how to hire freelancers

How to Hire Freelancers – What Small Businesses Need to Know

Why are so many small businesses talking about how to hire freelancers?

It’s because freelancers save businesses money. Hiring a freelancer is more economical than hiring a part-time or full-time employee. This is why more and more businesses, both small and large, are outsourcing freelance work nowadays. 71% of hiring managers plan to sustain or increase their use of freelancers in the next six months, according to Upwork’s Future Workforce Report 2021.

When it’s time for your small business to start hiring freelancers, you’re going to want to hire the right people for the right projects. You want to spend your money well and make your business grow. That is why you need to know exactly how to hire freelancers for your small business.

Whether your small business already has experience outsourcing work to freelancers or you’re new to this, you can benefit from these eight tips on how to hire freelancers.

What Small Businesses Need to Know About How to Hire Freelancers

Choose the Right Freelancer for the Job

Everyone has their unique skills and talents, strengths and weaknesses, styles, and preferences. No two freelancers are alike. 

Pay attention to how each freelancer responds to your job posting. Notice what they say and how they say it. If you’re hiring a freelancer for a large project or more than just a one-time project, set up an interview via phone or video to ask questions, listen to their answers and get a better sense of who they are. 

Each freelancer will handle your project differently, so go with the one you think will give you exactly the results you are looking for. 

Know What Freelancers Charge 

There’s quite a wide range of rates for freelance work, depending on the type of work it is, the experience of the freelancer, their geographic location, and more. 

Before you post your job or start contacting freelancers, do some research to learn what freelancers charge for the type of work you need to be performed. This way you’ll know what to expect and won’t be surprised. 

Look in the Right Places to Hire a Freelancer

There are lots of ways you can find freelancers, both online and offline. To find a freelancer:

  • Consider any freelancers you may personally know who can do this type of work
  • Post your job on LinkedIn Jobs
  • Share your job on general freelance job search websites such as Upwork, where all kinds of  jobs for all kinds of freelancers are listed
  • Post your job on freelance job search sites that are specifically for freelancers who do the type of work you need 
  • Also post your job on Indeed.com, FlexJobs, and other general job search websites that cater to both freelancers and non-freelancers 
  • Create a social media post announcing that you’re looking to hire a freelancer
hire freelancers from job websites
Look for freelancers for your business on job websites.

The first time you hire a freelancer you may want to search in all of the above places. You’ll then get a feel for which works best for you, and you can narrow down the places where you post job listings as time goes on.

Write a Clear and Thorough Job Description 

Write your job description carefully. You want it to be clear and give freelance candidates a thorough idea of what you need.

Writing a clear and thorough job description will help attract freelancers who are right for the job.

It also will help them understand exactly what you need so they’ll know exactly what to do. It also will help you both avoid spending unnecessary time clarifying later. 

A clear and thorough job description will allow you to find the right freelancer and get the results you want. 

Think Globally in Addition to Locally 

There are over a billion freelancers all over the world. When you’re growing your small business, you may not have a lot to spend on your project. Freelancers in your own country may charge more than you can afford. Fortunately, that’s no problem. You can always hire a freelancer from another country. 

Freelancers in different countries tend to charge different rates for the same quality of work. You can find these freelancers on the same freelance job search sites where you’ll be posting your job anyway. If you already know that you want a freelancer from a specific country, post your job on a freelance job search site specific to that country. 

hire freelancers globally
Think about hiring some freelancers globally as well as locally.

Don’t expect to find freelancers elsewhere in the world who charge just a tiny fraction of what freelancers in your country charge. Do expect that you can find freelancers who charge somewhat lower rates for the same work.   

Be Communicative to Hire Freelancers

After you hire a freelancer, keep the communication lines open. You don’t want them to feel they shouldn’t ask questions or shouldn’t say something they feel they need to say. Tell them they’re welcome to contact you with any questions or concerns. 

Likewise, if you think of something you want to clarify or want to say about how the job is being handled, don’t be hesitant to say it. Open communication on both your part and the freelancer’s part will help ensure the job will be done to your satisfaction.

Make Sure the Job is Done Correctly 

When you hire a freelancer, you’re hiring them to do the job the way you need it to be done. If you feel they fell short of that goal, don’t be shy about letting them know. Tell them that so that they can correct the issue before you pay. 

Making sure the job is done to your satisfaction helps you get what you’re paying for. It will also help the freelancer because you’ll be happy with their work and more likely to give them repeat business in the future. 

satisfaction of freelancers
Are you satisfied with your freelancer’s work?

Give Ratings, Reviews, and Testimonials 

After a freelancer finishes a job for you, be sure to leave them a rating as well as a review if you found them on a job search site. 

If you found them privately through their freelance blog or a connection of yours, they may ask you for a testimonial, so spend a few minutes writing one. 

If what you say about their work is favorable, this will help out the professional relationship between you and that freelancer. However, if it’s unfavorable, it will help the freelancer correct whatever needs to be corrected for future projects. It will also help people who hire them in the future because the freelancer will have taken what you said and used it to improve their skills.  

Conclusion of How to Hire Freelancers

Hiring freelancers will save your small business money. Follow the advice above about how to hire freelancers and you’ll be able to have a positive experience with the freelancers you hire.

The more work you successfully outsource to freelancers, the more money you can save. Therefore,  the more you can make your small business grow.

Have you hired freelancers for your business or blog? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “How to Hire Freelancers – What Small Businesses Need to Know”

  1. Thanks heaps for the shoutout. Each of these tips works for nabbing the right freelancer for your job. Many skilled folks freelance but the ease of starting an online business means more than a few freelancers seem light in the skills department. Following these tips ensures that you weed out the pretenders from the contenders.

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan, You are welcome. Sabina did a fabulous job with this one. There are many pretenders out there and knowing how to weed them out can a small business a lot of time and money. Thanks for coming by Ryan and do make it a fabulous day!

    2. That’s a good point, Ryan. There’s so many people freelancing now but not all are as skilled as they should be. If a small business hires a freelancer who doesn’t have the skills they need for the job, that one bad experience could give them a bad impression of all freelancers. I’m glad you think these tips are helpful!

  2. Hi Sabrina,

    Some excellent tips here. As a freelancer myself of some fifteen years building bespoke websites for clients I thought I would add my voice to the chorus as well.

    The first thing I would recommend is to set a realistic budget first, figure out how much you are willing to invest in the freelancer to complete the project and make a list of must-haves and likes for the project. A freelancer of my experience will always pre-approve a potential client before even meeting the client by asking some very specific questions before even meeting them so I have a better idea that we would be a good fit which I think is of vital importance for both the freelancer and the client.

    From a freelancer’s perspective, I won’t come up with a quote until I have met the client after pre-approving them for a meeting. My quote is usually in the form of a four or five-page pdf that I like to call a Statement of Work outlining everything I require of the client and what I will do for the client with of course milestones and a payment schedule.

    For me personally, I don’t use sites like Upwork or freelancer as generally, people there don’t have the budgets to really invest in a well-established freelancer but the advice I would suggest is to do the research in the first instance.
    Check out their portfolio, do they have a website? Do they use a domain email or a generic Gmail one? Get in touch with their other clients and one thing I like to do is to run a Lighthouse audit on their and their client’s websites.

    If someone is looking for a bespoke and handbuilt website a good trick to use is to run a BuiltWith audit on their and their client’s websites to see if they use a downloadable theme or not. A client does not want to spend a four-figure sum investing in a freelancer when they will only download a thirty dollar theme off ThemeForest.

    Check out their reviews, not just on freelancer or Upwork but I suggest on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Clutch and Trustpilot. I no longer really use Trustpilot, Facebook or Clutch anymore as I prefer my client to leave me ones on Google now. I would also suggest getting in touch with the reviewer about their work and asking questions. A good freelancer will not mind potential clients getting in touch with their other clients. I certainly don’t.

    I may let my ego get the better of me in this comment with my personal perspectives but I think I have earned the right to after fifteen years of doing this gig. I am reminded of something Pablo Picasso said to a lady wanting to buy a coffee-stained napkin she had watched him draw on for ten mins…
    Lady: May I buy that off you before you throw it away?
    Pablo: Sure Madam, it’s sixty thousand dollars
    Lady: What! But that only took you ten mins.
    Pablo: No Madam. That took me sixty years.

    Hope I have left some food for thought for people wanting to hire a freelancer.
    Phillip

    1. Hi Phillip,

      Thank you. 🙂 It is so great that you are succeeding at freelancing with 15 years so far. Congratulations!

      Yes, Upwork, Freelancer and many other job sites are better for beginning freelancers, as the rates are lower than more experience freelancers charge or should charge. The competition is also stiff on those sites, so you really have to move on from there as soon as you can so you don’t have to spend so much time searching for clients and can spend more time working for clients.

      It is a very good idea, like you say, if you’re in the position of having more experience, to vet people who hire you to make sure you’re a good fit for each other. It’s also a good idea to get repeat business from your clients and to impress them with your work so they’ll be happy to refer you to others.

      Once you start freelancing, you want to build a great reputation as quickly as you can so you won’t have to search for clients anymore – they’ll come to you instead. It shouldn’t take long to move up as a freelancer. Get your skills up to par, charge a rate that’s not only fair to your clients but fair to you, do the best possible job every time, develop good relationships with your clients, get them to recommend you to others, and you’ll have success as a freelancer.

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