• Sam Floy

6 Steps for Hiring the Right Freelancer

Good help doesn’t have to be hard to find. With online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, startups and small businesses now have the whole world to choose from to find that right person and the right price.


The experience can however be a little overwhelming.


Our team at Cofruition have created a simple six step guide to finding that right person online. It even includes a running example using Upwork. We imaginatively call it our System to hire someone good to delegate to.




In this post we provide an overview of the six steps and look at some of the philosophies behind our approach.



1. Write a job description

Before you can find the who you must know what they will do, how you will want them to do it, and how much you are willing to pay. Writing the job description is a process that forces you to narrow down what you want and need. It clarifies the details.


Clarity will help you find the right person. It will also filter out unsuitable candidates, which will save you a lot of time.


The basic structure of any job description we write is:

  1. About Cofruition

  2. Specific tasks the candidate will do

  3. Desirable characteristics

  4. An “Easter egg” to filter candidates by

For an example of our Virtual Assistant job description see System to hire someone good to delegate to.



2. Advertise the Job

We have found it best to focus on one to two platforms because:

  1. Tracking potential candidates and hired freelancers across multiple platforms can quickly become a logistical nightmare

  2. The platforms all tend to work a little differently, which means you have to devote time in learning how to maximise the benefit of each one

  3. You will find that one or two platforms specialise in or are popular for particular industries, e.g. The Writer Finder is popular for content writers and 99designs is popular for graphic designers

Play around with a few of the platforms and check out their fee structures. See which platform you like (we use Upwork).



3. Filtering applicants

Hopefully your job ad has generated a large list of candidates to sort through. It is a good problem.


We have found a good systematic filtering process can save a lot of time in narrowing down the field. A system will also help you to ensure you are not straying from your job description in selecting a candidate. Save your gut for the final shortlist.


Lastly, a good system can be reused again and again while being refined over time. More time saved with improving results.


In our System to hire someone good to delegate to we go into the detail of what filters we use.



4. Making a decision

Hopefully any tests, trials and communication you have had provides you with enough information to make a decision.


Also compare the final shortlist against your original job description. Don’t lose sight of what you said you originally needed.

Finally, Use your gut. We find that there will be some candidates that you naturally find yourself in sync with when you communicate, and who are asking smart questions.



5. Onboarding

Once you have selected the final candidate, you need to bring them up to speed with how you work and with what they will be working on. Once again a systematic process is useful.


Remember good onboarding works both ways. It helps you get the best out of the freelancer and helps them to have a good experience with you, increasing the likelihood of a long-term partnership (if desired).



6. The First Task

The first task is really an extension of the filtering and onboarding process.


It provides the truest test of the freelancer while helping you to lay down the foundations for future successful work together.


Remember that expectations, communication, and feedback are key.



Conclusion

If you are doing the process for the first time, rest assured that it is a skill that you can improve upon and if you’re a veteran, we hope you learnt something new.


If you need more detail on any of the six steps then please remember to check out our guide: System to hire someone good to delegate to.


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