Common Challenges in Hiring Freelances (and How to Solve Them)

By: Sam Mckenzie

2018-10-18 10 minute read

Hiring and outsourcing a professional Freelancer can have its ups and downs and because some have mediocre experience it doesn’t mean that there aren’t good ones out there.

The trick is in the hiring process and being able to eliminate candidates and manage the interview process effectively.

Let me explain…………

The first step, is that you have done your due diligence and know what your freelancer should have experience with, the tools they need to do the job or project. You have also worked out your budget for the project.

Placing your advertisement is now easy, you know what is required and the right questions to ask your potential freelancer.

You might consider going straight to an outsourcer who takes away the painful process of elimination like Fiverr. If you post your ad on their board you will be able to see all the freelancers looking for work. They have vetted the freelancers and given them ratings based on previous work and referrals.

That’s not all…………..

Now all you have to do is choose the ones on the short list who you think is best suited for your project and interview them.

Alternately, you can place advertisements on job boards, but be prepared to be bombarded with hundreds of interested applicants. Then you will have to sift through them, check references and make short lists.

Let’s face it, this all takes time and time means money. That’s why of course you will need to be able to eliminate some candidates on the spot, here are a few tips to help the process.

  • Be on the look-out if you receive an offer that is copy-pasted. This should send alarm bells as clearly they have not even read your offer and don’t even know what the project entails and if they are competent.
  • Their offer is based on certain aspects of your project and the recommended solutions. If they are trying to sell you their services (and don’t really care about your project) they will tell you about how great they are and not even refer to your project.
  • You get an almost instantaneous response after you have posted the ad. This kind of person is obviously playing the speed game and is not to be trusted. They probably copy pasted and didn’t even bother to read the job requirements.
  • You don’t get a detailed quote, with the costs involved and what they will give you for it. Instead they give you a flat number. This indicates that they cannot be bothered to give a detailed quote and you can assume their work ethics are the same.

The best part?

Now that you have disqualified at least 50 percent of the candidates you can now safely get down to eliminating and finding the cream of the crop.

Here’s what to look for……………….

  • Look for five-star reviews together with their work history and references. Keep in mind that there might be newbies with no work history who are excellent freelancers and can do the job. If one catches your eye, ask for work samples and testimonials, they might be the perfect fit for you.
  • A professional will ask the right questions to understand the project and he/she will make suggestions on how they can improve your goals which will ultimately save you both time and money.
  • Money should be the last thing they talk about, instead they should first speak about the project and after evaluating come up with a detailed quote.
  • They should be able communicate eloquently and be proficient in English. After all, they need to have no barriers when communicating with clients and be able to express their thoughts clearly
problems when hiring freelancers

problems when hiring freelancers


You could discover down the road that your freelancer has become a little demotivated. This could be the result of some disagreements or they have found another project that is more interesting for them. The worst case scenario is that they no longer respond to any of your emails or phone calls.

Here are a few tips to avoid this scenario and understanding the reason why this has happened.

  • Most freelancers become freelancers because of the freedom that it gives them, they feel that they can work whenever they feel like it.
  • Initially they are excited to get the job and are enthusiastic and over-optimistic regarding time estimates. They find they have misjudged the amount of time the job actually takes to do.
  • They feel they are indispensable and a valuable asset and require constant motivation.

To avoid this kind of scenario you should:

  • Set out in writing their terms of employment which should include the way you will communicate, the frequency, schedules with deliverables etc.
  • Expect some setbacks especially in the beginning when the freelancer is ‘feeling’ his way and becoming acquainted with your business and expectations. Be realistic about the time that is estimated to do the job, Rome wasn’t built in a day and no one can promise such things.
  • Motivate your freelancer and keep in constant contact, give feedback and be open to questions.

That’s not all………….

The last bit of advice is that in terms of adding value to the company ‘you get what you pay for’. By cutting costs and hiring a cheap freelancer you will probably end up getting an expensive one to fix their work.

Bottom Line?

By taking into consideration some of the above tips you are well on your way to hiring and managing a Freelancer successfully without any problems!



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