If you want to use freelancers to save on hiring costs, you must first know how to find a freelancer. Finding and working with a freelancer is challenging because you must consider various factors to ensure you are hiring the best freelancer.
Factors like the experience and expertise of the freelancer significantly impact this process. You have to consider your budget, as many experienced freelancers charge a large amount of money that small companies typically cannot afford.
Therefore, if you want to know how to find a freelancer, you are in the perfect place!
Whatever your project's specific requirements, we have compiled a list of the best websites and freelancer platforms where you can find freelancers to complete your projects. Furthermore, this article will also provide critical tips and tricks to communicate with the freelance worker and make sure you make the best choice.
First, let's go through some basics and benefits of freelancers.
To get the maximum benefits from hiring a freelancer, you have to understand the three critical characteristics of freelancing:
Freelancers Benefit a Company in Many Ways
The services of freelancers are broader than any one particular department or aspect of a business. Instead, they can help you in many different ways, such as designing creative projects, branding, fulfilling IT needs, graphic designing, and many other company requirements.
The goal of hiring a perfect freelancer is to supplement an organization's in-house staff, as freelance workers have focused expertise and flexibility in working hours to work on a project-by-project basis. Therefore, companies can outsource various projects and services to ensure professional and well-experienced freelancers can execute them according to the best standards.
Freelancers are not Full-Time Employees
While freelancers and employees provide services to a company, you must remember that freelancers are only considered employees if they get employee benefits. Generally, a company or an individual hires freelancers to work on a specific job, such as writing a blog or designing a logo and completing the task within a specified time.
Distinguishing between the employees and freelancers is essential because it also affects the budgeting of a job and the overall company's finances. An organization can hire the same freelancer multiple times for different positions, but the specific services depend on the negotiated price and delivery period.
Proper Freelancer Management
If you hire talented freelancers, you should be familiar with the critical strategies to support and manage freelancers. Such processes include communicating effectively with freelancers to ensure your work is completed efficiently and on time.
Benefits of Hiring Freelancers
Hiring skilled freelancers and ensuring that professional experts handle essential business processes has various benefits. Some of these significant benefits are:
Flexible Working Hours
The flexible working hours of freelancers are beneficial for clients as well. It means the freelancer can respond to you even after regular office hours are passed. Therefore, you can establish an effective communication channel with the freelancer.
Moreover, it also eliminates the delays due to holidays and weekends because many freelancers are willing to work on the weekend, so you should discuss such terms and conditions before selecting the freelancer.
Hiring and maintaining a full-time in-house employee requires a significant amount of resources in the form of a monthly salary and the time you have to spend searching for a suitable candidate and choosing them. On the other hand, hiring a freelancer is easy as you have to pay on a per-project basis. Hence, you will not have to worry about paying a regular salary.
Expertise and Experience
Freelancers typically work for multiple small businesses and are continuously looking for potential clients. Therefore, they have more experience and expertise than a typical employee working at a single company. You can benefit from such knowledge and expertise by hiring a freelancer.
Now that you are familiar with the benefits of hiring talented freelancers, let's discuss the steps involved in finding a freelancer.
Defining the Requirements
The first step in finding a suitable freelancer is to define and evaluate your requirements in detail so that you have a clear idea about what you expect from a freelancer and what you need help with.
This step also involved setting a realistic budget for the work you want to be done through a freelancer. Set a fair price from the very beginning, as it will help you in the negotiation process. Moreover, you can also look at other similar jobs or competitors to find an acceptable price range.
Once clear about the job requirements, you should create a thorough job description to ensure the freelancer can easily understand your needs and there is no miscommunication later.
Generally, writing a job description becomes easy when you focus on the core components of the job, which are:
- Start and end dates
- A detailed description of the work you are expecting from the freelancer
- List of deliverables you want to receive
- Specific terms and conditions of payment and working procedures
Overall, a thorough job description will provide a reliable framework the freelancer must follow to complete the freelance work.
Finding a Freelancer
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners need help with achieving success. After all, hiring employees can be expensive and time-consuming, especially when you're just starting. The good news is that there's a cost-effective and efficient solution: freelance workers.
Finding the right person for your business can take your company to new heights while keeping expenses low. Here are some tips for finding a freelancer and achieving breakthrough success.
When learning to find a freelancer, you should be familiar with some essential freelance sites with many quality freelancers with different skills and experiences.
Let's review some of the major freelance job sites to make sure you can find the best creative professionals for your freelance jobs.
Fiverr stands out from the other sites because you can search for gigs and select a freelancer instead of doing job postings on the job board and waiting for freelancers to bid on them. Fiverr Marketplace has more than 400 categories that include programming, animation, creative writing, video editing, graphic design, and many others.
Furthermore, Fiverr's safe and secure payment system has made it a popular freelancing platform worldwide among buyers and sellers. Payments are created after you negotiate rates and approve the work, so your money remains safe.
Moreover, businesses and individuals who want to hire multiple freelancers can use Fiverr Business as it provides you access to find talent at the best price. Furthermore, it has a ‘Business Success Manager' that allows you to match with the best quality freelancers according to your requirements.
Recruiters get unlimited access to find top talents like WordPress experts, content writers, digital marketers, and other freelancers. Recruiters find freelancers by going through their gigs and providing a clear scope of their service.
You can hire people directly without any communication and ask for a free estimate from the freelance workers in case the gig doesn't offer precisely what you are looking for. You can post your requirements on the job board so freelancers approach you for the job.
Upwork is a reliable freelancing website for choosing solo professionals or even an entire talented team to manage your work using job boards. Upwork has various services, including development, IT support, data entry, logo design, accounting, finance, translation, writing, editing, and many others.
There are three main ways through which you can recruit via Upwork:
- Post a job and hire a freelancer via Talent Marketplace.
- Browse the Project Catalog and select the required project.
- Use Talent Scout to find a professional freelancer with the help of a recruiter.
When you use the Project Catalog option, you can see the description, price, work samples, and client reviews for every freelancer. Furthermore, you can also negotiate the rate according to your budget.
Various recruiting methods of Upwork have varying pricing methods. If you are selecting a freelancer under the Talent Scout plan, then you will be paying on an hourly rate basis. On the other hand, Talent Marketplace involves visiting verified job seekers' profiles and paying them safely through the payment protection plan. Generally, Upwork is known for payments at hourly rates, so you should keep in mind that it can be more expensive than other freelancing platforms.
Flexjobs is a popular platform to help you recruit the top freelance talent for regular remote jobs. This site has many categories, including web design, graphic design, and account management. Moreover, if you get an employer membership of Flexjobs, you can get access to an extensive collection of resumes at Flexjobs and can also post an unlimited number of jobs.
Other than posting your requirements on the website, you can directly contact the freelancer by visiting their profiles. The paid plan of Flexjobs is quite expensive as it costs around $399 per month. It provides features and benefits like social media promotion, analytics of job responses, and other such functions.
If you're looking to outsource specific tasks or hire freelancers, then Toptal may be the perfect platform. Toptal only works with the top 3% of freelance talent across software development, design, finance, product, and project management. You know you'll work with top talent when you hire from Toptal.
Some of the biggest brands work with freelancers on Toptal, including Bridgestone, Shopify, Duolingo, and more.
Toptal pre-screens freelancers before allowing them onto the platform, and they guarantee the quality, or you don't pay. You tell them what you are looking for, and their internal team will connect you with the talent you can vet. Toptal talent usually works remotely, but you can also have them onsite if needed. They are like an extension of your workforce.
Toptal offers freelancers across a broad range of categories:
- Quality Assurance (Unit Testing, Selenium, PHPUnit, JUnit, Cucumber, etc.) Designers (UI, UX, Visual, Interaction)
- Finance Experts (FP&A, financial modeling & valuation, fundraising, market research, pricing analysis, etc.)
- Project Managers (digital project manager, technical project manager, scrum master, etc.)
- Product Managers (product owners, technical product managers, product consultants, etc.)
Freelancer is one of the most popular online platforms for finding and hiring freelancers. It offers a wide range of services, including job postings, resources for project managers and developers, and an easy-to-use platform that makes it simple to find the right freelancer. Freelancer offers talent for over 180 disciplines and offers a satisfaction guarantee, so you don't pay until you are satisfied.
Some key reasons to use Freelancer include:
- Freelancers can be found across various industries and skill sets, so you can easily find the perfect person for your project.
- The platform's user interface is highly user-friendly, making it easy to navigate and start your search.
- Payment processing is handled by Skrill (a global payments provider), which means you know your money will be safe and processed quickly.
How to Successfully Hire a Freelancer?
Now that you are familiar with the major freelance sites, you can find numerous freelancers providing numerous services. There are some crucial tips that you should follow to ensure maximum success in selecting a suitable freelancer. The five general steps involved in getting started with a freelancer are:
Step 1 – Budgeting and Requirements
Whenever you want to hire the best freelancer for a job, you must be sure what the job is and what kind of services you expect from a professional. Therefore, taking a step back and analyzing your requirements, including a budget, deadline, and overall job description, is essential.
Furthermore, you should also list the skills your freelancer should excel at. This list will help you narrow down the list of potential freelancers and make the best choice.
Step 2 – Select the Freelancer Platform
The importance of selecting the right freelance site to find and hire a freelancer cannot be understated. Upwork and Fiverr are two of the most popular freelancing platforms because you can hire freelancers of all types on these platforms.
However, you should consider your requirements before choosing a freelancer platform. For instance, if you are looking for a professional marketer, MarketerHire is likely the most logical platform for you.
By now, you are already familiar with the popular freelancing platforms you can explore to find the best freelancer. Generally, you judge a freelancing platform based on the following:
- Type of freelancers working at a freelancer site
- Reviews the system of the platforms
- The types of projects you can post on the freelancing site
- Entry fees and commissions
- General user-friendliness of the freelancer site and reviews from other users
After considering these critical factors, you will be in an excellent position to choose a suitable freelancer site to explore and search for freelancers.
Step 3 – Select the Best Freelancer Candidate
Once you have posted the freelance job, it will become visible on the main profile, and freelancers will start applying for it. You will not have to do job postings using a platform like Fiverr. Instead, you can directly hire freelancers without even contacting them.
Selecting the best freelancer for your project involves two main aspects:
Narrow Down the List
First, you should narrow down the list of candidates that fit your job description with the help of a comprehensive pre-interview questionnaire. Another way to shorten the list is relying on freelancers' reviews and overall scores.
Some freelancer sites allow employers to check the compatibility of the freelancer with the job profile. However, such functions are typically limited to the paid version of freelancing platforms, such as LinkedIn Talent Solutions. Sorting the applicants from the most to least compatible ones helps create a reliable pipeline.
Evaluate the Applications
The next step of the application process is to evaluate the proposals individually. Generally, it would help if you started with applicants with the best reviews. You should contact them directly if they fit within your budget and have the necessary skills. By the end of this process, you will have a short list of freelancers to hire to fulfill the given task.
Step 4 – Interview
Once you obtain a shortlist of candidates, you should talk to the freelancers and determine if they have the necessary skill sets, knowledge, and experience to do what you expect them to do. Some freelancing platforms also allow you to meet the candidates through a video call.
You might have to conduct multiple meetings with the freelancers to determine how they behave in conversation. Ultimately, their previous work will speak for their skills. During an interview, you can ask them about their previous work samples and how they plan to tackle the given task. Other terms and conditions, like the deadline, deliverables, and preferred method of communication, should be discussed at this stage.
Step 5 – Hire the Freelancer
Once all of the above formalities are completed, you are in the perfect position to hire a freelancer. The exact process of choosing a freelancer is dependent on the freelancing website. For instance, if you are using Fiverr, you will select the freelancer's gig and place an order according to your requirements or ask the freelancer to send you a custom request in the inbox.
Monitor Progress and Establish Effective Communication Rules
Once you have hired a freelancer, the next step is to make sure you have effective communication rules in place to track the progress of the freelance work and ensure its success. Following are the three crucial things that you should consider as part of the communication strategy:
Need for Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
If you are dealing with confidential information and want the freelancer to handle the sensitive information safely, you should consider signing an NDA with the freelancer. Such extreme measures are typically optional, especially when you hire a professional and experienced freelancer. Yet, it is dependent on the nature of your trade.
It would help if you clarified to freelance writers that you and your company will hold copyright and privacy rights to the project on which the freelancer works. For example, you might hire a professional app developer freelancer to develop an app for your business. This app will belong to you as you will be paying for it.
Setting a suitable protocol for progress reports when clients work with a freelancer is essential to avoid unnecessary delays and ensure the project is completed on time. The exact method of tracking project progress is affected by its overall duration.
Generally, clients can ask for progress reports and a time tracker at the end of the workweek on larger projects. Moreover, ensure that the freelancer can reach out to you quickly if they need any further information on the freelance work or have some queries.
How to Pay Freelancers?
Since remote work has become highly popular after the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are recruiting freelancers and remote workers to fulfill various responsibilities.
However, choosing the best way to pay the freelancers is challenging as it involves many factors like the company's location, the freelancer's preferred payment method, and other such factors.
If you hire freelancers through a platform like Upwork or Fiverr, you will not have to worry about the payment procedure. These platforms allow you to pay through your bank account, MasterCard, or debit/credit card. The payment is kept safe with many websites, and once you receive the work and approve it, it is released to the freelancer.
However, you may have hired a freelancer from a platform like LinkedIn that does not offer a built-in payment system. In such a situation, you can use one of the following payment methods to reimburse the freelancer:
The conventional payment method via checks is still a practical and secure way of paying freelancers. It helps you in avoiding significant charges involved in online transactions. However, statements are typically not feasible in this era due to delivery issues, and there is a high chance that you have hired a freelancer internationally.
PayPal is a standard payment gateway that many clients use to pay freelancers. You can easily open a PayPal account for free and send invoices to freelancers. Furthermore, once the payment is made, it is received immediately by the freelancer, so there are no delays in this method. Since it is an online payment solution, you can handle delayed or missing checks.
However, a significant disadvantage of using PayPal is that when you send money using a debit or credit card, you are likely to pay about a 2.9% transaction fee, along with the fixed cost. Such charges are not made when you are sending money via bank transfers or PayPal within the USA. You will have to pay a significant portion of the funds towards transaction fees if you work with multiple freelancers.
If you hire a freelancer through an active marketplace like Upwork or Fiverr, you can securely and efficiently remunerate the freelancers from anywhere in the world. Therefore, if payment methods can be a significant factor in recruiting a freelancer, you should stick to the freelancing platforms that provide reliable payment systems.
Wise is a popular online money transfer service that operates from London. It supports international payments, so you can easily use Wise to send the funds if you want to reimburse a freelancer from outside your country.
However, remember that Wise does not have features like payment protection and escrow accounts that are useful for paying freelancers. Wise is a good choice if you want automation and efficient security.
Venmo is an online wallet. You can easily create an account on Venmo using Facebook or your email and connect the bank account or credit card to it. You can send money to freelancers using Venmo by loading money into the Venmo balance. If you are not using a US bank or a well-known credit card, you will have to pay around a 3% service fee.
Which Payment Method is the Best?
There is no winner when it comes to finding the best payment method. You will have to make this decision based on your preferences, requirements, and how much you are willing to spend on transaction fees and service charges. Each of the methods discussed above has its pros and cons, so you should carefully analyze them to make an intelligent decision.
How to Find a Freelancer FAQs
Where to find freelancers?
The number of freelancer sites you can find and recruit freelancers is limitless. Some of the most popular places to find freelancers are:
- We Work Remotely
- People Per Hour
How to hire freelancers?
Following the tips and tricks discussed throughout this article, you should have no issue hiring the best freelancer for your business. The entire process of selecting a freelancer can be summarized in the following steps:
- Determine the scope of your work to ensure you have a clear idea of what you expect from the freelancer.
- Evaluate your budget to ensure you will only shortlist candidates with the required experience and are willing to complete the job within your estimated budget.
- Select and explore the best freelancing platform according to your requirements.
- Contact the various freelancers that meet your requirements regarding budget, experience, and skill sets. Evaluate the reviews of their past customers to determine whether you should buy their services.
- Shortlist the freelancers and interview them individually to find the best fit for your company.
- Hire the freelancer after you are fully satisfied that they are the best candidate to fulfill your requirements.
How do I manage freelancers once we begin working together?
Once the recruitment process is complete, the next step is to ensure the effective management of the freelancers. Generally, when you are working with a single freelancer, it will be a smooth task for you. However, most companies nowadays rely on large teams of freelancers, so it is vital to manage them effectively.
Use the following tips to achieve this goal:
- Build a strong working relationship with the freelancers to ensure you are on the same page regarding the company's development and achieving business goals.
- Define the freelance work details thoroughly to ensure the freelancers have a clear and easy-to-follow framework.
- Establish an effective communication protocol to track progress, such as through weekly or daily reports.
- Set your expectations and budget from the very start of the freelance work.
- Use project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Jira.
What should I ask a freelancer?
Choosing a freelancer can become even more smooth, quick, and easy if you consider these essential questions to ask your next freelancer:
- What experience do you have in the industry?
- Can I see samples of your work?
- How many jobs are you working on right now?
- How will we track the project's progress?
- How will you deliver the task?
By asking these questions, you will have a clear idea about the working style of the freelancers, and you will form a strong working relationship.
How to Find a Freelancer Wrap-up
The number of freelancing websites is expected to increase as freelancing and remote working grows in popularity. The freelance marketplaces mentioned here should be enough for you to find experienced, skillful, and reliable freelancers.
Freelancers are quickly becoming the backbone of how companies get projects done. If you have not already, you'll likely work with a freelancer in some capacity in the next few years. This information will prepare you for any engagement with a freelancer.