formed five years ago. So by human standards he is at the age of a first-grader. But no wonder they say that the 21st century is the time of indigo children. And therefore, the market grew and developed quite rapidly. If we continue the analogy with the development of the child, now he has entered puberty - a complex and contradictory period of maturation and rapid growth. Yes, he learned the first basic moral principles, learned “what is good and what is bad”, understood that “learning is light”, but all these rules are not enough for an organism that is developing so fast and changing.
Over the years, all participants in the process of forming a freelance market have studied and implemented the basic laws that can lead to success. It’s no secret to anyone that the number of positive reviews gives a chance to get more orders, the completed profile and portfolio will tell about qualifications, the presence of a paid account and the category of “pros” will distinguish a freelancer from the crowd.
But the time came when all of this was not enough for the normal functioning of the body - the market of freelancer services. The rules that regulate today's market do not have time to respond to its growth and ongoing changes. This leads to serious problems both for freelancers themselves and for customers.
PROhq tools - solutions that we provide
So, the main problems that we want to eliminate by creating and developing our exchange:
- equalization of freelancers according to the criteria for assessing business and professional qualities;
- lack of objective evaluation criteria;
- lack of market structuring;
- constantly arising doubts of customers regarding the evaluation criteria of a freelancer;
- difficulties with the selection of a suitable contractor for the project;
- lack of a safe environment;
- lack of guarantees for the fulfillment of bilateral obligations.
Rating and Ranking System
PROhq (Professional's Headquarters or Professional Headquarters) offers new
solutions to the participants . We do not have the problem of equalizing freelancers, and therefore the problem of choosing a contractor by a customer is greatly simplified. This is facilitated by a system of reviews, rank and accreditation of skills.
The feedback system consists not only of a text description, but also of the following indicators:
- quality of work,
- meeting deadlines,
- recommendations for cooperation.
These indicators represent a rating scale (in percent), which is set by customers upon completion of the project. They form the main indicator, which consists of a 5-star scale. The scale averages all the constituent indicators and displays the final percentage. You can read more about the feedback system here: startuppoint.ru/blog/startup_prohq_ru_/32898.html
The project has a system of accreditation of skills using tests and documents confirming professional status. Thanks to this customer, more objective criteria are provided for evaluating the business qualities of a freelancer.
The structures of the PROhq catalog are also called upon to help you choose the right artist. When structuring a directory, only the most outstanding freelancer skills are preferred. In this regard, the catalog is divided into 8 grouped areas of activity. They, in turn, consist of subsections and skills that a specialist possesses.
A freelancer can register in only 2 areas (the second area is available only for a paid account). The customer, having received feedback on the project, can easily filter out those specialists whose required specialization is not the main one. This reduces the risk of choosing a random artist.
Secure environment in PROhq is ensured by an internal payment system. At the same time, the customer can pay for the work of the contractor without additional commission using Yandex Money, Webmoney and 7 other well-known electronic payment systems. At the moment, functionality is being developed to pay for the work of performers by bank transfer. Freelancers will have the opportunity to formally collaborate with companies that need to confirm their expenses.
Payments that pass through the PROhq system provide the ability to track the amount of money earned, which, in turn, becomes an additional indicator of the business and professional qualities of a specialist, is one of the components of the executor’s rank.
The internal payment system allows you to make transfers directly, from the personal account of one user to the account of another, as well as using the secure transaction deposit system. Earned funds can be independently withdrawn from your account by a freelancer, regardless of the electronic currency they were credited to. Currency exchange at the withdrawal occurs automatically. At the same time, a minimum commission of 3% is charged, which allows you to cover the costs of the commission during the exchange. The withdrawal of funds to the account of plastic cards is also available.
Work management and planning
A distinctive feature of PROhq is the ability to manage and track the progress of the project. So, in the project’s office you can fix the technical task and all its changes, save files related to the project, create discussions and comments on the project.
New in managing and planning remote work is the ability to break down a project into phases. If necessary, you can make a phased payment using secure payments, as well as invite several artists to the project.
By dividing projects into stages, a freelancer can compile reports on the work done and establish the percentage of readiness of the project stages as a whole.
For freelancers, the project provides new statistics tools. With their help, the contractor
can track his career growth by the following indicators:
- level of service provided,
- customer relations,
- marketing level of the freelancer himself.
These indicators are calculated on the basis of averaging the same indicators for the other participants.
The statistics also include data on the total income of the freelancer, the number of repeat customers, the average income from each client, the number of fines for violation of the terms of service, as well as the number of fines for dumping.
In the following posts we will talk in detail about each of the listed tools, dwell on the features of the PROhq remote exchange. We will also continue to talk about market problems, ways to overcome them and solutions found by our experts.