Fishing for Freelancers: Your Guide to Hiring the Talent You Need
The modern economy is undergoing a revolution: the rise of the gig economy. Instead of relying on salaried employees, companies are turning to freelancers for writing, editing, translating, and other skilled jobs. But as convenient and valuable as freelance services are, finding a good freelancer can be a headache. With this proven strategy, you can quickly select the talent you need to boost your brand:
Step 1: Define
Whenever you’re looking for a freelancer, start by defining the type of person who can do the job. Say you need them to write online marketing content; they’ll have to understand SEO. Similarly, if you’re browsing for a translator, you’ll need someone who has immersed themselves in both languages. You should also think about how important speed and accuracy are, so you can pick a professional who achieves the right balance of both.
Once you’ve decided what kind of freelancer you need, estimate the value of the work they’ll be doing. You need to keep this number in mind throughout the search process. Otherwise, you could become so focused on hiring someone with a certain set of characteristics that you promise them the moon—even if their work isn’t worth a single satellite!
Step 2: Post
After defining what you’re looking for, you need to synthesize this information into a freelance forum post. If you’re hiring for a single job, this post should be a description of that job. But on many fora, you have the option of posting a casting call, or a request to form a long-term working relationship. In either case, keep the post:
- Concise– Convey the message in as few words as possible. Freelancers have to compare lots of job offers, so the quicker they can read yours, the more likely they are to respond to it.
- Specific– Be as specific as you can about what you’re looking for, how you’ll be paying them, and what information they should submit back to you.
- Open– While you should give candidates some idea of the skills and experience you’re looking for, make it clear that you’re open to many different kinds of candidates. The person you hire may not be whom you expected, so you want to get as many applicants as possible.
Once you’ve written and uploaded your post, wait for a large pool of candidates to get back to you. Then it’s time to:
Step 3: Review
The final step is to review all the candidates who apply and narrow them down. You can immediately eliminate anyone who doesn’t have the requisite skills or who demands more money than you can offer. Beyond that, opt for candidates who show a passion for the specific work you want them to do. You should also select people who have broad experience over those who merely have a lot of experience. If someone has a history of succeeding with lots of different kinds of assignments, that means they have the flexibility and creative thinking to do well with yours, no matter what challenges come up along the way.
Andrew S is skilled in academic, journalistic, and promotional writing, as well as historical and political research, Search Engine Optimization, social media marketing, and Google AdWords advertising. He is proficient in Portuguese and Spanish, and literate in French.