Work ethics have changed tremendously, owning to the fast-paced ways of the world and cutting-edge technology. Easier and smarter ways of getting work done are used. This has seen the rise of a new breed of workers – the freelancers. At first look, it may seem like they are dime a dozen and you could just pick the first to approach you. However, those who have worked this way will have quite a few unpleasant stories to share with you. Freelancers are everywhere, but how do you find the best ones, most fit to do your job? How do you know if the one you are hiring will be apt? Sounds like looking for a needle in a haystack? Of course, there is no foolproof test to make sure, but there are certain ways to make sure that you have the most suitable person for your job.
1) Hiring freelancers based on their web presence
When freelancers are serious about their careers, they ensure that they make their presence felt over the web. They want clients to find them and are looking for quality work to do. It is generally their own website, or platforms where their work is showcased.
2) Work samples/ Case studies
Their CV/portfolio is essential, but it is only their work which is going to speak for them and nothing else can be considered credible. Look at their previous projects, study them carefully. Do these samples look like finished projects? Does the freelancer mention their role in the project? Is there a description of the process followed to reach the required results? A good freelancer will try to engage potential employers with details about his projects and working style.
Here is the major difference between hiring a freelancer, and a full time employee. When you hire someone on your payroll and to work from your office, he needs to be really good at his work and that is it. But on the other hand, freelancers need to have great communication skills as well. They need to know how to put their point across, and also understand what you are saying.
How well do they respond to you? Do they scream professionalism in their manner of speaking/emailing? Initial communication with a freelancer is going to set the tone for the rest of the project. This will help you understand how diligently the freelancer is likely to follow deadlines and how well they will be able to meet your requirement.
4) Personal projects and testimonials
Freelancers are generally really passionate about the work they do. They are the people who are generally looking to showcase their talent and skill all the time, not only professionally, but also personally. A photographer is going to have an album of his own, a writer will have a personal blog and so on. If you see the passion in their personal project, they are more likely to be passionate about your project as well.
Trust the word of mouth when it comes to a freelancer. Their previous clients, their current clients and people who have dealt with them personally are going to be able to speak volumes about their capabilities, dedication, commitment and personality as a whole.
If you are banking on a freelancer to play an important part on your project you are running the risk of both extremes. It could either be the best that you have done so far, or the worst that you will ever produce. Even when you are hiring a freelancer, you need to ensure that you are not only looking at their skills, but also everything else mentioned above.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)