Hiring freelance contractors can be risky if rushed because everyone claims to be the best—or at least very good—in their respective fields. However, you can lessen the risks by understanding how to search for, interview, and hire the right experts. The one thing that most employers should avoid is making rushed decisions without probing the contractor’s qualifications and assessing their level of competence. It is even worse for those who fall for freelancers that offer lower rates but deliver poor quality—cheap can get pretty expensive if the job isn't done right. Therefore, before you decide to hire a freelancer online and set up a milestone payment, it is recommended that you consider the following:
Assess the Proposal
The proposal is the first contact you will have with the freelancer. At this point, the power of first impression plays an important role because some projects attract hundreds of bids from equally competent freelancers, and it's easy to get lost in this ocean. However, separating the jokers from the serious bidders is easy. Start by eliminating bidders who obviously placed their bids with their eyes closed; some never even read the project description. Auto-bidders claim to be good in everything and place as many bids in a day as possible, applying for anything that is posted on the site. They either place bids without a proposal, or simply copy and paste a pre-drafted proposal. Watch out for these types of bids and weed them out.
After weeding out the unqualified bidders, go through the proposals from the people that seem like they took the time to go through the project specifications. You can then create a shortlist off the best candidates and initiate a chat session. This is a very important phase because this is when you can get to know more about the freelancer and determine their experience and expertise. You can ask to look through their portfolios, project processes, and ask them about their relevant experience. You will be surprised to learn that quite a number of freelancers may not be as skilled or as talented as they stated in the proposal. If you are convinced that the candidate can handle the job, you can either hire the best based on their profiles, reviews, and other attributes or hire the best two or three on a trial project.
Paid-For Test Project
You may not have to arrive at this point if the first two stages were successful. In fact, most reputable freelancers dislike the idea of tests because some clients are known to vanish after receiving it. By offering a financial reward for the test project, you can improve your chances of finding the right contractor for your project. Make it a low-budget project, and feel free to hire more than one freelancer if you can afford it. You can then assess the quality of work delivered and decide which freelancer to hire.
In as much as some projects are urgent, employers are encouraged to take the time to interview and hire only the best from a pool of more than 15 million registered users. Give yourself enough time to go through the candidates by starting the interview process early. Chat with bidders, ask the right questions, and only proceed if you are fully convinced that you have found the best for the job.