By Marie Pazych, Owner of Business Be Active
It’s a big decision for a business owner to bring someone else on board. Many hold off on doing this for as long as possible, mostly due to cost, but other reasons as well. Freelancing is the perfect option for someone looking to dip their toes in the “hiring” pool.
Freelance is a friendlier term for independent contractor and I think that’s important to remember. The definition of a freelancer is this; “doing particular pieces of work for different organizations, rather than working all the time for a single organization.”
The important takeaway from the freelance definition is “particular.” Freelancers are particular in which aspects of business they work in and particular in whom they work for.
The ability to work with a freelancer is like having a took you can engage if, when and how you need it – that’s what freelancers are for and what we do.
Here are a few tips on hiring a freelancer:
- Know what you’re looking for – It’s important to make a specific list of tasks you wish to delegate to a freelancer. This will help you understand where to look for the right fit.
- Set a clear budget – Setting a clear budget will help you gain insight on what level freelancer you can afford; newbie, intermediate, or experienced. All levels can be great to work with as long as you have clear tasks and expectations.
- Relationship build – You never know who you know or when you might need to reach out to someone in your network that is a freelancer or has access to freelancers. Stay connected and informed on the freelancing network so it’s there when you need it.
- Go with your gut – With any hiring-type-situation, it’s important to trust your gut; the candidate is newer, but eager and ready to learn? If you like them, bring them on! The glory of working with a freelancer is that if it doesn’t work out, you can let them go at the end of the contract or agreement, no strings attached – no unemployment, etc.
- Ask for referrals and work samples, not references – The best way to vet your freelance candidate is to ask for samples of their work for a specific task. Referrals from your personal network usually prove the best choices as well.
I always put “hiring” a freelancer in quotations, because you’re not hiring someone per-say, but rather partnering with them to enhance your business. Some business owners may have had a bad experience working with freelancers, but I usually say this: “Unfortunately, you didn’t find the right freelancer, try again.” Finding the right freelancer is key in working with one. There are many pros over cons in working with freelancers, but I can save that for another time. I hope this was helpful for you and you’ll put “hire a freelancer” on your goals or to-do list in 2019.