With over 12 million registered freelancers on Upwork, it’s not easy to hire a good digital marketing talent.
In this article, I share with you 6 tips on how to find great talent. These tips are based on my experiences in trying to find my own staff but also finding staff when I was working for a seven-figure agency, with a team of 30, all remote.
- Understanding Your Exact Needs
Everything starts, of course, knowing what I want. So in my example today, I’m going to use Google Ads. Imagine I’m trying to find somebody to help me setup and manage clients’ Google Ad accounts.
So if I were to go on a place like Upwork or any of these online freelancer sites, looking for somebody to do some Google Ad words, I, of course, would go in and set my search criteria based on looking for Google Ads and then search criteria.
Below are the search criteria I use:
- People within my budget
- They have at least one other Upwork job
- They billed at least an hour
- People with at least 90% rating
- Rising Star Status (Paid Feature)
- Top-Rated Status (Paid Feature)
With these criteria, I go in there and I’ll type in search ads for Google Ads.
The first thing you always look for when it pulls up the search result is the headline. If they don’t have Google Ads in their headline, I skip as they may be a generalist. I need to hire a specialist, not a generalist.
The way Upwork algorithm works is, it will show people who may have done one job that might match your search descriptions. Well, that’s not the people I want. Anybody who is a Google Ad PPC expert will say that in their headline, so that’s the first thing I look for.
2. Read The Written Reviews
I look for written reviews, not just five stars, but the written reviews because there can be some golden nuggets inside the written reviews. These written reviews by other employers are really valuable and if there are any red flags, you’ll see them in there. So sometimes an employer will leave a review that’s a five star, but then in the written comments kind of leave a little comment that could be a red flag. So I always read that.
3. Don’t Hire The Cheapest
Hiring the cheapest people doesn’t pay off in the long run. I always have a budget of what I’ll look for, but it will never be the cheapest. The people who are the cheapest either haven’t earned their way up the Upwork algorithm or are not very skilled to begin with. An Upwork freelancer, as they get enough reviews, they automatically start increasing their hourly rate.
If they’re still sitting at $3 an hour and they’ve been a member for quite a while, chances are they’re not the best. So don’t hire the cheapest. Cheapest isn’t always better. You have to budget, of course, but try to budget for a reasonable amount.
4. See their Average Response Time
If the freelancer’s average response time is less than 24 hours, that’s great. If it’s greater than 24 hours, that’s a red flag.
If someone is coming onto my team and I’m putting them into Teamwork and Slack, although I don’t have the legal rights to tell them when to work, they do need to respond to their tasks within 24 hours. If they’re not responding to their Upwork notifications within 24 hours, that’s a red flag to me.
5. Check the Freelancers Total Availability
The other important thing I look at is the freelancers’ total availability. On the left-hand side of their profile, it says what their total availability is. It’ll show you what jobs they’re currently working on. And if they’re working on quite a few, that’s a red flag for me because I usually need someone at least 20 hours a week.
I need someone who has some availability and who is responsive. I always look at those two things.
6. Don’t Hire the Agencies
The last thing that I always look at is I don’t hire agencies. I have never had a positive experience of hiring an Upwork agency for a couple of different reasons.
One, you always have to leave the manual time off so they can edit their time and upload their time. There are too many untruthful people out there. I prefer to see screenshots.
Two, they never want to come into my teamwork and be part of the team, and I need team players. As I’m growing so I want people who are team players and can respond, and be in Slack, and be in Teamwork. So I don’t really hire the agencies.
Hopefully, you found that interesting. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, you can either drop them in the comments or you can send me a private message through my Facebook page.