The freelance economy is growing. There are over 50 million freelancers in the USA, according to a study commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union. The study also found that Americans are spending more time freelancing and technology is making it easier for people to find freelance work online.
As more companies increasingly hire agile talent and as projects become more collaborative, outsourcing talent (freelancers) has become a viable and efficient solution for many. However, finding the right freelancer to collaborate or work with can be a daunting task. Luckily, there are various steps you can take to make sure you hire the right person for the right job.
- Visit niche communities or websites
Depending on the job you need to be done, consider visiting the website of niche communities (there are websites specifically for designers, programmers, writers, accountants, etc.) or online job search platforms like Upwork, AngeList, or Fiverr.
Pro tip: before you reach out to anyone, make sure you have a clear definition of what needs to be done, the scope of the job, a timeline, and a budget.
- Ask your network
Ask those who work around you or have worked with you previously if they know of someone that takes on freelance projects. Referrals tend to be the best strategy in finding the right people to work with, especially if you ask someone who knows your work style.
If you work from a coworking space, ask fellow coworkers if they have worked with any freelancers before or if they are taking any extra projects at the moment.
- Ask for a portfolio
Before you hire someone or schedule an interview, ask them if they have a portfolio and whom they have worked with in the past. Having access to some of their work will give you a better idea if you are a good match.
- Schedule a call
Before you send over any work, make sure you take the time to schedule a call to get to know the person a little bit more. When hiring freelancers, it’s important that you click with and like them. If you don’t like the person or simply don’t feel a click during a call, chances are you won’t be able to work effectively together.
- Sign a contract (always)
Once you’ve found a freelancer you click with and like his or her previous work, start with the hiring process, starting out by sending a contract and if necessary, NDA agreements. Make sure the contract you send lays out the project expectations, responsibilities, timelines, and how the freelancer will be paid. Make sure both you and the freelancer have a signed copy of the contract.