Hiring remote freelancers to help grow your business is an exciting adventure. But it can be either a string of hiring horror stories, or make huge differences in your ability to focus on only the value adding activities of your company. Just like anything else worthwhile, there is a right way and a wrong way to find and hire the best online freelancers. If done incorrectly, you might get your own hiring horror stories to tell.
Today, we are talking to Connor Gillivan and Nathan Hirsch (founders of FreeeUp) about their hiring horror stories. These are the lessons they learned the hard way back when they first hired remote freelancers for their e-commerce company. In fact, these hiring horror lessons are part of the reason FreeUp was born. Connor and Nate wanted to give business owners the ability to easily hire quality remote freelancers right away, without having to endure any hiring horror stories of their own.
“We were super excited to post our first project and hire a remote freelancer for the first time,” Connor begins. “We didn’t know what to expect of the freelancer or how to set expectations once they were hired.”
Connor recounts his experience of hiring an individual who seemed passionate about the work and possessed the experience they were looking for. However, due to poor remote management skills, the freelancer ended up working 15-20 hours every day! The quality of work quickly degraded because of how much he was working. “It became more of an issue than a help to the company.”
Always hire through an established online hiring platform so that you get help managing freelancers and setting up expectations from the start.
Because online freelancers are working from remote locations, it is a lot easier for strange things to go on unnoticed until they start to become an issue. Nathan and Connor once hired a remote freelancer for a customer service position. “She seemed like a great fit, and we put her through the necessary setup. Throughout the first month, we noticed some fishy things going on, but we couldn’t figure it out.”
Eventually it became evident that the new remote freelancer was sharing her account with her twin. They would work the hours as it best fit them. Not only was this dishonest, but it led to inconsistent work and a poor relationship.
The bottom line is that if you notice something fishy going on, figure it out quickly before the consequences get worse. This remote freelancer may have thought it was okay to share work with her sister, but it led to poor performance. Make sure that your expectations are clear from the beginning to avoid honest mistakes and blunders.
Connor and Nathan are well aware that holiday seasons are crazy in the eCommerce world. They also knew they needed to ramp up their support through this time.
“We hired a group of people to help us manage our product pricing and inventory because holidays in eCommerce are crazy.”
But they forgot to set clear expectations for the new freelancers of just how crazy it could get and how much time each freelancer would need to be available.
Connor lets us in on what happened, “We had some of the freelancers disappear for days during the holiday season which really hurt our ability to run our Amazon store. It was a big mistake that we made, but it was also a hiring horror because they were just disappearing without notice.”
When you hire remote freelancers for busy times such as the holidays, be sure to always ensure their availability and responsiveness. Make sure their commitment is clear before hiring horror becomes a reality in your business.
While there are plenty of hiring horror stories to go around, you can be two steps ahead of the game by learning from the mistakes of Connor and Nathan. Take advantage of their lessons learned so that you don’t make the same mistakes. When you hire remote freelancers through FreeeUp, you can rest assured that many of the potential hiccups are already filtered out. For any issues that you do run across, you will have a group of people dedicated to sorting them out with you.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.
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