How To Hire Digital Experts Like A Pro

Hire Digital Experts Like A Pro

Digital professionals are in great demand in this tech-driven industry. However, in the current scenario, no matter what digital position you might be looking for, chances are that a simple recruitment search will turn up more results than you could handle. However, to be able to hire a competent digital expert for any post, it isn’t enough to just find a repository of profiles that seem to match and then take those candidates forward. Rather, in order to hire digital professionals that actually fulfill the needs of a post adequately, there’s a lot more you need to do regarding your recruitment practices.

And, despite the seemingly overwhelming number of digital roles and related digital profiles multiplying on job sites, you can still hire digital experts like a maestro. And here’s how:

1) Market Your Job Offer To Competent Digital Experts

When you start a search for a certain digital job role and turn up a practical reservoir of profiles, don’t get complacent. That reservoir you’re so proud of may have one to five suitable candidates at best. And those competent ones won’t be interested in your job if all you send them is the job profile and demand their resume by the end of the day.

These digital professionals aren’t termed “experts” for nothing. They have the experience and, most importantly, they have the know-how. And consequently, they also know how to generate demand for their services if need be. So, the only way you can actually snag these candidates is if you make the job something they want to take up. Hence, market your job to these candidates; treat it like a product you want them to pick up. That will have a better chance of getting you the expert candidates you’re looking for.

2) Craft the Job Description Carefully

If you’re looking to hire digital experts, don’t give vague job descriptions that explain next to nothing of what you expect. And don’t ever copy-paste a job description without tweaking it properly to suit your job requirement! Both these practices are unfortunately not that rare. And both of them tell professionals that the company or hiring team for that job offer has no idea what they’re doing. Plus, don’t forget that the digital generation is, at its core, an information and communication driven population. So an uninformative and scant job description is definitely going to make digital experts turn away.

Put up an intelligent and clear job description however, and you’ll catch the eye of the seasoned digital professionals that you’re looking for.

3) Screen Your Candidates

You might get a lot of suitable looking profiles for the digital post you’re trying to hire for. But, under no circumstance should you skip the screening of your potential candidates. You need to evaluate and assess the actual candidate before you hire them. Even if they look like a dream come true on paper. If you’re partial to informal or “coffee shop meet-up” interviews, save it for the final stage and not immediately after liking an online profile.

4) Go The Full Hog For Candidate Assessments

Never limit your assessment to generic questions and a general overall assessment that tells you nothing specific or unique about your digital candidate. Rather, go all the way: Conduct screenings and multiple levels of interviews when necessary, ask in-depth questions and invite questions and suggestions from the candidates as well, and conduct trial tasks that skillfully assess the working competency of the candidate. And then, conduct further assessments for anything else that you think might be relevant to the role you’re hiring for.

Sure, it might seem an arduous process. But it’ll get you great hires.

5) Consider Freelance Canditates

Quite a number of digital experts currently offer their skills on a freelance basis. In fact, this is par for the course for countries like the U.S., and the trend seems to be spreading fast. So, if you aren’t considering freelance candidates as well in your job search, then you’re dipping in the shallow end of the recruitment pool.

Of course, if the post you’re hiring for needs an in-house digital expert and you can’t compromise on that factor, that’s fine. But don’t ignore digital freelancers where you can include them in your recruitment exercise. For, hiring freelancers is indirectly much more inexpensive, and you often pull in a unique set of skills with each digital freelancer you hire – whether that’s on a long-term, short-term, or even permanent basis.

 6) Give Trial Tasks

For certain jobs – especially if you’re hiring for a long-term contract or a project that requires a certain set of indispensable skills – trial tasks for potential hires are essential. In fact, most web professionals are used to such trial tasks and will welcome it. And as this is what will help you test a candidate’s actual working competency, you really shouldn’t overlook this practice.

 7) Use Social Media To Find Candidates

One of the most limiting things you can do is to stick to job portals to find potential candidates. Rather, use job sites as well as various social media sites to find. It’s a big wide world on the Web and you should use every source you can to find the best digital candidates for your recruitment’s.

5 Steps for Sourcing Web-Skilled Candidates with Recruiting Analytics

Sourcing Web-Skilled Candidates with Recruiting Analytics

Proper sourcing is one thing that you need to consider when you jump into a talent hunt or want to reach out to some potential prospects to hire; for it helps you to sort the best among them. But how are you going to tackle such a situation when candidates seem to pour into your inbox from seemingly everywhere, thus overloading your recruiting process with useless information?

Well, in basic terms: You need to be clean, simple, and calm in your approach while sourcing. So how to do so? Here are five simple steps that can help you effectively process profiles for interviews:

Try to Asses Your Available Pool of Profiles

When you source candidates, the first step you need to take is to find out where most of your potential candidates actually congregate.

The things is, candidates are aware that a good chunk of their possible employers cannot (and will not) grant them an interview if they cannot find them online. So, if someone wants to take up a job at your company, they will most likely have an active social media account.

You must hence use all the recruiting analytics tools available to you to collect the potential candidates’ social media data that is available publicly. With the use of sourcing software, you can then access the data of any candidate, their job history, skills, and other information. And once you collect these data, the recruiting analytics will give you a much better idea of what you can expect from the available resource pool.

 You Can Create Candidate Profiles

The data you have now would not illuminate much unless you take some action. In order to get the most data, you need to create internal profiles for each candidate and evaluate the talent based on the criteria, cultural fit, and personality of the candidate.

A candidate with the minimum qualification and poor performance levels is not a person you want to hire. Make a note of various aspects – both good and bad – in your system, and save yours and the hiring team’s time when evaluating candidates in the next hiring cycle. You can also create profiles for potential candidates who just barely make the cut, and set the roots for the talent pipeline. This way when the next round of hiring takes place, you can consider or reject the next level of candidates based on their performance in the previous cycle.

 Integrate your Company Information

With all potential candidates sorted into “suitable” and “not-suitable” categories, or any other set of categories you have created, it is now time to gather and compile data based on your company’s requirements. Create job descriptions and descriptions of required skill-sets for every possible job opening at your company. Then, you will be able to match the information with your job and data sets, subsequently enabling you to sort out candidates into the various openings available, based on their skill-sets and qualifications. This way, you can hire talent much faster.

 Take Them to ATS

If you find too many candidates with skill-sets that fit the job, then filter the candidates based on whether or not they fit into the desired qualification level you are posting. You can choose an applicant tracking system for this purpose. Since, technology moves quite swiftly in advancements, and the line between ATS and sourcing software is blurring. Thus, integrating both of them seems to be an obvious choice. And, if you want to cull down the crowded talent pool, sourcing could be the first line of defense, followed by the EATS’s ability to reduce the talent pool by 75%. With sourcing, you can also make sure that the candidates with the same name are not accidentally ignored, and the ATS will help to decide if any of them is qualified.

So, when you let one flow easily into the other, both become more effective.

Get into the Conversation

The sourcing candidates can help reveal a number of things: their employment history, their resume, as well as their skill-sets. It also provides the most important piece of information in the recruitment process: their contact information.

This counts for more than just getting an email address. And you need to encourage them to click and apply. And to do so, you will need to build a relationship with the candidates. This will also help you find better talent the next time you have to hire. In fact, you must build or set up regular venues of contact with candidates who do not make the cut initially; for this might make sourcing candidates easier the next time.

Let us add to our sourcing knowledge with these five ideas, and take them ahead so that finding new candidates becomes much easier.

 

 

The 7 Sins Of Recruiting Digital Professionals

The 7 Sins Of Recruiting Digital Professionals

When looking to hire a digital professional, there a number of practices that recruiters employ that damage their chances of getting suitable candidates.

Here are seven of which, you should un-follow from your hiring process:

1) Thou Shalt Not Demand Instant Profiles

Digital experts are not the starving artists and musicians of old. Most of them have even learned the skills they possess all on their own, with nothing but an Internet connection and oodles of self-motivation. Hence, they’re not desperate for jobs; if they’re good at what they do, they know that, unless the Internet as a whole miraculously disappears, their skills will always be in demand.

Hence, if you’re truly looking for digital “experts”, you need to market the job to them and entice them to the post: A detached and monotone job offer isn’t going to excite them. And neither will they be impressed if you demand immediate profiles that have to be delivered by that very evening. Simply getting a repository of candidates won’t help in the long run: For, you won’t find the kind of digital expert you’re looking for with such an approach.

2) Thou Shalt Not Post Ridiculously Un-Informed Job Descriptions

Digital professionals are expected to know what they’re doing. So they’re definitely not going to appreciate a job offer that has a JD (Job Description) that reads like you yourself have no idea who you’re looking for barring a limited set of skills – Or worse, a job description that has clearly been copied and blindly pasted from somewhere else with no editing or proper structuring.

Just think: Would you, as a seasoned professional, be impressed by such a job description? Would you have any faith in the company that put up such an ad? Remember that jobs aren’t as dire as it was a couple of years ago anymore: Especially for digital experts, who have honed in on the most reliable job sector in this era.

So if you’re advertising for a digital job – say, for a digital coder, for instance – then you need to give clear details of not just what skills you’re looking for, but how these skills are related to the job you’re hiring for. An intelligent and informing job description will catch a good hire’s interest.

3) Thou Shalt Not Overlook The Screening Process

When considering a candidate for a post, you have to carefully evaluate whether or not that candidate will be suitable for a post. For, even if a candidate is armed to the nines with incredible skills and seems too good to be true, unless you’re sure that person can apply those skills appropriately to the job you’re hiring them for, you can’t hire them.

Screening a candidate is essential. And it won’t do to “meet” candidates at a coffee shop either. Sure, it might be permissible at the final stage of hiring, especially for a collaborative project. But if you avoid the screening process, you’re likely to end up with more cups of coffee than suitable candidates.

4) Thou Shalt Not Hire Candidates Via “Overall” Assessments

Overall assessments are fine during the initial stages of choosing bulk candidates. But after that, you have to thoroughly assess your candidates with in-depth questions and (sometimes) even tasks. However, if all you do is hire a candidate after a few teaser-like questions, you better be hiring that candidate for a post that offers him or her training from scratch. Because, except in very, very rare situations, that’s all your hires may be suitable for.

5) Thou Shalt Not Dismiss Freelancers

Now, there might very well be positions that you need in-house hires for. However, if you’re avoiding freelancers as recruitment candidates merely on principle, then you’re cutting yourself off from a lot of great talent and skill.

In this digital age, there are very few positions out there that can’t be managed effectively by freelancers. And, considering that practically one-third of the employable, skilled population in the U.S. constitutes freelancers, you better believe that freelancers have a lot to offer. Plus, hiring a freelancer is indirectly more inexpensive than hiring regular employees.

So honestly, great skills and less costs: Why on earth wouldn’t you consider freelance candidates!

6) Thou shalt Not Shy Away From Trials

Giving potential candidates trial tasks in order to judge their skills and suitability for the post are perfectly fine. In fact, all you have to do is simply ask. Most digital professionals will be perfectly amenable to it.

In fact, devising a trial task for them to do, might very well be necessary if you’re considering a candidate for a long-term contract or project. But why not? As long as the trial task is reasonable and does not take as long as the actual job you’re hiring for, most digital professionals welcome it. After all, probation periods are still perfectly normal for new hires, and trials are no different.

And, on the off chance that a candidate declines, there won’t be any hard feeling about the query.

7) Thou Shalt Not Limit Candidate-Searches To Recruitment Database Portals

In this age of social media empires, why would you limit yourself to simple database portals to find your candidates? Especially when you’re more likely to find skilled digital candidates on social media sites than anywhere else?

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for candidates on job sites. Of course you should! But you shouldn’t limit yourself to such databases either. The online sphere offers you practically the entire world of digital experts at your fingertips. So you should be taking full advantage of it!

Hiring and Employing Remote Talent: The Legal Aspects

Hiring and Employing Remote Talent The Legal Aspects

In technical terms, “Remote Talent” refers to a skilled individual who works from a location outside the office. They are often independent workers who may be hired on a short-term, long-term, or even permanent basis, but will most likely not be physically attending the actual office or business location. Further, most remote talent will work for multiple clients at once.

Thereby, in comparison with full-time office employees, remote talent may or may not be given access to all the benefits that are usually provided by the company (i.e., the benefits/allowances usually provided to full-time office employees). But, on the other hand, remote workers can choose their own work locations, timings, avoid work commute, and also work for multiple clients at the same time – For employers of remote workers are disallowed from implementing restrictions regarding the same.

 The Benefits to Hiring Remote Talent

There are many benefits of using remote talent, the most obvious being a reduction in operational costs. As remote talent is an option that mainly extends a flexible choice of working to those who cannot function as regular employees, certain allowances like HRA (house rent allowance), DA (daily allowance), insurance, and medical claim benefits might not be applicable to them. However, such norms vary from one company to another and from country to country.

The Contract is the Most Important Aspect of Hiring Remote Talent

When you are hiring remote talent, make sure that every expected role and responsibility is noted and confirmed on a legal contract. This document should talk about the ownership of work, intellectual property rights, and employee benefits, as well as any additional benefits, restrictions, or allowances offered by the company, with regards to the time-span of the contract and the work that the particular remote talent is being hired to do.

For those looking for guidelines on drawing up such contracts, consider Upwork’s legal contracting guidelines as a good source.

The Current Scenario

Today, most of the regular benefits extended to normal full-time employees are also common for remote workers. However, the company still cuts down a lot on costs regarding infrastructure and resources with them. Therefore, providing them other benefits enable recruiters to draw in and keep highly qualified and talented workers at an economic remuneration.

Remote freelancers can work in various roles and industries. And, based on one’s role and level, the extent of the employee benefits to that remote worker will vary. Mostly though, it depends on the performance and quality of work delivered.

In any case, with the telecommunication technologies available today, managing remote workers is very doable in practically any kind of business.

Allowing the Option of Remote Talent in your Company can be Cost-Advantageous for You

By allowing candidates to work from remote locations, companies actually get access to a global level of talent, thereby not being limited to a geographically based pool of candidates. In fact, there are some companies who’ve gotten it down to an art: for there is barely a difference noted for remote workers in terms of performance and job satisfaction.

Remote employees work from their own comfort zones, where usual distractions can be avoided. (Or else, these might be employees who thrive on chaos and have similar work environments in their chosen location.) Plus, telecommuting saves money for the business as candidates pay for their own utilities, electricity, and computer.

Comparing the Official Work Benefits Offered to Remote and Regular Employees

Full time employees in a company get paid leaves, sick leaves, casual leaves, along with paid vacation time. This is a benefit that most remote workers do not partake in fully. However, if remote candidates have been working for a company for a long time, then they may attain all these benefits in addition to their flexible work timings. However, not all companies employ this practice, and it requires a continuous delivery of good work performance in order for remote employees to reach this stage.

There are usually health benefits that a company offers to its full-time employees. And this is one aspect which might not be open for remote workers at all: PF is another facility to which they are not liable for. However, based on the EPF policy, health benefits can be mapped and given accordingly. Do note, though, that these are not stringent norms.

Also, if the work is stressful and involves large amounts of occupational hazards, then most companies offer planned health schemes for a fixed duration of time (subject to the company’s respective policy change) for both remote and regularly employed talent.

However, if remote workers are noted as employees in a company officially, then their benefits will be the same as full-time employees. And here, they will be equal to their full-time colleagues: in terms of communication, accountability, and identification with the company. In some nations, companies provide remote working options where remote workers get the whole gamut of employee benefits as well.

On the other hand, in some countries, limited-to-no employee benefits are given to remote workers, as they are considered as allied workers, and not for the primary processes. Therefore, when remote workers are involved, check these legalities based on the country and state that the company or business is being run in.

Blurring of Lines between Employees and Clients

In today’s age of digital inclusion and virtual workplaces, hiring remote talent is quickly becoming a common trend. And consequently, that means the legal aspects of hiring remote employees are adapting and upgrading them as well – which is why different countries and companies have vastly different legalities in place when it comes to remote talent.

However, one aspect of hiring remote talent is that the lines between employees and clients have now blurred, and in more ways than one:

One common incident of these blurring of lines is that the remote talent a company hires can later hire the company in turn for their own services (and vice versa). For instance, a team of Android developers can be remotely hired by a company for coding and app development tasks for a short-term contract; and later, the same team can hire the company for services that will enable them (i.e., the team of Android developers) to complete another project that they are a part of.

Yet another result of this increasing trend of hiring remote talent is the establishment of freelancer recruitment and freelance job search platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Elance, and a number of other similar online platforms. And here again, the separating divide between employees and clients blur. For, here, a remote team or independent talent can take turns acting as the client and remote talent on such platforms. Or they can act as both the client and freelance employee at the same time, depending on their needs.

In fact, the contracts themselves look similar, with mostly the same clauses, both with regards to the client as well as the freelancer. Consider the contracts on Upwork for example: Both the client policies contract and the freelancer policies contract (i.e., contractor policies contract) cover more or less the same clauses and guidelines, with only the most pertinent details being different.

However, this aspect makes developing contracts a careful and detailing task due to the flexibility (regarding the involved parties) now available.

Defining Employees as a Remote Talent and a Regular Employee

The U.S. is the most prominent country to tackle the case of smoothing legalities between the shift to digital labor. In fact, remote talent often have to be declared a regular employees based on a certain set of conditions, thereby entitling many remote workers to the same employee benefits as a company’s regular employees. However, a remote talent can be classified as independent contractors unless:

  • a remote talent’s role in a company insists on a particular location or time-range as part of their role
  • the remote talent’s role in a company is “integral” to the working of the company
  • the freelancer’s role restricts them from taking up work from other clients

So again, based on the country’s own labor laws and definitions, companies have to respectively define a remote worker as a regular employee, independent contractor, or part-time employee.

Plus, in addition to benefits and allowances, depending on the state’s respective tax laws, if a remote worker draws more than a particular amount per year (as defined by the tax laws) from the company, the company is obligated to deduct TDS if necessary (again, as per the respective state laws). PF and ESI follow the same criteria of legalities as well.

The company, Uber, is a good example of a company that uses remote talent to full capacity. However, the debates on whether an Uber driver should be considered a remote worker or a regular employee quite literally changed the legal framework of how such workers and employees are defined in the U.S. However, despite this, there is no doubt that Uber has changed the face of remote employment. The case study of Uber could very well change how current labor regulations define workers in the U.S. as well.

In conclusion, to ensure the best retention rate for both full time employees as well as remote talent, companies must ensure that they follow the entirety of the legal aspects their country and state (of establishment) is subject to regarding the same. In fact, businesses should consult legal consultants and professionals to ensure the process of hiring remote talent along with regular employees is hassle free. Plus, maintaining fair and established legal norms regarding the same will standardize the process for the respective industries as well – thereby ensuring that neither the remote workers nor the companies involved get taken advantage of or face legal conflicts in the future.

How to Effectively Assess A Freelancer Before You Hire One

How to Effectively Assess A Freelancer Before You Hire One

When you are looking to hire a freelancer in the current digital scenario, you will find a dozen or more profiles that look to match your requirements. However, it is likely that you’ll find the reality of that suitability quite different once you hire them. Although some of those instances can be the fault of supped-up profiles with well-placed keywords that had little connection with actual skills, the truth is that, the majority of the time, it’s because recruiters don’t completely assess freelancers before hiring them.

Sure, they might give them the run-of-the-mill assessment. But that won’t always cut it. For, freelancing has a very different style of employment and work-culture. And even the skill-set is different and diverse from candidate to candidate. Hence, several factors need to be assessed before you hire a freelancer – either for a short-term project or a long-term one (or even if you’re looking to hire “permanent” freelancers for your business).

Some of the main factors that you need to asses are:

 

Filters

Filtering through your potential candidates is important. Asking them some basic question around their existing skills and previous experience would be sufficient. Just setting up a video call or even just a phone call to talk to your potential hire can get things off on the right note. Even a live chat session is fine, as long as it is “live”. The reason for this is so that you can assess your candidate’s understanding of a job requirement without them getting time to “prepare” a response for you. And that can go a long way in not only eliminating possible misconceptions about a job, but also in assessing whether the candidate suits your needs.

You can also give them your expectations of where you want to go from there and whether they can match it. (Basic example: if you’re looking for a coder, their responses can tell you their level of expertise simply with a few good questions on your part.)

Background

Many freelancers can have a skill-set that is very different from their actual qualifications, previous jobs, while others are limited to them, and still others have a combination of both. Also, a freelancer’s background or culture will give insight into their individual work-culture, as well as what they’re limited by. And this is something that is crucial to your decision to hire (and something that many businesses fail to asses – as well as later regret). For instance, someone who’s worked as a graphic designer before would most likely be familiar with UI design as well (if that is the post you’re hiring for). Whereas, if you want an Android developer, someone whose background is solely based in design rather than coding will not likely be a good fit for the role.

Logic

The “logic” factor is tied in to the “background” factor mentioned above – and it simply refers to deciding whether a candidate is the logical choice for a project. For instance, if you’re hiring for the post of a web designer, it would be prudent that the candidate be qualified for, or have some plausible experience with, web designing – maybe even experience as a graphic designer or web developer. However, if you hire someone whose expertise is in content writing or copy writing instead, simply because he or she has a large social following and has written some smashing blog articles, you’re looking for trouble.

Domain

By domain we mean the industry experience like that in say financial services. For some jobs like those around SEO, it may not be a huge plus but for jobs around social media and online PR, it can definitely have an impact.

 Creativity

In today’s digital age of information explosion, creativity and innovation is a must-have for any post that you’re hiring for. And so, whether you’re hiring for design, coding, or content development jobs, you need to assess whether the candidate is creative and innovative. (In basic terms, this is simply ascertaining if a candidate can think up ideas on their own and have their own thoughts.)

Capability

Of course, the “capability” of a freelance candidate is of paramount consideration before you can hire them. And generally, there are two basic steps to take in order to assess the capability of a candidate: One method is too ask the candidates for previous work samples. And the next (follow-up) method is to give the potential freelance hire a trial task to complete within a certain amount of time.

 Trial Tasks

Trial tasks are something that every recruiter should compulsorily assign a freelancer they’re considering to hire. Because, even though a candidate might seem perfect, how they do a job is what is the deciding factor. So assigning them a trial task before hiring them will often cement your decision to hire or pass over the candidate. (Plus, in some cases, candidates you may not have hired before the trial task might completely revert your decision based on how well they perform.)  

Guidelines Regarding The Employment of Freelancers In Your Business

Guidelines Regarding The Employment of Freelancers In Your Business

So you have started a company – well, is everything running smoothly? Most likely, it isn’t yet, since there are many aspects in running a business that are far from easy to handle:  Tight schedules, packed sessions, peak sales hours, pressures regarding time-sensitive deliveries and mass-bulk orders, and so many more such innumerable situations.

However, there is a solution that could help you cope with such intensive operational workloads: Simply put, hire freelancers and consultants to handle these operational tasks.

At the most basic level, hiring freelancers will allow you to manage your more time-sensitive and more intense business tasks, especially during peak business hours, by adding to the manpower that you need without making it a permanent change in your team numbers (which you will have little to no use for during the slower seasons of your business). At best, you gain freelance employees who can add great value to your business and might even take a more permanent role in your business.

What you should know about hiring freelancers:

Strengthening your workforce with freelancers needs a different work process than the one you use for hiring and managing in-house employees. The main things you should make sure of, though, is that you get good value from the work-relationship, that you clearly explain the roles and responsibilities expected of the freelancers you hire, that you clearly stipulate what they can expect from you regarding payments and benefits and communication in terms of their tenure in your business.

Consider former employees as potential freelance hires:

People who have left your company, but who you are still on good terms with, should definitely be considered as part of the talent resources from which you can hire freelancers for your business. In fact, if a good employee from your company has given notice that they are leaving the job, but have not planned to jump into any other full-time activity or job (for whatever reason), then it is a good idea to ask them if they’re willing to continue working for you on a freelance basis. Even better is the fact that you do not need to train these freelancers, as they already know how your business works and what working with your team entails. In fact, unlike when you hire new freelancers, you don’t even need to give them an introduction.

On another side, the fact that you value your employees to consider their work valuable in any capacity, will certainly earn you employee loyalty.

Stick to the clauses and milestones that are defined in the business contracts:

In case there is a gap in supervision, clearly identified milestones will ensure a smooth work relationship between your freelancers and your business. Make sure that the freelancer sticks to the contract milestones for each project (which are usually defined when the contract is given for signing). It should explain the scope of the freelance services expected, the methodology they follow, the start and end dates of the contract, payment dates, and other various requirements. Samples of such contracts can be found on sites like Upwork, which is a site that helps connect businesses with freelancers.

Schedule time for check-ins with your freelance employees:

While you do not require hour-by-hour updates from your freelance employees, regular communications and meetings (maybe via video calls or chats if in-person meetings are not possible) are definitely good ways to keep up-to-date with your freelancers and to keep your project running smoothly. You can take advantage of cloud-based project management tools and various document sharing tools (that are available online) in order to make clear a project’s details and to keep track of them. For instance, Slack is one such collaboration tool that could make the management of freelancers in your team a lot easier

slack

Abide by the payment terms agreed upon:

Freelancers will be eager to work with your business if they are aware about how promptly you make payments. Slow payments are one of the biggest stumbling blocks for freelancers, as they do not enjoy wasting time to follow up with your payroll departments on missing cheques. Therefore, when it comes to processing payments, you must give prioritize your freelancers’ payments on the same level that you prioritize the same for your in-house employees. In fact, the best method with freelancer payments is to automate your payroll processes; this will also free you to focus on other more important core tasks as well.

Having a great team of freelancers is not only good for your business, but it is also a way to identify the future full-time employees for your business. Freelancers on the other hand may decide to join a company at some point of time, thus hiring the known freelancers will save your resource hunting time and money spent on recruiting as well.

How to Decide Between Hiring a Remote Freelancer or Full Time In-House Employee

 

In-Houser vs. Freelancer

Recruiters or companies may always find themselves in a dilemma when hiring for a bulk process or a particular job role. The requirements for every job type varies, based on which the recruiters can decide on selecting a full time in-house employee or a remote freelancer. Both the options provide employers with skilled manpower resource, as well as with similar work quality and output.

The only difference between hiring a full time and a freelance employee is ease of personal access to the employee and use of resources. For, a freelancer works from any location of their choice, whereas a full time source will work at the office location. Plus, while a freelancer will use their own resources to complete their tasks, a full time employee will be provided with the facilities, technology, tools, database and infrastructure from the office he or she is employed in.

So, when it comes to deciding between hiring a full-time employee or a freelancer, here are the questions you need to consider about the job requirement:

 What is the level of client interaction required?

The first question you need to consider is whether the job you’re hiring for requires the hired candidate to interact with the client or not. And, if they do need to interact with the client, how many times a week or month or year will they be expected to interact with them on average? Plus, will communications via phone calls, video call, emails, or messages suffice? Or will face-to-face personal interaction be required?

This is important as, if the job requirement needs the hires to interact personally and face-to-face with company clients on a regular basis or multiple times, then a remote hire might not suit the post – as they may not be available in the location the client(s) resides, or may not be available on a regular basis on their schedule to meet with the client. For instance, consider an software debugger who needs to be on-location and meet clients whenever a problem occurs (and the problem cannot be solved remotely). A regular employee would be better here, as you can define a set of work timings for the worker in this case and choose someone who is available on-site for any clients.

However, if the interaction level with the client is nil, or if emails and chat sessions or video calls are enough to keep things running smoothly, then a remote worker for the post will work just fine. For, (in the latter case) all of these interactions can be covered via Internet communication technology, meaning that a remote worker can accomplish these tasks quite nicely.

Are there a lot of brainstorming sessions and creative discussions required for the job?

Does the job you’re hiring for require a team? Do these team members or co-workers need to have easy access to each other in order to have a number of creative discussions or brainstorming sessions about the task or project at hand? Do they all need to work together on this at the same time?

Again, the answers to these questions will determine whether a freelancer or a regular full-time employee will better fit the job.

If the job can be handled by one person, or a group of people working independently, then hiring either freelancers or full-time employees will work.

However, if you need a team that needs to work with each other, have creative discussions and brainstorm ideas together, then, you must hire employees who can fulfill this criteria. Now, if you’re hiring a team of freelancers, then there’s a good chance this team can fulfill the job requirements. However, if you’re hiring various freelance employees, or hiring freelance employees to add to your existing team, then you need to see if your freelance hires can make it to these discussions and ideating sessions. (Technology is a wonderful thing: Think video conferences!)

However, if you can’t find freelance hires who agree to be available for such creative sessions of creative brainstorming, then hiring regular full-time employees to make up your team could be the best option here.

 Are a lot of meetings and interactions with other co-workers and team members required?

Is your hire is required to attend meetings with co-workers to do their job, then you need to ask: How frequently do they need to interact with their co-workers? Will the purpose of the meetings be met if the conferences are held via video calls online? How frequent will these meetings be? Do the hires have to meet face-to-face and personally with their co-workers? Will the freelance hires be available to make these meetings?

Again, consider these questions before hiring a freelancer or regular employee for the post. For, while the candidates may be perfect for the most when considering their skills, this aspect of the job must be met as well.

So, if video conferences suffice for these meetings, and the freelance hires of your company can make it to these meetings, then hiring a competent freelancer is adequate. If not though, you might have to consider a full-time hire instead.

Other than the physical location and timings of the freelance hire being different though, not much else will differ in process and use from hiring a full-time worker. Hence, it’s these two aspects – and what they influence, enhance, and limit in your business – that you should consider before hiring either type of employ

Choosing The Right Freelancer For Managing Your Social Media

Choosing The Right Freelancer For Managing Your Social Media

When you look to hire a freelance social media manager, you’ll realize just how many candidates are there are for you to pick from. And it’s very important that you choose a hire that suits your business needs. Luckily, there are ways in which you can ensure that:

Always Interview Your Candidates

For one method, consider having a chat interview and a video interview with your potential candidates. Since, this will give you a chance to hear their “voice”, which is most likely what they will be using on social media when they interact on your behalf.

The basic idea behind this is that you should have interacted with them at least once before you hire your social media manager. Plus, an added benefit is that, when you decide to chat with them online via chats or video calls, you also get to see their competence with such media – which, in turn, will let you see their technological competence when it comes to social media

Follow Your Potential Candidates’ Social Media Accounts

Join their band of followers, friends, and/or connections in order to check out how they interact online, and how often. This will again give you an idea about their voice and their level of etiquette while interacting online. You can also see if their interests and knowledge naturally match those of your job requirement.

The way your hires behave on social media would be as good as how your company or business will be viewed online. Hence, assessing whether their style and interactions are something you want associated with your business  is essential. Of course, a social media manager will know how to interact online with a different “voice” when necessary. But online etiquette usually remains the same – which is why following your candidates and gauging their online interactive style is imperative to deciding the perfect hire.

Also, judging by their online posts and shares, you’ll also know the topics and areas of interest that they are most passionate about and knowledgeable in. And that, in turn, will be an essential point to consider, especially when you’re hiring a social media manager for content and brands that have a more intellectual lean.

Judge Their Actual Competence via Old Work Samples or by Assigning Them a Trial Task

Ask them for content samples – either what they’ve written/uploaded/posted before, or something they’ve generated based on the content or theme you want them to work on. (Or any other kind of related test will do here as well.) You’ll see their competence level and ability to create with this.

Creative competency is a major criteria when it comes to choosing a social media manager. And, no matter how good their profile might look, or how well they interact in an interview, it is what they actually create online that determines their suitability for the post. In fact, a lot of the best social media managers out there are often introverted in personality (though, of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule). Hence, such candidates might even seem lackluster in an interview and/or their profile might seem understated, but the way they vibe and create content online could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Gauge Their Understanding of the Requirements of the Job and Encourage Questions

See if they ask you questions when you explain what you want for your business and its image on social media. Depending on their questions, you can gauge whether they’re grasping the concept of what your brand or online profile is all about. Plus, the asking of such questions signifies their interest and eagerness to relate to and understand your requirements; and such interest is essential to garner engagement from online audiences. And, since engagement is what social media is all about, it’s easy to see why this is an important consideration when hiring a social media manager.

On the other hand, in case they don’t ask questions, ask a few yourself to see whether they understood what you were trying to convey. Then ask a few more – aiming for as conversational a tone as possible – to ensure you’re on the same page. For, professionally, some candidates may not ask questions until they actually see what they have to contend with, and others may simply think it formal etiquette not to bombard you with questions before they even start.

In either case, though, questions and conversations about the job, what you expect, as well as inviting suggestions from the candidate, will all help you gauge their understanding of the job’s requirements. And, it will help you see if you and your potential hire are on the same page.

Use any two or more of the above methods, and you’ll be well on your way to hiring a great freelancer to manage your social media.

Hiring Professional Web Designers – A Firm Step towards Brand Building

 

Hiring Professional Web Designers

Web designing is a procedure of presenting the desired content on web pages, which are accessed through the Internet. Web design is a term generally used to explain the design process relating to the client-end design of a website, which also includes writing mark up. There are many elements which should be considered while designing a web page such as page layout, colour, graphics, fonts and content.

The main process of creating a website includes planning, strategy and creativity. The designer should also consider information architecture, user interface, site structure, navigation and images before designing a website.

Before you proceed to hire a professional web designer, it is important that you understand what a web designer does and the skill sets that a web designer must possess.

 What does a web designer do?

The main job of a web designer is to build websites according to the company or user’s requirements. He should keep in mind the concept, goals and preferences. A web designer should also be creative as well as technically inclined to build a good and visually appealing page. The main role of a web designer is to format the layout of a website to accommodate elements, designing the page layout, determining the technical requirements, creating backup files, updating the websites and solving code problems. Web designers should always keep themselves up to date with web accessibility guidelines.

What skill set should recruiters want in a web designer?

Technical Design Skills

Irrespective of whether a web designer is an undergraduate or a graduate, he should have knowledge of designing methodology and compatible technologies and software. Knowledge of design software like Photoshop and Illustrator, knowledge of web design software like FrontPage, WordPress, and DreamWeaver, knowledge of GIF animations and Flash animations, and a variety of other tools, should be part of the candidate’s skillset. However, even if they know only one in a category of software, that’s still valid as most of these software (that are similar in function) can be learned as long as one has a base.

The best way to test a potential web designing candidate though, is to give them a design task, or to simply check out their design portfolio.

Programming Knowledge

Now, since this post you’re hiring for is for web design and not web development, programming knowledge won’t be the first priority. However, at least a basic amout of familiarity with CSS, HTML  and Java would be a definite added advantage for a web designer, as it can help in building attractive web pages. A good web designer should hence have essential programming skills because they architect how a page will appear on the Internet, and it is their programming skills that will help them to showcase their own designs on the Web.

A Keen Understanding of Practical and Aesthetic User Interface Design

A web designer needs to understand how to make the website functional, user friendly and search engine friendly. A good designer needs a sound working knowledge of basic HTML. It would also be an added advantage if the designer has an experience of programming tools such as Photoshop and Dream Weaver, Flash, CSS, Javascript, .Net frameworks, Ajax, PHP, ASP, ColdFusion, XML, SEO and server management.

Designers use a combination of the above mentioned tools depending upon the requirements of the client. They should also know the latest trends in designing web pages and try to update themselves with the skill set required.

Understanding of Business Goals

Recruiters need web designers to add unique brand value for their website by simple, functional, accessible and usable features in the website. And the design, functionality, and layout of the site is in direct reflection of the brand it is promoting. Hence, a web designer should also understand the world of business and the goals a business needs to reach. The recruiter should also ensure that, after a web designer is hired, that he or she (or the team) needs to have a thorough understanding of the company’s own uniques business goals so that they can design around the brand accordingly.

Now, let us take a look at the things to remember before hiring a professional web designer.

Before hiring a web designer, as an employer you should have your requirement detailed out like a blueprint. Make a list of the agencies who specializes in the areas that you are looking forward to work with. This will in turn help you to hire the right candidate, who is competent enough to meet the requirements of your project.

It is always important to decide if you want to hire a part time, full time or a freelance designer.

If you want to hire a freelance web designer, you can always post your requirements in any of the freelancing websites. This will allow you to tap in web designers who prefer the freelance mode rather than a full time job.

Before you hire a designer, you must check if the candidate provides complete copyright of design and content. Also, make sure you own the domain name even if the website designer registered it for you. Usually a good agency or a designer will sign over the intellectual property rights.

Important considerations to hire web designer

After deciding whether to hire a designer through agency or a freelancer, you can schedule an interview with the prospective candidates. During the interview process ask the candidates if they know about SEO and internet marketing. This will help you meet the larger marketing and business goals. Make sure if the designer has an experience of working with the similar requirement earlier.

Hiring of web designer must check the stress level in which they can work. This will help them meet deadline and complete project in time and budget.

It is essential to check with the candidates if they will be maintaining the website after designing. If the designer will not be maintaining the site, make sure if they can design the site which can be easily maintained by others like the business owner.

Your webpage is very important for the success of your business. Make sure you hire a candidate who understand the business idea, target niche and implements the same while making a site. The output or the webpage will reflects your business, and provide with long term branding options.

 

Understanding What Remote Working Is All About : The Allegations Against It And The Truth

Understanding What Remote Working Is All About

Remote working refers to working in an entirely different location from the actual office or workplace. Freelancers are another name for such remote workers.

Remote working, as a trend, is often the need of the hour today, and it can be beneficial for employers. It helps to reduce the cost of infrastructure, increases productivity, accelerates recruitment process, and develops accountability. It further makes operations scalable without diluting protocols.

 Levels in Remote Working

There are many types of employees in a remote work process, such as hybrid employee, full time employee, temporary employee, and outsourced (contracted) employee. The working style of every remote employee varies depending upon the profile and kind of work offered by the organization.

 Common Allegations Against Hiring Remote Workers:

A remote talent can be a candidate who has already worked with the company before, or is a new candidate in the process. Normally, initial choice is preferred by companies when remote work option is considered. Mostly, these are skilled candidates (depending on work requirements). Still, no matter what kind of remote talent you’re planning to hire, here are some of the most common allegations you’ll hear against hiring remotely:

 Allegation: Remote Hires Produce Work of Low Quality

Work Quality is the most touted reason to avoid hiring remote taltent. For, the allegation is that you will not get quality work if you hire remote talent instead of a full-time one. The reason for this is often cited to be the flexible nature of such talent’s work locations, which can be distracting and cause chaos in an organizational structure.

Truth: Quality Depends on the Hire’s Skills, Not the Hire’s Work Location

Working remotely brings in flexibility for the worker, yes. And yes, there may be distractions. But the truth is that there will be distractions to contend with whether one works from home, or in an office, or elsewhere. Rather, quality of the work delivered depends more on whether the talent has the necessary resources and skills to complete the task: If he or she is adept with all the latest tools and technologies required for the job, and has the requisite skills, then delivering quality work won’t be a challenge for a remote worker. In fact, many remote workers choose this mode of work because they’ve already discovered that they are more productive having a flexible structure rather than a structured one. And many remote workers are highly skilled and with plenty of experience in managing and motivating themselves. Besides, a trial task or test before hiring a remote talent should put all doubts about a remote talent’s skills and abilities to rest.

 Allegation: Work Confidentiality is at Risk with Remote Talent

As remote talent is often at a location the employers can’t access, the idea is that employers can’t easily coordinate or secure the work assigned to remote employees. Thus, confidentiality is at risk when a company has to send material to a remote employee in a different location.

Truth: Confidentiality is at No Higher Rate of Risk with Remote Employees

Regular employees are usually presented with a confidentiality report to sign before they are hired. And the same can be done for remote employees, thus making them legally accountable for such slips.

Plus, with the technology on hand today, then having the remote worker work on the project via a secure server with special login access should suffice. In fact, a number of companies have already successfully applied such cloud strategies. And even more companies simply make do with the remote worker signing a confidentiality agreement. And both face no more of a confidentiality risk with remote workers than they would with regular employees.

 Allegation: Communication Channels are Tricky with Remote Workers

In an office, colleagues, teams, and departments are often in constant communication – whether that is via casual chit-chat, meetings, phone calls, intranet emails, or memos (etc.). However, this isn’t the case when dealing with remote hires. They have no established work schedule a lot of the time, and they’re sometimes not even the same country. Hence, communicating instant memos and messages, and discussing changes and various communications are very difficult and aggravating with remote employees.

Truth: Communication Technology Makes Communication of Any Sort a Breeze

The above allegation might have been true a couple of decades ago. But the truth is that, with the advent of the Internet and smartphone technology that has reached all over the globe, communicating with remote employees is as easy as pie. With smartphone apps, email, and video calls available via various online apps – many free and downloadable – it is extremely easy to keep communication channels open between you and your remote hire.

 Conclusion

Even though there are a few challenges in managing a remote work setup, it is still a smart option. And the use of technology can ease the transition. Working with remote talent is the future of businesses because it reduces employee training costs and increases access to global talent. And the cherry on the cake is that employers feel more productive by adopting this strategic cost-effective approach.