Are you an entrepreneur or a small business owner who requires occasional help with small tasks? Is the number of staff you can hire limited by your start-up budget or do the business requirements of your Fortune 500 company demand an independent expert? If this is the case then you’ve probably considered hiring a freelancer or contract worker to help grow your enterprise. This article will provide you with useful information regarding where to find suitable self-employed specialists.
Figure out what you need
Before posting a job on any platform, you need to clearly define your project needs. This will help you choose the most suitable way to hire freelancers. It will also make writing the job description easier, provide successful applicants with relevant information, and help you calculate your budget.
Freelance platforms come in all shapes and sizes, whether they can meet your project requirements largely depends on the nature of your project.
If you are looking for contract workers with highly specialised and advanced skills, a platform that is equally specialised is preferable. If you’re working on a lower budget, but require a variety of skills and multiple freelancers, a multi-talent platform might be the better option for you.
If your budget allows for it, some freelance platforms offer recruitment services. A professional freelance recruiter will be able to properly vet candidates for you, saving you a lot of time. If this service isn’t required, freelance platforms can still provide you with useful details, such as feedback from previous clients, rating systems, and tests that assess the freelancer’s skill.
Some freelance platforms contain integrated project management tools, enabling you to keep track of the time that freelancers spend working on your project and their progress. The majority of platforms also possess a platform-based communication tool, allowing you to keep your personal contact details private, should you wish to do so.
Your company’s website
Posting a job advertisement on your company’s website works especially well for big, well-known companies that generate a lot of traffic on their website, and also for smaller companies in niche markets that are looking for freelancers interested in their particular industry. Smaller companies may not be immediately inundated with applications, but this approach does ensure that you only receive relevant proposals.
Although you’ll have to screen candidates yourself, this approach will avoid incurring fees on freelance platforms or through job boards. You’ll also need to ensure that you have adequate resources to manage the entire process, including interviewing, hiring, managing and finally paying a freelancer.
Online and local job boards
Job boards are the traditional version of freelance platforms, and local job boards can be especially useful if you are looking for on-site contract workers. In recent years online job boards have begun to allow an increasing number of remote and freelance roles to be posted, which is why they might be equally suited for finding on-site and remote self-employed specialists.
As with advertising your freelance job on your website, hiring freelance workers via job boards requires you to personally oversee the screening of candidates. Depending on the popularity of the job board, the screening process may take a while due to the high volume of applications received. Consequently, hiring freelancers via online job boards might not be the best approach for small businesses or entrepreneurs who lack the resources needed to do so.
LinkedIn is a great instrument for freelancers and contract workers to showcase their skills, and can be a great tool for finding high quality freelance talent, if your company already has a strong presence on this particular medium. The ability to view candidate profiles also makes the screening process easier for you.
Similar to LinkedIn, using social media to advertise your freelance job requires you to have an existing and strong presence. If your company specializes in social media or is looking for a freelance social media expert, this is definitely the right place to advertise the job. One caveat: you may receive a high number of irrelevant applications from non-professionals, as social media was never intended to be used for hiring purposes.
Although this is perhaps the most time consuming approach, it does ensure that you’re only corresponding with suitable candidates. Due to the abundance of free portfolio websites such as Behance, contract workers possessing certain skills, such as graphic designers, may be easier to find. However, LinkedIn can be a great place to find freelancers with skills that do not have equal exposure elsewhere.
Cold pitching to freelancers on freelance marketplace platforms is only recommended if you intend to collaborate with them through that particular platform because the platform will penalise any attempt to collaborate elsewhere.
Which approach do you prefer? Are there any approaches not listed here that should be? Let us know in the comment section and help fellow clients find the best freelancers!