Don’t Waste Money on the Wrong Freelancer Jessica Lunk 5 techniques for hiring the right freelancer for your project I know from experience that hiring a freelancer can give small teams the agility to accomplish their goals – without adding another person to the payroll. Hiring a freelancer is a lot like hiring a permanent employee, but there is one difference – the freelancer is in a more precarious position than the applicant is. The freelancer knows this isn’t a permanent gig for them – they can only hope that you decide to use them frequently. Benefits, salary, vacation time and any of the other things that come with permanent employment are not on the table. That includes the comfort of knowing that their bills are satisfied on a monthly basis and that they are allowed to have an off day. It behooves them to look good, but what should be done isn’t always what is done. So it’s good to know that hiring a freelancer is easy. You can do it right now, if you really want to. There are people out there clamoring to do the kind of work you need done – whatever it is! You can find someone online, offer them the job, and they’ll take it with little to no questions asked. Lots of people do it. What’s not easy, though, is finding the right fit for your project. Here are some things you should consider when hiring a freelancer: Define Your Project Much like when writing a job listing, you need to know what your final product is. A clear understanding of what you want ahead of time is imperative. It helps the freelancer accurately pitch their services and price their work. This doesn’t mean that some details won’t change along the way but a change in scope is a big deal and would need to be renegotiated. Ask for Samples A good freelancer will be able to provide you samples of their work so that you can decide if they have the qualities you are looking for. Sure, everyone starts somewhere, but depending upon the type of project you are hiring for, you may not be able to let them cut their teeth with you. Know Your Timeline Once of the great things about working with a freelancer is that the work can be done quickly after the preliminary discussions are over. Be sure your candidates understand your timelines and can be flexible enough to meet them. Firm up these timelines before ever sitting down with a freelancer. Outline Your Budget This sounds like a simple in house task but it isn’t. While it is important to have your budget in place, you also need to know what the going rate for the kind of work you are requesting is. Do some research before reviewing freelancers to be sure you aren’t offering too little or too much pay for the task at hand. Prepare to Be Interviewed The freelancer is looking for several things in a potential client as well including a well-thought out end product, effective communication, and reliability. If they think they can’t trust you on any of those concerns, you may have a hard time sealing the deal. Be sure to put your best forward, too. Hiring freelancers isn’t a hard thing to do, but remember this: you get what you pay for. It may be tempting to go cheap and save a couple of dollars but what you lose in availability and proven ability will cost you more in the long run. Invest the time and effort required to find the freelancer that is the perfect fit for you and for your product. It’ll save you stress and a fair amount of money in the long run.