The last decade has seen a shift in the way businesses run. With innovation being in the Indian genes and the government coming up with schemes to kindle the entrepreneurial spirit, several startups have mushroomed across the country. For these businesses, it is often challenging to afford full-time employees. Hiring freelancers gives them the luxury of getting help as and when they need it. That way, they get access to the best of resources without having to cater to employee benefits such as healthcare or vacation time.
If you are among such businesses, chances are, that the prospect of hiring freelancers appeals to you. However, it is also possible that at some point you would have hired a freelancer and based on the quality of work submitted to you, you would have given up on the idea of hiring freelancers altogether. The key here is the fact that one must be very cautious while hiring freelancers. Only then can you expect to build a positive working relationship and make sure that their creativity benefits your business. Read on to know some fool-proof ideas on hiring the most suitable freelancers.
- Start small
Irrespective of the nature of the job, it is obvious that a person will take time to adjust to it. By overwhelming a new freelancer, you will do more harm than good. No matter how confident you are of your freelancer’s skills (or how many tests you made him go through), always start with non-critical projects.
These small projects can help how your freelancer performs under deadlines, the amount of supervision needed and the number of revisions the work had to go through. These parameters will enable you to gauge your freelancer’s true capability. Based on this you will be able to sort your work chemistry and decide on the workload.
- Be clear about what you expect
When it comes to working, you can expect professionalism only if you give the same in return. From the very onset be very clear about your expectations from the freelancer and leave no room for guesswork. Mention the rate, mode, and frequency of payment very clearly and make sure that the freelancer agrees on the same before you begin work. Come up with lucid instructions on what the deliverables are and how you want things done. As much as possible, try to have your conversions documented in digital format.
- Hire freelancers with good communication skills
As much as the freelancer needs to grasp what you are saying, you should also be in a position to understand what he is saying. Make sure that the person you are working with has decent communication skills. Considering that you are hiring him on a freelance basis, it may be expected that the different projects that you will give him will have different communication requirements. The communication need not necessarily be in English. It may take place in any language that both the parties involved are comfortable in.
- Encourage mutual agreement on deadlines
As someone paying to get the job done, you may feel that the freelancer should deliver in the time frame set by you. However, you must realize two things here. Firstly, your freelancer is humane and pressurizing on deadlines may lead to degradation of quality. Moreover, most freelancers work with multiple clients. If you are an imposing client all the time, your freelancer might not take up your work when you have some genuinely urgent task. Hence, it is a good practice to ensure that your freelancer is comfortable with a deadline before assigning a project.
- Invest in mutual-dependency
As much as your freelancer depends on you for his bread and butter, they are instrumental in the functioning of your organization. If you want to have access to a team of capable freelancers when you need them (without having to fanatically look for new ones), you need to make appropriate investments. Make it a practice to pay your freelancers a bonus for work that needs urgent completion. As much as possible, try to give them a regular flow of work. By working with the same set of people over and over again, your freelancers will be in a better position to align their work in line with the expectations of your organization.
- Work on finding the best talents
Now that you realize the importance of long-term commitment in the world of freelancing, it will be worth your efforts to take time out and identify the best freelancers. If you are in touch with experienced professionals from your industry, try to take referrals from them. Veterans vouch that many a time sending out the word among friends and family helped them land good freelancers.
If you consider hiring from freelance platforms such as Toptal, Freelancer or Upwork, evaluate all the pros and cons. For example, hiring across time-zones often confuses deadlines, the unnecessary delay between subsequent revisions, etc.
- Look for relevant work experience
When you are on the lookout for hiring new freelancers, you will have multiple ways of selecting them. Some people prefer asking for a sample while others go through the portfolio. In either case, make sure that your candidate has relevant experience. For example, if you are looking for an event photographer, hiring an exceptionally great wildlife photographer will not yield great results.
Also, if you are asking for a sample that has to be done based on guidelines set by you, make sure you pay the freelancer for the same once he is selected. Not only will this help establish a level of trust, but it will go a long way in boosting his dedication to the job that you are asking him to do.
By now, you have a better understanding of what to look for when hiring a freelancer. We hope that with these tips you will be able to build a long-term professional relationship with your freelancer and make the most of this new era of jobs. Here’s wishing you the very best for the same.