Hire Freelancers: A Beginners Guide

December, 08, 2016 by Guest Contributor author workhoppers

As a new business owner there are many things to worry about. Hiring permanent employees to help grow your business is on the top of that list. You don’t want to hire the wrong person for your business. But what about when you need to hire a graphic designer or a photographer for a special project? The first time can be scary.  Here are some tips to ease your mind and help you on your way to hire freelancers that are perfect for the job.

Do you need a freelancer?

If you are looking to fill a temporary project, then the choice to hire freelancers is the best way to go. You can hire freelancers for a few days or even just a few hours. This type of a short term hire is known as a gig. Freelancers are also perfect for longer projects or contracts. Another reason you may need to hire freelancers is if you are in need of some seasonal help. Usually this time is around the holidays when things tend to get a little busier.  Hire freelancers for gigs, contract, temporary, seasonal or even part-time positions.

Where do you begin?

Hire freelancers Where to begin

You are probably wondering how and where you can hire freelancers. Take the time to do the research and find all of your options. There are many job boards out there that specialize in helping you hire freelancers: such as Upwork, Outsource, Workhoppers etc. where you can find the right person for your job. Other options are temp or staffing agencies and online classifieds such as Craigslist.

What traits to look for when you hire freelancers?

Knowing what you are looking for in a freelancer will help you to narrow down your search. Create a list of the skills that are important to you in an employee. What kind of education and experience do you want? What traits do you want them to have? Here are a few you should add to your list.

• First, you want someone who can communicate well. Chances are, you are not going to see your new hire very much so you want someone who will continually update you on the progress of the project. Whether it is through skype, email, text, or a phone call you want someone who will communicate with you at least once a week until the project is completed. Poor communication can lead to mistakes and frustration on both sides. If you hire someone who is not local, then good communication will be even more important.

• Next, you want a team player. As a new business owner you want someone who will work as hard for your business as you do. The best way to ensure this will happen is to hire someone who has experience working in a team. This way when your new hire works with you or other members of your team it will go smoothly and the job will get done.

• Lastly, you want someone who has good time management skills. Few things are more frustrating than receiving a project weeks later than it was supposed to be due. Be upfront when you are hiring and let your potentials know your deadline expectations.

What should you look for in the Interview?

Freelance interview

Now that you have some idea of what you are looking for in a freelancer, it is time to start the interviewing process. These days most freelancers are found online, which can make it hard to get to know anyone well enough to know if they are right for the job. It is always best to meet face to face, whether or not this is possible, make sure that you do the following:

• Ask for references. This is very important because you want to be sure that whomever you hire has a good track record and will be able to deliver on whatever you ask of them. If your potential hire is not willing to give you references this is cause for concern.

• Check the freelancer’s portfolio. You cannot reliably choose someone for your project if you don’t know what they are capable of.

• If you can, give your potentials a test run. Give them a small job at first so that you can see if they will be able to handle a larger one. More often than not when you hire a freelancer you end up using them multiple times on other projects. You want to make sure that they can handle everything you throw at them, so give them a test run.

How much should you pay?

What did you get paid at your last job

This is the hardest question to address because there is no clear answer. You could be quoted between $3,000 and $25,000 for the same job. Yes, really. When this happens, it is natural to want to go with the cheapest option but, this could be a huge mistake. Often times the cheapest option can lead to disaster. Don’t just look at the price when choosing to hire freelancers. Choose based on a person’s experience and expertise.

If you are the one to suggest a price, then make sure that you don’t low ball those who are interested or they will flee. Offering a little bit more will be worth it to find the right person for the job. If you aren’t sure what you should offer, then look at what other companies offer and the rates at which freelancers are accepting projects.

Once you settle on a price, your new hire may ask for money upfront. Don’t be alarmed, this is actually quite common. However, be skeptical if they ask for a large amount or full payment before they start working. Work with the individual to come up with a payment plan that works for both of you.


When you hire freelancers for special projects it  can be particularly daunting. Once you get the hang of it though you will begin to figure out what works best for you. The first step is getting started.

Author Bio:

Built for teams

Micaiah Sowards is a writer for Built for Teams. Learn more about the new Built for Teams PTO Software and what it can do for your small or medium sized business. Simply intuitive HRIS software, it covers everything from recruiting and onboarding to employee requests and file organization. Created by Objective Inc.


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