In one of my previous posts I talked about where you find the freelancers, in this post I will go through a couple of things that you should think about when you’re choosing a freelancer online:
Depending on how much you need to communicate with the freelancer, this might be a big deal. Also, if you have an urgent problem it’s easier to have someone in the same time-zone that can fix it right away.
Personally I don’t see this as a problem, most of my clients are US based which means we have about 8-10 hour time-difference. So far everything has worked great – I try to have one call with my different teams every week to go over some things that needs to be done that week. Besides the one call we track all our tasks with different project management software and other communication channels like Slack, email and Skype. Great planning is golden.
Estimated rate & duration
Make sure to have the freelancer estimate the rate as well as the duration. If you’re hiring a freelancer on an hourly-basis, one freelancer might charge you $50/hour and estimate to have it done 2 hours while another might charge $10 and estimate to have it done in 12 hours. Also check if the freelancer can start working on your project immediately or if you end up on a waiting list.
Obviously you should be able to communicate with your freelancer. Before you hire him/her, exchange a few emails or set up a call to see if you can understand each other. If the freelancer doesn’t get your vision you will spend a lot of time (=money) explaining it.
Different portals have different things you should look for in the freelancer profile. If you find a freelancer somewhere else than on a freelancer portal, you can still ask to get a link to his profile. A few things you should look at are:
Overview – what has the freelancer written about himself? Is he selling himself in his introduction?
Hourly rate – if this freelancer has made a bid on your project, does the rate on his profile match that bid or is he overcharging because you had a bigger budget?
Past projects – has the freelancer worked with similar projects in the past? What did he charge for them? What was the client’s feedback?
Portfolio – I think this is the most convincing thing. If you’re looking for a web designer – look at his portfolio to see if you like his designs.
Tests, certifications, education and employment history – might be useful in some cases. If you’re looking at a freelancer that’s just starting out he might not have enough portfolio items to show off, then these might give you a better understanding of what the freelancer is capable of.
Work history / success – most of the freelancer portals have some kind of ranking system. Look at the freelancers score or job success in order to see how he has performed in the past.
Finally, I also suggest that you start off doing a small project to see how you work together. There’s nothing worse than hiring someone for a big project and one week in you notice that you can’t work together.
- Posted by Andreas Westerlund
- On March 10, 2016