How to Hire Freelancers
Outsourcing can grow your income and your business significantly and take off some of that workload off your shoulders. Usually, when people start their online business they have a small budget and limited resources. Plus the chances are you will need an expert’s help sooner or later because simply you can’t know everything. Anything you might need for your online business can be easily outsourced these days and there are some great sites that can help you do just that.
Hiring freelancers make perfect sense because they are cheaper than let’s say hiring someone full-time or outsourcing your project to a company. So, no matter if you are just looking for a writer, a designer, a developer or a programmer to help you with your website or your app knowing how to hire the right one can have a big impact on your business. If it’s done wrong though you can end up wasting your money and your time. But don’t worry because here we are going discuss how to hire the best freelancers for your business.
Where can i find them?
If you perform a search about hiring freelancers you will find quite a few websites that connect freelancers from all over the world with a wide variety of skills with business owners. Every platform has it’s own pros and cons and you will have to check every site’s terms and policies before you join in. Generally is a good idea to check the policies in regards to non-disclosure and of course payment issues. So, spend some time familiarizing with each platform before you start posting your projects.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular ones:
- Fiverr: A very large freelance marketplace where you can find pretty much any kind of freelancer you want. It’s a good platform if you have simple projects and you want to get really good prices. Actually, it’s a good place if you want to create a logo or some graphic design. You can design your logo for $10. Don’t expect something 100% original but it will be good enough.
- Upwork, (Formerly oDesk + Elance): One of the largest and most popular freelance networks. You can find a freelancer for almost anything. From writers and designers to virtual assistants. Many startups trust them with their small projects.
- Guru: Here you will find a freelancer for almost any job you can imagine. From writers and software engineers to architects and 3D designers.
- Hatchwise: If you are looking for some graphic designers you will definitely find them here. They can design your logo or any other graphics you want even your slogans. You pay per project. You set the amount of money you are willing to pay from the beginning and designers will send you their designs for you to choose from.
- People Per Hour: They offer a wide range of services from web and mobile development to content marketing. There are many professionals freelancers for you to choose from for almost anything your online business needs.
The platforms mentioned above are easy to use, convenient and you can get very good prices for your projects. But they are also free. What i mean but that is that anyone can join them and offer his/her skills. These networks rely heavily on customers ratings to verify the abilities and the experience level of the freelancers. That is positive and negative at the same time. It’s positive because you can instantly see who has the best ratings and who is recommended by former clients. The cons though are that the system can be abused and many times you will be just overwhelmed with offers for you to filter through.
So many experts don’t see the point of joining such platforms especially since the projects are usually small and the clients have limited budgets. They prefer platforms where they can work with big brands where they will not have to compete with junior developers and spend their time pitching for clients.
The following sites have a very thorough vetting process to match their criteria and they choose their freelancers carefully:
- Toptal: They are a premium network of freelancers and especially software developers, designers and finance experts. They take pride that they employ the top 3% of the freelancers from around the work. They will match you with a designer based on your project description. You can hire freelancers by the hour, full-time or part-time according to your needs.
- Gun.io: It was founded in 2011 and they specialize in software development. They are a very well known company in the industry and they have worked for companies like Amazon and Wikipedia. More than 25000 verified freelancers work for them and they will assign the best ones for your project.
- Crew.co: They ‘ll match you with a carefully-vetted freelancer in less than 24 hours. You can hire developers and designers to help you with your website, your logo or your app. They can also provide you with a quick estimation of your project and they have a wide range of talented freelancers.
These 3 sites can match you with the ideal freelancer for your project and you won’t have to go through their profiles to find the right one. They already have done the vetting for you. Even if you don’t know what you want exactly they can still help you with your project. Of course, the prices are higher and you won’t find developers for $10 per hour. If you have the budget and you want quality work you should consider them.
On the other hand, if your budget is small and your projects are not that complicated you should consider one of the first 7 websites.
How can i choose the right one?
So, now that you know where to find freelancers how can you be sure you will choose the right one. Usually, when you post your projects you will receive many responses. The first thing you need to do is to carefully examine what the freelancer is claiming they can do for you. Whatever they are claiming they can do they should be able to back it up with proof — usually in the form of a portfolio. Check their rating, if other clients hired them before more than once, how long they have been on the site and if they have ever worked before on similar projects you are considering hiring them. Even if they have great references you have to make sure they are relevant to your project. Talking with them through Skype is a great way to figure out if you can work with them or not. That way you can look them in the eyes and have an honest discussion.
Also, some people have a habit of asking you to hire them right now because they are available. Don’t respond to pressure to hire them now. Take your time, ask them some questions so you can be sure they understand what you want and what your instructions are.
Explain what you want them to do and include instructions. Offer them as much information as you can and always be specific. If you don’t provide guidance things can get really confusing. Your freelancer might look things from a different perspective and in the end, they might create something completely different from what you were looking for. You have to check what they are doing, offer them some feedback and encouragement. It’s much worse to realize in the end that you have to decline their work. You wasted your time, your project is not done and really that’s your mistake. Don’t expect people to do a great job if you have the mentality “set and forget”. You still have to do your work and you shouldn’t forget it’s your business and you are still the boss. You have to be active and engage with them.
A good advice is to start with small projects first so you can be sure you can work with them. If you are satisfied with their work then create a new job and send them a private message. Actually just posting the first part of your project instead of the full project is a great way to make sure you are hiring the right guy. Inform them that this is only the first part and more work is available after they successfully complete the first part of the job. Don’t ask your freelancers to work for free with the promise of more work later. It’s not only disrespectful but you will also not attract the best professionals that way.
Establish a form of communication. You don’t want to leave the fate of your business in the hands of someone you can’t talk to. Ask them how you can get in touch with them effectively and communicate with them. Don’t force them to communicate with you just in the way you want. Create an atmosphere of understanding and a productive working relationship. Don’t assume that everybody works the same way you do. If you want things done in a specific way you have to explain in details what you want. Ask them to provide you with more information about their work. Many times people can’t post their previous work on their profile because there might be certain contract restrictions from their clients. Sometimes people also forget.
You must also take into consideration the time difference when you hire freelancers from another part of the world. Although hiring freelancers from developing markets like India, for example, costs less you might have problems communicating with them. The language is not so much of a problem these days but the different time zones can be. If for example you discover a problem on their work and ask them to fix it they will see that email 10-12 hours later. And if they fix that and send you a new email but you are still not happy with the result can you repeat the process again? Can you wait that long?
Define a specific timeline and set up a deadline. That way the freelancer you want to hire can tell you right from the start if they can take the job or not. The better a freelancer is the busier their gonna be. If you create a deadline for your projects you can also set up when to check in how the project is progressing. Also that way you will be sure when your project is going to be delivered to you. That will allow you to create and manage your own schedule more effectively.
Be clear with your budget and the amount of money you are willing to spend on your project. By doing that you are making sure you are not wasting their time and of course yours. You must also remember that usually, you will get what you paid for. Hiring the cheapest freelancer is not the best choice. Quality matters. You can find great prices from freelancers with great recommendations but you need to know how much to charge for. Be aware the amount of work and the hours they ‘ll have to put in to complete your project and adjust the payment accordingly. Check what other’s with similar projects are paying for. It’s always a good strategy not to pay full up-front, especially for big projects. Also if the freelancer accepts to be paid after the work is done shows a level of trust and professionalism.
Starting an online business today is easier than ever before. Finding and hiring professionals is not only easy but also the smart choice no matter the size of your budget. Create your own small network of freelancers you trust and are satisfied with and take your business to the next level.
What are your experiences hiring freelancers? What is your strategy in order to choose the right ones? Do you know any other great websites to hire experts for your business? Leave me a comment below and share your thoughts with us.