This is a guest post by Ivan Boychuk. Ivan is a freelance writer who specializes in creating quality SEO content that ranks high in search engines like Google.
“Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” – Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker, who was a legendary thought leader in the area of marketing, understood that outsourcing work to freelancers can be an effective strategy to increase overall business productivity.
Because hiring a freelancer can save you time, money, needless headaches, and it can bring fantastic outside talent onboard. But with so many people chasing after the freelance lifestyle, it can be a daunting task to sift through countless candidates and hire a quality freelancer for your business.
Don’t worry, though.
In this guest post for Process Street, I’ll explain what a freelancer is, what to look for when hiring a freelancer, and show you 9 great websites for hiring freelancers! Just read through the following sections:
- What is a freelancer?
- What to look for when hiring freelancers
- How to hire freelancers: The best hiring websites around!
- Use Process Street to help hire freelancers & keep them on track
Let’s get started.
What is a freelancer?
A freelancer is a self-employed person who doesn’t work for only one company or business, but multiple. Freelance contracts are usually quite short, meaning freelancers will work on projects for various clients all at the same time to bring in a stable income. Freelancers can most commonly be found in creative industries, but it’s possible to be a freelancer in most lines of work.
What usually draws people into freelancing is the flexibility, the ability to choose the companies or businesses they work for, and more often than not, the privilege of working from home.
What to look for when hiring freelancers
It’s no underground secret that hiring freelancers can be tricky. After all, there are so many variables involved: Will they be a good match for your business? Will their skills be up-to-scratch? Will your business even be able to attract the right talent?
It can feel daunting.
But to help streamline the process – and make it far simpler, easier, and not as anxiety-inducing for you – read through my tips for what to look for when hiring freelancers!
What to look for when hiring freelancers: Specialization
When hiring a freelancer, it’s important that they understand the space your business is operating in.
Let’s say you run an aviation company and you have tasks to outsource to an engineer. You have 100 freelance engineers apply for the position. Great – look at all these options! But it turns out only five of them specialize in aerospace engineering while the rest are generalists.
Are they engineers? Absolutely. Are they all right for the job? Not so much.
This is one of the reasons why it’s critical to be as specific as possible when creating a posting for a freelancer.
Unfortunately, a specialist is going to be much more expensive than a generalist. That’s just how it works.
If, however, your business operates in an area that isn’t so specialized, then you can get away with using a freelancer who is more of a generalist. The nice thing about this is that it allows you to save a little bit of money, too.
Once you know you’ve found somebody who fits the bill, you’re going to need to ensure they’re capable of doing high-quality work.
What to look for when hiring freelancers: Quality
Competition in business has reached an all-time high. So your business retains a competitive edge, the freelancer(s) you hire must be stellar at what they do.
To gauge the quality that a prospective freelancer can bring to the table, consider asking the following questions:
- What companies and brands have hired them before?
- Do they have positive reviews from past employers?
- Do they have a portfolio to show you, or must you simply take their word at face value when they tell you they can deliver?
- If they don’t have previous work samples, do they at least have the equivalent educational credentials?
If the freelancer is up-to-scratch, it’s then time to get down to the nitty-gritty and think about money.
What to look for when hiring freelancers: Price
Not only do you need to consider what your budget is when hiring a freelancer, but you also need to know how and when you will pay them. Depending on your reasons for outsourcing work, you have a few different options here:
- Pay by the hour.
- Pay per project.
- Commission-based payment.
Straightforward and easy to understand, hourly payments are common among freelance hires. However, you need to be careful – sometimes projects can take much longer than you anticipated, resulting in a bill that far exceeds your budget.
Have you ever looked at your phone bill and felt your stomach drop? Well, the same feeling can happen when viewing an invoice from a freelancer.
When agreeing to hire a freelancer by the hour, it’s important you make sure to get an estimate of both the hourly rate and the hours it will take to complete the project.
If you require a one-off project, this option will probably suit you best. For instance, having your business’s logo redesigned – you have it done once and then you’re set. Just explain to your freelancer exactly what you need, agree on a price, and voila, you’re done!
This is an interesting option when you’re outsourcing selling responsibilities to freelancers. For instance, some direct-response copywriters might work off of a commission-based structure where they’re provided a percentage of each sale they’re responsible for.
Some business owners who are trying to preserve cash would benefit from this type of arrangement because you only pay the freelancer when you get paid!
A contract stipulates that you pay a freelancer X amount of money for Y amount of services provided, over Z amount of time.
Contracts are flexible and can be manipulated to produce maximum value for both parties involved. For example, performance incentives and bonuses can often be added to contracts, giving freelancers the motivation to do their best work. In this case, businesses also have the potential to earn more money.
A word of warning – be sure that your contract is painfully specific about what you are receiving, and what you need to pay for it. The last thing anyone wants is a legal mess because all the important bases weren’t covered when the contract was drawn up.
What to look for when hiring freelancers: Continuation
Another factor that should go into your decision-making of who to hire is the potential for continual work. If you know you’re going to require ongoing assistance, it’s best to build a relationship with a freelancer.
Before making your final hiring decision, ask the freelancer if they would consider continual work with your business.
After all, if you’re constantly hiring new people for every project, you risk:
- Putting yourself through the needless hassle of screening hundreds of freelance applicants.
- Sacrificing company resources to pay freelancers as they learn what is expected of them.
That’s why when you find something good, run with it!
Speaking of something good, let’s dive into the 9 best websites for hiring freelancers around the globe.
How to hire freelancers: The best hiring websites around!
It may seem like there a million-and-one websites for hiring freelancers. It’s no real surprise why, given how large the freelance market is. Studies even show that, by 2027, freelancers will make up the majority of the U.S. workforce.
Ready to take a closer look at each one?
The best freelance hiring websites #1: Fiverr
Businesses can use Fiverr to hire freelancers for fixed-rate projects rather than by the hour. Many employers prefer this because it removes the risk of getting blindsided by a hefty bill when the project takes the freelancer longer than expected.
Whether you need a graphic designer, writer, marketing professional, or something else, Fiverr will have the right person for the job!
Some of the perks that come along with a Fiverr account for your business include:
- Full transparency. Fiverr offers a shared dashboard system that lets you track the progress of your team.
- VIP customer support. They’re known for their quick response time when replying to customer queries.
- Convenient billing options. If you require multiple freelancers for one job, Fiverr makes sure you’re not buried in a mountain of paperwork. That’s why they consolidate your services into one bill.
With these benefits in mind, Fiverr is a great shout for businesses wanting to hire the right freelancer for the project.
The best freelance hiring websites #2: Upwork
With over 12 million registered freelancers and five-million clients, Upwork is one of the largest freelance hiring platforms in the world.
Businesses like using Upwork because the sheer volume of freelancers to choose from will mean you’ll be able to find someone who specializes in the exact area you require help with!
Specifically, once you post your project on Upwork, freelancers will begin to apply with their experience and provide their desired hourly or fixed rate for the project.
As the applications come in, you can review them until you find the right balance of value and experience for the task you require.
Depending on your needs, you can select from four Upwork pricing options, each offering a slightly different combination of features:
The best freelance hiring websites #3: Guru
Similar to Upwork, employers can post a job on Guru encouraging freelancers to submit a quote to an open job. Employers then review the quote, contact each freelancer, and select who they think is best suited for the project.
What’s cool about Guru is that they provide different options for you to pay freelancers:
- Pay by milestones. The last thing you (or your freelancer) wants is to finish an entire project, only to have it fall short of expectations. Creating several milestones for each project ensures the work meets your standards every step of the way! Simply explain each milestone to your freelancer, agree on an amount to be paid, and set a due date!
- Pay by task. Arrange a pre-determined price for each task as you need it.
- Pay by hour. Assign a project for a freelancer to complete and agree on an hourly rate.
- Pay using recurring payments. This option is best for ongoing projects. For instance, recurring payments are great for hiring writers to contribute to your blog or weekly email newsletter.
If Upwork didn’t catch your eye, Guru will.
The best freelance hiring websites #4: Truelancer
Truelancer lets you browse through thousands of freelancers, filtering your search based on things like skills and professions, which is incredibly handy.
With this site, you also have the option of creating a contest to help find the most qualified individual for each job.
Truelancer contests allow you to engage multiple freelancers at one time. Simply post the idea of what you’re looking for and hundreds of freelancers can apply with quality work. You select and pay for only the one you think is best!
Truelancer offers contests for:
- Logo Design
- Mobile App design
- Website Mockups
- And more!
These contests are free to post and encourage a lightning-quick turnaround time, which is music to the ears of many businesses.
The best freelance hiring websites #5: Freelancer.com
Freelancer.com lets freelancers from a variety of disciplines bid on the project you post. Digital marketing, writing, design, and app development are all among the favorite services requested by business owners here.
Additionally, Freelancer.com also lets you:
- View portfolios. Take a look at previous work completed by freelancers who bid on your job to make sure their style aligns with your business’s goals.
- View bids. Instantly access new bids from freelancers applying to work on your project.
- Track progress. Keep updated with Freelancer.com’s time tracker and mobile app.
- Access to 24-hour support. Talk to actual staff members when you need them.
If reading those benefits piqued your curiosity, try Freelancer.com out!
The best freelance hiring websites #6: LinkedIn
LinkedIn isn’t typically considered as a source for finding quality freelancers for your business, but when used properly it can be extremely effective.
For example, here’s how a business could use LinkedIn to find a freelance writer:
- Log into your LinkedIn account.
- Click on the search box and select “People”.
- Select the “All Filters” tab.
- Fill in the details (I’d recommend selecting your desired industry, location, and any other relevant details).
- Scroll down to the bottom of the “All People Filters” screen and enter “Freelance Writer” into the “Title” section.
- Click “Search” and browse the results!
When you find someone who you think would fit in well with your business, reach out to them by way of connection request or message.
So, not only is it a nifty social networking platform, but you can find stellar freelancers on there, too!
The best freelance hiring websites #7: Toptal
Toptal is a network that prides itself on being exclusive to the top 3 percent of freelance talent across the globe. Here, you can hire engineers, designers, finance experts, project managers, and more!
Their rigorous five-step application process sees thousands of freelance applicants turned away each month, so you know only the top-tier talent is assigned to your projects.
Of course, top-tier talent is often accompanied by a top-tier price, so expect to pay a little more for Toptal freelancers.
But as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.
The best freelance hiring websites #8: PeoplePerHour
PeoplePerHour links business owners with freelancers who are available to work on either an hourly or project basis.
This site’s AI system sifts through thousands of freelance profiles, selecting only the most relevant for the job you require. Each freelancer creates a proposal for you to review. When you think you’ve found the appropriate candidate, you just pick your freelancer and get started!
PeoplePerHour also allows you to request a follow-up project if you’re happy with the work your freelancer does. This is nice because it lets you build a long-term relationship with this freelancer and avoid constantly screening new applicants.
The best freelance hiring websites #9: 99designs
99designs is a global network of professional freelance designers. Among other things, they can help beautify:
- Book covers
- Business cards
- And much more!
They rely on a three-step process for connecting designers to business owners. And it goes a little like this.
First, you must provide a brief on the type of design desired.
Then, you can choose to either hire a freelance designer after viewing profiles and portfolios, or you can opt to start a contest where designers submit their ideas and you pick the one you like best!
After that, you finalize your design and payment. If you’re happy with the work your freelance designer has done, you can begin discussing your next project!
That’s the 9 best websites for hiring freelancers covered.
But before wrapping up, I want to tell you about a nifty, state-of-the-art piece of BPM software that will help you ensure your freelancers do great work, and that they never make a mistake or misstep.
The business software in question?
Use Process Street to help hire freelancers & keep them on track
Process Street is superpowered checklists.
If you document workflows, business processes, and important procedures as templates, you can then launch an infinite number of checklists to help you and your team do the best work possible – always.
When hiring freelancers, making use of checklists is something of a godsend.
As an example, you can create a checklist for the freelancer hiring process, ensuring you clinch the standout candidates properly.
Or, you can make checklists for the hired freelancers to follow, as to make sure what they’re doing is exactly what you want them to do. Considering that checklists, by nature, help to reduce human error and keeps people on track to completing tasks properly, I wasn’t lying when I said they were a godsend!
For more info, check out Process Street’s explainer video below.
If you’re wondering what makes Process Street’s checklists superpowered, then let me tell you.
After signing up for free, you can make use of Process Street’s incredible workflow features, such as:
- Stop tasks. ✋
- Conditional logic. 🧠
- Task permissions. 👀
- Task assignments. 👤
- Role assignments. 👥
- Embed widget. 🌐
- Webhooks. 🎣
- Approvals. ✅
These nifty features all help to transform checklists into out-of-this-world checklists.
To explore some of these features in-depth, watch the webinar below.
On the subject of using checklists to help with the hiring process, after signing up, you can create your own checklist template for hiring freelancers.
Alternatively, you can dive into and use the following embedded template and edit it to your liking!
And no matter if the freelancer is involved with graphic design, copywriting, or web design, have them follow a checklist from Process Street’s checklist template library.
Armed with the information I’ve provided on the best sites to use and the free checklist templates courtesy of Process Street, it’s time for you to hire the best freelancers on the market!
Does your business hire freelancers? If so, what websites are used? And do you have any insights for hiring freelancers that you want to share with the Process Street community? Write your comments down below! 💡