9 Tips for How to Hire Freelancers the Right Way
We live in the gig economy. 57 million people in the U.S. work as freelancers, and those numbers are only projected to grow. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to scale up by building a remote team or a business owner with a few microtasks you’re to looking outsource, you can tap into this vast freelancing network to get work done better, faster, and more affordably.
But if you’re new to the hiring process or you’ve tried outsourcing a few times in the past to no success, you may have some hesitation.
How do I pick the right freelancer? Can I trust an inexperienced worker? How do I make sure they get the job done right?
Our guide for how to hire freelancers the right way will answer all these questions and more.
Vet Your Freelancers First
When you are planning to outsource your work, you’ve likely got a specific task or tasks in mind that you need accomplished. Sometimes it’s a one-off gig, such as if you need someone to design a website for your new business. Other times you are looking for a freelancer that you can turn to again and again. Maybe you run an SEO agency and need quality content writers on a consistent basis.
Whether it’s a short term or long term job, the first step is to find a freelancer who you can trust to get the job done right.
1. Ask Around
Your first order of business should be to ask for recommendations. Join online forums in your industry and ask who other business owners have used for tasks like yours.
The Legiit Facebook Group is a great place to ask around because it is full of people who buy and sell on our platform. So it’s very easy to get a lot of quality recommendations quickly.
2. Read Reviews
Based on the recommendations you receive, as well as your own browsing, another easy way to vet your freelancers is by reading their reviews. The logo designer with a couple hundred reviews is probably going to be easier to trust than the one with just a handful.
Make sure that you look over their entire seller profile rather than just one service, though. If a freelancer has just launched a new service, it may not have garnered many reviews yet. But they may have another that could give you a better idea of what other buyers think.
Don’t let one or two negative reviews guide your decision, either. What you really want to do is read reviews to see what the general consensus is about each freelancer’s work.
3. View Sample Work
Once you’ve made your short list, it’s time to ask for samples. Some freelancers will have these posted directly in their service description. For others, you may need to reach out via private message to request them.
You don’t always need to request samples. Sometimes, the freelancer’s reputation speaks for itself, and other times samples just aren’t that helpful due to the nature of the work. But, if you are going to be investing a lot of money creative works like copywriting, video design, or a musical jingle–you probably want to get some idea of what the freelancer’s style is.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Give a Newbie a Shot
All this being said, you don’t always need to hire the highest reviewed, most in-demand freelancer for your job. Sometimes, it may be worth investing in someone with less experience.
For starters, if you are on a budget than hiring a newbie can save you from the higher ticket price that comes with more popular freelancers. Additionally, if someone is new to the platform, they probably don’t have as many clients and can thus focus their efforts on your work better and faster.
If you do opt for a freelancer who doesn’t have a ton of reviews or lots of word-of-mouth recommendations, just be prepared to communicate very clearly before hiring so that you can trust that they know what they are doing.
Communicate Clearly Before the Job
Once you think that you’ve found a freelancer who is up to the task, you’re next step is pre-hire communication. While you might not need to schedule a full-on interview, there are still some steps to take to make sure that you and your freelancer are on the same page.
5. Know What You Want (Or Let Your Freelancer Help You Figure It Out)
Sometimes, you know that you need a blog post or a landing page or a video–but you aren’t really sure what it should contain. How long should the article be? What call-to-action is meant for the landing page? Is the video best as a white board or an animation?
It’s okay to not know these things at first, but the more guidance you can provide your freelancer, the better they will be able to deliver exactly what you want. It’s also normal to not know all the answers, since you are probably outsourcing a task that you aren’t a pro at.
This is a good opportunity to ask your new hire for their professional opinion. If they’ve designed hundreds of sales pages, for example, they should be able to guide you towards the best ideas for a call-to-action.
One key when it comes to how to hire freelancers is making sure they ask the proper questions. A freelancer who doesn’t ask you for the information they need to get the job done properly likely doesn’t know as much about the job as they should.
6. Provide Clear Instructions
Hiring freelancers generally takes two forms. In the first situation, they are selling a specific service and will ask you for the details they need to get the job done. This is the case for most blog writers, for example. They’ll ask you for desired word count, keywords, and a topic. And then they’ll take it from there.
The other situation is when you are hiring a freelancer to perform a specific task that you need accomplished. This is often the case when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant. Maybe you need someone for data entry, for example. Or perhaps you want someone to create listings on dozens of business directories according to your exact specifications.
In this second case, it’s very important for you to provide your freelancer with incredibly detailed instructions. Often, clients will create short training videos to teach their team exactly how to do each step of the process. Obviously, this requires a bigger time investment, so it’s best reserved for freelancers that you plan to hire on a long term basis.
The takeaway, though, is that clear communication results in better performance. It means less back-and-forth after delivery. And it means less frustration for you and the freelancer.
Treat Your Freelancers Well
Just because your freelancers are working remotely doesn’t mean they are robots. Just like a traditional work environment functions more efficiently when employees are happy, you will get more from your freelancers if you treat them well.
7. Pay On Time
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day work and let administrative tasks pile up. But always try to pay your freelancers promptly after work is delivered. It’s understandable to take some time to review the work before delivering payment, but don’t delay indefinitely.
Remember that your freelancers rely on a paycheck to live just like anyone. This is one reason that clients love to hire freelancers on Legiit. Money is stored securely at the time of hire and delivered to the freelancer only after work is completed, with a few days provided for the buyer to review the work. This means that paying your freelancers doesn’t have to be another task added to your to-do list.
8. Leave Positive Reviews
If you are happy with the work that your freelancers do, make sure to tell the world about it with a positive review. Positive reviews help grow your freelancer’s business by attracting new customers. Generally, a well-written 5-star review is even more valuable than a handsome tip.
9. Treat Your Freelancers With Respect
Your freelancers are people too. They want to know that you value their skills, but also that you value them as a person. Do all of the things that you would hope your employer would do for you:
- Understand when they have an off day.
- Don’t consistently drop work on them at the last minute.
- Realize that family commitments may trump professional ones.
At the same time, respect is a two-way street. If a freelancer is constantly making excuses or holding up your business, you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking your money elsewhere.
Find the Right Freelancers for You Today
How to hire freelancers the right way is a skill that will benefit any entrepreneur.
From the smallest brick-and-mortar to a worldwide online empire, businesses rely on the gig economy every single day. If you are looking to hire quality freelancers in a secure environment, check out what the pros at Legiit are offering today.