Hiring a freelancer for your small business has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, it allows you to hire someone with specific skills or expertise on a non-permanent basis. On the other hand, you might not be able to gauge a freelancer’s working capacity from their resume and sample works alone.
So how do you hire a freelancer without taking a huge risk? Here are some strategies to help you find the right person for the job:
1. Use web-based talent tests
Having applicants go through online pre-employment skills testing can simplify the hiring process for both full-time employees and freelancers. By testing applicants’ specific skills, abilities, expertise, and even personality, you can trim down your candidate pool and speed up the hiring process, which is incredibly useful if you need the extra help ASAP.
2. Make your request crystal clear
When posting on freelancer websites, make your job request as detailed as possible so that only those who are genuinely qualified will apply. Describe the job clearly and concisely, including specific details that the applicant needs to know before applying. In this way, you can weed out freelancers who are under-qualified, over-qualified, or those that are not up to what the job entails.
Also, define the job’s scope and schedule in detail to avoid any confusion, especially if you’re hiring a freelancer who will be working remotely.
3. Have an ownership agreement
Before you start any work, have your freelancer sign an ownership agreement that states who owns the work that they produce (if it belongs to you, the client, the freelancer, or a mixture of these options). Doing this will prevent any legal trouble in the future and help clear up ownership rights from the get-go.
4. Don’t look for the cheapest rates first
For small businesses, every penny saved is a significant amount. However, when hiring freelancers, you want to prioritize skills and experience over rates. Just because a freelancer’s rates are low doesn’t mean you will get a good deal out of it. At the same time, high rates don’t always translate to quality work either.
What you can do instead is look at applicants’ background and sample works first before considering their rates. If you think that their skills and experience match up to their prices, go ahead and send them an offer.
5. Stop low balling
You might want your blogs to be written for half the usual price, but let’s face it. The only freelancers who would be willing to accept a low ball offer are the ones who have little to no experience. Do you want to sacrifice the quality of the work for a little money saved? If you’re a smart business owner, then probably not.
6. Start looking ahead of time
When you start looking for a freelancer too late, you can end up rushing the process and end up hiring out of desperation. If you’re lucky, you might find a freelancer perfect for the job in a short amount of time. But if not, you can end up with someone who is under-qualified for the tasks that you need to be done.
Give yourself plenty of time to look for the right freelancer. In doing so, you can take your time weaving through your choices, which will help you make the best decision before hiring. At the same time, this will also give you enough time to discuss the project with your freelancer before they start.
7. Don’t take outside offers
If a freelancer offers lower prices outside of the online freelancing platform, don’t engage. When you deal with a freelancer outside of the platform, you lose the protection that the website offers both freelancers and clients alike, leaving you vulnerable to scams or subpar work.
Similarly, don’t offer to engage with freelancers outside of the freelancing platform. Doing this can get you reported or even banned from the website, even if you have the best intentions in mind.
8. Look for similar projects
In most online freelancing platforms, clients can see what type of projects a freelancer has worked on in the past. Use this feature to your advantage when looking for a freelancer for your project, especially if it’s a very niche topic.
There is an abundance of freelancers available for almost any job. You have to find the right one for your project. With these strategies, you can find the perfect person for your job in no time.