When is hiring a freelancer a great solution?
- If you own a business and have specific tasks that have to be done.
- None of your current employees is either up to the task.
- Employees simply don’t have the skills needed to perform the specific set of tasks or to fill a specific job role.
- If you own a business that relies on the constant online presence
- It includes lots of work that can be done remotely, hiring a freelancer over a regular employee may end up being a better choice.
Who is freelancing?
More than 57 million Americans are freelancing. By 2027 more than 50 percent of the U.S workforce will be made of freelancers. In the EU and U.C combined, about 30 percent of the workforce is made of freelancers. The numbers clearly show that the gig economy is on the rise. It has a high chance of becoming the dominant form of workforce economy in the next few decades.
The freelancer job market is constantly on the rise. And your business can greatly benefit because you can now have the whole world of employees to choose from.
This may sound a bit daunting. And it actually can be especially for those who never dived into the huge market of the independent workforce. However, the thing is, hiring a freelancer is much easier than hiring a regular worker. For instance, most freelance platforms offer completely transparent profiles of every single freelancer who’s using a specific platform.
You can see past work was done along with feedback along with additional information such as
- overall freelancer score
- availability on a weekly basis
- various badges that show a person is exceptionally qualified for certain jobs and more.
And also, the hiring process is maximally simplified and it can be finished in less than a week.
- Should I still hire an employee instead of a freelancer?
- How to recognize qualified and high-quality freelancer?
- How to hire the best person for the job when that person might live thousands of miles away and we cannot hold a face-to-face interview?
- And how to avoid getting “Pig in a Poke,” or in other words, how to avoid hiring a freelancer who will simply disappear without finishing his work, or will contribute with sub-par work?
Well, read on and you will discover how to select a perfect freelance candidate for any kind of job. Sure, slip-ups are always possible.
If you follow our clear and informative set of tips you will have a high chance of hiring a perfect person for the job.
How to create a perfect job post
Your job post must be concise. It has to explain every part of the job down to the smallest detail It should be 100 percent clear on which skills are asked from candidates.
One of the basic mistakes business owners does when hiring a freelancer is not taking their job offer seriously. Remember, in order to get a quality person for the job you have to go the extra mile and explain everything about the job in detail. You cannot simply write a short offer and post it in hopes a perfect candidate will magically send a proposal. You need to create a detailed offer filled with every important aspect of the job.
Present every little detail about the job:
- skills needed
- tasks included
- number of work hours per day or per week
- clear deadlines in case you offer project-based work.
If the job role asks for a perfect knowledge of English clearly state the fact. Also, make sure to notify potential candidates in case they have to be available during certain hours (and always mention your time zone!).
If you need to maintain regular communication emphasize the fact; inform candidates they would need to communicate with you (or with someone from your company) via voice or video calls; notify them in case they need to use some of the popular team collaboration tools like Slack.
Make sure to post
- how much you are willing to pay per hour (in case you offer an hourly job)
- how much you are willing to pay per project or per each milestone
- in case you look for writers to inform them how much you are ready to pay per word.
The best freelancer profiles
Most freelance platforms put their best freelancers on the front; make them the face of the platform. Scanning through the best freelancer profiles and inviting them to apply for your job post is a great idea.
They can be easily discovered and these top rated freelancers are the best of the best. You should send invitations to these freelancers because there’s a high chance many of them would be perfect persons for the job.
Simply perform a search of best freelancers on a platform of your choice. Then perform a detailed selection by scanning their profiles.
This way you are able to
- pick best potential job applicants
- scan their profiles in search of skills needed
- check out their work history and feedback
- look their availability
- and then send invitations just to the ones that are perfect fits to the role.
Learn how to recognize template job proposals and then simply ignore them
Freelancers try to send as many proposals as they can. They end up creating template proposals which can be recognized pretty easily. You will notice generic lines of text talking about past experience (but in general terms, not tied to the specific job post), skills, responsibility, etc. These template proposals do not contain any info related to specific jobs. They have zero work-related questions. Moreover, they sound like not having any relation to a specific job post.
Some people like putting a keyword that needs to be written at the beginning of the proposal at the end of the job post. This is a nice strategy and is a great way to create an efficient tool for proposal scanning. Just skip all proposals not having the keyword at the start.
Another cool way to quickly recognize template proposals, and also those written in a hurry by freelancers who don’t really like the offered job, is to put additional questions in the post.
The quality of answers to these questions can tell you a lot. And since they sit at the top, before the proposal, you can use those as another way to quickly scan through proposals.
Read each proposal carefully
Now you have scanned through proposals, eliminating all templates and poorly written ones. It is time to read those kept in the colander. Read each letter carefully, because you are the one making the decision.
You know what you need, so search for those qualities in each proposal. If your ad asks for impeccable English, freely eliminate all proposals with any, even tiniest, grammar errors and typos. If their proposal has errors in it, because they didn’t proofread it well, that can tell you they aren’t qualified for the job.
Look for proposals with job-related questions. This detail usually means a person is interested in the work and wants to know more. If you asked for examples of previous work (you should do that if possible) well, analyze those with utmost attention.
Experienced vs. inexperienced workers
This question is always popular because most employers prefer workers with previous experience.
However, it doesn’t mean that they are better at what they do. It means they already performed similar work. You have movie directors and writers who have lots of movies and novels under their belt. However, they never made a quality book or a movie even though they have decades of experience in their fields.
All we want to say is that you shouldn’t eliminate those without or with a small amount of experience. Some old prejudgment stating that experience is everything in business.
If a freelancer state he or she doesn’t have experience, but creates an excellent proposal or show exemplary past work samples. You should definitely interview that person.
Do not eliminate freelancers based on their lack of experience. If they managed to deliver excellent proposals that really got your attention, they definitely deserve a chance to show themselves in an interview.
Organize a test task, if possible
Test tasks are a great way to perform a selection cut and keep those who are the best.
So, if possible, offer each of the potential candidates a paid test task and see how they perform in practice. Mind that the number of applicants who should be given the task shouldn’t be too large. A dozen or so is the upper limit.
The task shouldn’t be too complex. It should be short enough. So potential applicants can deliver it in a time span of 24 hours upon receiving it. Make sure it is paid. By demanding it to be free you might miss getting the best person for the job. They might simply refuse to take a free test.
Perform an audio or video interview
While this is not needed for any role, performing an audio of video interview can be a great way to decide in case there are a couple of good applicants.
This way you can make the selection process personal, human. Just bear in mind that not everyone who aces in the interview is better at a job. It just means they can sell their skills better. This is why interviewing everyone isn’t a good idea. As we already said, in this world the quality of work is what matters. So, use interviews just in situations where you simply cannot make a final decision.
Offer a temporary contract to one or a couple of freelancers
In case you have a couple of excellent candidates and don’t know which one should take the job, offer a temporary contract to both of them.
If you want to be sure you’ve hired the best person for the role, but have a couple of other proposals you really like, offer the selected freelancer a temporary contract. Inform the others they might be contacted in the near future. This way you can keep a couple of excellent candidates in reserve in case your chosen freelancer falls short of expectations after a couple of weeks.
This is a great way to see how your best candidates perform in real life situations and to pick the one that excels over a longer course of time. And hey, maybe they both end up performing above all expectations and receive permanent roles in your company!
Maintain direct and honest communication
And for the end, one bonus advice.
During the process of selection and after you hire a freelancer, always maintain a direct, timely, and honest communication. Maintaining quality communication is the single most important thing every employer should do since you cannot meet your freelance employees face to face.
- Always explain tasks in detail.
- Use team collaboration apps if needed.
- Inform every freelance employee about changes to the project in a timely manner.
- Expect from your freelance workforce to communicate on the same level.
- Also, be sure to release payments on time.
There are a lot of mobile apps which help you pay them easily and coordinate your finances. And be ready to give pay raise when needed. You surely don’t expect your regular employees to stay at their job without getting regular pay raise. So, don’t expect the situation to be different from your freelance workforce.