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How To Hire & Manage Freelancers Effectively

You may need freelancers to do work that you cannot do or don’t want to do. 
 
A good freelancer is every bit as valuable as a good employee. Putting the extra time and effort into hiring a good one can have a significant positive impact on your day-to-day life. Of course, the opposite is also true.
 
Let’s learn how to manage freelancers effectively to achieve optimal results.
This is what you need to do to hire a great freelancer:
 

Hire A Freelancer

 
Create A Job Description or Statement Of Work
Determine the objectives, responsibilities, and timeline for the work you need the freelancer to do.
 
Clearly define projects, deliverables, milestones, timing, budget, etc.
 
If you’re planning to use a freelancer in a front-line role where they will communicate directly with clients you need to make sure that your freelancers have excellent “customer facing” skills.
 
Qualifications
Determine the minimum background, qualifications, experience, certifications, and specializations.
 
Freelance Sites
I recommend using Upwork.com for most freelance jobs. Check out their guide on how to manage freelancers. Freelancer.com is also a good option but this one is better for tech freelancers and not so useful for other categories.
 
Create the listing
You will need to include:
  • A descriptive job title: Remember that freelancers will be scrolling through a massive number of jobs. Try to use a title that will stand out and appeal to the type of person you want to hire.
  • Statement of work: Include enough information for the freelancer to get an understanding of the general requirements.
  • Qualifications, skills, experience: Keep in mind that you will likely use this criteria to narrow the field after you start receiving responses so make sure that you include the “actual, real criteria” that you want as opposed to generic criteria for similar jobs.
  • Budget: This is optional but it can give freelancers an idea of what they will be dealing with and it can be a deal breaker or a deal maker for some freelancers.
  • Fee expectations: You need to provide a guide for what you are expecting to pay the freelancer.
  • Availability and Deadlines: Freelancers obviously work for more than one client at the same time so you need to be clear about what you need them to do and when you need them to do it.
 
Screen Applicants
Screen the applicants and narrow the field down to 3-5 by using the criteria in the job description. You can do a pre-interview by asking them questions on the platform that you are using to hire them. This might help you to narrow it down to 2-3 applicants.
 
Interview
You can do an interview by using a messaging service like Skype, a regular phone call, or a video conference service like Zoom or in person. This just comes down to your personal preference.
 
Pro Tip
This is my “pro tip”. I narrow the field down to two or three and do very brief interviews. Then I ask the candidates to do a paid test project. This usually consists of:
  • Work that will take a few hours to complete (it’s a “paid” test so keep the budget low)
  • Work that needs to be done anyway
  • Work that involves using the skills I need
  • Work that allows me to “test drive” the experience of working with this person
 
I hire a lot of freelancers over 10 years and I have reached a point where I don’t hire anyone without making them do a test project.
 
Freelancer Agreement
The single most important point to be made here is that you need to ensure that your agreement includes terms that clearly state that:
 
“All intellectual property rights relating to any work product created by the freelancer (for this project) belongs to [insert your business name]”.
 
If you don’t want to use a formal agreement, at least make sure that you get a written response (e.g. by email) from the freelancer confirming that they agree with the above statement.
 

9 Tips About How To Manage Freelancers Effectively

 

1. Build relationships with your freelancers

2. Define project details

3. Provide proper documentation

4. Set expectations and a budget

5. Streamline communication  

6. Consider time tracking

7. Use project management tools

8. Include freelancers in team building activities

9. Provide feedback

 

If you will use freelancers to deliver services for your clients, check out our guide about how to deliver services effectively.

 

Download Our Free ‘Start A Business’ Guide

Use our “Impact Entrepreneurship” checklist to start your business and make the world better.

  • Adam Radly

    Founder
    Founder of IIMAGINE. More than $100M raised. TEDx Talk about passion > 1 Million views. Founder of World Reconciliation Day with Nelson Mandela. Founder of One Direct Democracy.