January 9

How to Determine If An Employer is One of The ‘Good’ Ones


Let’s be honest – not every employer is the same.

Sure having a job is better than nothing. And sometimes we have no choice.  

Employers in places like Upwork are not of high quality. They don’t give proper instructions; they disappear, etc. The irony is if you ask the employers, they say the same thing about the quality of work they receive; the contractors disappear, they just want to get paid. It’s the same story on both sides of the equation. The questions and answers below try to bridge that gap.

Not every employer is the same.

When you apply for a position with any agency, go in with the mindset that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. I think that’s important. 

So as the applicant, what sort of things should you be looking for?

#1 – How organized are they?  

Are they specific in what they want from an employee or contractor, or are they vague? (“I just need help”). The more organized they are, the easier it’ll be for you to do your job once you start.

Think of it this way. If they are organized with the interview process, with their questions that they’re being asked, with the details in the job description, chances are they will provide that same level of organization when they assign you tasks and give you instructions on how to do the work. It all ties together. If they are all over the place with their interviews, they are all over the place when it comes to doing project management. That can be stressful for everybody. 

#2 – Do they haggle on wages? 

This is a soft spot. Some contractors bloat their wages, so you have to be mindful of that. You should know the industry standards, what your value is, and what value you bring to the agency. 

Some agencies are just cheap, and they will always try to haggle you. 

Most contractors don’t like that, “I want to pay appropriately, but I won’t overpay”, so there is a fine line here. If they’re really trying to haggle your wages, chances are that they might be a nightmare to work for. Later on, when you ask for a raise after working there for say 6 or 12 months, they may not accommodate quickly. This can lead to a disgruntled contractor. It’s not something I encourage. Again, I don’t want to overpay for a contractor, but I’m also not going to mess with their money, because an unhappy contractor, an unhappy employee will lead to less than adequate work. 

If your hourly wage is within industry norms, and they are haggling with you over it, this should tell you that they don’t value your expertise but are just looking for cheap labor.

#3 – Is their website reputable?  

Ask them for the URL. Don’t just assume because they are looking for help that they know what they’re doing. If you’re a professional, you want to work for professionals, and although marketers tend to put their own marketing last, they should still have a website.  

#4 – Investigate their social media.  

Find out things like, How often are they posting? Do they have reviews? Are they good reviews or poor reviews? Are people talking about them? These are all signs of a quality company.  

They should have some postings, comments, something simple, nothing crazy. Marketing agencies don’t get a lot of followers; we just don’t. Unless you’re a leader like Neil Patel with other marketers following you. But most marketers don’t have a huge following, that’s fine. That’s just kind of the nature of the game. But check them out, check them out on LinkedIn, check their social media, so you see how you feel about it.

#5 – Ask to talk to other contractors.  

If someone came to me and said, can I talk to someone else that works for you? 

I’d be like, sure because I have nothing to hide. 

Just like they can ask to talk to prior employers, you can request to speak to other employees to get an idea of how the company operates. Asking this usually will set you apart during the interview process because you show you are committed to working for quality companies.

Doing your research on the employer can save you future headaches such as poor communication, inadequate project definitions, and even poor payment habits. If you want to become a highly paid freelancer/contractor, you need to act like one.  


determine an employer, evaluate an employer

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Did you enjoy that? If yes, subscribe to our newsletter!