Welcome to the age of freelancers. The past decade has seen an unprecedented rise in independent workers. Part of this trend is generational, as fewer Americans feel obligated to follow the traditional route of attending college, working the same job for 40–50 years, and then retiring with a pension. There isn’t anything wrong with that model, but it has never been one-size-fits-all.
Younger generations are more likely to view college and careers with scrutiny. If it works for them and offers value, they’ll commit. Otherwise, they’ll seek alternatives more aligned with their lifestyle and priorities.
The freelance life seems to be a match made in heaven for many workers, but let’s examine what it offers to those who employ them. It’s a two-way street, or else there would never be enough businesses willing to hire the tens of millions of Americans currently working as freelancers.
Hiring a Freelancer: The Essentials
Lock down the project: If you want to hire a specialist, you must clearly identify the project’s goals, budget, timeline, and required tasks.
Create a freelancer profile: Once you know what the job entails, you’ll understand the skills necessary to bring it to pass. Outline the qualifications for your desired freelancer, including experience, rate, and schedule compatibility.
List your job: Featuring clear details in your posting will always result in better candidate matches. You should also make sure to post the job on the most relevant websites, which will take some research.
Review the applicants: If you did a solid job on the previous step, you’ll enjoy this step much more. Pay close attention to past work experience and how well each candidate’s skills align with the job’s requirements.
Interview your top candidates: Perhaps a couple of freelancers will convincingly rise to the top of your list based on their applications. In most cases, you’ll want to interview the best 5–6 candidates. This approach allows you to contrast different personalities and skill sets in order to find your ideal match.
Further evaluation: Your interviews will often reveal the prime choice of freelancer. But you may find it beneficial to assign a test project to your top 2–3 candidates. This evaluation allows you to gauge their responsiveness and real-time abilities.
Remember the importance of due diligence as you go through the hiring process. Urgent timelines might occasionally prevent you from proceeding as carefully as you’d prefer, but you should always make sure you feel confident before proceeding to the next step in the process.
Hiring freelancers is no different from any other aspect of business—the more time you spend on planning and execution, the fewer issues there will be on the back end. This way, you’ll set your small business up for positive freelancer experiences and prime results.