Business Growth Insights

How to Avoid the 3 Biggest Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When Hiring Freelancers

A small business owner making a decision on whether or not to hire freelancers through the best virtual recruiters to scale their business.

Today’s marketplace requires small businesses to be agile, scalable, and able to meet their market’s evolving needs on a moment’s notice. Look no further than economic uncertainties for evidence that agility in business is key.

Business agility can appear daunting to the 30 million small business owners in the United States, especially the 24 million who are solopreneurs, but it doesn’t have to be.

Hiring freelancers is a quick, efficient, and cost-effective solution to small business success, and dramatically increases a brand’s ability to be nimble and flexible as the needs of the market change.

However, most business owners make 3 common mistakes when hiring freelancers:

Mistake #1: Paying too much (or too little!) for freelancers

Knowing what a company can afford to spend is one thing, but knowing what a freelancer’s service is worth is another. Few business owners have a solid understanding of the latter, and even fewer know when and why to pay more or less than the going rate. But glossing over cost/value comparisons can create big losses for businesses, whether that’s from missing out on a valuable partnership by underestimating an expert freelancer’s worth or squandering resources on unskilled contractors with a low rate who seem like a bargain.

The Solution

A virtual recruiter can help business owners understand the freelance market and objectively evaluate a freelancer’s value thereby creating a financially stable partnership for both.

“Helping our clients understand the value of the skill set they’re seeking is vital to our success in getting the right fit for the right money,” said Paige Brubacher, Operations Director at talent curation and online recruiting platform ResultsResourcing.

“We do that by understanding exactly what skill is needed and communicating (to the client) what that skill should cost in a freelancer. Everybody loves a bargain, but we remind our clients that a highly skilled freelancer who is a bit more expensive likely won’t need as many hours to get the same work done as someone with a lesser skill set. That equates to great value – both money and time.”

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Mistake #2: Hiring freelancers without the right qualifications

Strapped for resources and time, small business owners tend to make hiring decisions after cursorily reviewing only a handful of candidates. This often means taking a candidate’s word that his/her skills are as extensive as presented. Unfortunately, this frequently results in costly arrangements that don’t meet the business’ — or its clients’ — needs.

The Solution

Again, a virtual recruiter can help. Unlike the vast majority of small business owners, virtual recruiters have the time, resources, and skills to thoroughly and purposefully evaluate a large pool of candidates. The best virtual recruiters will then curate that talent and share their top picks with the business owner, thereby ensuring that only the most well-matched, qualified, and carefully considered candidate is hired. Take ResultsResourcing for example.

“When we curate freelance talent for our small business owners, we compare hundreds of candidates,” explained Brubacher. “This enables us to see the full range of skill levels available so we can pinpoint what candidate experiences best align with client needs. And our virtual recruiters don’t just take a candidate’s skill listing at face value, either. Instead, they speak directly with the candidates to get details and specific examples of their related work.”

Mistake #3: Not setting clear expectations when hiring freelancers

“Clear communication is essential for any good partnership,” said Brubacher. “Freelancers want to know exactly how to help their clients but they can’t meet expectations that they don’t know about. And when those unexpressed expectations aren’t met, business owners sometimes feel that they’ve hired the wrong person.”

The Solution

“When hiring freelancers, it's essential that business owners present clear expectations. When they can't, it’s usually because they aren’t clear on what they need,” said Brubacher. “That’s when a talent curation and online recruiting platform like ResultsResourcing can really help.”

We know what questions to ask up front to hone in on what a client really needs and address any gaps in the client’s job description,” she explained. “We also know what questions freelancers will ask and what information they need to be sure they are a fit for the job. So we help check those boxes and ensure all expectations and needs are clearly communicated from day one.”

It’s that early, solid partnership between virtual recruiter and small business owner that can make a genuine difference in the success of the later partnership between business owner and freelancer.

“Many of our clients come to us after having tried to hire freelancers on their own and having run into problems,” said Brubacher. “Often it’s due to the mistakes we’ve already discussed but it’s also because businesses simply don’t have access to the same resources and top freelancers that we do. Business owners who enter into a virtual recruiting partnership with ResultsResourcing reap the greatest — and quickest — benefits that come from hiring freelance talent.”

Hiring freelancers who are the right fit for your company is an essential component of scaling a business, but there’s more to a successful business growth strategy. Connect with ResultsResourcing's CEO, Elizabeth Eiss, to book a free talent consultation to discuss your needs and find out what to expect.

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