How to Hire Your First Freelancer

How to Hire Your First Freelancer

Hiring freelancers is a great way for business to hire talented individuals without spending a fortune. Instead of hiring an in-house programmer, for example, you could hire a programmer on a job-to-job basis.

The only downside with hiring freelancer is that it can be a lengthy process that doesn’t always guarantee that you’re going to be getting the best of the best.

That doesn’t have to be concern though, if you implement the following techniques when hiring your first freelancer.

Know Where to Find Them

Just like a majority of consumers, 82% to be exact, we seek the advice of friends and family before we commit to making a purchase. Start your freelancer search by asking your connections if they can recommend any freelancers. Or, take a look into your own personal network. Maybe you know a former colleague or college roommate who is a talented freelancer.

If that doesn’t work, then you can start scouring freelance job sites, such as;

  • Upwork was formerly Odesk and Elance before they merged. It’s one of the more well-known freelance marketplaces where you can find anyone from virtual assistants to web designers.
  • Toptal is more geared towards finding freelance designers and software engineers gigs.
  • Freelancer another popular marketplace for freelancers offering a wide range of services.
  • Guru is another great location to find freelancers with various skills, even those in your region.
  • PeoplePerHour also features freelancers in multiple industries, but you use this site to monitor their work, communicate with them, and pay them for their services rendered.

Remember, when it comes to freelancers, you’re going to pay for what you get. You may find a copywriter on a site like Fiverr that only charges you $5 per hour, but don’t expect it to be the greatest of quality.

That’s not to say that the most expensive option is always the best either. It means that you should always read every application, know the scope of the work you want, and what you have in your budget allocated to freelancer fees.

Know What You Want

Let’s say that you need a writer to contribute to daily to your blog. That’s a vague description, right? What type of content do you need? Are you looking for someone to write listicle-style articles for your used car dealership? Do you want just to provide industry updates or share the latest trends?

Knowing what type of freelancer you’re looking for, the scope of the work that you expect, and if they have experience in what you need, makes you search a whole lot easier. So, when composing a job description or handing out your first task to a freelancer, make sure that it’s as detailed as possible.

It will also make assigning projects a breeze since you don’t have to worry about the freelancer not handling the work since you know that they have the experience and skillset to complete the project.

Look For Feedback

Whether you received a referral from a colleague or you’re browsing on a freelance job site, look for online reviews and feedback from previous clients. Also browse their portfolios and online profiles.

By doing so, you’re verifying that you this individual has the experience and skills you’re in need of. More importantly, it also proves that they’re a professional who can be trusted to complete quality work by a deadline.

Know the Law

Because freelancers are independent workers and have the following rights;

  • Freedom to work wherever they like.
  • The right to work then they want.
  • Can determine how they’ll want to work, like what type of equipment they’ll use.
  • The right take on multiple clients.
  • The right to subcontract work.

It’s also in the interest of both parties to agree on a contract that covers;

  • Ownership of intellectual property rights.
  • Payment terms like any upfront advance payments, if they’re getting paid hourly or by the project, when payments are expected, types of payments accepted, and late fee.
  • Early termination fee.
  • Reasonable revisions.

As for taxes, you’re not responsible for withholding wages. That only occurs when you hire a full-time employee.

Meet With Them

Unless you need a freelancer to actually be in your proximity, like a freelance moving company, location isn’t that big of deal. Because of that, there’s a good probability that you’ll never meet with this individual face-to-face. That makes meeting with them during the hiring process a bit more challenging.

Thanks to Skype, Facetime, Hangouts, or GoToMeeting, you can video chat with anyone in the world. And, that includes freelancers that you’re considering on hiring.

For me, I always prefer to meet with someone before we begin on a project. Even though I’m positive that they’re capable of handling the work, I want to make sure that this person is right for my team and that we can click on a professional level. A quick phone call or video chat is all I need to verify that this is someone who not only has the skills, but also has a personality that fits with my brand.

You Found The Perfect Freelancer, Now What?

After you've selected the right person, make sure that you treat them with respect - just like any other employee that you’re hired. Like you reviewing their work history and asking for referrals, freelancers will also do the same. And, they can leave negative feedback or not refer to their colleagues if you do not the following

  • Pay Fairly and on time
  • Communicate with them frequently.
  • Praise and reward them when milestones have been completed.
  • Leave feedback

How have you hired your first freelancer?


About the Author

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company Due.

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