How to find the best freelancers for your business
In today’s wired world, many entrepreneurs are turning to the Internet to find freelancers to complete a variety of projects they do not have the staff or the time to take care of themselves.
What are the benefits of hiring a freelancer?
For businesses, outsourcing to a freelancer—in Canada or abroad—can offer the best of worlds: High quality work, affordable prices and a flexible relationship.
What’s more, freelancers are not just performing elementary administrative tasks. They can do virtually anything that can be organized and delivered via the Internet or over the phone.
Because they’re independent contractors, businesses who hire them are not responsible for any employee-related taxes and benefits. They also do not have to incur the expense of providing additional office space and equipment.
How do I find the right person for my business?
Knowing how to find and hire a freelancer can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips.
- Identify tasks you can outsource to a freelancer, whether scheduling meetings, creating presentations, writing articles, designing and maintaining a website or posting on social media platforms.
- Determine what kind of person you need and how much you are willing to pay.
- Use online resources to find candidates. Freelancer websites include professional experience, hourly rates and recommendations from those who have used the person’s services in the past. You can also post jobs and request bids.
- Ease into it. Once you have chosen someone to work with, it’s often a good idea to conduct an interview—many do this over the Internet using online voice and video call services such as Skype. You might also want to start with a trial project to see how your new freelancer performs before hiring him or her for larger assignments.
- Be honest about expectations and respectful in your dealings. If the person is not meeting expectations, be quick to end the relationship, but also explain why it did not work out. The arrangement is meant to make your life easier, not add difficulties.
What are popular websites to find freelancers?
Several websites can put you in touch with freelancers and help manage the relationship.
Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants—This association allows you to do a member search by postal code, helping you find a freelancer close to your community.
Canadian Virtual Gurus—This Alberta-based business can help you find a variety of freelancers, all of whom are based in Canada.
RPSAV—The Réseau des professionnelles en soutien administratif virtuel is a group of French speaking freelance assistants and secretaries.
Upwork—Offers many categories of freelancers from around the world. These range from web and mobile developers, writer and designers; to virtual assistants, customer service agents and even accountants.
99Designs—This site is focused on helping businesses find graphic designers for everything from logos to book covers. Jobs are posted and designers compete for the business.
Should I sign a contract?
It’s probably a good idea to have a basic contract between you and a freelancer. The contract will define the term of your relationship, including the rate to be paid, the services to be provided and the number of hours that are expected.
The major sites allow you to conclude a contract with a freelancer, follow progress on jobs and make payments through the site’s online accounts.
How can I protect my business information?
The contract you sign with freelancers will generally include requirements that they protect the confidentiality of your information. But you may also want to get freelancers to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Additionally, you should strive to limit the amount of confidential information you are sharing; make sure freelancers are aware of your confidentiality requirements; and clearly indicate what information you send them is confidential.
As in other business dealings, your best protection is working with those you are willing to trust. Recommendations, rating systems and experience working with individual freelancers will help you identify those who are trustworthy, dependable and talented.