At one time, when a business needed someone to do a job they had to hire a new member of staff. Then they could be faced with finding work for someone once the project they were hired for had finished or had to pay out redundancy if this couldn’t be done. But then the world of freelancers developed and suddenly there was a new option – hiring a freelancer to do a specific job for a specific period of time. So how do you go about hiring a freelancer?
Going self-employed and becoming a freelancer is one of the biggest growth areas in the UK market with some 5 million people already having done so. This means businesses can access a wealth of talent on a ‘pay as you go’ type approach. For example, you might need a new website and want a web designer or you might need new content for an existing website. You can hire someone to do these specific jobs. You might also want someone more long term but not full time, say to write a weekly blog article or perform monthly system updates – again a freelancer can be ideal.
Then there is the financial side of hiring a freelancer. With the many options now for payments without actually giving out bank details such as PayPal, there is far less risk in the payment element. Many websites that freelancers use will also take and make the payment for you, giving you protection though they often charge for this. It also makes it official and easier to document for tax purposes plus most will use specialist accountants for contractors & freelancers to ensure everything is done correctly.
Getting the right person
If you advertise a job or look through people offering a service you require, there will always be plenty. So how do you choose the right freelancer from the crowds?
Websites that act as intermediaries between freelancers and clients, as mentioned, are a good idea to try. Most use a feedback system where customers can rate freelancers and gives you an idea of their standard of work. Many freelancers will have their own website but this may not be regularly updated as working for clients is more important than making their website look great – it often isn’t a source of business anyway. Recruitment companies also offer a similar service in their specific industry.
Look at the going rate for the job and pick someone who is sensible. Don’t always go for the cheapest option as this may result in cheap work – a combination of a sensible price and good feedback is a great indicator of a quality freelancer.
While a freelancer may not be a specialist in your area, you want someone who is willing to learn. So while they may not know much about your industry, their willingness to research whatever is needed and ask questions is another good indicator. Quality of communications is another element of this – if they can’t make sense when messaging with you, this might indicate a trying working relationships!
Finally, be upfront about what you need, your timescales and your budget. It saves a lot of time for both parties and quickly allows you both to see if you are a good fit for each other. Being cagey and vague isn’t a benefit for either of you.