From One Business Owner to Another: The Dos & Don’ts When Hiring Freelancers

Hiring freelancers can help you get mundane business tasks done in a timely manner. Meanwhile, as a business owner, you can also focus your time on more important things such as growing your business. Outsourcing tasks which are not in your area of expertise proves to be particularly effective when you want to be cost-savvy and increase productivity at the same time.

Why hire freelancers?

On your first venture as an entrepreneur, you may have found that everyday business tasks become a handful. Two months into starting an e-commerce business, To-Do lists can become endless and emails pile up in your inbox. There’s too much work to do but nothing ever gets completed and you can feel like it’s just a big waste of time. The answer is hiring freelancers.

The freelance industry is becoming more and more significant, mainly because they have given a great advantage to many different types of businesses. Freelancers are remote workers who take on projects as independent contractors. Unlike regular office professionals, you only pay them for work actually completed. They need not work for 8 hours a day or be at the office -- paid -- five days a week. A laptop, good internet connection, professional work ethics, and excellent communication with you and collaborators is more enough.

Outsourcing for the first time isn’t exactly all sweetness and light. After doing all the online research, some entrepreneurs are still wary of hiring freelancers for remote help. Everyone has their own experiences when it comes to hiring, and as a first-timer, it’s easy to get swayed by negative feedback.

This article will further enhance your knowledge of how to find the right talent and how to deal with them effectively. By the end of this reading, you can avoid the most common mistakes in recruitment through a list of DOs and DON’Ts.

The Dos.

Know who your ideal candidate is.

Before even looking for candidates to interview, you must first revisit your current business processes and identify which areas you need help with. Choosing the type of work you want to delegate includes understanding the responsibilities of each task.

If you know what you want, choosing the right freelancer will be easier. Establish your ideal candidate. Some tasks require 2 or more different skill sets and you need to specify the relevant experience levels you need for each one.
In terms of soft skills, your ideal candidate must embody the mission and vision of your brand. He/she should have the same passion for success as you do.

Probe. Ask these questions during the interview process.

You will never know unless you ask. You need to ask specific, probing questions during the interview to get the information you want. Here are some guide questions that you can use to examine whether a candidate is a good fit or not.

  • What are your skills?

  • Where does your expertise lie?

  • Have you worked in this niche before?

  • What relevant work experiences can you share?

  • How do you plan to take on this project?

  • How confident are you that you can do this task well?

  • What are your expectations from me as the client?

Make sure to set clear expectations.

The key to a great working relationship is being able to communicate clearly what each party wants. You need to begin by setting clear expectations of the type, quality and quantity of work you need from the freelancer.

They are professionals who can work with minimum guidance from you given that they know exactly what you need. They can stay for as long as you need them to if they can work with you without any issues.

Expectations, of course, should always be realistic. In terms of freelance rates, you can always do research. Find articles from established freelance experts within the niche you are looking for.

For timelines, it is best to ask the candidate their availability and compare it with your outlook. That way, they are compelled to adhere to the deadlines they have set.

Ask for referrals from friends and colleagues. 

Another challenge for entrepreneurs who are new to outsourcing is to know where to start. The easiest way to find freelancers is through online freelance platforms. They provide a large pool of talent for any type of business.

What most of us miss is using our personal network to source for freelancers. Your colleagues must have hired a freelancer once or twice to help them in old projects. Fellow business owners from your local community group may know a good staffing firm that will send you a 100% match. Ask around to meet seasoned freelancers with excellent track records, as recommended by entrepreneurs themselves.

Let a hiring expert do the work for you.

You started a business because you have crafted a product or an idea that only you know how to develop from the ground up. You are hiring freelancers because you need someone who knows what he/she’s doing and is good at it. At the end of the day, it’s always best to let the experts do the work for you.
Freelance platforms like FreeeUp introduce to clients the top 1% of freelance applicants because they’ve experienced the hassles of hiring and want to genuinely help businesses grow, just like they wanted to when they started outsourcing. The founders of this network are entrepreneurs themselves and have experienced the ups and downs in finding the right freelancer for their business. To help fellow owners, they have created this marketplace as a solution to the hiring dilemmas of clients and managing their remote workforce.

The Don'ts

Never go for quantity over quality.

Businesses always operate on a budget, but it doesn’t mean that you have to compromise by choosing quantity over quality.

Online freelance platforms have a network of talent from across the globe. A marketing expert from the US, for example, may cost more than a marketing specialist from Asia, but both can produce at the same level. Just make sure that they have experience with your target audience.

The same is true when hiring a creative freelancer who is multi-skilled in creating engaging graphics for your website, social media pages, and the like but is not as effective when writing the content for these images. You should be able to gauge whether you need one multi-skilled freelancer or a set who will work together to produce the desired results.

Don't settle for someone who isn't the perfect fit.

The most common mistake of business owners in hiring freelancers is settling for someone who is not the perfect fit for the task. Several factors such as budget and time constraint lead to this failure.

If you follow the DOs and DON’Ts in this article, you should be able to find the right freelancer to help bring your business to success.

Don't take communication for granted.

Communication is fundamental in every kind of business relationship, which a client-freelancer relationship definitely is. Productive collaboration will only happen if everyone understands each other. So, you must never take communication for granted.

Establishing communication channels, especially if you are working with remote talent, is a must. When hiring freelancers, always check for communication skills. Include in your expectations the need for weekly meetings so you can check their work progress and they can communicate any issues they might encounter.

Don't forget to meet their expectations as the client.

Every relationship is a two-way street and both parties must cooperate to make it work. As a client, you have responsibilities to the freelancer you will hire. For independent contractors, what you pay for is what you get. If you don’t follow through your obligations (i.e. Paying freelancer invoice diligently), you will lose the trust of your workers that may jeopardize your business operations.
Other than payments, clients also have the responsibility to provide all the needed tools and information for the freelancers to do their work. Everything should be established during onboarding to ensure a smooth working relationship.

Do not fail to recognize the true value of a freelancer.

Freelancers are professionals who have acquired their skills through training and practice. The will not be recommended by hiring experts and other clients if they are not good at what they do. Regardless of their skills, a client should be able to recognize the value a freelancer brings to his/her business.

Examples of valuing your freelancer include paying them right, acknowledging their contributions to the company, providing ways on how you can both grow together (E.g. Giving them free training or monetary rewards to be used for personal career development).

Get it right the first time.

Starting an e-commerce business involves a lot of work. Leverage hiring freelancers to help scale up your company in the most efficient way. Through outsourcing, you can save cost, time, and effort while you focus on developing the important aspects of your business.

Start by taking the first step. Invest in hiring the right person to operate areas in your business that is within your expertise. The pointers above will serve as your guide. Nevertheless, do not limit yourself with online articles. As I’ve said, if you want a sure-fire way to success, it is always best to let the experts do the work.
Need another set of experts to manage your e-store’s marketing? Let Emma and her team do the work for you! Contact us today and let us talk about your goals and plans.


Emma Schermer Tamir

Emma started weaving stories as soon as she could write. As co-owner and chief creative of Marketing by Emma, an international e-commerce copywriting firm founded in 2016, she’s helped more than 600 brands grow their businesses online. And when she’s not working, you can probably find her nose in a book with Pickle, her puppy, curled up next to her.

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