So you posted a project on Hire the Homefront or some other freelance site and you are starting to get bids. Awesome, now comes the hard part, sorting through highly qualified candidates to find the right one for the job. Just like hiring someone for a full time position hiring a freelancers can be a daunting process but we have some best practices for you that will help ensure your project goes smoothly.
Know what is important to You
The first step in finding a freelancer is knowing what you are looking for in a candidate. I am not talking just skills sets here. If you need someone to write code for your website you obviously need someone who has that as one of their skills. I am referring to the soft skills that you need. Is the person the right fit for your working group? Is their proposal full of weird references and mannerisms? Have they worked in similar style groups? One of the things I do in many of my project postings is I require the freelancer to answer a short specific question before they start their pitch. My go to question is “do you like green eggs and ham”? Here are two answers I got the last time I used that question:
I like interacting with young ones hence definitely green eggs and ham my favorite.
I would not as I only eat plants.
Come on people, the answer is “I do not like them Sam I am”. So far that have been my best delimiter for a good fit on any of my projects. If they don’t seem like a good fit don’t be afraid to turn them down. There are always new freelancers checking out our platform so you will not be short of talented applicants. Once you decide on a few top prospects now you can move on to interviewing them.
Interview the Top Candidates
This might be the most important part. You can do it over the phone or through video conference but I recommend you do as much as possible through the Hire the Homefront platform and via email. Documenting expectations is important. One popular technique is to send each of the applicants a set of questions that goes more in depth about their experience and their work methods. If it turns out the freelancer likes to do everything while they are up after the kids go to bed and you need someone that is available to speak during the workday you probably are not the best fit for each other. Also don’t forget that you don’t have to only take people who apply for you project. We have a large pool of talent in the military community. Browse the through the freelancer profiles on Hire the Homefront and if they are available for hire, their profile will have an “Invite me to Join” button that you can use to specifically invite them to join bid on your project.
Break up the Contract
Organizing your work plan into distinct parts is vital to a successful project or freelance gig. It is a great way to ensure your freelancer is going to work before you waste too much time. By setting up a small milestone in the beginning of the project you can verify that the freelancer will deliver on time and check on their quality. It is also a great way to test the waters and build up a pool of qualified freelancers for other projects.
Pull the Trigger
Once you find that perfect fit it is time to accept the bid. Once you do those milestones really become important. If you gave the freelancer 6 weeks to complete the project and didn’t place any milestones on there well guess what? You have 6 weeks of wondering if they are actually working on your project. Even a deliverable such as a rough draft is a great tool to ensure things are going smoothly. At Hire the Homefront we work with our military spouses and veterans to ensure that they know the importance of communication. That goes for you as well. It is your money so there is nothing wrong with asking for status updates.
Be Accurate, Bold, and Concise
In military aviation one of the things that is constantly pushed is the concept of keeping communication accurate, bold, and concise. In other words make sure you make your intention clear, with energy, and to the point. This is as important in the workplace as it is in the aircraft. If you are working with a designer creating a logo for you and you don’t like their draft submission tell them! But, even more important, tell them exactly what you don’t like and what you think they should change. Specific suggestions such as “change the font size to 17 points” as opposed to things like “can you make it bigger” really go a long way. If you are working with a writer on a blog post and you don’t think they used enough references tell them to use 3 more references as opposed to saying you don’t feel it was researched enough. Of course you wouldn’t have to do that as much if you had been more specific in your instructions in the first place. Another thing to remember is that since you are often communicating through the platform or on email tone can often get lost in written communication. I tend to be sarcastic in my communication and I find that sometimes stupid people don’t get my awesome sense of humor. What that translates into is that I have to remind myself to be over courteous and clear in my email correspondence.
Hopefully this helps you in managing your project. If you have not posted a project yet get started here! It’s free to post a freelance job.