Maybe your business is undergoing exponential growth, and you need to keep up with demand until you are able to find the correct person for a permanent position. Perhaps you don’t have enough work to give someone a full-time role. Then, a freelancer can be used to do the work that you might require on a short-term basis.

Hiring freelancers is a great solution to filling a gap in your knowledge base. Knowing tips for hiring freelancers ensures that you make the best decisions for your business. There are plenty of top-talent freelancers in the marketplace who can assist you in developing your organisation and helping it grow. There are freelancers from almost every niche, including freelance marketers, freelance virtual assistants, and freelance videographers.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of hiring freelancers while giving you some tips on how to find the right one for your business. Let’s get started.

Positives of Hiring Freelancers

Freelancers can add plenty of value to your business and offer solutions for a knowledge base you might not have had access to. There are many other positives that they can bring to your organisation, including: 

  • Freelancers are independent contractors, meaning you can delegate work to them without having to check in with them constantly. 
  • When paying freelancers, you are only obligated to pay them for the time they actually work—you pay them either hourly or with day rates. Therefore, depending on the size of work or workload volume, freelancers can save you some money.
  • As an employer, you do not have to worry about holiday pay or sick pay for freelance work, or any employee benefits for that matter. You only pay a freelancer for the work they do. This also includes worrying about insurance on them as they are not an employee. 
  • Freelancers are experts in their fields, and you are buying that expertise. This means that you will get a premium product or service. 
  • Freelancers make it easier to run a business; they help you find the skills that can fill the gaps you may have in your organisation.

Negatives of Hiring Freelancers

Picture of someone sitting on laptop
Freelancers can be expensive, depending on their field of expertise.

While there are positives to hiring freelancers, there are also negatives that need to be taken into consideration before engaging with a prospective freelancer. Understanding both the positives and negatives will help you decide whether a freelancer is right for your business. 

  • Freelancers can be expensive, particularly if they are experts in a certain field.
  • While permanent employees can pick up work that pops up, freelancers only do work that you have hired them to do based on the job description. It is often the case that, when working with freelancers, they’ll also often work with multiple clients; you will not always be their priority.
  • Hiring freelancers runs the risk of them not being available to make changes or edits to something you need to be done. This is due to them taking on multiple jobs.
  • While the world is remotely working, you have to trust that freelancers are doing the work as they are charging you either hourly or daily. 
  • While hiring freelancers clearly has benefits, there are some issues that you may encounter if you employ them to help with your workload.

Building Successful Partnerships and Hiring Freelancers

Knowing what to say and do when hiring freelancers can be difficult. That’s why we have compiled eight tips to help you make the right decisions when hiring one.

1. Know the Brief

Before hiring a freelancer, best practices are that you should always come prepared with a brief, a schedule, and the scope of work for the project that you want them to work on. This ensures that there isn’t any confusion about what is expected in the delivery of work and what will be received. This will also keep costs down as you have provided the freelancer with everything they need to begin a project. 

2. Hire What You Need

There is a great temptation to hire the best in the business when it comes to a freelancer, but this might not always be the best strategy. There is also a temptation to hire someone who is going to do something for half the price of another person. In these cases, assess their previous work and see if it meets your expectations for your project. If it doesn’t, then keep searching for someone else.

If the work is something you care deeply about, you want to hire a freelancer to work on something that you are proud to stand by and who has the skill set to carry out your work effectively and efficiently. You should also check out past client reviews. 

3. Find a Freelancer with a Niche

Image of someone on their computer - multiple monitors (hiring freelancers)
Hiring freelancers for your business fills a knowledge gap and brings in expertise from their niche.

While it is easy to hire any freelancer, taking the time to hire the right freelancer who specialises in your industry or sector is the best solution. They will be well acquainted with industry terms and know what is expected of them.

Asking to see a freelancer’s portfolio will help you understand the quality of their work if they’re doing a creative project for you. You will also be able to assess whether they are a good fit for your business. 

4. Search Online for Freelancers

Hiring freelancers is easier than ever, with multiple job board websites offering employers the opportunity to search for people to help fill a gap in their business and fulfil their business needs.

So, how do I find qualified freelancers? If you’re looking to hire, online freelance platforms like Upwork,, and Pro Blogger are just a few examples of places where you will be able to find freelancers to aid with your work. You can search for them by skill, location, and experience. This makes hiring freelancers a very simple process, and you are likely to find great talents.

5. Ask Your Network

Plenty of people in a variety of industries use freelance workers to fill knowledge gaps in their business. This is becoming even more common in the wake of Covid-19, as many turn to remote working. With that in mind, join professional networks like LinkedIn or AngelList to connect with freelancers in your industry.

Ask people in your network for recommendations of freelancers they have previously worked with. If you trust them, you know they will be delivering you a person who is worth the money and will deliver the project they need. Another way to find qualified freelancers is by word of mouth; ask your colleagues, friends, and family for recommendations.

6. Edit Their Work

Despite usually coming with a wealth of experience, freelancers still need to be guided and have their work assessed to ensure that they are performing well. Critiquing their work from the beginning ensures that you know what to expect from them and helps analyse their performance. It means that projects can be sorted out earlier and promptly. 

7. If You Want Ownership of Work, Let the Freelancer Know

A freelancer is an independent contractor. If you are paying them to do work for you, you can be entitled to the work. This must be done by signing a legally binding contract to ensure that all the work is yours, and only you can give permission for them to use it in their portfolio.

8. Don’t Expect Instant Access

Freelancers aren’t your employees, so you can’t expect them to be available when you are available. With that in mind, you will need to appreciate that accessibility will be limited at times, preventing you from interacting with them and solving issues you may have immediately. This is one of the main things you should consider if you’re deciding between hiring a freelancer or an employee.

How Freelancers Bridge Knowledge Gaps for Businesses

Freelancers offer businesses the unique opportunity to hire individuals who can bring value and expertise in spaces they are lacking. This comes with some drawbacks, though, as freelancers are independent contractors who don’t answer directly to you as an employer. Always remember to:

  • Sign a contract.
  • Find freelancers within your sector/niche.
  • Proof and critique their work.
  • Have a scope of work for them to follow.

With this knowledge, you will be prepared for all eventualities if you do decide to hire a freelancer. 

Securing the Right Fit: A Comprehensive Freelancer Screening Process

With the abundance of freelancing comes the challenge of selecting the right freelancer for each project. A thorough screening process is crucial to identify individuals who align with your specific requirements and ensure a successful project outcome for your business. Let’s break down how you can find the freelancer perfect for your business.

Evaluating Portfolios: A Window into Expertise

A portfolio serves as a tangible representation of a freelancer’s skills and experience. Carefully scrutinise their work samples to assess their competency, attention to detail, and ability to meet your expectations. If possible, request additional samples that demonstrate their ability to handle projects similar to yours.

Assessing Communication Skills: The Foundation of Collaboration

Effective communication is paramount for successful collaborations. Evaluate potential freelancers’ written and verbal communication skills through their proposals, emails, and online interactions. Assess their clarity, conciseness, and professionalism.

Conducting Reference Checks: Validation from Past Engagements

Reference checks provide valuable insights into a freelancer’s work ethic, reliability, and client satisfaction. Seek references from previous clients or employers who have worked with the freelancer on similar projects.

You can also request specific feedback on their communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and adherence to deadlines. Additionally, inquire about their ability to handle client feedback and adapt to changing requirements.

Beyond Technical Expertise: Soft Skills Matter

While technical skills are essential, don’t overlook the importance of soft skills. A freelancer’s ability to work independently, manage time effectively, and collaborate harmoniously is crucial for project success.

The Art of Negotiation: Striking a Fair Deal

Once you’ve identified potential candidates, negotiating fair and competitive rates is essential. But how do I negotiate rates with freelancers? Consider factors such as their experience, skills, location, project scope, and market rates for similar services.

It’s also important to do your research to understand the industry standards for your specific needs. Be prepared to negotiate and compromise with the freelancer to reach an agreement that works for both of you. However, maintain a transparent and respectful communication approach throughout the negotiation process.

Managing Projects Effectively: Ensuring Smooth Sailing

Effective project management is critical for maximising a freelancer’s contributions, but how do I manage freelance projects effectively? Managing freelance projects can be challenging, but it’s important to do it effectively to get the best results. Here are some tips for managing freelance projects:

  • Set Clear Expectations: Clearly define the project’s scope, deliverables, and deadlines.
  • Communicate Regularly: Establish regular communication channels and set expectations for feedback and progress updates.
  • Use Project Management Tools: Utilise project management tools to track progress, assign tasks, and streamline communication efficiently.
  • Provide Timely Feedback: Provide timely and constructive feedback to the freelancer throughout the project.

By incorporating these screening and management strategies into your hiring process, you can confidently select and manage freelancers who deliver exceptional results, contributing to the success of your projects and business overall.

People sitting in an office at computers
Freelancers can work from anywhere, meaning you can have people working remotely for you all over the globe. (Image Credit: Brad Neathery)

Key Takeaways on Hiring Freelancers

As the global economy continues to evolve, businesses are embracing the flexibility and value that freelancers offer. By carefully selecting, vetting, and managing freelance talent, businesses can tap into a vast pool of expertise to achieve their goals.

Whether you’re seeking creative content, technical expertise, or administrative support, freelancers can be invaluable partners in driving innovation, expanding market reach, and enhancing overall business operations. In this blog, we’ve recognised that:

  • A freelancer can offer a wealth of experience, expertise, and skill within their niche.
  • A freelancer can work out more cost-effectively than hiring a full-time staff member (this is particularly beneficial for short-term projects).
  • Screening and effective project management are crucial for maximising freelancer contributions.

Remember, partnering with freelancers is not just about finding the right person for the job; it’s about building mutually beneficial relationships that foster trust, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

With a thoughtful approach to hiring freelancers based on talent acquisition, effective communication, and clear expectations, businesses can unlock the full potential of freelancers and build success.

Which is right for your business?

By following the abovementioned tips, you can confidently hire freelancers who will deliver exceptional results and contribute to the success of your projects and business overall.

FAQs on Hiring Freelancers

How do I vet potential freelancers?

Once you’ve found a few potential freelancers, you’ll need to vet them to make sure they’re qualified for the job. Here are some things to look for:
Portfolio: Review the freelancer’s portfolio to see examples of their work.
Experience: Ask the freelancer about their experience and qualifications.
Communication skills: Communicate with the freelancer to assess their communication skills and professionalism.
Availability: Make sure the freelancer is available to work on your project during your desired timeframe.

What are the benefits of hiring freelancers?

There are many benefits to hiring freelancers, including:
Access to a Global Talent Pool: A freelancer can be located anywhere in the world, which gives you access to a wider range of skills and expertise.
Cost-effectiveness: A freelancer can be more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees, especially for short-term projects or projects that require specialised skills.
Flexibility: A freelancer can be hired on a per-project basis, which gives you more flexibility in your staffing needs.

What are the potential risks of hiring freelancers?

There are a few potential risks to hiring freelancers, including:
Quality Control: It can be difficult to ensure consistent quality control when working with multiple freelancers.
Communication Issues: Communication issues can arise if you don’t communicate effectively with the freelancer.
Reliability: Freelancers may not be reliable in terms of meeting deadlines or delivering high-quality work.

How can I minimise the risks of hiring freelancers?

By following these tips, you can minimise the risks of hiring freelancers and ensure a successful project:
Do Your Research: Before you hire any freelancer, take the time to research them and their work.
Vet Your Candidates: Thoroughly vet your candidates to ensure they are qualified for the job.
Create Clear Contracts: Create clear contracts that outline the scope of the project, deliverables, and deadlines.
Communicate Regularly: Communicate regularly with the freelancer throughout the project.
Provide Timely Feedback: Provide timely and constructive feedback to the freelancer.

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