By Courtney Rosenfeld
When the time comes to hire help for your business, freelancers may be the perfect solution. According to Business Wire, there are over 50 million people in the U.S. who freelance, and other countries are quickly catching up. Tap into this extensive talent pool to find the expertise you need at a price you can afford.
When you’re ready to start looking for quality freelance candidates, consider the following tips and tricks from Local Marketing Center to flesh out the best talent and help your company thrive.
Develop a Solid Communication System
Communication is vital in any team environment. When your team includes people who work remotely, it’s critical to develop a great communication system so that everyone is always on the same page. Miscommunication can cause all kinds of business problems, from missed deadlines to low morale. Avoid these issues by taking advantage of team collaboration apps like Slack and Trello. You can also keep your freelancers in the loop by having call notes transcribed and sent out to everyone on your team.
Know Where to Find Freelancers
There are several ways to find freelancers online, from classified ad sites like Craigslist to freelancer platforms like Upwork. Message people on LinkedIn, create posts on remote job boards, and peruse industry-specific sites. Online job boards help you connect with expert freelancers, whether you’re looking for help in sales, SEO and marketing, web development, or customer service. You can even look for freelancers on social media or ask for recommendations from other business owners in your industry. You don’t have to limit yourself to the U.S. either. There are plenty of freelancers around the world in countries like India, the Philippines or Serbia who can provide the expertise you need.
Make Your Expectations Clear
In your job ad, make your expectations extremely clear. Ensure that your freelancers know exactly what you aim to accomplish with their help. Give potential candidates context by explaining the big picture—not just the specific scope of work and time frame. Also, make sure you detail the skills you’re looking for and how you intend to apply these to your business.
You may also want to let your freelancers know what kind of availability you expect from them. Should they be able to hop on calls at any time? Do you require tight turnarounds, or can they complete work at their leisure? When your applicants know what you expect, they will be better prepared to meet your needs.
Lastly, clearly state how you will pay your freelancers, whether it’s through your payroll system, online payment platforms or remittance services. If you opt to hire foreign workers, you’ll need to have a plan for how to send their payments, which may not work with your payroll setup. For example, if you have a freelancer from the Philippines, using a transfer service can be more affordable and easier than Paypal.
Screen Your Applicants Thoroughly
Screen your initial applicants based on their education, skills, work experience, or portfolio samples. As you go through your candidates, select your top picks and schedule an interview. The interview is important for avoiding incompetent freelancers who sound good on paper.
Ask your candidates tough questions about how they approach deadlines, how they respond to criticism, and what they think quality work looks like. Be sure to also ask about their availability. Many freelancers have more than one client and may not be able to dedicate all of their time to your company. Finally, request a paid test project so you can get a feel for the freelancer’s work quality, communication skills, and ability to meet deadlines.
It may take time to build the perfect team of freelancers for your business. It’s a good idea to start looking for candidates well before you need them to do any work. Be picky and don’t stop searching until you find freelancers with the expertise necessary to help your business prosper.
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