Guru.com is a marketplace to find freelance talent in whatever specialty you’re looking for. The Pittsburgh-based company is one of the original freelance sites, having been founded way back in 1997.
They claim to be the world’s largest online marketplace for freelancers. For what it’s worth, you should know that Elance, oDesk, and Freelancer.com all make similar claims. Regardless, Guru boasts 400,000 freelancers, or “gurus”, on their platform, so there should be plenty of selection for any job you need done.
I have a warm place in my heart for Guru.com, as it was my first introduction to outsourcing in 2005. I posted a web development project without really having any idea what the cost might be. I got several bids, and one was from a developer just a half hour away. We agreed to meet in person to discuss the details. Seven years later, we’re still working together!
Since then, Guru.com has of course made many improvements to their business. One interesting addition is called Guru Recommend, which is designed to make your hiring process faster, easier, and more successful. The system utilizes objective performance data like earnings, repeat customers, and the ratio of jobs bid to jobs won (a batting average, of sorts), in order to assign freelancers a rank order. I think it might be difficult to accurately assess a range of workers on such an objective basis, but it’s definitely better than nothing at all.
The company’s SafePay system is their secure way of transferring money to your workers. Like the escrow systems on other freelance sites, you only release the funds after you approve the work.
Guru also includes a robust user dashboard and project management system built into their site. This is helpful to organize all the documents, communications, and milestones to track progress, especially for larger projects. Of course, other freelance sites have their own similar systems as well.
One thing that separates Guru apart from industry giants Elance and oDesk is their reward program. Every dollar you spend in their system (via preferred payment methods) earns Guru Loyalty Dollars, which can then be applied to future Guru projects.
Have you worked with Guru.com? If so, please share a quick review of your experience below.