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:
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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 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.)