When you own a small business, you may not always be able to afford to hire a full-time staff, this is where hiring outside help in the form of freelancers can help. With freelancers, you only pay them for the time they work or for the services they offer. Often times this is the more affordable way to service more customers.
However, not all freelancers are the same, some are skilled and some are not. Below are six tips that will help you hire the best one for your business needs.
1. Know what you need.
For many, this means identifying the projects you are less excited to work on. Maybe you don’t have the needed knowledge in a certain field or rather spend your time working on something else. For example, not everyone wants to do their small business bookkeeping, so why not outsource by hiring someone else to do it for you.
2. Know what you can pay for.
Don’t expect to hire freelancers for pennies. Sure you can find overseas writers who will write a $5 article, but don’t expect to get anything good out of them. Remember the saying, you get what you pay for. To get more professional results, never choose the cheapest options. If you have a large volume of work that you need to outsource, the freelancer may be willing to lower their rate to get it.
3. Look at your network.
Examine your network first before posting a job online. Begin with the people you already know and see if they can recommend any freelancers they previously worked with. You can even ask your clients or business networking groups if you participate in any.
If you don’t get any results from this, try out social media. Tweet or make a post on LinkedIn describing what you’re looking for and asking if anyone has any referrals. Sometimes this can provide surprising results.
4. Make a post on job boards.
There are many freelance job boards like Freelance Writing Jobs and Craigslist Gigs section. You won’t find freelancers on CareerBuilder or Monster, so you can avoid those. Specify the project in the description and how long you expect the project to take. Then either ask people to include their rate in their cover letters or specify what you’re willing to pay. Be detailed and specify the creative experience that you are seeking.
5. Sort through the applicants.
Now prepare to get flooded with applications. First, begin taking out the people who don’t have any of the experience you requested. Then you can either conduct a video or phone interview or simply ask them to do a paid test assignment. Give them a firm deadline along with instructions on what you need to be done. If they can’t follow instructions or make the deadline, then they probably won’t be a good candidate.
6. Be picky.
Never settle for a freelancer that doesn’t meet your expectations. Sure you might have a project that needed to get done yesterday and may decide you will deal with a sub-par freelancer. But this might come back to bite you. For example, freelancers who turn their work in late, usually do so when you have a deadline with a client. A freelancer that needs their hand to be held will require extra attention from you when you don’t have the time to do give it.
It may take longer but it’s best to wait for the perfect freelancer in order to set up your business for success. Sometimes it’s also a good idea to hire more than one person just to make sure you have a more diverse set of skills. And remember, there are many talented freelancers out there, so long as you’re willing to invest the time looking for them.