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10 Tips: What To Look For When Hiring A Freelancer

Freelancer ElanceFor many businesses today, hiring a freelancer is more economical than employing full time staff. Whether you are looking for a copywriter, a programmer, virtual assistant or a web designer, there are some essential factors to keep in mind.

1. Level of Experience

When hiring a freelancer for your project, consider how long they have been working in their field. If you have a simple web design project for example, hiring a worker with a year of experience may be appropriate. If you are looking at a more complex programming project, a more experienced freelance developer is suitable.

2. Price

In as much as you want to save on costs, be careful not to compromise on quality. Be cautious of freelancers who offer very low rates; the low rates may reflect the poor work they might provide. When hiring a contractor, check for their qualifications first and measure this against their asking price to see if it is worth it.

3. Reviews

What are past clients saying about the provider? Do a background check to see if the freelancer has done a good job in the past. If you are outsourcing through Elance you will find the star ratings helpful. Be sure to ask the provider for customer recommendations if you are hiring offline.

4. Previous work

When hiring a freelancer check their portfolio to get a sense of their working style. A presentation of their most recent work will allow you to judge whether the provider will be able to fulfill the requirements of your project.

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5. Working Style

If your project is a collaborative one that requires steady communication and exchange of ideas, you need to hire a provider who can work collaboratively. Some projects, such as simple copywriting, may not require much collaboration while web designing will require this type of working style.

6. Availability

When looking for a freelancer, consider their present workload, their working hours, and schedule. Will they have adequate time for your project? Do their working hours and yours compliment well? Hire a provider who is not too loaded with other projects so that he will pay close attention to your own project.

7. Geographical location

It is important that you hire someone who can understand your language and other cultural nuances. For example, if you are looking for a copywriter for an Australian website, an Australian freelancer may be able to produce copy that your Australian audience can relate with, better than an Indian writer may be able to.

8. Understanding of Your project

The provider must demonstrate an understanding of your project requirements. Look at their proposal or bid; it should show that they grasp your specific project and that they have the skills to carry it through. If the provider responds to your project with a standard template response, it could be a bad signal.

9. Network

A well-networked freelancer could be a plus for you. If you are hiring a web designer who can refer you to photographers, a programmer or a copywriter, this could save you precious time you could have spent looking for these different providers to work on your website.

10. Payment agreement

While hiring a freelancer some providers will require you to pay in advance while others will prefer to complete the project first. Be wary of providers who want upfront payment—they can easy fail to deliver even after you pay them. Elance, for example, provides a good escrow funding service, so both parties can be protected.

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