Insights From My Freelance Hiring Process

how to hire freelancers

If you’ve ever asked yourself what your customers are looking for when hiring a freelancer through a freelancing platform, then this may be the right article for you. I’m not going to pretend that I know what every person hiring freelancers thinks, but I did have had my fair share of experiences as a client on these platforms, so I can present you some of the things I look at when contracting someone.

So far, I’ve employed designers, programmers, translators, writers, SEO experts and social media specialists. I’m telling you this so you can have a better picture of my experience as an employer.

The First Step

After I post the job, I usually wait about two days so that I can gather enough applications. I don’t like rushing in hiring the first freelancer I see as I may be missing out on an even better one who didn’t get a chance to apply.

The Second Step – Sorting Candidates Phase A

The first sorting process usually refers to just eliminating the freelancers that have a feedback below 4-stars. I usually don’t even read the applications but just scan through them in order to see if they added samples or a portfolio (I always ask for this) and to check their English level. I go by the principle that if your English isn’t good enough, then you will not understand my requirements entirely, so there’s no point in hiring you.

The Third Step – Sorting Candidates Phase B

After eliminating everyone that’s below 4-stars and whose English isn’t good enough, I’m only interested in two things:

a) Their feedback

b) Their samples

I don’t just look at the feedback score. I usually read a couple of reviews that other clients left as they will tell me a lot of things about the freelancers:

  • Are they responsible?
  • Do they deliver on time?
  • Do they answer messages quickly?
  • Are they communicative?
  • Are their services high-quality?

So, the actual feedback usually beats the feedback score in this situation.

Samples & portfolio are important as I am always interested in seeing the previous results that the applicants were able to achieve (and I’m sure most clients are). The samples show me the quality those freelancers can deliver and if they are in line with my expectations. This is why I always tell you in my articles to present them as much as possible in your proposals.

Good samples/portfolio + good feedback = More jobs. It’s that simple.

To be honest, I rarely read the entire application. I only do this in case it’s hard for me to choose out of two-three freelancers which are equally skilled and I need to have a better idea about the people behind the monitors. And this brings us to…

Step four – When It’s Hard to Choose

It happened to me more than once to have to decide between two people with the same level of talent. Here’s what I did in this situation:

  • I read their applications (as stated above)
  • I looked to see if they’ve taken any tests and how they did on them
  • I requested more samples or asked a few more questions. Their answers to the questions usually help me find out more information about the freelancer’s personality.

Generally speaking, this is how my recruiting process goes. I’m not saying that every client does the same, as I’m sure that many people don’t, but I am confident that there are some similarities.

Below you can find the answers to a few more questions I may not have yet answered in this article:

Q: Do you have any preferences when it comes to the nationality of the freelancer?

A: No. As long as the freelancers are good at what they do and their feedback and samples are pleasing, they can live on the other side of the planet.

Q: Would you hire a good freelancer whose price exceeds your budget?

A: If that person is really talented, I am willing to add a few extra dollars to the initial budget as I am confident that the final result will blow me off.

Still, if the difference between my budget and the freelancer’s financial requirements is really big, then I would turn my attention to cheaper options.

Also, please keep in mind that I don’t like long applications and I’m sure most people don’t either. It’s really hard to go through them and they usually make me want to move on to the next proposal.

Bottom line, here is my advice as a client, for when you apply to freelance jobs:

  • keep your proposals short
  • work on your English
  • present your portfolio/samples with all your applications
  • get good feedback

Happy bidding 🙂 !

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