Things To Consider Before Hiring Freelance Contractors

Things To Consider Before Hiring Freelance Contractors

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Guide: Things To Consider Before Hiring Freelance Contractors

Hiring a freelance contractor is a great way to save time, money and connect with a talented digital specialist to get your job done. Since the freelance markets around the world are filled with freelancers all signing up for a limited number of jobs, you can inundated with a myriad of proposals for a particular job. How do you know which freelancer is the right contractor to hire?

The tendering process in this case is conducted on a global scale (as opposed to a local one), which can throw any sense of clarity about the price out the window. To help, the following 8 crucial things to keep in mind when hiring a freelancer will guide you in selecting your next contractor.

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# 1. Check out the portfolio of freelancers

Before you put one freelancer against another in terms of their price, you need to know if the freelancer applying for your job can really be ‘walk the walk’, not just ‘talk the talk’. The only way you can legitimately do this is to see a work portfolio.

If the freelancer has provided some links to some online examples of their work, great; however if you think you need to see some more, do not hesitate to askIf the freelancer would indeed like to work for you, then that is no problem for him.

Rule number 1 when hiring a freelancer online is, if you can’t see work samples, don’t take rent, especially if they ask for prepayment. You need to make sure that the freelancer can do the work you need.

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Communication frequency and medium

It is very important to remember to establish the ground rules for communicating with your freelancer. Whether via Skype, e-mail or weekly phone however, you should be familiar with the communication frequency and medium before starting a job.

Often you work with freelancers who are not in your area, it is important to set up up time and method where your freelancer and you can communicate freely. Be honest with your concernsMost freelancers are very accommodating and may have solutions to your problems especially those they have experienced with previous clients.

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Don’t automatically choose the cheapest contractor

It can be so tempting to choose the cheapest option when selecting a freelancer, but this can lead to disaster more often than not. It is not to say that you will not be able to choose the cheapest contractor every time, but be careful when considering an entry-level contractor if you get what you pay for when hiring freelancers.

It is important to remember that freelance markets generally push the price down anyway, so you get your money’s worth no matter who you hire. Just remember that you are much better off choosing a contractor based on expertise and experience then on pricebecause you will generally do well financially, regardless of your choice.

Consider the value of certain work in your country may be higher than that of another country, so weigh this up in your decision-making process.

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Ask for references

The fact that you don’t hire a freelancer in the typical face-to-face scenario where you receive a full resume and do a reference check doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to at least ask for some form of reference , or even contact a previous client with the freelancer’s permission.

Again, you must be comfortable in your appointment. More often than not, once you hire a freelancer for the first time, you tend to work with them multiple times, especially if they got it right. So take your time make sure your employees are the ones you want to hire on the long term working relationships with.

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Buy a team player

This can be a bit tricky to determine but if this is a requirement for you ie your freelancer needs to communicate with different members of your team, across complex items then just ask them. This will at least happen indicate to the freelancer that teamwork is important or a vital element to succeed them as your candidate worth hiring.

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# 6. Most importantly timeline management

There’s nothing worse than running a project that’s missing countless milestones for some reason. The best way to mitigate this is to be in advance with your expectations for delivering project milestones. This should be very clear in your job advertisement, and you shouldn’t bow to this at all when making your appointment.

However, it is important to treat your freelancer with the the same level of care as you would expect of yourself by giving them everything they need to meet their deadline so that both parties can live in harmony with each other.

By being clear and with a clear framework For the project, which may include external elements relevant to the role of freelancers in the project, ensure that your freelance project is on time and on schedule so that all relevant stakeholders are satisfied.

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# 7. Has it been done before?

This “really sets men apart from boys”. If you can find a freelancer who has worked in your industry, or done a similar job for another client, it can go a long way in ensuring that your job is completed at a high level.

Since the freelancer has already done a similar job, he / she will most likely do your job in a fast and more developed state based on having already done a “test drive”. This can really help narrow down your search for a truly suitable freelancer, especially if they can showcase a sample of that work.

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Payment terms must be reasonable

I am always skeptical when I see a freelancer paying large sums of money up front before starting a job. Sure, project milestones are more than reasonable, especially if the project takes a long time, but if I ask for payment before getting to work, alarm bells go off.

Nonetheless, this is common in the freelance industry so you may run into this. This can and often is more than legit, so don’t be afraid of this. But you have to be happy with the payment terms when making your rental.

For a longer term project, two or three milestones is a common scenario. This is something that I think works well as it rewards the freelancer for the work they have done and indicates the next stage of the work.

Try to figure these things out with your tenant before actually hiring. This ensures that things will run smoother in the long run and well into the completion of your project (s).

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Paul Dunstone for Hongkiat.com. Paul is the founder of JobStock.com, a freelance marketplace that offers job opportunities to freelancers in more than 250 different job categories. Paul is also the editor of the Job Stock blog, which provides tips for freelancers and small and medium-sized businesses. You can find it on G +.

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