Freelancing has gone from “niche” to “trend” to basically a worldwide standard in the last ten years. Whether you are a small business owner or the CEO of a huge corporation, the thought of working with freelancers might have crossed your mind over the last couple of years. This article will explain everything you need to know about hiring a freelancer and even tell you how to hire your first one!
- Benefits of hiring a freelancer
- Signs that scream ‘hire a freelancer!’
- Cost of hiring a freelancer
- How to hire a freelancer
Benefits of hiring a freelancer
If you’re no longer getting a chance to concentrate on the tasks that add real value to your business and its customers, or if you find your work-life balance has deteriorated, it’s time you consider hiring a freelancer and delegating some of your workload.
It can be difficult to realise that you need some help with your business and subsequently relinquish control over certain aspects of it. After all, it’s your baby and you’re the person who has cared for it, nurtured it and watched it grow from the beginning, right? But sometimes you can actually be harming your business by not learning to let go of certain tasks and continuing to try and do everything yourself instead of delegating to someone else.
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And there are really no excuses in this day and age. Even if you don’t have someone in-house that you can delegate stuff to, freelancers can be hired at the drop of a hat, and you’ll be surprised just how skilled and dedicated many of them are.
Hiring a freelancer actually comes with a number of benefits: they’re often very affordable; highly flexible; and you’ll get the right person for the job.
So when’s the right time to take advantage of a freelancer’s services and get back to doing what you do best: running your business.
Signs that scream ‘hire a freelancer!’
If you’re still not sold on the benefits, you might want to take a look at a few common signs that basically scream ‘hire a freelancer’:
1. You’re no longer doing what you’re good at
Chances are you started your business because you had a killer product, service or concept that you knew people would love. It’s been your driving force and ultimately determined your success.
But before long you may have noticed that you no longer have time for the value-add tasks that used to afford numerous benefits because you are too busy focusing on other things. If this is the case, it’s time to look at outsourcing.
2. Your work-life balance is deteriorating
One of the main reasons many people start their own businesses is because they want to achieve a better work-life balance.
The problem, however, is that unless you start delegating some of your work, the work-life balance you’ve worked so hard to achieve will start to deteriorate.
3. Your costs are rising
Believe it or not, outsourcing is inevitably a lot cheaper than recruiting someone in a full-time position. You don’t have to purchase stationery, office equipment or pay for training. There are also no pension payments, holiday pay or sick leave to concern yourself with.
All of this means you can cut operational expenses and boost your bottom line.
4. Your employees don’t have the necessary skills
This can be especially true if you’ve got a one-time, particularly technical task that needs completing. It might be the case that you simply don’t have anyone internally who can do it. Or if you do, they’ll need some additional training to help them get through it.
In these situations, outsourcing to a freelancer is perfect. They already possess the skills you need and you can always use them again in the future if you think they’ve done a good job. It saves both time and money.
5. Your relationships with your clients are suffering
Maybe you missed a meeting with a client because it slipped your mind or you didn’t make a proper note of it. Perhaps you’ve got a list of jobs to do for various customers, but can’t find the time because you’re snowed under with menial tasks.
No matter what happens, your relationships with your clients are paramount for your business and should never suffer because you’re spending too much time undertaking tasks that you could potentially delegate to a freelancer.
Cost of hiring a freelancer
As we’ve seen above, there are numerous benefits to outsourcing some of your tasks. But how much does it cost to hire a freelancer?
According to our freelancermap study 2021, the average hourly rate of freelancers is $105. This of course can vary depending on factors such as industry, role, age, country, etc.
How to hire a freelancer
If you’ve found yourself convinced and are looking to hire a freelancer, we’ve got you covered with our easy, six-step guideline:
1. Define the top three skills your project needs
To start off, you have to be really clear about what you actually want. Think about what your project entails, how long it might take and what you would be willing to pay. Now that last step needs an article of its own – but if you’re looking for pointers, ask your colleagues, look at average rates online and don’t go for the cheapest option. That is often also the worst one.
Outline three core skills that you would need for the project. Those might be programming languages, specialty in writing a certain type of content or anything in between. The more specific the skills, the better. Check these tips to make the most of your hired freelancer from someone who is involved in both hiring freelancers and working with clients themselves.
2. Advertising the position vs. picking out freelancers yourself
Now that you know what you’re looking for, you’re going to utilise those skills as keywords. There are two ways you can do that. The first way is advertising the position yourself. In the beginning, that requires more effort. But if you advertise on freelancermap and local job boards, applications will come in by the dozens.
Option number two is picking the freelancers out yourself. Here, you have the advantage of definitively choosing someone who fits your project like a glove. That, or a freelancer with whom you’re already familiar, whether through recommendations or their reputation alone. However, this method is also more time-consuming and involves you approaching freelancers rather than the other way around. Sending out dozens of emails is more work than receiving them.
3. Focus on proven experience rather than boasting
Whether you go for advertising or picking the freelancers out yourself, you now have a bunch of candidates for your project. How do you decide who is the most well-suited? You probably have a lot of applications, so the first step is filtering out as many as you can.
The easiest way to do that is to sort by experience. Some people will say they have the skills you’re looking for, but won’t really have a convincing way to prove it. Those should be the first people you sort out.
4. Do interviews with a few potential candidates
By now, you should have a small pool of candidates; anywhere between five and ten people is pretty reasonable. These are people that you know will want to do the project and have the skills to back it up. That’s where interviews come in. If there’s one piece of advice we’d have to pick for this step, it’s to do interviews by phone or, preferably, video calls.
If you can’t meet in person, as is usual with freelancers, make sure you communicate in some way that isn’t text-based. Seeing and speaking to a person directly can make all the difference in the world, even if it isn’t face-to-face.
5. Contact previous employers
If you’ve gotten it down to a couple of candidates by now and aren’t able to decide between them, there’s one thing to do. Ask other people for whom they’ve worked how it went. Good freelancers will get recommendations, great ones will get praise. If you have one of those in your candidate pool, they should be your pick.
6. Draft a contract
Finally, when all is said and done, there is one final step to take. Make a contract. This is the only step of the process where it is almost always necessary to get external help. If you feel in any way uncomfortable with drafting a legal agreement between your business and the freelancer, get an expert to help you do it. You might trust the freelancer you’re hiring, but anything can happen. A contract is simply the best form of protection you can have, both for you and your freelancer.
Have you ever hired a freelancer? If so, share your experience with us in the comments below!