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Top 5 Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Freelancer

Ben Walker

Ben Walker

Ben Walker is CEO of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC, which provides user-friendly, high-quality and cost-effective transcription services to organizations all over the U.S. We specialize in the academic, medical, legal, law enforcement, financial and general business industries. A resident of Denver, Colorado, Ben enjoys tennis, hiking and watching college football.
Ben Walker

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As an entrepreneur, you eventually get to the point where you need an extra pair of hands. It would be great to hire someone to help out with phone calls, emails or even redesigning your website. The problem is, you can’t afford to hire someone on full-time. That’s why many entrepreneurs hire freelancers. It is a great way to get the help you need while staying within your budget. Keep reading to see where to find a freelancer, and what qualities make them a good fit for your business.

Where can I find a freelancer for hire?

Freelance workers promote themselves on all kinds of different platforms. Specifically, there are websites for freelancers to better help entrepreneurs find the right person for the job. FlexJobs or Upwork allow you to create a free account where you can then post your job. These sites make hiring easy, as you can receive bids from those interested in the position. If you’re interested in “meeting” a candidate, you can extend an interview to the individual through the site. These websites can help you in finding a trustworthy freelancer.



They have top notch communication skills

A big reason why working with someone virtually scares entrepreneurs is figuring out how to communicate with one another. A freelancer who is a good communicator has experience with apps like Slack or Zoom that work to establish solid communication channels. The plus side to using these apps is that they record all of your conversations, so if an issue arises with your freelancer, you can always refer back to the conversation.

Also, hire someone who has a personality that you know you’ll get along with. Not all talk has to be about business. Forbes.com recommends treating a remote worker the same as an in-house employee: “Office workers crack jokes at the water cooler, and so should you on messaging apps. Use emojis or GIFs in an appropriate manner to include remote workers in the office fun.” In order to maintain a steady work flow, hire a freelancer who listens well and enjoys a good joke every now and again.

They are honest and have experience with your project

Freelancers are very competitive and they typically bid on multiple jobs at a time. Some even use a generic response to make things go quicker. Entrepreneur Magazine explains:

“There are a lot of highly skilled freelancers who stick to a specific task because that’s what they are good at, but there are also some who will bid on any project they can find.”

To avoid hiring the wrong freelancer, have them provide examples of their work related to your project. For example, if they are a blogger, ask for links to their published articles. How well a freelancer responds to your job post will give you a better idea if they are the right candidate for you.

They work well independently

Working virtually with someone requires going about managing and training them differently. Hiring a computer savvy individual who can take hold of your business model and has all of the necessary tools to complete projects on time is a must in this day and age. Confirm that they have a solid internet connection and a quiet space needed to be a productive contractor. Someone who has an office or a dedicated in-home office is a plus.

To make the training process go quicker, send your freelancer instructional videos or manuals if you have them. Set up a follow-up meeting so you can confirm that they did the trainings, or use a company like efront to onboard new contractors with exactly what you need them to learn in order to be the best they can be for you and your company. This also gives the freelancer an opportunity to ask any questions they may have. With the right processes and tools, your freelancer will be up and working in no time.


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They keep deadlines

Unlike hiring an in-house person, you typically won’t get a list of references confirming that you are hiring a responsible individual. With no one to confirm a freelancer’s work ethics, all you have to rely on is trust. Talking with them further will give you a sense of whether or not they are an individual that you can depend on to meet your quarterly goals.

Inc. says to set ground rules right off the bat: “This means clearly spelling out how many hours per week you expect them to work on your project, which tasks need to be met by which deadlines, how they are to complete specific work, etc.”

Stay on the same page by sharing a detailed calendar that includes any time periods when your freelancer is unavailable. A trustworthy freelancer is someone who is open to sharing their schedule with you, so you can set realistic deadlines.

When it comes time to hiring a freelancer, ask candidates lots of questions. You’ll get a better sense of their personality, work ethic, experience and reliability. Put freelancers through a series of tests to narrow down to the most honest people available on the web. Their skill sets and attention to detail will shine through, allowing you to pair up with the right person for you and your business.

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