Test-Driving Potential Hires With Freelance Work

Posted on July 21, 2013 by Tom L

Test DriveAsk any veteran hiring manager or personnel specialist what doesn’t work well when hiring new employees, and the conclusion will be the same: traditional hiring tools for finding good employee candidates stink. These include panel interviews, resume reviews, and standard form applications. Further, these tools are horrible at identifying potentially good hires, especially ones that will work proactively instead of waiting to be given a direction every five minutes.

Now imagine a hiring tool that allows an employer to test a candidate in real time conditions, producing real work under real conditions and business requirements. The information that kind of a test provides can easily filter out which job candidates can actually perform a given task or job and those that just say they can with a salesman’s demeanor. That kind of review exists literally every time small businesses hire freelance writers for spot work and content delivery.

By hiring a freelancer a business can contract both for a delivered one-time product as well as covertly run a potential candidate through a test of assignments that represent a real job opening review. While background checks are always a good idea in any situation, as well as confirming a person has the prerequisite education necessary, actually seeing how a person performs a challenge is far more telling. If the product and performance produced by the freelancer candidate don’t measure up, the employer can then move onto the next candidate, saving itself from a costly employment mistake. If the performance is adequate or great, the business doesn’t need to search further for more candidates, saving time and money.

The above said, freelance writers don’t necessarily line up at job fairs or send in resumes highlighting they are a currently available freelance writer. Instead, a small business has to look for them through resources where such writers and independent workers exist. This has its complications; some hiring services have rules about direct contact with freelancers made available through third-party platforms, not wanting to lose their star talent that they make commissions off of per freelance job.

However, there are a number of alternative website and newsrooms where a business can easily connect with freelancers and nail down potential candidates to test. Most of these can be found with a few minutes of search engine research. Further, such testing can be still be done through freelance hiring services, using the same platforms to contract for jobs without any permanent commitment or impression of actual long-term hiring. This approach protects both the employer and the freelancer, making sure the company doesn’t over-commit early and that the worker gets paid for work performed.

As a result, freelance performance may be the potential wave of future hiring, since the candidates and results it provides are far more predictive of potential employee performance than conventional hiring methods.

Tom L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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