The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Freelancers
Every day, we have to face challenges in our lives and find solutions to resolve them. Taking advantage of the advancements in science and technology, we can use many tools to meet our needs. It is true that technology holds a greater role in our lives, bringing a greater degree of ease and efficiency to our working lives. With the advent of the gig economy, people have changed their business behaviour dramatically. Many are becoming more interested in remote or off-site work. In recent years, working from home has become very popular, and there is now a variety of freelancing platforms enabling people from all over the world to become freelancers using their expertise in various fields.
What Is Freelancing?
By freelancing, we mean working for an individual as an independent contractor and providing services to others without taking on a full-time job. Freelancers are known as independent contractors or self-employed.
Why Do We Need Freelancers?
Oftentimes, organizations or companies will find themselves with extra work to do, and their human resources are insufficient to complete the work, and hiring a permanent employee may be time-consuming and expensive. When such circumstances arise, they may decide to employ a freelancer. Most companies hire freelancers for a short period of time against an agreed payment, but these freelancers do not receive any further benefits, unlike permanent employees.
The purpose of this article is to guide you on how to hire a freelancer confidently for your project.
When to Hire: Freelancers vs Full Time Employees
With the Gig Economy growing steadily, it has brought significant changes to the corporate environment over the past few years. In fact, it has been on the rise even during recession periods when employers wanted to cut costs by reducing the benefits. In this regard, the gig economy became a safety net for employers by providing a flexible environment.
A company’s decision to hire a freelancer depends on its workload versus its human resources. Hiring a permanent employee is much more time-consuming and costly if an employer feels that a needed task cannot be completed within the given time with the current human resources. In this case, the employer might turn to consider hiring a freelancer to complete the task on schedule, saving resources during the process.
Why And When Should You Hire a Freelancer?
- Need to Cut the Staffing Cost: Hiring a freelancer is an easy option when you believe that a permanent employee will negatively affect your profits.
- Need for Growth in Business: Having more helping hands in your company could help you grow faster, but you are afraid to hire permanent employees due to higher costs. A feasible solution is to hire freelancers.
- Sudden Loss of Employees: It isn’t uncommon to see permanent employees leave in a hurry. This situation creates confusion for employers as to what to do to prevent a loss in the business. Freelancers can be helpful to accommodate the needs and to complete the tasks well on time.
- Professional soundness: When you find a lack of expertise in available resources and a task demands high professionalism then you need to hire a freelancer.
- Workload Absorption: When you have a heavy load on your shoulders and no way to get it off except by adding a resource that helps lighten your load, which is freelancers.
- Seasonal Issues: Staff shortages may arise when permanent staff members go on vacation or take annual leaves. Hiring temporary staff is a solution, and freelancers can be hired for short-term assignments to bridge the gap.
A step-by-step guide to hiring a freelancer
Before you hire a freelancer or introduce an extra resource, there are many questions you need to address. This is not quite so simple, though. Since you’ll need a professional, you’ll want to find ways to engage some of the best people with ultra-niche skills. In this section of the article, you will find guidelines to follow when searching for the right freelancer.
These are the 5 steps to follow:
- Budget Allocation
- Job Description
- Evaluate and Assess the Freelancer
- Proceed to Hire the freelancer
- Contract preparation and Execution
1. Budget Allocation
When you’re looking for a freelancer, you should keep in mind that many freelancers own their own businesses and pay their own taxes. As a result, the hourly rate may be slightly higher than that of a permanent employee. Make sure you keep your demands and expectations in mind and allocate a reasonable budget.
2. Job Description
Professionals work passionately because they are aware that their success depends on their performance. That is why they read the job descriptions carefully, as they are looking for projects they will enjoy and excel at. However, there is no need for a full job description as in the case of an employee. When crafting a job description, consider the following points:
- Description of the job that needs to be done
- Start and end dates
- Payment Terms
- Any other T&C (that you think fit for the job)
3. Evaluate and Assess the Freelancer
The following points may be helpful in your search for the best talent. We aim to save you time by helping you hire across the spectrum of workers more effectively.
- Prequalification: Check the quality of the freelancer’s work by asking for samples.
- Experience & Feedback: The feedback of other buyers of the freelancer’s services should be taken into account when evaluating the freelancer’s experience.
- Fee Structure: Choose the package that best suits your needs.
- Performance Expectations: Ensure you are in contact with the freelancer and that he/she fully understands your requirements.
4. Proceed to Hire the Freelancer
Finally, you have selected the best available materials after spending enough time negotiating and reaching a final agreement. Whilst discussing the project details, you might have mentioned when to start and finish, what deliverables you expect and when they will be delivered. Now share the project-related documentation with the selected professional so they can get started.
5. Contract Preparation and Execution
It is important to remember that good contracts are specific but concise, straightforward and can easily be understood. Here are some points to consider when writing a contract:
- Date, name and contact details
- Payment terms
- Deliverables and responsibility-role of the contractors
- Timelines and deadline
- Confidential information clause
- Limitation of liability
- Ownership of the work
- Termination clause – Terms to cease the contract
- Indemnity clause
Benefits of Hiring Freelancers
The question “why should you hire a freelancer” begs an answer. Below you will find the six benefits of hiring a freelancer:
- Flexible speciality: On occasion, a sudden demand needs to be handled quickly and the in-house team is unable to meet it. Private professionals with a variety of expertise are available to complete the task according to the terms you specify.
- Cost-Effective: Every employer wants to save money, and a skilled contractor can help you avoid extra charges like health insurance, medical care, and other compensation.
- Quality of Work: Freelancers tend to attract a lot of customers by offering the best quality of work as opposed to employees whose performance is never level or smooth and passes through peaks and valleys.
- Risk Reduction: Employers are more satisfied with hiring a private resource since there is no extra compensation or benefit to fear. First and foremost, the employer is free to end the contract or replace the freelancer.
- Simple Hiring Process: Using talent-matching platforms where you can find talent to meet your requirements easily. These platforms offer a wide range of professionals. All you need to do is go there and find a suitable worker and ask them to start work once you have agreed on the terms.
- Less Supervision with fewer Responsibilities: Freelancers work independently and have the reputation of being thorough professionals, so they help you avoid unnecessary headaches. Since they are professionals, there is no need for supervision, so you can focus on other tasks.
Top 5 Websites to Find Freelancers
“Hire for a Project” is a slogan commonly used by different websites that connect employers with freelancers. Dozens of websites provide platforms for freelancers to utilise their skills. Listed below are the top 5 websites by rank. The websites are chosen according to the number of views, users, and a mix of other features and advantages such as easy registration and payment processes.
How Do Freelancing Platforms Charge You?
There is no doubt that this is one of the most frequently asked questions. Here are the rates of the top 3 sites:
Upwork: The marketplace fee is 5%* of all payments (for fixed-price and hourly jobs, Project Catalog projects, bonuses, and BYO contracts). For example, if your payment is $100, you’ll pay an additional $5 to Upwork.
Fiverr: Free membership with 5% charges of the ordered value.
Freelancer.com: Free to sign up. For fixed-price projects 3% or USD $3 (whichever is greater) is levied. The rate for hourly projects is 3%.
How to Pay a Remote Freelancer?
This is a traditional mode of payment. When you send dated checks, you will be able to avoid any fees you may incur with other payment options. On the other hand, there are a number of downsides to this method.
The most common method for paying freelancers is through PayPal.
You can use your credit card but this option will only be viable if freelancers are already using their own online payment solutions. Using this method, the freelancer is at risk of not being paid.
Electronic Funds Transfer
In case your freelancer doesn’t accept any of the above, then you may opt for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
Wise (Formerly TransferWise)
This is a cost-effective way to send money. TransferWise is an online money transfer service based in the UK.
One of the best ways to settle payments is through this method. Venmo is a digital wallet. All you have to do is set up an account using Facebook or email. You can then connect whatever bank account or credit card you want to use with this platform.
Payoneer is another company that offers payment services globally and speeds up the payment process.
How to Manage Your Freelancers
You cannot treat freelancers as your employees as they own their business. Nevertheless, you need to manage your team of freelancers to achieve the desired results. The following tips can help you manage your freelancers effectively.
- Building relationships with the team
- Describe your project in detail
- Ensure that proper documentation is available
- Establish a realistic budget to meet your expectations
- Liaison in a proper manner without a communication gap
- Time-tracking and follow-up
- Proper use of management tools
- Organise team-building activities for your freelancers.
- Regularly provide feedback.
Although we tried our best to cover all aspects of the topic, freelancing is a broad and complex subject that needs much more attention. Nevertheless, we hope this article will serve you well in your quest to hire the best freelancers.