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The Complete Guide: How To Hire Freelancers Online

Last Updated on May 6th, 2021

Published on December 8th, 2020

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Are you looking for a freelancer that will help you scale up your business and take it to the next level?

With tons of different job boards to hire from, finding a freelancer who will take some weight off your shoulders has never been easier.

But here’s the thing: The whole process of hiring a freelancer can be challenging if you are not adequately prepared.

So, the more prepared you are, the higher the chances of finding a suitable and experienced freelancer. In this post, we are going to give you some actionable advice that will help you hire freelancers successfully.

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Advantages of Hiring A Freelancer

  • Since freelancers are experts in different fields, they might give you some new perspectives that will improve your business.
  • Hiring a freelancer is less costly than hiring a full-time employee. Freelancers are paid, depending on the number of projects that are completed.
  • Most freelancers are remote workers. This gives you an opportunity to seek talent from different parts of the world.
  • Freelancers require less supervision.
  • You don’t require an employers’ liability insurance if you are working with a freelancer. This might help you save some extra money.

The Right Places To Find Freelancers

These are some of the options you should consider while looking for a freelancer:

Upwork

Freelance platforms– Most freelance platforms allow you to post different projects and explore the profiles of freelancers. Not to mention, such platforms have a rating system that ranks freelancers based on experience and the quality of work that they provide. Example of such freelance platforms include:

  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Guru
  • Fiverr
  • Hubstaff talent

Portfolio sites– If you want to take a look at a freelancer’s previous work, you should visit a portfolio site. Freelancers post their previous work on portfolio sites, making it easier for you to find a freelancer that matches your expectations. Here are some portfolio sites that can help you find a freelancer:

  • GitHub
  • Stack Overflow
  • Contently
  • Behance
  • Carbonmade

Job boards– Posting a job advertisement on different job boards can help you find a professional freelancer. Needless to say, top-tier freelancers are found in such job bards. Examples of job boards include:

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  • Indeed
  • ProBlogger
  • Weworkremotely
  • Remotive

Social platforms– There are tons of social platforms that can help you find a professional freelancer. For instance, Reddit features different subreddits that let you post freelance jobs.

You can also use LinkedIn to find freelancers. Here are some other social media platforms that will link you with a freelancer:

  • Twitter
  • Meetup
  • Facebook

Qualities To Look for In A Freelancer

These are some of the qualities you should look for in a freelancer.

  • Good communication skills– One of the most crucial skills that a freelancer should possess is good communication skills. A freelancer that has good communication skills will communicate with you if any issue arises, pushing you forward towards your goal.
  • Prior experience in your field– While you can hire a freelancer who doesn’t have any experience in your field, going for a freelancer who has experience will put you ahead of the game. Experienced freelancers will offer you different skills that can help you improve your organization.
  • Self-driven– A self-driven freelancer will go out of his way to offer you top-notch services. Needless to say, you don’t have to supervise self-driven freelancers.
  • Open to criticism– A freelance who takes criticism positively is going to understand everything you show him/her.

Step by Step Guide To Hiring a Freelancer

What Do You Want The Freelancer To Do?

What Do You Want The Freelancer To Do?

While it might be tempting to dive straight into the hiring process, it is advisable to define the role of the freelancer first. What do you want the freelancer to do? What qualities are you looking for in a freelancer? Having a clear idea of what you want the freelancer to do will put you ahead of the game.

You should write down the number of projects that you want the freelancer to complete during a certain period of time. You should also make a list of different qualities, which you are looking for in a freelancer.

Doing this will help you evaluate whether you need a freelancer or not. While hiring a freelancer might be beneficial for your business, doing it blindly is not a good idea.

Determine How Much You Want To Pay A Freelancer

Since freelancers have different rates, you should have a flexible budget that is suitable for different freelancers. Freelancers charge differently, depending on their experience. Those who are starting out have a different rate from those who have been in the field for a long period of time.

Freelancers who have been working for a couple of years will ask for higher compensation.

There are also some more instances where a freelancer might ask for high compensation. For instance, if a freelancer comes from a country that has strict online tax laws, the compensation might be high.

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Needless to say, some freelancers might charge you based on the number of hours, while others might charge you per project.

So, how do you come up with a rough estimate of the amount of money you are going to spend?

Well, you can ask around and see what your friends are paying for the same kind of work. You can also visit job boards and freelance platforms and look at the prices listed by different freelancers. In some freelance platforms, freelancers have the ability to include their rates in their profile.

Such information is going to help you come up with a rough estimate of the amount of money you are going to spend per project.

Writing A Job Description

Once you have a rough estimate of the budget and the qualities you are looking for in a freelancer, writing a job description will be a piece of cake!

Before you start writing a job description, you should come up with a superb job title that will attract the right freelancers.

After creating a job title, you need to write a short overview of the job vacancy. The overview should include the freelancer’s role, the objectives of the company, and how the freelancer can help you achieve the objectives. The overview should also be short—one sentence to four sentences.

Describe the task of the freelancer by breaking multiple responsibilities into short and concise tasks. You can use bullet points to describe the responsibilities of the freelancer. This makes it easier for the freelancer to visualize the day to day activities in a simple, yet effective manner.

Freelancers also need a solid reason to apply to your job. Give them a reason to apply to your freelance job vacancy by listing some of the benefits that they will enjoy.

For instance, you can inform freelancers that your company has health benefits and paid vacations.

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That’s not all.

Avoid using language that can tarnish your brand. Use a simple, engaging, and friendly tone when writing a job description.

Reviewing Applications

Reviewing applications can be a tedious task. However, if you don’t go through all applications, you can miss the right candidate.

So, how do you find the right freelance candidate for your organization?

The first thing you need to do is to read cover letters sent by various freelancers.

Go a step further and take a look at the freelancer’s portfolio. Take a look at the previous work that the freelancer did. Is it up to par? Is it similar to what you are looking for? If the answer is yes, then shortlist the writer’s name/email address.

Now here’s the thing:

While analyzing the portfolios of freelance writers and designers might be easy, analyzing the portfolio of developers can be tricky. Going through code is kinda tricky. You can ask someone to assess the code on your behalf if you don’t have coding knowledge.

Furthermore, if you are looking for a freelancer in a freelance platform like Upwork, take a look at reviews that were given by previous clients. This will give you an idea of the work ethic of the freelancer you are about to hire.

Once you shortlist the right candidate for the job, contact the candidate within 24-hours of your job advertisement going live. If you don’t do it within the first 24 hours, qualified candidates might move on and fill in other job vacancies.

Interview The Shortlisted Candidates

Work-Online

Interviewing shortlisted candidates makes it easier for you to find out more information about different freelancers.

Here are some of the questions you can ask a freelancer during an interview:

  • What is your turnaround time for the project?
  • Can you tell me more about your previous experience?
  • From what time to what time are you available?
  • Are you charging per hour or per project?
  • What is your freelance rate?
  • Which payment method do you use?
  • When are you available to start?
  • What is your preferred medium of communication?

While you can conduct a skype interview, this step is not necessary for some job vacancies. You can use email to contact shortlisted candidates. If you are looking for freelance writers, designers, or an admin assistant, email should suffice.

You can also have a face to face interview if the project is quite complicated. However, such instances are quite rare. Apart from that, if your organization has strict interview policies that require face to face interviews, then you should follow the organization’s instructions.

While interviews can help you find out more information about a certain candidate, they can be time-consuming. Make sure you don’t waste a lot of time while interviewing shortlisted candidates.

Try Out A Paid Trial Project

Before you offer a contract to a freelancer, you should start out with small paid projects that will help you assess the freelancer further.

Paid trial projects will help you assess the quality of work provided by a certain freelancer, the turnaround for a certain piece of work, and how a freelancer responds to criticisms.

You should include day-to-day tasks in the trial project. The paid trial project should also have a brief that gives the freelancer guidelines on how to tackle the project. Needless to say, a brief clears any confusion that might arise while you are working with a freelancer. In short, it puts you and the freelancer on the same page.

While some organizations have unpaid trial periods, it’s always advisable to pay freelancers for their time. Not to mention, some freelancers might decline the job offer and move on to other jobs if you offer them unpaid trial projects. High-caliber freelancers always value their time and might have other projects that they are working on.

Paying a freelancer for a trial project motivates the freelancer and builds trust between you two.

If the freelancer completes the task to your satisfaction, then you can hire him/her and start a work-relationship.

Paying The Freelancer

You should come to an agreement on the timeframe of the project payments. Well, you can pay a freelancer per milestone or after the whole project is complete. Since freelancers have different payment preferences, this might differ from one freelancer to another.

One of the most effective ways to handle online payments is through invoices. If a freelancer completes a certain project, he/she can send an invoice as agreed, then you can issue the payment. There are different platforms that you can use to pay a freelancer— Paypal, Skrill, and Stripe.

On the other hand, if you are using an online freelance platform like Upwork, you can issue the payment through the site. Such platforms have systems that can handle online payments. In fact, most platforms have an escrow system that holds and regulates transactions between you and the freelancer.

While you can issue payments outside the freelance platform, it is not advisable to do so. Not to mention, some freelance platforms have strict policies that are against that.

Managing Freelancers

If you are planning to work with freelancers for a long period of time, you need a system that will help you manage freelancers easily.

Task management applications– Well, there are tons of task management applications that can help you manage projects. Examples of such applications include Asana, Trello, Monday.com, Accelo, Basecamp, and Slack.

Communication– You also need to communicate with freelancers on a regular basis. To communicate effectively, break projects into different milestones that can be tracked down easily. Give clear instructions on how you want the work to be done.

The more detailed your instructions are, the more empowered freelancers are going to be to complete a certain task. Not to mention, you need to be available if a freelancer asks any questions regarding a certain project.
You should also inform freelancers about your organization’s vision so that they can help you achieve it.

Reviewing work and giving feedback– After a freelancer completes a certain task, review it, and give your feedback. If you want some changes to be done to the final piece, then you should communicate with the freelancer.

Showing Appreciation

If you are satisfied with a freelancer’s work, you can show some appreciation by giving them positive reviews. You can also extend your work relationship and offer the freelancer more work. Here are some other ways that can help you show your appreciation:

  • Refer the freelancer to a business associate who needs a freelancer.
  • Thank a freelancer for doing a great job through your social media account.

Legalities

When hiring a freelancer, there are certain legalities that you have to be aware of:

Confidential Information– If you are planning to reveal some confidential information to a freelancer, you need to come to an agreement with the freelancer. Inform the freelancer that the information is confidential and should not be shared with other parties.

Contract- A contract is one of the most important documents that secure your work relationship with a freelancer. It enlightens the freelancer about your organization and the position that he/she will be filling. While you can use a verbal contract to legalize the work-relationship between you and the freelancer, a written contract is more effective and efficient.

Business property- This depends on your preferences. If you want to have complete copyrights over the work that the freelancer is creating, then you should inform the freelancer about that. On the other hand, you can feature the freelancer’s name in some of your projects.

Health- Since most freelancers will be working from a remote location, you won’t be responsible for their health and well-being. If a freelancer is working on your organization’s premises, then you will be responsible for their health and safety.

Over To You

The process of looking for a suitable and experienced freelancer can be underestimated. However, if you follow all the tips that we have given you above, you will be able to find a suitable freelancer for your organization.

With countless freelancers from all over the world who are ready to take on new tasks, using an online working space is a great way to take your organization to the next level.

What tasks do you want to outsource? What difference would a freelancer make to your business? What’s stopping you from hiring someone to work on your business right now? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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