Talent Maximization

How to Hire the Right Freelancer for Your Business

A team is shaking hands with their newly hired freelancers at their small business. 

In today’s economy, small-and medium-size businesses (SMBs) need the competitive advantage of hiring freelance or contract talent to fill key skill gaps or during busy cycles.

Although there is a large pool of freelance talent available in the marketplace, business owners find it difficult to navigate all of the various platforms, much less sort through the volume of freelancer profiles.

With the gig economy on the rise, an impressive number of freelancers offer a wide range of skills, backed by flexible schedules and reasonable costs. By 2020, Intuit predicts that 40 percent of the total U.S. workforce will be independent contractors.

Despite the growing number of freelancers, there is a huge gap in small business owners’ utilization of this talent. A survey by Manta reveals that small businesses have been hesitant to take advantage of the ever-growing pool of freelance talent because of the time required to find the right candidate. Closing this gap – matching SMBs with the right freelance fit - can help SMBs scale operations much faster.

Finding the RIGHT Talent

Paige Brubacher, Director of Operations at ResultsResourcing, points out that many small business owners really aren’t prepared for the process of finding and recruiting the right freelance help. “It’s all new to them,” she says. “Going through the process of finding and vetting freelancers can be really disheartening.”

For this reason, an increasing number of SMBs have turned to ResultsResourcing for its curated freelance staffing model.

The value is simple: ResultsResourcing helps clients get clear about what they really need (both skills and experience), and then invites ONLY pre-vetted freelancers to interview for the roles. This saves business owners immeasurable time and ensures that the right resources are not only a fit for the role, but a personality and culture fit for the business. This curation process frees the business owner to focus and on growing their business.

After the ResultsResourcing team determines that a freelancer has the right skills and traits for a particular job, they conduct a live virtual interview. ResultsResourcing narrows the choices down to a Talent Pool of 3 recommended candidates. Then the client conducts their own interview to make the final selection—knowing they’re selecting from only the best freelance professionals available for their job.

“We really want to get to know the candidates, to understand their personalities and their work styles,” explains Brubacher. “We ask them behavioral work questions. It’s an in-depth interview, to make sure their background, experience, skills and personality are all the right fit.”

“It’s really fulfilling when we get an email back from the client, saying this is the perfect person for their job.” she says.

For many clients new to hiring freelance talent, the biggest obstacle is the reluctance to hire someone working virtually. By opening up to remote arrangements, clients discover a larger pool of potential talent available across the country and are more likely to find someone with the specific skills and experience required.

Cost savings can also increase by leveraging a remote talent pool. A virtual assistant in a major city, for example, could command $50 or more an hour for their services, Brubacher points out. Someone in a different town, with lower overhead, could bring the same skills for a lower price point.

What to Look for When Hiring Freelancers

If you decide to hire freelance or contract talent yourself, develop a thorough approach to vetting credentials.

  • Can the freelancer back up claims of accomplishments and skills with actual jobs and references?
  • Are they willing to provide work samples or participate in a small test assignment to verify skills?
  • Ask the freelancer to be clear about fees and any possible extra charges. In turn, state your budget and make sure they are comfortable with those parameters.
  • Confirm their availability. The best freelancers typically have a number of jobs underway, and a full slate of clients. Find out how much time they really have available to dedicate to your job.
  • Is the freelancer punctual and do they meet deadlines? Finally, do they keep lines of communication open? Do they respond to urgent queries promptly, or are there long delays in communication?
  • Plan on how to integrate the freelancer into the core team. Treat them as a valued team member who is augmenting core team skills, experience and bringing outside perspective.

Brubacher points out one common challenge in hiring freelancers occurs when business owners try to find “the one person who can do everything, which often doesn’t work out.” Rather than attempting to find a single freelancer to handle all their requirements, a business owner is better off to “prioritize their needs and to break down jobs down into smaller, more digestible parts and find freelancers that specialize in the different areas.”

She adds: “It’s not realistic to think one person can be great at everything. You might have a family doctor, but for a heart problem you still need to go to a heart specialist.  Helping people to break down the job to see what those smaller skillsets look like is super important. We work on this with our clients a lot.”

It’s also more cost effective!  The rate for a generalist may be lower but the time to do the work could be longer because the level of specialized expertise in a specific area is missing.  You get more for your dollar by breaking the job down to assign lower cost pieces to a generalist, and the specialized pieces to the expert who may cost more but gets the work done better and in less time.  

ResultsResourcing prides itself on some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. If you’re ready to start hiring virtual talent and want the support of a highly professional recruiting machine. Learn more and get started today.

Are you looking to create growth for your business? Discover easy-to-implement business growth strategies through our FREE webinar replay, "Getting Back to Growing While Minimizing Risk!" Download Now!

ResultsResourcing blog

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