Tips on Hiring Freelancers for the first time on Elance or Upwork (Odesk)

You can find highly experienced and fun to work with freelancerss on Elance and Upwork (Odesk). However, as a client, you should learn the process of hiring good freelancers. Many clients make the mistake of hiring the wrong person and end up wasting a lot time and money. In this post, I’ve listed some important points to remember if you’re thinking of hiring a freelancer for the first time.

Simple Tips on Hiring Freelancers for the first time on Elance or Upwork (Odesk)

Complete your profile: Just sign up as a client, complete your profile and post your job. Make sure that you write a very nice description about you, your company and your work. Mention what kind of people you are looking work with. Also, don’t forget to get your payment method verified before you post your job.

Write a clear job description: Writing a detailed job description is very very important. Define the job and state the responsibilities very very clearly. Your job requirement shouldn’t sound confusing- you can’t blame the freelancer if he/she screws up because of you didn’t mention things clearly. State a specific budget and deadline – this can be changed later as required.

Browse freelancers: You can browse freelancers from different categories. Look for freelancers in your job category. Check their profile- intro, portfolio, customer feedback and star ratings. Go for higher ratings but you can also choose to hire a newbie freelancer with an impressive portfolio and enthusiasm to learn and grow. Many new freelancers stick to their clients for the long-term.

Send Job invites: Create a list of freelancers who match your job requirements and then send them job invites. Don’t make a the list too long because you’ll be spending a lot of time reading proposals and it might get very hard to decide. By the time you decide, many freelancers will have already been hired by other clients.

Read proposals thoroughly: After posting the job, you will get a lot of proposals. Go for a freelancer who sounds genuine, friendly and reasonable. You can also setup a skype session to interview each applicant. However, face to face talk doesn’t guarantee that a freelancer will do great on the job. Some people can be poor at face to face communication but a great performer when it comes to real work. However, if verbal communication is essential you’ll definitely need to conduct a phone or video interview.

I also suggest doing a trial run for a month or so. During this period you can assess the performance of the freelancer. Competitive freelancers won’t hesitate to work for a trial period and during that period they work hard to exceed your expectations. If you have the money, you can even hire multiple freelancers for a trial period, and then assess each of them based on your job performance criteria like communication, professionalism, problem solving etc. Finally, hire the best freelancer, keep the person satisfied and work together for the long run.

Whether long-term or short-term, always establish good relations with your freelancers because keeping an existing employee is less expensive than training and hiring a new one.

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