If you have been following our blog here on Sagegroupy, you would know that hiring freelancers is a great way for businesses to acquire the expertise you need to complete your projects at rates that are easy on your bottom line. Different levels of experience demand different rates, meaning an inexperienced freelancer can be a bargain, but can they do the work up to the standard that you need? It is hard to trust someone you’ve never worked with before and even harder to trust someone who is new to freelancing. You do not want to be worried about seeing lackluster results on important projects. Here’s what to consider when hiring a new freelancer.
New to freelancing doesn’t mean new to their vocation.
Just because someone has recently become a freelancer does not mean that they are not an expert, so don’t dismiss them based on their freelance experience alone. Check out their portfolio and resume to see how they stack up against the competition. When hiring a new freelancer, references and testimonials are key so be sure to pay attention to them. Who have they worked with before - if not as a freelancer, then as an inhouse employee - and what did their old boss think of them? If they are a recent graduate, do they have any references from internships or from professors they worked with? Referrals from someone you know can be helpful as most people will not go out on a limb for someone else unless they are sure that the person can deliver.
Interview your shortlist.
Responses to interview questions can help you gauge the freelancer’s expertise, organisational skills, ability to communicate and work style. Ask about key aspects of the project you are hiring for and their experience working on similar projects. Discussing project logistics can show you how well they understand your needs and the potential challenges of the project. For more tips on how to interview a freelancer check out our post all about interviews.
Get them to show you how it’s done.
Whether you’re looking at new freelancers or more seasoned solopreneurs, can you trust really trust profiles, proposals and portfolios? If you are unsure, get them to show you what they can do. Hire the freelancer for a test project. In order to use the test project to judge their skills most effectively, make sure that it is either similar to the bigger project that you will be hiring them for, or a small part of that bigger project. Giving them a test-run on a small task, such as the first step of the project, can demonstrate the freelancer’s skills without any risk to your project. You can assess their skills, communication style, problem solving abilities and if they can keep to the timeline. If they can’t do the work up to par, you can let them go before trusting them with your big project.
Communication is key.
Once you have decided to work with a new freelancer, review the project highlights with them, including your expectations, deadlines, and the number of revisions/drafts you are willing to work with them on. This should all be part of a solid contract between you and the freelancer. Provide enough details that they can hit the ground running, but not so much that you are doing their work for them. Consider having one point of contact in your organization for the freelancer to work with. This can prevent communication problems and there will be one person keeping tabs on the freelancer making sure they are on track. Keep the lines of communication open but don’t be tempted to micromanage them.
Once the freelancer has completed work on your project give them feedback on it and leave a review of their work on their website and the freelance platform you found them on, so that other businesses know what to expect. Give a fair assessment of how you think they did. If there was room for improvement, let them know so that they can improve their work in the future. If you’d like to work with them again, let them know! If you are looking for freelancers to hire for your next project, check out our great line-up of talent here on Sagegroupy.