January 15

How to Hire Best Freelancer for Your Business (And Red Flags You Want to Avoid)


With everything being so virtual, it could be a real pain for an employer to hire the right freelancer talent for your business. With all freelancers claiming to be experts and best in their niche, it becomes challenging to pick the best person for your job. When it comes to hiring a freelancer for your business, it should not be the same process as when hiring a full-time employee. So here I am sharing my process, tips, and Red Flags that I hope you find useful.

Pre Qualifying The Candidates: Basic and straightforward, setting up qualification criteria for a said job is a given, to keep the process simple and avoid unnecessary hard work trying to “mix and match” later. I have a set of questions that I ask to pre-qualify and shortlist some candidates.

Let’s take “Google Ads” as a classic example. In my conversation with them, I ask them things like:

Þ   How long have you been doing this?

Þ   What was the monthly ad spend that you were managing?

Þ   How many accounts were you managing?

Þ   What was the verticals?

I would restate the scope of the work that I need, and then I would ask them if they can fulfill it. I share with them the scope of work and ask, “Do you think you can do it?”.  

Freelancer’s Availability: I always ask the applicant, how many hours they can work for me. If they say “As much as I need.” Or “40 hrs a week” then that raises a red flag for me. I know some people work 14-16 hrs a week, but I am personally not a fan of that. Multiple studies, like this one from Stanford University (http://ftp.iza.org/dp8129.pdf), have shown that once you reach somewhere between 40 and 49 hours, additional hours produces diminishing returns. And after 49 hours or so, the more you work, the less productive you become.

Being Familiar with Tools: I always ask what kind of software, SaaS, they’re comfortable with. I can train them probably with any project management, communication management, time tracking, all that kind of stuff, but I’m kind of curious what they’ve done because that would give me an indication of onboarding time. 

Showing Prior Work: I always ask them to send a loom video of their prior work, their accounts, and previous results, hear them speak and explain their work is vital. People should be able to show their work before they are being hired; if they deny, that’s a red flag for me. If they need a couple of days to put it together, that’s fine, though. 

For example, Google Ads, I want them to go into the Google ads account and show me there work. This is their chance of showing how good they are with the skillset I am looking for.

Video Conference: If there are no red flags so far and everything seems alright, video conference is my final step before I offer them the job. You should try to see the person, judge their communication skills, and verify with your gut instincts if the person will gel with your team and serve your association purpose in general. 

Red Flags: 

Here I summarize the red flags I have discussed so far:

“I can do whatever you need.”

“I can work for however many hours you need “

Refusal/hesitance to video conference

Refusal to show their past work via the loom

In my upcoming blogs, I will share more about the questions and the video interview, and while I look forward to that, I hope this was helpful and informative. Feel free to reach out to me for a conversation or disagreement. Share and leave a comment below!

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hire the best freelancers, red flags to avoid

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