How to Hire a Good Freelancer for Your Small Business

Small businesses work within a limited budget. Because of this, they might not be able to hire full-timers and take on the costs that come along with it like vacation paid leave, payroll taxes, and health benefits apart from full-time salaries. It is hence important to know how to hire a good freelancer.

Startups may not have the budget to hire full-timers and incur the latent associated costs of payroll taxes, vacation time, workers comp and health benefits in addition to full-time salaries.

Whether you want a freelancer for specific one-off assignments or you are looking to bring them in for a long-term engagement, we can help you.

Listed below are 7 tips on how to hire a good freelancer.

How to Hire a Good Freelancer – Have a Well-Laid Plan

Now, this is very important! Before you go ahead and decide to hire a freelancer, have a clear idea of what you expect the freelancer to do, and what all you intend to achieve by hiring a freelancer.

Have a well-laid plan in front of you before you hire a freelancer. It is important that there is absolute clarity of the job description, timeline, payment schedule and deliverables among other things.

You must be clear about the high-level goals that you wish to accomplish with a freelancer, as well as what you are comfortable delegating to an outsider and what you are not.

Write a Detailed Job Description

Your job description must be specific, providing accurate and complete information about the job. This way, you will attract more candidates who are fit for the freelance job since they know exactly what you want and will apply only if they are sure that they can accomplish the goal.

Here is what a good job post must do:

• Introduce yourself, your business, and objectives
• Address important questions about the work while being open enough for suggestions and input from the freelancer
• Be as detailed as possible
• Clarify whether the assignment is hourly or fixed price
• Provide details about the skills and experience the job requires


Don’t be cheap

Many a time, higher rates mean higher quality. If a freelancer is worthy of the money he or she is asking for, be willing to pay them what they truly deserve.

Be open to negotiation and also consider the nature and complexity of your project. Speaking about the mistake of buying cheap labor, Ben Young, head of Nudge that regularly hires freelancers, said:

A mistake many people make is to be too cheap when paying a few bucks more will get you access to top-tier talent. Paying a higher rate means you’re getting the best out of tens of thousands of freelancers, many of whom have rates that they’ve worked hard to establish.


Find Your Talent

You can find the right talent by asking around with your network, work with a freelancer’s agency, utilize job portals and social media sites like linked in.

Post your job on these avenues and social media platforms if you intend to hire from your network. Trade shows and local events are places where you can meet potential candidates.


Interview the Aspirants

Make sure you interview the freelancer. While the interview will most probably be on a virtual platform, try as far as possible to have a video chat as it gives more of a “face to face” feel.

The interviewer needs to be as prepared as the interviewee. Find out during the interview how the freelancer would handle challenging situations, and also ask about their previous experiences and workplace. Discuss everything in detail including timings, payment, and their way of functioning and working.

Ask each candidate to review your designs or work and give them 10-15 minutes time to come up with a few alternate versions.

Check for Certificates, Accolades, Test Scores

Accolades, certificates and test scores validate the skills of the individual and give you an assurance of his or her credibility.

Ask the freelancer if he has sample work, and certificates to show to authenticate his claim of possessing a certain skill set.

Encourage Freelancers in Different Timezones

Do not let different time zones come in the way of choosing the best freelancer for your small business. If you can work out a system of communication during overlapping hours, different time zones can prove extremely beneficial as you will have increased coverage of somebody working at a time when you are probably sleeping. This can boost productivity.

The seven tips of How to Hire a Good Freelancer will most certainly help you make the right decision for your small business.

Good luck!