If you’re scaling up your business or just looking for someone with a specific specialty, a freelancer can be the way to go.
Freelancers are flexible, specialized in a skill-set and offer a new perspective on problems your company is trying to solve.
However, hiring a freelancer can be a challenge. In order to hire a freelancer, you often have to hire someone you can’t meet in person, who specializes in a subject you’re not an expert in and who may not have a clear idea of what your company is trying to achieve overall.
Fortunately, this article should help you simplify the process.
Finding a Freelancer
The best place to find freelancers is on one of the many job boards for freelance work.
These sites often have a ranking system and allow you to sort freelancers by their skillset and rating on past projects.
You don’t necessarily need the highest rated (and usually most expensive) freelancer.
However, it is generally a good idea to stick with a freelancer that has a positive rating and has been reviewed by at least three other companies. This will make the interview and work assignment easier down the line because you know the person has already been proven to be effective.
You should use a few different job boards and select the best candidate from each board. Once you’ve found a few freelancers you think could be good for your project, you’re ready to start the interview process.
When interviewing freelancers, there are many platforms you can use including email, phone or video chats.
In general, it is best to interview someone in person but since many freelancers are not in the same city or country, video chat is usually the way to go.
Because over 50% of communication is nonverbal (meaning body language), video chatting will allow you to get a much better idea of a freelancer’s abilities and if they suit your project.
You can use a free service like Google Hangouts or Skype in order to conduct the interview.
Interviewing a Freelancer
Interviewing a freelancer is different than a normal employee because things like cultural fit, location or overall abilities are less important.
What is important is that a freelancer has the specific skill set you are looking for, is able to communicate effectively, and understands the projects and goals you’ve outlined.
In order to determine if a freelancer fulfills these requirements, you can use a very similar interview process to the one you use for normal employees, albeit focused on different things like the freelancer’s skill set, communication abilities and free time to complete your project.
During the interview process, you should also discuss the exact project you’d like completed and provide some details to see if the freelancer has any questions or concerns.
Hiring a Freelancer and Assigning Your First Project
Once you’ve found a freelancer, you’ll need to hire them and assign your first project.
Provided you stick with one of the major job boards, you shouldn’t need to fill out any paperwork. You’ll simply need to send the freelancer a description of the project and put the money in escrow until the project is completed.
Note: If you decide to hire a freelancer outside one of the major job boards, you may need to bring them on as an independent contractor and will need to have them fill out some paperwork.
To assign the project, create a detailed outline and remember that investing more time in the beginning will prevent the time and money waste associated with the freelancer not fully understanding the project.
If possible, you should also schedule another video chat and allow the freelancer to ask any questions they may have to ensure everything is clear.
Finally, it is also a good idea to specify how long a task should take or to create a set budget for completing the task. This will ensure that the freelancer does not misunderstand you and spend more time than is necessary costing you money and time.
If used correctly, freelancers are able to quickly and effectively complete projects that are often outside your organization’s specialty. However, you need to pay attention to the differences in hiring and interviewing a freelancer in order to be successful.