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What Makes a Great Freelancer: Hiring Tips for New Business Owners

There comes a point with running a business when you’re going to need some assistance in accomplishing tasks. Whether you’re a one-man show who has an increased workload or you have a small team but they don’t possess the skillset you need to complete the job at hand, freelancers are an economically wise solution to the problem.

What are Freelancers?

A freelancer is a self-employed individual who offers services to businesses. The services offered can vary depending on their skills but can include anything from clerical and administrative tasks to IT solutions, marketing, and financial support. Since freelancers work on a contractual or as needed basis, hiring them is often economically feasible to small businesses.

Screening Candidates

So what does the perfect freelancer look like? How do you weed out the good from the bad? With more and more individuals marketing themselves as freelancers, figuring out who really has what it takes will require a keen attention to detail and a few guides.

  • What Does Their Resume & Cover Letter Say – A resume and cover letter are meant to give you a glimpse into what the freelancer is like as a professional. Looking at guides and a free online cv template for anyone to use can give you an idea as to how a cover letter and resume should be structured. Ideally, you want to clearly be able to see their education, professional experience, and any highlighted skills that fall in line with what you’re looking for.
  • What Do Their Clients Say – Any freelancer who is serious about landing a job will make sure that they have testimonials about their service and/or a few clients that you can contact to get a review. What do they have to say about the services rendered? Were they happy? Are they still a client today?
  • Get Examples – Depending on the type of services you’re interested in receiving from a freelancer you should be able to see samples of their work. For instance, if you are looking to hire a social media manager, you should be able to see other social media accounts they manage to get an idea of their following. If you were looking for a web designer, you’d want to see examples of websites they’ve developed in the past in a portfolio.
  • Consider a Trial Project – Another screening method for finding the right freelancer would be to create a trial project similar to what they’ll be doing if they were to be hired for the job. Make sure that you’ve set up clear instructions on what you want from them and give them enough time to complete it. Based on the results of the project you can then determine who is best equipped to handle the job.
  • Connect with Them – While freelancers can live all over the world, having that “face to face” meeting at least once is important. It can give you a different take on who they are as a professional to determine whether they are best for the task at hand. Schedule a video conference at least once or twice prior to making a hiring decision. Be sure to have questions like an interview so that you can ask them things that you may not have found on their website, resume, or cover letter.

While a freelancer won’t be considered your employee, they will be completing work that will be a representation of your brand. It is important that you take your time as you look for the ideal candidate for the job. If you keep these steps in mind you should be able to hire a freelancer that will go above and beyond to help you improve your business.

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