At some point during the life of your business, the question will arise “should we hire a freelancer?” This is a great question! It means your business is growing and needs an additional set of hands to take on surplus projects. But outsourcing can be tricky, stressful and even risky if you don’t go about it the right way.
In this article, we’ll discuss the DO’s and DON’Ts of outsourcing work to ensure a safe, productive, and professional working relationship between your business and the freelancer.
DO use websites like Upwork and Fiverr to find a freelancer
Finding a freelancer has never been easier thanks to websites like Upwork and Fiverr (to name a few). From finding freelancers to writing up contracts, invoicing and communicating, they’re a one-stop shop for all your outsourcing needs. Websites like Upwork even have time trackers with built-in screenshot capabilities to ensure the freelancer is doing his/her job. If you want a low stress way of finding top talent, go this route.
DON’T just hire the lowest bidder
When using freelance sites like Upwork, where freelancers submit “bids”, don’t just hire the lowest bidder. Experienced freelancers know their worth and will charge more for their services, but you’ll get better quality work. Inexperienced freelancers will bid their services lower, but their work might be subpar. This isn’t to say that all newbies are unskilled or that all “experts” are skilled, but your standards for hiring should go beyond their fee.
DO hire freelancers with proven experience in your industry
When posting a job ad be sure to clearly state in the description that only those with proven experience in your industry will be considered. This will help filter out unqualified applicants. This option is best for business owners in more niche or technical industries, that require specialized experience.
DON’T hire someone who can’t show you work samples
This is a HUGE one…if applicants can’t show you proof of their work, don’t hire them. As we mentioned above, in your job description, clearly state that freelancers without samples will not be considered. This also helps to filter out unqualified candidates.
DO require freelancers to submit screenshots with their invoice
Like we mentioned in the first section, some freelance websites have time-trackers with built-in screenshot capabilities. If you don’t use one of these sites, be sure to tell whoever you hire that they must submit screenshots with every invoice. This ensures transparency and protects you from having a freelancer simply let the time tracker run.
DON’T start work without a signed contract
This may be last on the list but it’s first in importance. Do NOT start working with a freelancer without a clearly defined, SIGNED contract. Not only is this the professional thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Contracts give you and the freelancer confidence that the other person will hold up their end of the bargain and legal footing should they not.
Outsourcing fosters growth by ensuring you never have to turn down a client because there aren’t enough people to do the job. So, be cautious, be professional and be smart so that outsourcing works for you and not against you.
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