Top Tips On How To Hire Any Freelancer, Writers & Others

Hiring a brand new unknown freelancer is always a pain. You have to deal with first finding one, then vetting them, then making sure they stay up to par and one schedule and even the whole problem of having part of your business done by someone you don't know! It's a scary process.

Ruthan Brodsky wrote a wonder article entitled “How To Hire Freelance Writers.” If you're not hiring at the moment, read it. If you are in the process of hiring writers, read it. If your hiring someone who isn't a freelance writer … read it anyway! She outlines a wonderful 6 Step process for finding the right worker. Let me quickly outline what she said for you here:

  1. Find out what type of writer you need.
  2. Know what you want the writer to do.
  3. Ask friends and colleagues if they can refer you to someone.
  4. Search online for other freelancers.
  5. Look for and ask for samples.
  6. Make sure you like the writer before you hire them.

These are great great tips and ideas for how to find a freelance writer. But let me take that and extend it to hiring virtually any freelancer you'll ever need in any field (with the usual exceptions of course). Read Ruthan's article for the full details and descriptions, it'll be worth your while.

Before, or after, you've read that I'm here to help you find your new best online friend. You're freelance worker. Before I get into a big complicated procedural list, here are my top tips (many learned the hard way) for finding a freelance worker. These tips are in no particular order either:

  • Post a job listing to every freelance board you know. This includes elance, Get A Freelancer and many other specialized sites like 99designs.
  • To make sure you get high quality workers, give them a VERY simple instruction to do when posting their bids or offers. Something like, “if you have read my project description and fully understand my terms please add ‘I completely understand' at the bottom of your response”. If they cannot even follow simple directions like that they are NOT WORTH YOUR TIME.
  • Don't worry which country they are from. They can be from Singapore, Indonesia, USA … anywhere. Quality of work is what matters, not nationality.
  • Lowest price isn't always the best. The age old saying of “You get what you pay for” is often true for freelancers. BUT NOT ALWAYS. If they offer a low price, roll with them and ask for samples.
  • ASK FOR SAMPLES. Plain and simple. You need them to prove that they have done the type and quality of work you want.
  • Highest price isn't always the best options either. I've had a bid on my $50 dollar project for $7,000 … I really laughed at that and quickly threw them out. This brings me back to the earlier point, if they can't read simple directions and instructions … aint worth it.
  • Know you're needs. This includes quality needs and time needs. If you need a quick job or you ‘just' need something, lets say a graphic for example, but you don't care enough about this graphic to make is professional … a $15-20 dollar designer is your way to go. No need to hire the #1 designer on a graphic you want done super quick and you don't care about the quality either. Know what you need

Now you're probably thinking: ok great. Thanks for the tips we all know that. Now what?

Well you're in luck! I have a good guide ready for you below on how to properly vet a freelancer! Don't worry it won't take much of your time and I'm very sure it will help you profit in the near future!

This assumes that you have already posted to many job board and are getting responses back. Thus this deals with how to handle responding to many freelancers and how to pick one.

How to properly vet a freelancer:

  1. Pick one freelancer to vet. Pick one of the ones who have replied properly. If you asked them to leave a specific message and they did not, then do to vet them because they are not worth it. Pick only from the ones who have actually responded correctly so far.
  2. Out of those only pick those who have a rating (a good rating) on the job board site you are using. You don't want to be hiring a complete newbie. If they have a reputation on that site (a good reputation), then that is a very good thing.
  3. Reply to them, in a private message if possible, asking for samples of work. Articles/Videos/Graphics/Pictures of their work (if they are many a architect or something).
  4. Only after they have replied with work samples, ask for references AND references for those same projects they gave you samples of. Here you want to verify that they actually did the work they sent you.
  5. If you're at this step, that means the freelancer is looking good so far. This step is optional and depends on the reputation of the worker. Ask them to complete a VERY simple small sample of the work you want them to do. I hope that made sense: but here you are going to give them a small bit of work to do. With a graphics example, ask them to create a small and quick button just to see if they can actually do the graphics work IN THE STYLE you want it to be done.

By now the freelancer is probably a very good choice to go with. So feel free to setup payments and schedules at this point and accept them as a freelance worker.

But here are some hard learned lessons about payments (but remember, these tips are mostly only for new hires):

  • Don't pay up front. Have them do something first before you pay anything. This could be a consulting report, or a mock-up of the design they will fully create or even 1/2 of the article(s) you want them to write. Make them give you some part of the work before you fork over your hard earned cash.
  • Setup a payment schedule that works for you and them.
  • An escrow account is usually not needed. I personally don't like em much. Most freelancers just like and use something like Paypal anyway.
  • Always have a signed contract for the payment and work required. This will ensure every side knows when money will transfer hands, why and when. Keeps everyone safe, especially you.

All in all, don't be afraid to shop around! There are MANY freelancers out there waiting for work. Don't be discouraged by one lousy one. Keep looking and you'll find the right one.