Savvy business owners and entrepreneurs have been utilizing freelancers for many years, from small design and development projects to full-time virtual assistant and appointment setting needs. There are now many trusted platforms available for searching and hiring freelancers, but it still requires some planning in order to hire the best talent.
If you are considering hiring a freelancer to help with a project or a special need, consider the tips blow to help you successfully hire the best talent. After all, you want to avoid wasting time and money, so take advantage of the insight provided to help match you with the best task solution.
Use the marketplaces with payment protection.
“Use the third party services, as they act as almost an escrow service and make sure your money is safe until the job is done. You might have to pay some additional fees to cover the payment processor, but the extra 3% or so is worth not releasing the funds until you are 100% satisfied.” — Andrew Tran, Founder of Therapy
Be prepared to test a few.
“Be prepared to test a few before you find the best option. It is very rare that you will find the best freelancer for your project on the very first hire. Be prepared and willing to hire a few and see who performs the best, especially if it’s for ongoing work.” — Tom Munroe, CEO of RugStudio
Have the details ironed out first.
“Do as much legwork upfront to flesh out your ideas, so by the time you bring in a freelancer, you’ve got most of the hard problems sorted out. When hiring a freelancer it’s best to have the details spelled out so that they can provide an accurate estimate, and there are less surprises mid-project.“ — Sean Christman, Founder of Slamdot
Know what you are asking for.
“Before you start, know with certainty what you are asking for. What are your expectations. It’s impossible and unfair to enter into this type of relationship expecting success without having clearly defined deliverables in place. Second, do your research. Ask to see samples of previous work.” — Shawn Freeman, Founder and CEO of TWT Group
Be thorough from the start.
“Reviews are not to be looked at equally. Do your research. Vet upfront and be clear with the project goals and requirements. Being thorough from the beginning will save you sweat and tears at the end of the project.” — Marc Webb, Founder of Real PDL Help
Vet them prior to hiring.
“Vet the freelancer first – and then be very specific with the task at hand. It’s easy to get lazy and simply say “do this” without much detail. In our experience, the more exact we get with the job specifics, the better the outcome.” — Shawn Schulze of HomeArea.com
Always test them on a smaller project first.
“Look for a freelancer that you can hire for a small trial project first to test their skills out. You never want to put a large or important project in the hands of someone you have never worked with before. Test the waters before jumping head first into the deep end.” — April Gillmore, CEO of ClickFirst Marketing
Browse the popular marketplaces.
“When we are looking for a freelancer we always go to the usual sites like Upwork, Freeeup, and Freelancer to see if there is anyone there qualified to do our project. We then make sure by asking them the right questions and verifying they have the right experience. Always verify!” — Ben Walker, Founder of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
“Always ask for examples of work as well as references. A lot of freelancers will create a portfolio of work that isn’t even theirs, just to make a good impression. Always ask for live samples of work that you can reference and confirm were completed by that specific freelancer.” — Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics
Look for experience.
“Experience, references, and a solid portfolio. I need to know that they have years of experience and have worked in similar industries like mine. Mesothelioma and asbestos litigation is an extremely nuanced legal field, and it’s very important to have knowledgeable people on my team.” — Joseph W. Belluck of Belluck & Fox, LLP
Be very specific.
“Be very specific when you are looking for a freelancer. You will notice that a lot of people will bid on jobs that don’t specialize in exactly what you are looking for. Only take solicitations from freelancers that specialize in what you are after. There are lots of options so be very picky.” — Ari Evans of AAA Handbags
Explore local talent availability.
“Look for local talent first and try to have a meeting face to face. Not all freelancers are overseas. There are so many freelancers these days and if you use a site like Upwork you can search by location. I always look in my local area first and try to set up a meeting.” — Jim Epton of Dom Huga Ltd
Be very clear.
“Give clear requirements and instructions for what you need done. Freelancers aren’t as familiar with how your business works. Don’t assume that they understand your expectations or what will make the project succeed.” — Matthew Kolb of All High Schools