When hiring freelancers, there are a number of things clients can do to maximise their chances of hiring the right freelancer for them. As with any hiring process, there’s never a guarantee you’re going to get things spot on every time, however, with these tips & tricks, hopefully you’ll improve your success rate moving forwards.
Learn from previous hiring processes
How have previous freelancers performed in the business – is there something you wish you had asked them at the interview, now that you’ve worked with them for a few weeks/months? Hiring processes should be a learning process for employers as well as candidates, with important takeaways being integrated into future processes.
When things do go wrong with freelance hires, it’s important to try to understand what safeguards can be brought in during the interview process to avoid repeat situations.
Learn from current employees/freelancers
What do current employees/freelancers say could be improved in the hiring process? It’s amazing how many clients don’t tap into this vital knowledge pool. Current employees will give you candid/unfiltered information. If you have any freelancers on site, they should be your first port of call when it comes to refining your interviewing process.
Spend time creating a proper project brief
Given the quick turnaround times involved in most freelance hiring processes, it’s often easy to skip past the step of creating a proper job brief. Sometimes, you’re just desperate to get someone on site as soon as possible. This creates a mismatch between freelancer and client expectations, which leads to a number of challenges around how & what work is delivered.
Create milestones for every project
Milestones create an element of accountability for both employers and freelancers. If it’s clear what’s expected in the project, set against a timeline, both parties are reassured that they’re working towards the same goals at a pace that’s agreed upon. Even having a rough outline will be beneficial to all involved.
Milestones also help break a project into digestible ‘chunks’, which helps timeline/map out how the project should be tackled. For instance, instead of creating a brief that only says ‘freelancer needed for a market entry project in China’, add a little context around what the market entry strategy will involve (preferably in order). You can then set milestones against this. This could include a competitor analysis, internal/external market forces to factor in, logistics, etc. You can then discuss prioritisation of each task and you’ll have a clear list of executable tasks to work against.
Don’t forget to sell your business, as well as the project
Freelancing is on the rise and the volume of projects is increasing month on month. This rise in supply means freelancers now have far more choice for the type of work they choose to pursue, compared to even a few years ago. This means employers need to differentiate themselves versus competitors to capture the best talent in the market. So if you have any USPs in your business, be sure to mention it in the job description as they can sometimes tip things in your favour.
Quite often freelancers like to establish long-term relationships with the clients they work with. That’s why it’s essential clients sell their long-term vision for the business, not just short-term projects. This enables freelancers to look past only immediate projects. They’re more interested in your business, which is far more likely to get them over the line, compared to selling just a single short-term project
So there you have it! A few tips and tricks to help improve your freelance hiring success rate. As with many aspects of business (& life), all 5 of these tips revolve around effective communication (both written and verbal), so make sure you always remain receptive to improving your own hiring processes – no process is ever perfect!