Did you know 35% of the workforce are freelancers? The top organizations around the world are discovering the benefits of hiring freelancers who work in graphic design, writing, healthcare, human resources and consulting. Since freelancers are not company employees, you will not have to cover their vacation pay, employee benefits, and sick leave.
If your company is considering finding freelancers to work on-site or from home, here are some effective ways to find top talent.
As a freelancer, I search for work opportunities on freelance websites. A few sites to consider are Freelancemyway, Upwork, and Guru. They offer a list of freelancers who have a variety of skills, along with a profile showing their work experience, education, online portfolio and feedback from other companies that have worked with them in the past. Freelance websites are designed to assign work, pay and track a freelancer’s progress and send payment through the website’s platform.
Freelancers use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites to post their portfolio, to join conversations with other freelancers and to network. The use of hashtags (e.g., #freelancewriter) can help you find active professionals online. On social media, there are niche groups freelancers join to connect with other people in their field. Through these groups, a human resources professional can review conversations and source talent.
By posting jobs on Glassdoor, Indeed, or Monster you can attract freelancers across the U.S., and even worldwide. It is common for human resource professionals to add the words “remote, work from home, telecommute” as a location to make it easier for freelancers to find these job postings.
If the job requires the freelancer to work in-house, an can be used to learn about the applicant’s workplace requirements and expectations from an employer.
A Google search for freelance professionals in your area is another reliable way to find a freelance worker. You can review their online portfolio before calling them for a telephone discussion about a job opportunity. A Google search that results in a freelancer’s website on the first page may indicate potential clients frequently visit their site.
The questions you ask in a freelance job interview are different than those for a potential employee. In addition to reviewing freelancers’ work samples and the experience they list on their résumé, use a test as a surer way to understand their capabilities. A pretest will save time, money and effort and prevent you from hiring the wrong freelancer for a job. Pretest results can give you a short list of 3 – 5 candidates to call into the office for an interview. Again, I recommend requesting at least three professional references of previous employers or clients.
You must provide a contract to freelancers to prevent misunderstandings. For example, you would stipulate in writing the expectation that, for marketing writers to receive an increase in their hourly rate, the content they write must result in an increase of revenue for your company for a designated period of time. Specific contract language like this can prevent a dispute if a quota is not met and writers request more pay. It is best to consult a lawyer in your state or province to determine contract language that will cover all the components needed for your line of business.
We hope this article helps you find top talent in the freelance industry. The goal is to find a freelancer who has time to complete your work in a professional manner and requires minimal micromanaging to do the job. Freelancers treat their lifestyle as a business and the serious ones deliver high quality of work at a fraction of what it costs to hire a full-time employee.
Makeda Waterman is an online journalist with writing features on CNBC Make It., Yahoo Finance News and the Huffington Post. She also runs an online writing business with 3.5 years of experience.