Outsourcing 101: How to Hire Freelance Talent You Can Trust

While being a self-employed entrepreneur is exciting and typically rewarding, things can often get hectic. With enough success, you’ll typically hit a point that new projects and come up that you don’t have the time or capabilities to deal with. If you’re not looking to hire new employees, outsourcing to freelancers is an affordable alternative to provide your clients with high-quality results on work outside your niche. With one-in-three working adults being an independent contractor, it’s never been easier to hire specialists with expertise in a vast number of subject areas. Media pitching, search engine optimization, web development, accounting, graphic design, legal work, and marketing are just some of the many industries with thousands of freelancers readily available. While trusting someone you don’t know and expecting them to deliver high-quality work can be nerve-wracking, there are a plethora of ways to assure that you can rest easy knowing you’ve found the perfect candidate. Here’s a list to get started:

  1. Determine your scope of work: project objectives, the problems you’re addressing, as well as all of the tasks, duties, deliverables, and budget.
    • Outlining the scope of work will help you identify which areas of the business you want to improve. This will allow you to figure out what type of freelancer(s) you’ll need to bring on board for the project, and will also give everyone a clear direction on what the project entails.
  2. Determine minimum qualifications
  3. Post a job description
    • Effective job descriptions include a descriptive job title, the scope of work, budget/fee expectations, freelancer availability, and required skills.
    • Listings can be made on a wide array of freelance websites, such as Freelancer, Upwork, and many others that self-employed people actively scan for work opportunities.
  4. Ask for past work samples and references
    • Work samples will help you save time when it comes time to start interviews. Many freelance platforms enable applicants to upload their portfolios directly onto the site.
  5. Interview your candidates
    • Make sure to ask targeted interview questions specific to the job description, but also common questions to gauge their personality. Even though you won’t be working with them long term it’s good to set one another’s expectations. Here’s a helpful list from Indeed.
  6. Be clear with your budget and timeline
    • You should identify this in your scope of work, and it should be the most important to express to a candidate so they understand what you expect and how much you have to pay.
  7. Extend an offer, create a freelance contract and make sure you are meeting all of the legal requirements
    • Make sure your agreement states everything in the scope of work, create a Form 1099-misc and remember, freelancers usually pick their own hours and location.

Since most freelancers are short-term and project-based, the best thing you can do for them is to show your appreciation by recommending them to other companies or leaving feedback on their profiles. As long as you treat them right, chances are they’ll have positive things to say about your team as well!

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