Outsourcing Insights

Outsourcing - BPO vs. Freelance: What, When and Why?

Dale Pearce  •  October 20, 2022
outsource customer support philippines

In my most recent discussions on talent with both our existing partners and potential new customers, the underlying message has been the same - everybody is having a hard time mobilising skilled labour.

Savvy businesses are weaponising their ability to quickly and efficiently find top tier talent by leveraging outsourced teams as part of their talent acquisition strategy, and as a result are gaining a competitive advantage. 

What are your options if onshore hiring is not delivering you the right talent?

Sure, if not already, you can engage an agency to essentially manage your recruitment pipeline (this in itself is a process). However, if the talent pool is dry, chances are, you end up in the same spot as you are now, just weeks or even months further down the line. 

It is no secret that freelance platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr (although having a different offering to a traditional BPO) are indirect competitors of our business. That said, there have been a number of occasions where we have had initial conversations with prospective clients, and ended up directing them to a freelance platform. Why? Because there is time and place for both. 

Below is a short list, based off of my experience in dealing with countless Australian SME, across a variety of different verticals, that will hopefully help to guide you on the What, When and Why of BPO vs. Freelance.


Freelance platforms allow your business to connect directly with talent, both onshore and offshore (on a contract basis). You agree on project deliverables, milestones, and pricing. You then release funds at set intervals, in most cases based on the project deliverables. You will generally rely on past reviews of a freelancer to gauge their suitability for the project or task you are seeking to outsource.

You can browse profiles and ready reviews to gauge a freelancers suitability for your short-medium term project or one off task

Freelance platform - fiveer

Business process outsourcing ('BPO') is the delegation of a business process to an external entity (who could be located both onshore or offshore). There are a variety of outsourcing models, however in Platinum Outsourcing's case, we are a co-sourcing provider. Which means we find you talent, they work from our offices (as full time employees - not contractors), we supply all required physical IT equipment, and they report to you as an extension of your onshore team (with us managing all employment ancillaries such as payroll, probationary reviews etc). You then simply pay us a pre agreed monthly fee.

The Philippines, the home of our flagship office, has a working age population of 71,000,000 people; you can access an enormous talent pool and we don't charge any onboarding fees


Freelance platforms are cost effective when you have short to medium term projects, or non recurring standalone tasks where a full time asset is not required. And, when retaining the IP or learnings from completing the project/task is not a requirement. 

BPO should be a consideration when you have the requirement for a permanent asset/s, and want continuity. Our team are employed full time, with benefits such as healthcare, performance bonuses etc. So, they are incentived to perform and meet performance markers. 

Our team are all employed full time, with benefits such as private healthcare, performance and attendance bonuses'; we operate out of offices in Metro Manila


Why choose freelance?

  • In some cases lead time to start can be shorter than engaging a BPO
  • Cheaper than engaging onshore consultancy for project work
  • User friendly platforms makes access to freelancers quick and easy

Why choose BPO?

  • Retain your IP and any time invested in onboarding, training and alike
  • Unlike freelancers, BPO's provide you with access to dedicated human resources, who are working for solely your business, exactly the same way an employee would be onshore
  • Peace of mind, knowing your new resource is working from a set location, with local team leads, supervises etc. to ensure job and task performance
  • Flat monthly fee, up to 70% cheaper than onshore hiring, and generally 15-30% less than hiring a freelancer
  • Ability to scale

BPO's charge a flat monthly fee, up to 70% cheaper than onshore hiring, and generally 15-30% less than hiring a freelancer - in our case, we do not lock you into any type of long term agreement either

BPO's provide you with access to dedicated human resources, who are working for solely your business

Gone are the days of outsourcing being a long winded, complex process. In 2022, Australian SME are as agile as ever, and the rise of remote work has collectively opened the eyes of leaders to the benefits outsourcing can offer - whether through freelance, or partnership with a BPO.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to learn more, please use any of the contact options here on our site!

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