Hiring Talent: 10 Key Tips for How to Hire a Freelancer
If you need help with a short term project that needs completing, you probably wouldn’t want to hire an employee that you won’t have work for after the project ends. A great solution to this problem is to hire a freelancer.
Hiring freelancers is a great way to save money on taxes and employee benefits. It’s simple and straightforward, and you get the type of expert help you need on your project.
Many companies use freelancers for small projects. Typically you will find freelancers working as writers, designers, or web developers. But what is the best way to hire a freelancer?
Here’s how you can get the right person for the job, along with some helpful tips for hiring freelancers to make sure you both get the best out of the situation.
1. Go Online to Hire a Freelancer
There are currently 55-million people working in the gig economy in the United States. That means that there is a great market for hiring potential talent out there.
One of the best things about hiring freelancers is that often, the work can be carried out from anywhere in the world. This means that you’re not bound by the constraints of geography when it comes to hiring the right person for the job.
Head online and look for freelancers using popular freelancing platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru. You’ll be able to browse profiles and start up conversations with freelancers that fit the bill for your project.
Post an ad on any of these sites, and you’re likely to find that you get plenty of candidates applying.
2. Use Your Professional Connections
One of the best ways to find excellent freelancers is through people that you know. Ask around in your professional network and see who other people have used.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are better than hiring a complete stranger because they come with a reference straight away.
3. Determine the Exact Nature of the Project
You must do everything that you can to avoid confusion, especially when dealing with remote workers. Make sure that you set out a very specific brief detailing what you want.
Make a clear schedule that includes deadlines for review and completions.
4. Match Your Needs With the Right Person
You need your freelancers to have the right experience to match the project. Ideally, they will have worked on similar projects in the past.
If the freelancer has a portfolio, look through this, otherwise, ask to see examples of their work that is similar to your brief.
5. Don’t Base the Decision on Price
It can be very tempting to hire a freelancer based on price. While it is true that freelancers living in some countries may have lower overheads and living expenses, and as such can charge less, you do tend to get what you pay for.
A freelancer that can undercut the opposition will often provide work that is rushed and not up-to-scratch.
6. Negotiate the Terms Upfront
Before both you and the freelancer agree to work with each other, you must negotiate the terms of the agreement.
Create a legal document that states that all work belongs to you. Make sure that you get the freelancer to sign this agreement.
The freelancer may require that some of their fees be paid upfront. It is advisable that you pay no more than 30% of the total fee upfront.
Then, set milestones throughout the project at which point work will be delivered, and another installment of the fee will be paid.
7. Offer Critiques Often
Throughout the project, you should have milestones set. At these points, the freelancer should submit portions of the work to you. This may be a work-in-progress, or it could be a section of the overall agreed project.
Use these milestones as an opportunity to review the work of the freelancer. Just because you have hired them, it still doesn’t mean that the work will meet your expectations.
When reviewing the submitted work, provide honest and constructive feedback. If you spot issues in work early on, these can be quickly addressed. If you wait until the end to point them out, it might not be possible to rectify them.
8. Understand Your Obligations
Although a freelancer is not employed in the same respect as a member of your team may usually be, you will still need to be careful to ensure that they are indeed a freelancer in the eyes of the law.
When you start to manage your freelancers in the same way that you handle your employees, you may be blurring the lines.
A freelancer should invoice you for their work, and you should pay them. If the arrangement becomes too much like you’re paying a salary to them, there may be tax complications.
If a freelancer needs to, they can create pay stub for themselves to prove their taxes.
9. Remember You’re Not Their Boss
Before you reprimand the freelancer you’ve hired for anything, remember that you’re not their boss. In fact, you’re probably not even their only client.
Often, freelancers will have several clients at any one time. They will almost certainly have other deadlines that they’re working towards.
Remember this when you don’t get a reply as quickly as you might expect.
10. Go With Your Gut Instinct
When hiring a freelancer, much of your interactions will be based on mutual trust. You need to have faith in them, and they need to trust that you’ll pay and treat them fairly.
Go with your gut instinct when hiring a freelancer. If you get a good feeling when you’re hiring them, then hopefully, an excellent working relationship will follow.
Hiring a Freelancer
If you’re looking to hire a freelancer, remember to follow these straightforward tips. They’ll ensure that you get the best work and that you have the smoothest relationship.
When you do find a good freelancer, you’ll have the confidence to use their services again in the future.
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