Freelancers are third-party contract employees like bookkeepers and graphic designers who perform various tasks for your business. Freelancers are an excellent option if you need qualified professionals without the costs, formalities, and tax implications of traditional employees. The most important steps of hiring a freelancer are selecting hiring websites and drafting effective job postings.
Freelancing Platforms: Upwork, Freelancer, fiverr, Guru, Hubstaff Talent
Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, Meetup
Evaluating freelance candidates
Study their profile: Explore the projects they have worked on before. If you are looking for a certain level of expertise or specific skills, choose freelancers who have worked on projects similar to yours.
Focus on reviews: If you are using a freelancing platform, look into a freelancer’s reviews from clients. Find out if any issues have come up. If they have consistently low ratings, consider other freelancers.
Meet them: A face-to-face with freelancers may not always be possible, but try to arrange an online meeting through phone or video. Talk to them, explain your project in detail and let them ask questions. The best freelancers will take care to understand your requirements and will suggest what they need to better complete the project.
Offer smaller assignments: Ask them to work on a part of the larger project you’re hiring for, or an independent task. Judge the quality of their work first-hand. Pilot assignments are especially useful when you’re hiring freelancers for big projects or thinking of putting them on retainer.
Contract employees who were hired to write a blog post or design a logo may be easy to manage. But, if you hire freelancers to help with larger-scale projects, you may need to put some extra thought into how to manage them properly.
Clear communication: If you want a freelancer to redesign your website, let them know how you imagine it. Communicate your requirements upfront, and as clearly as possible, to make sure you are both on the same page.
Set clear deadlines: Since you may not be the freelancer’s only client, discuss and set deadlines so you can receive your work on time.
Realistic targets: Break large projects up into milestones – manageable sections for which freelancers get a portion of their overall payment. Milestones help you track progress and help your freelancers feel more secure. And, paying by output puts the focus on quality rather than the number of hours spent on work.
If you’re satisfied with a freelancer’s work, make moves to keep them on your radar. In the future, you may need to hire them again for a project or even offer them employment. Here are a few things you could do:
- Leave positive reviews on their profiles.
- Thank them publicly through a social media account.
- Refer them to a partner or affiliated business as freelancers.
- Invite them to celebrate the end of a project they were part of.
All of these actions help demonstrate your respect for the work your freelancers do for you, and can only enhance your employer brand. Freelancers bring expertise and experience when you need them. If you take some time to hire and manage freelancers properly, you will reap the rewards of a mutually beneficial collaboration.