Hiring freelancers is a good way of maintaining business dealings while saving costs. It could mean working with freelancers on a one-off basis, or you may have an agreement that lasts weeks, months, or even years. Using a freelancer allows you the flexibility to only pay for what your business needs. The biggest problem businesses come across when using freelancers is that they can be hard to find, or don’t produce work to the level you had wanted. With the freelance market becoming saturated as more people turn to “side-hustles” or choose to become self-employed, there is also a lot of work to be done sifting through all the advertisements or applications When it comes to your business, you want the best. That’s why it’s important to know how to look for freelancers and where to find freelancers who are good at what they do. Take the guesswork and stress out of hiring by following these tips.
How can I find freelancers?
How you go about finding a freelancer depends on your business, connections, and the type of freelancer you are looking for.
The easiest place currently to find your next freelancer is online. Online freelancer catalogues often have information about the freelancer, examples of their work, and pricing plans to help you make your decision more easily. Some feature a rating system so other clients can recommend the best freelancers on the site as well. Some of the more popular sites to look at are Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. Be aware that these jobsites are popular for people who are just starting out. It might be harder to find people with highly technical or advanced skills.
Post on remote job boards
If you work remotely and are happy for your freelancer to do likewise, then remote job boards are a good place to advertise. FlexJobs and RemoteWorkHub are good places to start.
Use an agency
A lot of job agencies will have freelancers on their books. The advantage of using an agency is that they have already reviewed CVs and have specific industry foci or talent pools. Agencies also rely on you having a positive experience, meaning they are more likely to send you someone with the right skills and experience to complete the job well.
Use external connections
We all know someone who knows someone. Whether the connections are personal or business, reach out to people you know in your field or in the field you want to hire from. Often this will guarantee high quality work because contacts don’t want to let you down. Word of mouth and networking are still one of the best ways to find good workers.
Use internal connections
Beyond using your own contacts, you can also use internal connections. If the job you need fulfilled is similar to one already being done by one of your employees or workers, then there is a high chance they will know someone with the right skillset. Ask your staff if they have connections or if there is anyone they have worked with in the past whom they could recommend. A lot of degree-educated workers will have multiple contacts with people from university and they will have seen their work ethic and trajectory prior to entering the workforce.
Check portfolio sites
Portfolio sites are especially useful if you are looking for creative freelancers. Sites like Behance, Dribble, and Stack Overflow allow you to see a freelancer’s work and get an idea of their style and quality before you initiate conversation.
Advertise at places of education
Depending on the work you need done, you may be able to find freelancers at universities and colleges in your area. A lot of students are looking for work for income and experience and are willing to put in the work for a good recommendation. Reach out to your local places of education to find out which departments might be able to help. There are even possibilities for working alongside colleges when they have projects or assignments. These arrangements can be hugely beneficial as you have a workforce to choose from while making your business brand known.
Advertise within your field
Those same university students need somewhere to go once they have graduated. A lot of talented people will end up in “interim” jobs while they look for work they really want. Hunt down the lower-level employees in jobs in related fields and find out if anyone is looking for extra work. If the work you are offering will give them experience, then they will often be eager to take on extra work that might lead to something more or boost their future career prospects.
Turn to publications
If you have followed a writer, photographer, researcher, or anything similar on social media or in publications then track them down. A lot of publications and websites will use freelancers and will be able to share their contact details with you if you ask.
Advertise on your own social media
Your own social media is a great way to find freelancers who understand your brand. Use your following to find people who are as passionate about what you do as you are. It works out cheaper to advertise on your own social media and you will also be able to see any connections you might have with potential workers.
Where can I find good freelancers?
No matter where you look for your freelancer, you will want to hire someone with the right experience, skills, and expertise. Finding a good freelancer can take some trial and error and is not always a simple process. Because all businesses require different things from their freelancers it is difficult to give exact advice. Rather, follow these tips on how to search and then use the places listed above to find your freelancer.
Know exactly what you want from your freelancer. If it is something technical or outside of your area of knowledge, do some research so you know what questions to ask and what experience to look for.
Know exactly what you don’t want. If you want someone with very specific skills then you may want to limit your search to someone with more focused experience rather than someone with general experience across multiple fields.
Have a criteria prepared in advance for choosing your freelancer
Give clear instructions, style guides, and specifications to be sure the work you get is in line with what you need.