Of all the different types of workplace flexibility out there, freelancing is perhaps the most flexible. One of the best decisions you can make in order to keep your business competitive and growing is to hire freelancers. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting as an entrepreneur, or want to scale your business, or just looking to migrate to a friendlier paradigm workplace within your business.
For any type of business, there is a myriad of benefits of hiring freelancers. Let's take a look at the best practices for hiring freelancers, what to avoid, how to find, where to find and the benefits of hiring them.
- Identify Best Platforms
- Share Your Big Picture
- Set Criteria And Filters Beforehand
- Optimise Your Payment Process
- Mobile Compatibility is Key
- Align on Communication Preference
- Give and Request Candid Feedback
- Don't Let The Lowest Price Be The Selection Criteria
- Don't Look Away From The Guarantee Of A Job Done
- Don't Start Working Without Having Perfectly Clear Expectations From Each Other
Best Practices For Hiring Freelancers
By bringing little changes to your hiring practices to assess remote talent, you can attract a wider pool of freelancers to choose from while simultaneously reducing operational costs.
Here are the best practices to follow when hiring freelancers to support your business.
Identify Best Platforms
It’s not easy to find remote professionals with good references and the exact abilities that you need. You need to find a specialized platform that allows you to look for them by category. Browse their record with other clients and protect the investment you make in each hiring process.
59% of businesses surveyed said they use a freelance platform to source talent. These platforms let businesses advertise opportunities, promote themselves and access freelancers in international markets. Sites like Freelancer, Fiverr, Upwork and Guru, specialist platforms like Commtract and The Freelance Collective vet freelancers before listing them.
Share Your Big Picture
Share your big picture with the freelancer, i.e. why you are hiring them and how will their work fit into your main project. This little insight helps them better understand your expectations, ask better questions, and most importantly deliver better results.
Set Criteria And Filters Beforehand
Hiring a freelancer is also a recruiting process and just like other processes, setting filters and appropriate criteria will help you save time and select the best profile. For example, you can include specific forms or notes in your proposal to see if the freelancer is paying attention or following instructions or has provable experience in similar projects.
Optimise Your Payment Process
Remember when you are paying an independent employee you are making an investment, and this should be congruent with the service you expect to receive. Offering a fair salary means you are conscious of the value that the freelancer’s work will have for your business, and that you can adjust the budget range in consequence.
Knowing how to manage payments is key to attracting and retaining the right talent. More than 75% of businesses using freelancing platforms pay directly through the platform or use PayPal. When it comes to paying freelancers, the research found the following factors are most important to them:
- Security (47%)
- Speed in receiving payments (33%)
- Ease of withdrawing money when paid (31%)
- Fraud protection (22%)
- Pricing (22%)
Mobile Compatibility is Key
Mobile payments, mobile apps and mobile communication continue to grow in importance and usage for freelancers. Having mobile tools and be able to make and receive payments play a crucial role in this gig economy.
Align on Communication Preference
Communication issues are the biggest reasons for failed freelance gigs. Before working with any external partner, share your communication preferences with them and ask them to do the same. For example, you can specify that an individual worker can send an email to reach you anytime, but you will only respond during standard business hours. Freelancers typically set their own schedules and may work after business hours or on weekends, or they may be in a different time zone. This way you both would know which time is perfect to contact each other.
Give and Request Candid Feedback
Freelancers thrive on feedback. Your job is not only to give them honest feedback on what you loved/did not love but also to ask them for their feedback on you. Very often, the freelancer’s experience allows them to make very useful suggestions to improve your projects or even to propose creative new strategies to keep growing. Take advantage of all that knowledge and seize it as much as you can.
Don'ts of Hiring Freelancers
There are certain things that you need to avoid during your hiring process. Knowing these details will allow you to conduct the hiring process effectively and efficiently.
Don't Let The Lowest Price Be The Selection Criteria
Freelancing saves a lot of money but that does not mean you should go for the cheapest one. It is important to have a collaborator who fits in your project budget but ensuring the quality of work is equally important. The skills and experience of the freelancer should be taken into consideration while deciding the rates.
Don't Look Away From The Guarantee Of A Job Done
Check what and how these freelancers have worked before. Keep track of their work. Having an open communication channel helps build client-freelancer relationships. Make time to discuss work and issues so that you and the freelancers would be on the same page. Keeping track of the work and maintaining good communication with the freelancers improves the chances of getting quality work in time. Also, give them honest feedback. Your feedback is important. A happy client means a return business to them.
Don't Start Working Without Having Perfectly Clear Expectations From Each Other
It is better to clear the expectations about work hours and payment right from the beginning. You should never accept or start working on a project unless you have provided every single specification to the freelancer. A good freelancer will ensure that they inform you about the specifications of the tool and project budget.
3 Ways to Find Awesome Freelancers
You can scour the internet to find high-quality freelancers, but there are more reliable (and productive) ways to find the best freelancers and consultants for your needs. These three methods lead you to talented freelancers without the hassle:
Ask For Referral
Your professional and personal networks are the best places to find freelancers. Start by asking your coworkers, former colleagues, and industry contacts for referrals. Chances are, they will do the work for you and pass along some talented folks.
Reach Out To Local Trade Organisation
Freelancers love to connect through their own networks. Instead of using a freelance site, reach out to a local trade organization to find top-notch talent. If you need a freelance writer, email the head of a writer’s group in your city — the same goes for developers, designers, consultants, bookkeepers. You could look into Meetups as well!
Check Out Secret Hive
Most companies don’t know about the best online resource for finding amazing freelancers — it floats just under the radar. The Freelancer Union’s Hives are the go-to spot for independent contractors for all things freelance. Post your project on their Work Hive, and watch as the responses flood into your email.
Top 4 Benefits Of Hiring Freelancers
Hiring by project or by hours instead of having a permanent employee allows you to save a lot in hiring costs and fixed salaries. It also encourages to work by goals, which is the most efficient way to work. One of the most obvious reasons why businesses are hiring freelance developers is that it is very cost-effective to do so.
On top of paying annual salaries to full-time developers, you also have to pay for legally required benefits, insurance, paid leave, retirement and savings, supplemental pay (overtime and premium), and much more. Unless you’re hiring remote developers, there are also overhead and general & administrative costs.
Freelancers move like fish in the sea in a commercial environment characterized by change and constant evolution. They work on simultaneous projects; they have a more diverse experience and they can offer a wider and more assertive vision of the solutions that your company needs.
Whether you’re a startup founder or an engineering manager, being able to hire quickly and as-needed is one of the most attractive reasons to work with freelance developers. Imagine this: the IT project manager calls the entire development team into the meeting room and lays down a close-to-impossible timeline for your project. You have three people on the team but you’ve just been asked to deliver five people’s work. This is where freelancers can help you. You can hire them just for this project and then free them. This provides a lot of flexibility.
Global Market And Access To Talent
Thanks to online freelance platforms, businesses can now hire the best freelance developers from around the world for their projects. Furthermore, businesses located in more expensive areas of the world can easily hire quality freelance developers at a much lower cost. By hiring freelance developers, you wouldn’t have to worry about visas or relocating someone. Not only you can find freelance developers who are ready to work immediately, but you can also hire domain experts, saving time and money.
There has been a growth of freelancers in the business because the industry is demanding more specialized talent. Let’s say you’re trying to find a web developer well-versed in Go because it scales nicely and can handle high concurrent performance issues. Even though Go is an awesome programming language, there is a relatively small pool of developers skilled in it, especially if you’re limiting the search to specific locations.
Hiring a freelance web developer who specializes in Go would be significantly easier. Maybe you’re not looking for something as niche as a Go developer. Let’s say you want to develop an Android app. Even though the developer you are currently working with is somewhat familiar with mobile development, he or she may not be an expert in Android development. A freelance developer who specializes in developing Android apps will definitely deliver better results.
What can you use freelancers for?
While freelancers offer a range of unique and specialist skills, businesses are most likely to use them for technical and creative projects. The most popular freelancing skills are:
- Web design (36%)
- Programming (31%)
- Graphic design/illustration (30%)
- Web/mobile development (26%)
- Web marketing and sales (24%)
- Accounting (24%)
- Data entry and internet research (23%)
Giving importance to the above-mentioned information when hiring a freelancer will ensure a good experience for both and it will ensure the addition of a valuable ally to your team.
What are the best practices to follow when hiring freelancers?
Here are the best practices to follow when hiring freelancers to support your business.
- Identify the best platform.
- Share your big picture.
- Set criteria and filters beforehand.
- Optimize your payment process.
- Mobile compatibility is key.
- Align on communication preferences.
- Give and request candid feedback.
What is the best way to find and hire a freelancer?
There are many websites and freelancing platforms where you can find a freelancer who has the exact skillset that you are looking for. Some of them are:
- Profinder by LinkedIn.
Which freelancing jobs are most in-demand?
The most popular freelancing skills are:
- Web design.
- Graphic design/illustration.
- Web/mobile development.
- Web marketing and sales.
- Data entry and internet research.