Every small business owner needs help running their business. But if you can’t afford to hire a team full-time, you can turn to a freelancer to pick up the slack. And with today’s technology, it’s never been easier to find the perfect freelancer.
Define The Project
The first step to finding the perfect freelancer is to define the project you need help completing. Doing so will help you focus on a narrow skill set which may be difficult to find at first, but will reduce the learning curve and get you up and running in no time.
Defining a project will not just clarify what you’re looking for, but also clarify what you expect from your freelancer. Take the extra step to clearly define benchmarks and KPIs that will determine if you continue the contract or find someone new.
Post The Job
Once you know what you want, you can identify the best resource for finding the perfect freelancer. Upwork, for example, is ideal if you need to communicate with a remote freelancer because the built-in messaging system makes it easy for quick questions and uploading files. But if you need someone right away, Guru allows you to read reviews from past employers of its more than 1.5 million members so you can make a decision quicker.
You may also decide that you need to hire a temporary agency. These agencies often specialize in specific skill sets; from Vitamin T for marketing professionals, to Creative Circle for design help. An agency will help you find the perfect freelancer, but you’ll pay a premium for the service.
One final note: Don’t forget to tap your network for additional candidates for your freelancing needs.
Prepare the Perfect Interview
Reviews, portfolios, and references are all well and good, but nothing beats a good interview. Take the process seriously by preparing specific interview questions that will help you determine their skills set, and working style. A service like Spark Hire will let you ask questions that candidates can answer via video in their own time. This can be especially useful if you’re interviewing someone several time zones away.
The interview questions themselves should be a mix of open ended questions, questions with a clear right and wrong answer, and behavioral based interview questions. Create a list of personality traits and skills you’re trying to hire for, and ask questions to try and determine if the candidate has them.
You may have loved a candidate and been impressed with their portfolio. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the most important step in finding the perfect freelancer; calling references. You wouldn’t spend a few thousand dollars on a restaurant without going online and looking at reviews, so why would you hire someone to help you grow your business without doing the same thing. Even if you use a website that has references, your business is too important not to call a few references to get a better sense of who you’re letting into your business life.