Work From Home Opportunities for Independent Contractors
Based in Pleasanton, California, Leapforce hires home-based independent contractors to perform research tasks for clients. The jobs are quality control positions for search engines and other online companies. The types of positions the company offers are similar to jobs that rate the quality of Google ads or internet-assessor positions with Lionbridge.
Like those companies, Leapforce hires for English-only and bilingual jobs. Some of the languages proficiencies they need for their contractors include Spanish, Farsi, Chinese, Portuguese, and Arabic. Some jobs are open only to U.S. residents, but others are offered internationally. Jobs at Leapforce include the following:
- Search engine evaluators, who assess and improve search engine results for search engine companies, including Google
- Search quality judges, who review and evaluate web-related search information
- Map quality analysts, who improve and evaluate Internet-based mapping data, using familiarity of local geography and analytical research skills
- Social media evaluators, who assess the relevance and quality of sponsored ads on social media sites
According to the website, Leapforce seeks candidates who are self-reliant and self-motivated; the company also places a high value on employees who enjoy online research and have the internet savvy to be efficient at it. Applicants must demonstrate excellent web research skills, analytical abilities, and superior comprehension and written communication skills. For bilingual jobs, fluency in English and another language is required.
Leapforce agents must have a personal computer, high-speed internet access (cable modem, DSL, etc.), and up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Work must be performed in a private area, where the public does not have access to the same internet connection. U.S. or Canadian residency is required in many positions, but other positions require residency in the country the agent is evaluating.
Pay and Benefits at Leapforce
Workers are independent contractors, so there are no benefits. According to Indeed.com, pay is about $13.50 per hour, as of summer 2018. Agents invoice for each hour they work and are paid via check every 30 days. In order to remain working at Leapforce, agents must remain active, which means completing a minimum of 200 evaluation tasks every 30 days.
Since these are work-from-home independent contractor positions, there likely will be no opportunity for advancement with Leapforce, but the skills and experience gained doing the work can lead to other internet research opportunities.
Many firms place a significant emphasis on search engine optimization and social media presence when hiring for public relations, media relations, or marketing positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the growth of social media and the quest to use it effectively to reach target audiences will help boost opportunities in public relations.
The number of PR jobs in the U.S. is expected to grow at a rate of 9 percent for the decade ending in 2026, according to the BLS, compared to 7 percent for all industries as a whole. As of 2017, median pay for PR specialists was just short of $60,000 annually.
The Gig Economy
If working independently is appealing, the skills and experience from a position like one at Leapforce also can lead to running your own home-based business. Instead of looking for work with a PR firm, you can take on your own clients and help them improve their presence on the web through internet searches or social media presence and social media campaigns.
This approach to work has been growing in all industries. According to U.S. Census Bureau data for the decade ending in 2013, all industries saw growth in the nonemployer category.
These typically are individuals who work for themselves and have no employees. Many small businesses trying to grow their marketing strategies may prefer to hire a small, home-based business to handle its online marketing, as opposed to investing with a larger PR firm.
Applying to Leapforce
Applications can be submitted online, and Leapforce charges no fees for applications or training. Applicants must pass a three-part exam on search engine evaluation. Agents who fail the exam may be eligible to retake it one time. Documentation about search engine evaluation is supplied in advance of the test. Additionally, applicants to bilingual Leapforce jobs are required to pass a language test.
Appen hires social media evaluators to work from home for up to 20 hours per week, and these positions usually involve research in the communities where the independent contractors live. Pay is similar to Leapforce. Google and Lionbridge are two other companies that often are seeking independent contractors to evaluate search data or internet-based ads. Again, the pay and hours typically are similar to what you will find at Leapforce.