Over the years, outsourcing has become a viable solution for entrepreneurs seeking help in carrying out a variety of tasks. While it’s a no-brainer for one to look for skills and experience, finding “the right fit” should also be a priority if you want to remain competitive.
The big question now is “who is the right fit?’
Finding the right person is essential especially if you’re looking to work with a freelancer long-term. Skills and experience will never be enough if your personalities and attitudes don’t jive. Unfortunately, finding the right match is easier said than done.
You have to take into consideration that hiring someone takes time. You wouldn’t want to waste all your efforts just to go back to the drawing board because the person you found doesn’t fit, would you?
So how do you find the perfect freelancer for your business needs? The following steps will serve as your guide.
If you want to find the right fit, it all begins with a clear and specific work posting.
You have to know exactly what you’re looking for and why you need to hire a freelancer in the first place. If you’re looking for a blogger, for example, you need to identify how they can help.
Clearly, you need them to write blog posts on a regular basis but is that all they’re going to do? Do they need to come up with topics or will you be the one providing them?
Are they required to meet a minimum number of words per post? How much are you willing to pay for a certain number of words? Are they also responsible for sourcing images, proofreading, editing, and SEO?
You need to have all of these figured out right from the get-go because not all freelancers are willing or capable of doing all these tasks.
The point in hiring a freelancer is to help ease up your load. It would be pointless to hire someone if they’re not up to your requirements.
Being specific with your requirements will help you filter candidates easily because they know what they’re getting into. The more freelancers know what the role requires, the bigger your chances of landing one who will fit perfectly.
By posting an organized, detailed, and well-crafted work post, you are already one step closer to hiring the right fit.
There are a lot of things to consider in choosing the right fit. Before conducting interviews, take the time to go through each of the candidate’s profiles.
Some freelance marketplaces share their freelancers’ profiles which is a good place to start. More than the skills which you’ve already probably assessed, you’d want to read through the feedback past clients have left for them.
Do they have a good completion rate? Do their previous clients have good things to say about working with them? Is their overall reputation impressive enough?
Make sure to also go through their portfolio. Check out the quality of their past work and see if they fit what you’re looking for.
It’s important to get as much information about the candidates as possible so you can have a better idea of how they were like in the eyes of their past clients. Remember that hiring comes at a cost. Freelancers should at least live up to the rates they’re asking so make sure to do your due diligence.
Speaking of rates, try not to go the cheaper route as much as possible. Be open to freelancers with higher rates because more often than not, they are the ones of higher quality.
Just make sure to vet them properly with research and background checks similar to what we mentioned above. What’s the use of saving a few pennies if you’re hiring someone who’s not capable.
If you are hiring long-term, the more you should not consider going the cheaper route because you’ll end up with more problems than finding a solution.
It goes without saying that the interview is the most crucial part of the hiring process. This is where you can finally separate the good apples from the bad which is why it needs to be properly planned.
Having a conversation with the candidates will allow you to go beyond their resumes and get inside their heads. A 15 to 20-minute session should be more than enough to give you an insight into how they will be once you’ve hired them.
That being said, you need to make sure to ask the right questions. The right questions, in this case, don’t have anything to do with skills or experience.
While it’s not prohibited to ask skill-related questions during an interview, it would work to your advantage if you focus more on the intangibles.
One of these intangibles is in terms of attitude. Ask them questions that will highlight their behavior towards certain situations.
Are they open to criticism? Why do they believe they can handle the role? How do they handle failure? Are they still reliable despite a full workload? How adaptable are they to changes?
The answers to these questions will give you a better idea about their work attitude as well as their decision-making. Knowing these will help you gauge whether or not you can see yourself working with them long-term.
Interviews also allow you to uncover traits that may align (or not align) with your culture. This is very important especially if the freelancer will be working with other freelancers in your team.
You need to at least see if they display traits that are desirable and appropriate for a collaborative environment. You can best capture all of these through a video interview.
Poor communication is a productivity-killer so make sure to put the freelancer’s communication skills to a test as early as possible.
Communication doesn’t have to be all verbal so you need to go beyond what they say during the interview. In fact, you should be paying attention to how they communicate right from the beginning.
Did they promptly respond to the emails you sent? Did you have to follow-up before you heard back from them? How many times did they ask to reschedule the interview?
How they respond will give you a better idea of how they’d be like once you’ve actually hired them. If they took your patience to the edge just to secure an interview, it may not be worth it to hire them.
When it comes to communication, you need to be looking for someone who asks a lot of questions. The questions should be relevant, of course, and not just brought up for the sake of asking something.
Communication is especially important if you’re looking to hire outside of the United States. You have to take into account the cultural differences that can easily be misread by one another.
The different communication styles and sensitivities can become a problem if they’re not addressed immediately.
When it comes to communication, you want someone who has a sense of urgency. You don’t need someone who falls off the radar just when you need them.
You need someone who can make things easier for you, not someone who will add to your headaches.
There’s a reason why apps and software have trial versions and that is for you to determine if you’re making the right investment.
It’s pretty much the same when working with freelancers. You need to test them out so you can find the right fit and the best way to do this is via a test project.
Start with a small project so you can see them in action. This will put everything we talked about on display so you can decide whether they’re ready for the bigger projects in the future or not.
This small project will allow you to observe how they communicate, how good they are in following instructions, and if they’re sensitive to deadlines among others.
The test project will also help you uncover more. For one, you will be able to tell how open they are to change and how adaptable they are.
Do they adjust to the demands of the business? Are they open to doing things the way you do them? These are crucial because instead of helping out, you may end up spending time correcting their work which defeats the purpose of outsourcing.
If you hired a graphic designer, for example, you’d want them to comply with your present standards as much as possible. If you need the files to use your brand colors and be in JPEG format, that’s what they should deliver.
It’ll be a waste of time if you always have to point these things out every time, don’t you think? If they’re not good at following instructions and like doing things their way, you won’t be needing them even if they have the best skill set available.
Remember that you hired them to make things easier and not to make things complicated.
Hiring a freelancer to help you grow your business is a smart decision.
Why would you shoulder all the responsibilities of running a business when you have people who are considered experts in their given field.
By adding a freelancer to your business, you are getting someone who not only takes the pressure off your shoulders but also brings in expertise that can contribute to business growth.
Which is why it’s imperative for you to get the right fit. Someone who will blend perfectly with you and your team apart from having the skills and experience.
The steps provided should serve as a guide for you to find that freelancer who will fit your needs. If you are hiring freelancers for the first time, we suggest you follow the tips above so you can save time and money.
As a business owner, you should be spending most of your time on growing the business and finding opportunities. Finding the right fit will allow you to do these, giving you more time to spend on your personal life. Something hardworking entrepreneurs rightfully deserve.
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