Hiring A Freelancer? Know the Ins and Outs First

The Must-Know Facts Before Hiring Freelancers

Freelancers and contract work have moved to the forefront of modern working scenarios since the start of 2020 and will continue to be in the spotlight indefinitely. Platforms such as UpWork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and CMS/platform-specific expert panels (WooCommerce experts, Shopify experts, Magento partners, etc) have simplified the search, communication, payment, and trust required to lift freelance projects and freelance volume off the ground. The intended result is the great equalization of human capital, providing access to top-tier talent to any person or business that has a need. Rather than hiring an employee and going through a full-bodied learning curve to get up to speed, you can hire a freelancer to complete a single job or a series of jobs, paying them fixed amounts or by the hour. Freelancers need not be one-off hires, technically consultants or outside agencies you pay retainers to are contractors. However, the focus of this article will be on the interactions between a business and a freelancer on a project by project basis.

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Finding the Correct Skills

Understanding the nature of the work ahead of you and what will be assigned to outside talent is of the utmost importance when looking for a person that fits the project. Do you need programming, if so, what code languages, and for what kind of application, or if you need writing, is it copy, articles, or website content, if you need design and imagery, look at previous work examples and portfolios. Finding the best person for your job will be the main determinant when it comes to job success. 

Read reviews written by other clients of the freelancer, inspect their previous work experience, message them for a quote, and read their biography and what they say about themselves. Identifying qualified individuals that are easy to work with and realistic in their project expectations will make or break productivity. 

Establishing a Workflow 

In the freelance economy, establishing workflow is synonymous with establishing rapport. Since the vast majority of freelance work is remote, you and the freelancer might never actually work on the project at the same time, however you may find time-windows where both of you are online and able to communicate back and forth in real-time, or you may leave messages for each other that exist as updates. Updates that the other party will see when they sign on and then when they sign off they will in-turn update you. Both methods work well, the key is building a particular working relationship that benefits both parties and subsequently the overall project. Set hours are a difficult and costly thing to ask of someone in a freelance scenario and may agitate the very idea of freelance work. Workflow is the trust and symbiotic relationship created while working asynchronously or synchronously with another person online.

Project Briefs, Milestones, and Success Criteria  

Back to the idea of understanding the work you have at hand, and what exactly it is you need from another person to ensure success. Writing a clear and concise scope of work outline and presenting all of the requirements and available assets upfront is highly important. From the job outline, you will receive a refined price estimate, a better look at person-job fit (as a result of their answers to your scope of work brief), and informed timeline estimations. And since freelance work is often built on a foundational goal, you can divide the project into deliverables that will accelerate project completion by reducing rework. This is where project milestones exist, pieces of the overall project that follow a chronological order and act as intermediate incentives to moving forward. Generally, freelance jobs will come with an upfront payment to start the project, then based on the type of work it could be milestones on each update or checklist item completed, or it could milestones without defined satisfactions such as beginning, middle, and end, paid based on project duration and feeling. Either way, this aspect of freelance work depends on preferences, project type, and relationship history. 

Conclusion

Modern businesses require the ability to scale and productively navigate current and future trends, almost all of which are digital. This is where and why freelance work is so dynamic. Fresh perspectives, new talent, and ideas to develop programs and processes on limited funds or staff (even big businesses may benefit (companies with abundant funds and staff)), if you maneuver through the world of freelance working and hiring adroitly, you can achieve these qualities in your business. After reading this article, we hope you are one-step closer to hiring that freelancer you want to work with or starting your freelance career.