How to hire a freelancer is an article that I have promised to write about in my post Outsourcing Internet Marketing Tasks.
How to hire a freelancer is a very important skill to learn since these virtual workers contribute a lot to the success of your business. They work much harder and longer for your business than you (at least that’s how it should be).
Let’s discuss the places where you can hire a freelancer:
– Odesk (www.odesk.com)
– Elance (www.elance.com)
– Rent A Coder (www.rent-acoder.com)
– Guru (www.guru.com)
– Best Jobs (www.bestjobs.ph)
– Fiverr (www.fiverr.com)
There are many other places where you can hire a freelancer to work for your online business but you don’t need the whole list. The ones above will satisfy most, if not all of your needs for an online business.
How To Hire A Freelancer – The Basics
Before you start to hire a freelancer, you need to understand that:
1. A lot of freelancers lie about their work. Don’t believe how good or fantastic they say they are unless you see proof. Possibly a recommendation from a friend or a person you trust.
This way, you won’t be THAT frustrated when they don’t deliver the quality you expect.
2. Don’t believe the testimonials on their websites. Some freelancers fake their testimonials. Sad but true!
3. Don’t totally believe in the feedback or comments posted by previous customers. Funnily enough, some customers post good comments even though they didn’t like the work very much. Sometimes they’re just being polite and want to move on.
4. The only freelancer you trust that will truly deliver is one that has delivered good work for you in the past.
5. You will never know what a freelancer really thinks. They rarely tell you the truth. Therefore it is normal that some freelancers will disappear without emailing a word to you. Don’t scratch your head or get upset. It’s part of the game.
Note: I’m not trying to be pessimistic. I’m just telling you the truth so that you know what to expect. Learning how to hire a freelancer is easy. Hiring a good freelancer who will be your star employee is very hard. Even Fortune 500 companies have good and bad employees.
Now that I’ve set your expectations, let’s discuss how to hire a freelancer.
How To Hire A Freelancer
1. The Comments
If you choose a freelance website where each freelancer has ratings from their past customers, choose the freelancer with the most feedback. If they have several poor comments, check them out. Read why the customers have given them the poor review.
As I mentioned at the beginning, customers will give good comments even though the work wasn’t fantastic. But if a person gave poor comments for the freelancer the reason must be pretty strong. Or the customer is a nutter. Check out the history of the buyer and read his previous comments.
2. Sample Work
Always ask the freelancer for samples. However, try not to ask for ready-made samples. The latter will be perfect otherwise they won’t be used as samples.
Ask the freelancer if they can give you a free sample. If you want an article written, ask if they can write a short article for you so that you can test their ability. The sample that they’ll give you, will show their true capability.
3. Test With Small Pieces
If the freelancer won’t offer you a free sample especially created for you, it doesn’t mean you can’t still hire them. It just shows that they value their time and hate giving away freebies. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But for goodness sake, don’t give a huge project to the freelancer if you’re working with him for the first time. Test him out by giving him small pieces of work.
For example, if you want a mini-site created for your new product, ask the designer to create an ecover for you first. If you like the ecover after several revisions, then you can proceed by asking him to create the header, footer, order button etc…
If you need an ebook written, ask the freelancer to write an article for you first. This article can be the introduction to your ebook. If you like the article, then you can proceed by asking the freelancer to write the ebook for you.
All that you’re doing is testing the freelancer by giving him small tasks. You’re giving him a chance to prove himself. If he doesn’t deliver, then all you would have lost is a few dollars and some time.
When you’re emailing or Skyping with the freelancer to discuss your project, pay special attention to the communication that is going on. Is the freelancer responsive with your emails, does he speak good English, does he understand your instructions etc…
How the person replies to your questions and his responsiveness should be a key factor in determining if you should hire the freelancer.
5. Skype Interview
If you’re hiring the freelancer to become an important staff for the long term, then it’s a good idea to interview him properly like a company interviewing a candidate for a position.
For example, if you’re looking to hire a long term writer for articles and blog posts, then you should interview the candidate on Skype as well as email.
For my freelancer, I asked her during the Skype call to write as much as she can on a topic which I thought of out of the blue.
I sat back and watched her type away on Skype. It took me about 2 minutes to decide that her writing style and skills were suitable for the role. I hired her right away.
How To Hire A Freelancer – Conclusion
There are a lot of workers which you can hire cheaply. The key however, is to choose the freelancer who is the most capable and not the cheapest.
To make sure that you have the best chance of hiring a good freelancer, do your due diligence. Check his website, reviews, samples and interview him thoroughly.
The truth with hiring a freelancer is…it’s a hit and miss.
Even if you are thorough with the hiring process, you will still get non-competent workers slipping through the cracks. The key is to test the freelancer with several small projects before letting him handle one of your huge projects.
If things don’t look right, try to fix them right away by talking to the freelancer. If problems persist then stop the relationship. I hope this has helped you with how to hire a freelancer. It’s how successful businesses do it and it’s also how you should do it.