Hiring Freelancers: Top Advice & Pitfalls to Avoid

by | December 21, 2020

If you are a solopreneur or micropreneur, hiring freelancers is a little secret you should consider. The remote and virtual workers are affordable since you only pay for services offered or hours worked. Long-run costs such as health insurance fees, employment benefits, and office space costs are eradicated.

According to a recent study by UpWork, an estimated 36% of the US population is freelancers. The exponential growth of freelance jobs primarily occurs due to higher competitive advantage for businesses.

Top Roles Companies Hire Freelancers for:

Undeniably, companies are increasingly outsourcing some of the technical or professional roles to expert freelancers. Outsourcing is a diligent way to bring a pool of talent and expertise to the companies.  Most companies prefer hiring freelancers due to the independent workers’ affordability, and primarily they hire for the flexibility they offer. Some of the common roles include:

1.    Web Developers

A web developer’s main job is designing, coding, and structuring an ideal layout for a company’s website. Expertise in computer programming and web graphic design are things you need to consider before hiring.

The freelancer must possess unquestionable expertise in the designing and structuring of web applications on numerous platforms.  A technical understanding of various development tools such as HTML, Javascript, CSS, and DOM are intrinsic.

Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Web Developer

  • Professional coding knowledge
  • Technical creation of company websites by adhering to CSS/HTML standard practices
  • Proper maintenance of software programs or documentation
  • Proactive contingency plans
  • Future expansion or enhancement of the website
  • Proper communication skills and adhering to deadlines
  • Professional expertise in frameworks such as ASP, ASP.NET, ruby, among others

2.    Graph Designers

Graphic designers manually or electronically create unique visual concepts to communicate your business ideas to the consumers. They are technically involved in designing magazines, reports, logo websites, infographics, PowerPoint presentations, or UX designs.

They use art and intelligent software to illustrate the company’s ideas via images. The captivating designs are crucial in creating awareness of your products and brand and creating unique logos and brochures.

3.    Content Writers and Editors

Content creation is integral in putting the business language on blogs, newspapers, or any other media.  SEO writing, B2B writing, copywriting, journalism, or content marketing are intrinsic for any business wishing to gain visibility.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual wage of writers in 2019 was estimated at $63,200.

Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, among others, has millions of registered content writers and editors. Your business can recruit writers and editors from those sites. Quality content is king; thus, ensure you do proper surveillance on the freelancer portfolio and reviews for proper analysis of their skills and expertise.

4.    Virtual Assistant

You can outsource basic administrative tasks to virtual assistants. Their role could range from making and taking phones or simply arranging and maintaining business schedules. Other roles can include managing the company’s websites, coordinating and arranging meetings, or sending and responding to emails.  Sites such as Flexjobs, UpWork, Ziprecruiter lists thousands of virtual assistants.

5.    Video Editors

Companies can incorporate videos to create brand awareness or introduce new products to the markets. Virtual platforms such as Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook offer businesses a chance to post promotional or educational videos.

However, remember the competition is so stiff, and millions of entrepreneurs are seeking to gain recognition. To maximize visibility, the creation of high-value videos is paramount. Video editors use intelligent editing software to ensure the video you post garners more audience than your competitors.

6.    Social Media Marketers

Proactive social media marketing strategies are important for any start-up or mature business. The easiest way to gain recognition is by advertising your products or brand via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

For your marketing efforts to be beneficial, you need a social media marketer to manage and update your social media account. The freelancer responds to clients’ concerns and consistently updates your products on the social media platform.

Top Advice for Hiring Freelancers

Freelancers are an affordable taskforce and provide unique expertise to your business. However, the process of recruiting the right talent can be quite intimidating. Hiring via virtual sites introduces the problem of people presenting fake resumes or an increased tendency of impersonification.

The identification of the right talent is not all sweetness and light.  Consider incorporating the following advice in the recruitment process.

Evaluate your Desired Freelance Candidates

Sites such as Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer.com offer a platform where you post a job, and freelancers pitch for the job via sending proposals and resumes. A well-crafted resume does not make a freelancer ideal for the job. Remember, they may have copied the resume from another platform.  What essential factors do you need to evaluate?

  • The Freelancer Reviews can help in gauging the expertise of your ideal candidate. The reviews give you a quick view of what other clients think of the freelancer.
  • The portfolio helps to evaluate past projects the freelancer has worked on and the job success rate. Since you are green in hiring freelancers, opting for someone with a good portfolio increases your project’s success rate.
  • Paid test projects will enable the proper analysis of the freelancer’s capabilities. Through the short project, you can evaluate if you are recruiting the right talent for your business.
  • Interview via phone or Skype is paramount to have a comprehensive understanding of the person you are hiring. Through the interview, you can communicate your expectations and strategize a way to work forward.

Well Defined Communication Channels

The secret to a successful entrepreneur and freelancer working relationship is establishing clear lines of communications. Since the freelancer is most likely working for numerous clients, it is integral to set deadlines and visions.

Take-charge and diligently set pre-determined expectations. Funding manageable milestones significantly reduce major disappointments in the long run.

Show Appreciation for Projects Completed

Just like full time employees, freelancers are motivated to work if well remunerated and appreciated.  Offering bonuses for surpassing expectations motivates them to work better in subsequent projects.  Essentially, leaving positive reviews on the freelancer profile is a greater motivator to work more diligently.  You can also refer them to other clients and help them grow their clientele base.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring Freelancers

A slight mistake in the process of hiring freelancers can result in disastrous results for your business. It is crucial to be familiar with prevalent mistakes other business owners make in the recruitment process and eradicate them.

Hiring Freelancers with the Lowest Rates

When a business is starting, the aspect of cutting costs from all angles is quite tempting. However, opting for cheaper rates may, at times, compromise the quality of services delivered. If a freelancer delivers botched services and products, they will negatively affect your business.

Regardless of how much you want to cut your overhead and operating costs, there is a need to gauge the value of products and services delivered. It is impractical to hire cheaper services, which will result in substantial losses.

Although it is still possible to identify a freelance who will offer quality services at a lower rate, gauge your candidate’s skills via test projects before the start of the project.

Having Ambiguous Expectations

A freelancer’s task is to work per your vision and expectations. They should ensure the work delivered aligns with your business goals and clientele expectations. If you don’t have clear expectations, the remote worker will be incapable of delivering what is right for your business.

When hiring on sites such as UpWork, Fiverr, or Freelancer, ensure you clearly outline your business structure. Formulate a practical outline that the worker needs to adhere to. Such a diligent strategy ensures the final work submitted adds value to your business.

Unstructured Communication Channels

Communication is integral in a remote working relationship. Since it is impossible to directly supervise the employees having structured communication lines such as emails, Skype, or telephone conversation enable professional monitoring of the job’s progress.

Hiring at the Incorrect Time

It might seem or sound nonsensical, but it is an erroneous thing most businesses make. Hiring while you are under pressure or when you instantly require a freelancer leads to wrong judgment in the selection process.  The hiring process needs to be planned, and a comprehensive evaluation is necessary.

Proper analysis of the capabilities of a freelancer through test jobs is intrinsic. Test projects enable the acquisition of more capable talents who will add value to your company.

Improper Classification of Freelancers

Businesses are often in a dilemma when it comes to the classification of freelancers. According to JustWorks, most remote employees (an estimated 3.4 million) are classified as independent employees or contractors. Ensure you are compliant with various rules and regulations while classifying employees.

Lack of Clear Security Guidelines

According to a Risk Value Report in 2018, remote workers are identified as the weakest security connection in a business.  Since you cannot directly monitor your remote workers, it is crucial to set clear security guidelines that enable your assets’ proper safeguarding.

Virtual Can Assist in The Freelancer Recruitment Process

Clearly, hiring employees remotely can be quite challenging. There are innumerable freelancers on various sites making it very tedious to identify the right mix of talent. Most of these freelances are making $ 80,000 annually, according to CNBC, and helping businesses turn leads into customers. But how do you identify the right talent for your organization?

Virtual can assist in the matchmaking process for your business. We will identify freelancers who possess the right credentials, expertise, and strong analytics to deliver high-value services and products. Contact us immediately, and let’s help you in recruiting the right value for your business.