Hiring freelancers to help you do particular jobs can be a cost-effective and productive way to run your business. Rather than paying someone to work for you full time, hiring freelancers who are specialists in a particular area to help you as and when you need it can make sense for smaller businesses and means you don’t have to think about additional costs such as sick pay, or office maintenance costs too.
However, while there are many upsides to hiring freelancers to help your business, there can be some downsides too. Working with someone remotely can make communication more challenging, and if you don’t like the end product, you can end up in time-consuming and stressful disputes if you feel you shouldn’t have to pay out for a shoddy job.
So how can you go about making sure that you hire great freelancers time and time again? Here are some things to look out for.
Be clear in your job description
To weed out people who aren’t right for the position and end up being a waste of your time, make sure that you make your job advert as clear as possible. Say exactly what the job is, the kind of credentials the successful candidate will have, and also what you are not looking for. If you can state your price and deadline too it makes things much easier, and saves a lot of time communicating with people only to realise that they want triple what you can afford or aren’t able to complete the project for another six months when you need it next week.
Most experienced freelancers will be able to give you the names and email addresses of a few people who would be happy to recommend them. Bar that, on freelancer sites such as UpWork freelancers are rated on job success and quality so you can see whether they have a decent reputation which can help make your decision. Be wary of those who aren’t able to provide you with any references unless they have an apparent reason as to why.
Talk on the phone or face to face
If you have an important job you need help with, talking to a potential candidate on the phone or trying to arrange a face to face meetups can be extremely helpful. It’s all too easy for someone to ‘fake it’ via email or a messenger service, however talking to someone can give you a much clearer indication of whether they’ll be the right person for the job.
Ask for examples
Checking out portfolios or asking for examples of previously published work so you can get a good idea of how competent the person is, what relevant experience they have and what a person’s talents are. If a freelancer can’t offer you anything relevant, you could agree on a paid trial instead. This way, you don’t have to commit to working with them until you are sure they can produce work of the standard and quality you expect.
Agree the terms
When you have found a person you would like to hire, agree the terms. It is important to be very clear on what your expectations are, the deadline and payment as well as what will happen if you aren’t happy with the finished piece.
Stick to your end of the bargain
When you have an agreement in place, it is essential that you also stick to your end of the bargain. Be communicative, provide agreed upon information and resources, be as helpful and friendly as possible. Treat others how you’d like to be treated, and this could be the start of a beautiful working relationship.
By following the above strategies, you can make searching for and hiring a freelancer simpler and significantly less painful. Good luck!
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