FreeUp’s freelancer vetting process is, in a word, thorough.
We’re not the only ones who think so. In fact, an LA Times article about FreeUp said that, if onboarded, freelancers have access to a wealth of well-paying jobs.
It also compared our screening process to “going through airport security.”
But when your promise to your clients– your value proposition– is access to the top 1% of freelance talent, applicant screening is crucial.
Thing is, what we look for when we onboard freelancers is what any business owner should look for when hiring their own.
And we know how many questions you have– we work with thousands of clients, who know they need to find great freelance talent, but aren’t sure where to start.
That’s what I’m here to talk about today– every single thing FreeUp does to make sure we’re only bringing on the best of the best. I want you to do exactly what we do, because it works. I also know that hiring qualified freelancers is a cost-effective way to massively grow your business.
Grab a notepad, get those copy and paste keys ready, bookmark this blog. Steal our methods for your own hiring purposes (of course if you hire through FreeUp, we’ve already done the heavy lifting for you).
Either way, it’s time for a crash course on how to hire the world’s best freelancers.
FreeUp’s onboarded 7,000 freelancers (and counting!).
They’ve all gone through our applicant screening process (which means we’ve screened about 700,000).
Here’s everything we do, step by step:
I’m going to break down each of these steps so that you can use what makes sense for your business and your freelance hiring process.
A resume is not enough evidence to hire a freelancer, but it’s a good starting point to determine if you should move forward with a candidate.
I use freelancer resumes not as reasons to throw an applicant into the yes pile, but as a disqualification tool.
Here’s what you should look for when reviewing resumes:
One of my old bosses shared this creed with me when we were hiring together: “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.” That’s my M.O. when reviewing resumes.
This tool is an absolute game-changer.
One, because it helps you determine whether or not a freelancer has had good experiences with former clients. Two, because it shows you whether or not they’ve had freelance experience. Three, because, well, people can fudge their resumes (I know we want to trust that everyone’s telling the truth, but it happens).
Here’s what we do:
This hack also allows us to know we’re only bringing on quality, but at scale. I particularly recommend it if you’re hiring for a position you’re not familiar with. If you don’t have experience hiring a UX designer, reading positive reviews from former clients can help with your decision.
Also, freelance experience is crucial (we learned this one the hard way). There’s more to successful freelancing than expertise in an industry. Communication, time-management, project updates, setting up a Scope of Work— these are all vital parts of your working relationship.
An experienced freelancer will be old-hat at these. You won’t have to worry about navigating new waters with a novice.
There are necessary traits I need in FreeUp freelancers, and some won’t always come up in a resume or cover letter.
That’s why I love (and encourage you to use!) questionnaires when hiring freelancers. They allow you to hone in on these things right away, and you don’t waste resources interviewing an applicant who won’t be a good match.
Here are examples of what ours includes:
The questionnaire has given us the ability to hire much more efficiently. We’ve got an amazing crew of recruitment specialists on FreeUp. I’m not going to waste their time interviewing unqualified candidates.
Gil Allouche, CEO of Metadata.io said on Forbes that, “You can have a fully functioning business with a poor company culture, but I’ve found that a company’s longevity and enduring success will depend on the people.”
Companies with happy employees also beat their competitors by 20%. There’s hard evidence that you need to be focused on your company culture.
This applies to your freelance hire. A good fit for you or your company is based on more than experience and skill. You also want a “culture match.”
Your freelancers will be integrated into your teams and their processes. Don’t hire someone you’ll dread communicating with (or who isn’t good at communicating in the first place).
That’s why we send every single freelancer who gets to this stage a “Community and Culture Course,” with an accompanying quiz.
Things we include:
I see people make this mistake all the time– they think freelancers exist as an island. They don’t. Make sure your freelancers know, and respect, your culture.
(Plus, if the freelancer makes it to the interview, they’ll already have a good idea about what you represent, which generally leads to a more meaningful interaction).
If you take anything from this article, please let it be this: do not skip the interview process.
As mentioned before, soft skills are important. So is your ability to communicate well with the freelancer. Having a video interview (we use Zoom) is the best way to get a gauge on how well you’ll get along, and how they’ll get along with the team.
Here are freelancer interview green flags:
Here are freelancer interview red flags:
Here are some freelancer interview questions, for reference.
This isn’t fun to mention, but, unfortunately, it’s relevant. There are people who apply to freelance jobs who “pose” as other, more successful freelancers. A video interview helps weed these candidates out, keeping your business secure.
This is a quick list to get an idea of some things you should think about collecting.
You should either work with your HR department or seek legal counsel regarding the above if working with freelancers is new to you.
If you’ve read this article, you probably have some needs for your business that need to be met. And you’re considering hiring freelancers to help meet those needs (awesome!).
This step-by-step guide will help you make sure you’re not only bringing freelancers with relevant experience, but freelancers who can seamlessly integrate into your team.
And if you don’t want to go through this hiring process, let FreeUp do the work for you! We’ve done the vetting already. All you need to do is put in a job request, and we’ll send 3-5 pre-vetted freelancers who are a perfect match right over.
Need some personalized help? You can also book a call with us here!
You’ve got a lot on your plate, and we can help take it off, including finding the help you need.
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